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Next up in our Discover Dance! series is Lamondance. We sat down with Artistic Director Davi Rodrigues to discuss the company, his commitment to nurturing young artists, and what we can expect at the upcoming performance.
Briefly describe your dance career to date.
I started to dance at the age of six with jazz dance and have not stopped since. The opportunity to become a professional came at the age of 15 when I got my first job as a dancer with Aplauso Cia de Dança under the direction of Junior O’Hara. There I nurtured my passion, working on developing my voice as a dance artist travelling around Brazil and performing with the company. It was also there that my passion for creating choreography started; while watching my artistic director and choreographers creating each piece, I was amazed by their ability to create and transform movements. I left Aplauso after five joyful years of hard work and accomplishments to devote myself to my own project, Cia Criatividança. There I explored possibilities for creating innovative experiences as a dancer and choreographer. I created eight original full-length dance shows and toured Brazil. After 15 years, I decided to end my project with Cia Criatividança. I wanted to focus on my dance career; I could not imagine life was preparing me for a fantastic experience on another continent.
In 2007, I received an invitation to study dance in Vancouver. Lamondance was starting, and I was invited to be a dancer and a guest choreographer in their very first season. Then I was invited to co-direct the company with Lara Barclay and Monica Proença, and in 2014 I assumed the position of the company’s Artistic Director. Today, my focus is to use all the tools I have gained in this beautiful journey to guide and support the launching point for the careers of young artists.
What drives you to commit to training/nurturing young artists? Why do you find it rewarding?
Passion is one element that drives me to nurture these young voices. The possibility of transforming someone’s life and supporting their transition to the professional world of dance is remarkable. I take my responsibility very seriously as a mentor. These young voices have so much to offer, but when they first arrive, they are like raw diamonds that just need some polishing. I like to say that as a mentor, I am primarily a passenger in their careers, which I symbolically call “cars”, where I say: “Now you need to slow down. Stop your car. Enjoy the view. Keep going. Turn left here. Follow the signs.” All this is to remind them they are in charge of everything they do. Seeing them succeed and become inspirational artistic voices in many different areas and communities keeps me inspired to continue to nurture them.
Tell us about the work you’ll be sharing for Discover Dance!
I am very excited to share two distinct works from different branches of Lamondance. The first work will be my own creation, called How it ends, originally choreographed in 2018; our contemporary training program will perform this work which was inspired by the struggle of addiction, something that is so present in our society. The second piece will be a new work by Indigenous choreographer Jera Wolfe, a creative and inspiring voice based in Toronto, created for our Professional Dance Company. Two distinct works represent Lamondance’s world of possibilities for emