March 22-25, 2023
Scotiabank Dance Centre
Presented by The Dance Centre and Vancouver International Dance Festival
I am thrilled to welcome Daina Ashbee back to Vancouver, and that by partnering with Vancouver International Dance Festival we can once again bring cutting edge work by internationally-acclaimed dance artists. Daina has in a relatively short period of time captured the attention of the world with her unique and brave voice, conquering international stages like a storm. I trust that her distinct poetics, visceral and atmospheric at the same time and resonating with a sense of ritual, and also a celebration of resilience and fortitude, will touch each of you in different ways and prompt new conversations about what contemporary dance is and how it reflects the world. The work may even provoke some unease but that too is part of life and leads to decisions to impact change, be it to reconsider how we collectively violate mother earth and how we react to what is happening around us globally. Daina is at times described as an extreme choreographer – pushing boundaries, expanding the force of the body and its impact on stage and on audiences. She is never shy to stand up for her beliefs. In immersing yourself into the show trust your inner feelings, be open to challenge, allow yourself to accept the “awkward” as that also takes us to discover beauty in the most unexpected places. For this is what contemporary dance and art is: leading us to walk away with a new, different, experience; helping us to discover our inner selves; and finding that the seeking, the questioning which is often the most fruitful of our experiences.
Executive Director, The Dance Centre
Welcome to the 23rd edition of the Vancouver International Dance Festival.
We begin by acknowledging that the 2023 VIDF takes place on the unceded ancestral territory of the Coast Salish Peoples, including the territories of the xʷməθkwəy̓əm (Musqueam), Skwxwú7mesh (Squamish), and Səl̓ílwətaʔ/Selilwitulh (Tsleil-Waututh) Nations and we thank them for sharing their land with us.
Dance is an ephemeral art form that has a profound and lasting impact. We produce the VIDF as a labour of love for the art of contemporary dance. We started this festival 23 years ago without any funding support, but now receive grants from the City of Vancouver, Province of BC, British Columbia Arts Council, Department of Canadian Heritage, and the Canada Council for the Arts. We are also thankful for the generous support from individual donors who enable us to produce this festival. Please join these individual angels in supporting the VIDF by buying a ticket to a show and bringing a friend or additionally donating when attending our free in-person and livestreamed shows: visit our website, vidf.ca, to find out more. We hope to see your beautiful faces and feel your warm hearts at the 2023 VIDF.
Yours in dance,
Barbara Bourget and Jay Hirabayashi
Producers, Vancouver International Dance Festival
J’ai pleuré avec les chiens (TIME, CREATION, DESTRUCTION 2021)
Choreographer: Daina Ashbee
Rehearsal Director: Gabriel Nieto
Performers: Elise Vanderborght, Audrey Sides, Imara Bosco, Shvii Rosen, Sarah Flack, Celia Green
Mentor: Benoît LaChambre
Lighting Design: Stephanie Van Sandt
Musical compilation: Sean MacPherson, Daina Ashbee, Gabriel Nieto
Photo by Stephanie Paillet
KVS Brussels Stadstheater, Festival TransAmériques – FTA, Agora de la danse, Rencontres chorégraphiques internationales de Seine-Saint-Denis (FR), BIT Teatergarasjen (NO), National Arts Centre, Centre de Création O Vertigo – CCOV, EMPAC / Curtis R. Priem Experimental Media and Performing Arts Center – Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in Troy, NY
KVS Brussels Stadstheater (BE), Harbourfront Centre (CA), Montpellier Danse (FR)
Developed with support from the National Art Centre’s National Creation Fund, Canada Council for the Arts, Conseil des Arts et des Lettres du Québec
About the work
The first group piece by the prolific Daina Ashbee, J’ai pleuré avec les chiens (TIME, CREATION, DESTRUCTION 2021) plunges into states of being with both sober and incisive precision. Far from any possible attempts at categorization or binary representation, the naked and gaping bodies pierced by chants attempt to come closer together, pile up in vanishing lines – before breaking apart. Connection then emerges, in poetics of deflagration and trance, while the sounds produced by the bodies generate movements, growls, yelps, cries and calls. True flesh channels, the performers transmit myriads of stories, embodying a web of possibilities where everything can coexist. Because everything is transitory, fleeting, and forges a sensory experience where the sensitive configuration shapes a ritual of cohabitation and decompartmentalization. This work inspired by the density and complexity of human structure, explores its entrails, its thought processes, its energy and its life force.
“My choreography is an investigation of the body in order to address the subconscious. A deepening of my own consciousness. The art of dance brings me closer to my own body and to the awareness of my own thoughts and processes. Articulating this awareness through choreography helps to uncover my connection to the environment, the earth and to my ancestors.
“In a society full of traps to confuse, numb and desensitize, my work uses and acknowledges the density and complexity of the human structure by exploring its innards, its thought processes, its energy and its capacity for life. Blood, water, organs, bones, energy, thought. I project shapes from within.
“My work is deliberately dark, vulnerable and often sensual. My hope is to destroy frameworks that have warped my body and self-image as a way to repair and prepare for a new beginning.”
-Daina Ashbee, Vancouver 2011
Artist, director and choreographer based in Canada, born in Nanaimo, British Columbia known for her radical works at the edge of dance and performance. At the age of 26, she had already won two awards for her choreographies. She was a double prizewinner at the Prix de la danse de Montréal, winning both the Prix du CALQ for Best Choreography of 2015-2016 for her choreographic installation When the Ice Melts, Will We Drink the Water?, and the Prix Découverte de la danse, for Unrelated (her first choreography). Daina was named by the prestigious German TANZ magazine as one of 30 promising artists for the year 2017 and named one of 25 to watch by the American publication, DANCE in 2018. In 2019, she won a New York Dance and Performance Award, Bessie, for Outstanding Choreographer. In 2021, at the age of 31, she had two separate Retrospectives of her performance artworks; one in Montpellier, France and the second in Montreal, Canada. In 2022 she became the recipient of The Clifford E. Lee Choreographer Award from The Banff Centre for Arts and Creativity in Alberta, Canada.
Recognized as one of the most prolific choreographers of her generation, since 2015 her work has been presented over one hundred times in 16 countries and over 40 different cities. Her work being presented in some of the most prestigious festivals (The Venice Biennale, Oktoberdans, the Munich Dance Biennale, Montpellier Danse) and on the stages of the world (Canada, France, Spain, Belgium, Norway, Finland, Greenland, Germany, Italy, Switzerland, and Mexico).
After residing for 8 years in the city of Montréal, in 2020 she relocated to Gabriola Island, British Columbia (unceded territory of Snuneymuxw Nation) where she re-sources her creative and energetic practices close to the rain forest on the west coast of Canada while she is not touring or creating abroad. She continues to tour regularly in Europe, Canada and the United States. In 2020 two new pieces were released: a solo, Laborious Song and a group piece, J’ai pleuré avec les chiens (later renamed J’ai pleuré avec les chiens TIME, CREATION, DESTRUCTION in 2021).
In 2021 Daina presented 5 of her original works at Montpellier Dance Festival: Unrelated (2014), Pour (2016), When the ice melts, will we drink the water? (2016), Serpentine (2017) and Laborious Song (2020). Daina presented 4 of her original works at Usine-C titled <<Daina Ashbee Retrospective>> which featured Unrelated, Pour, When the ice melts, will we drink the water? and Laborious Song in October 2021.
Daina’s new creations include another group piece My Tale on a Fish’s Body which will premiere in 2023, and small group piece titled We learned a lot at our own funeral which is choreographed on breakers, Bboys and BGirls in 2024. Stand by for a new solo, Hello, Buffalo, also in creation.
She is also a teacher of movement, choreography and therapeutic practices. She has taught at the Venice Biennale College in Venice, Italy, as a guest at The University of Stavanger, Norway and at The University of the Arts in Philadelphia U.S.A. Daina presented her workshops at Nulty Bod/ZeroPoint Festival in Prague, in Guadalajara, Mexico, across Canada and especially in Montreal, Quebec., for the past 14 years. In 2022 she will teach in Costa Rica, across Canada and in Norway.
THE DANCE CENTRE
Executive Director Mirna Zagar; Programming Coordinator Raquel Alvaro; Associate Producer Linda Blankstein; Member Services Coordinator Kaia Shukin; Outreach Coordinator Yurie Kaneko; Director of Marketing Heather Bray; Digital Marketing Coordinator Lindsay Curtis; Venue and Operations Manager Michelle Johnstone; Lead Technician Diana Bartosh; Accountant Elyn Dobbs; Dance Central Editor Shanny Rann
BOARD OF DIRECTORS
Jason Wrobleski (Chair); Andrea Reid (Vice-Chair); Annelie Vistica (Treasurer); Tin Gamboa (Secretary); Jennifer Aoki; Yvonne Chartrand; Judith Garay; Linda Gordon; Arash Khakpour; Rosario Kolstee; Anndraya Luui; Rachel Maddock; Katia Oteman;
The Dance Centre is grateful for the generous support of The Choreographer’s Circle, Anndraya Luui and the BC Arts Renaissance Fund.
THE CORPORATE LEADER’S CIRCLE
Alexander Holburn Beaudin + Lang LLP – Ingrid M. Tsui, Partner; The Holiday Inn and Suites Vancouver Downtown – Angela van den Byllaardt, Sales Manager; Jarislowsky, Fraser Limited – Beau Howes
THE CHOREOGRAPHER’S CIRCLE
Impresario: Charles and Eve Chang Foundation; Anndraya Luui
Choreographer Anonymous; Anonymous; Beau Howes and Genieve Burley; Tony Giacinti (in memory of Lola MacLaughlin); Stephen Jarislowsky; Anne Hildebrandt
Artistic Director Linda Blankstein; Marnie Carter; Joyce Ozier; Yosef Wosk, OBC; Moh Faris; Pamela Goossens; David Matte
Principal Dancer David Cousins; James Felter; Ken Gracie and Philip Waddell; McGrane – Pearson Endowment Fund; Jean Orr; Janet and Ron Stern; Don and Jane Shumka; Mike and Kathy Gallagher
Dance Artist: Anonymous; Anonymous; Ken Alexander; Santa Aloi; Rosario Ancer; Mary and Herb Auerbach; Gary R. Bell; Andrew and Andrea Benzel; Trent Berry; Noel Best and Barbara Shuman; Matthew Breech and Shino Watanabe; Richard Cavell and Peter Dickinson; Amanda Collinge; Norm and Dorothy Cross; Count and Countess Enrico and Aline Dobrzensky; Jason Dubois and Clayton Baraniuk; Nicola Follows; Judith Garay; Peter Harmon; Karim and Christina Jandali; Linda Johnston; Emily Klukas; Amy Millar; Kathy Scalzo; Kemo Schedlosky and Mark Gatha; Betty Scheltgen; Ingrid Tsui and Matthew Heemskerk; Annelie and Dan Vistica; Denis Walz; Michael Welters; Mirna Zagar; Max Wyman and Susan Mertens; Jason Wrobleski
THE ARTIST’S CIRCLE
Linda Aristizabal; Brent Belsher; Denis Blais and Paras Terezakis; Val Brandt; Deborah Dragon; Sheila Evani and Jeffery Ramkellawan; Lorna Froidevaux; Megan Halkett; Lynn B. Johnston; Lorita Leung – The Lorita Leung Dance Association; Barry McKinnon; Dubravko Pajalic; Dr. Mary Robertson; Frank Salisbury; Selma Savage
The Dance Centre acknowledges that it is located on the traditional, ancestral, and unceded territories of the xwməθkwəy’əm (Musqueam), Skwxwú7mesh (Squamish), and Səl’ílwəta?/Selilwitulh (Tsleil-Waututh) Nations. It is an honour and a privilege for us to be guests in their lands. We are grateful.
The operations of The Dance Centre are supported by the Government of Canada, Canada Council for the Arts, the Government of British Columbia, the BC Arts Council, and the City of Vancouver.
The VDC Dance Centre Society is a registered charity no. BN 11925 8754 RR0001
VANCOUVER INTERNATIONAL DANCE FESTIVAL
Co-producers Jay Hirabayashi and Barbara Bourget; Festival Manager Khaliun Altan; Production Manager Terry Podealuk; KW Studios Technical Director Gabriel Raminhos; Web & Graphic Designer Aaron Smith; Photographer/Videographer Chris Randle; Digital Marketing Coordinator Khaliun Altan; Bookkeeper/Admin Assistant Sugar Otgo
BOARD OF DIRECTORS
President: Henry Wong; Vice President: Leslie Stark; Secretary/Treasurer: Tuan Luu; Member at Large: Judith Garay, Tessa Perkins Deneault, Kazuho Yamamoto
We are grateful for the support of the Province of British Columbia, British Columbia Arts Council, Canada Council for the Arts, City of Vancouver, Vancouver Civic Theatres, our media sponsor, STIR, our hotel sponsors, the Holiday Inn Vancouver Downtown and Suites, and the Rosedale on Robson Hotel and Suites, and the Boards of the VIDF and Kokoro Dance for their ongoing support. We would also like to acknowledge our generous donors and our many volunteers without whom we would not be able to do the festival. And of course, we thank you, our audience, for attending this evening’s performance.
The Vancouver International Dance Festival is a member of the CanDance Network of Dance Presenters.
Vancouver International Dance Festival | 236–111 Hastings Street West |Vancouver, BC, Canada, V6B 1H4
Telephone: 604.662.7441 | Box office: 604.662.4966
firstname.lastname@example.org | facebook.com/vidf.ca | twitter.com/vidf | instagram.com/vidfestival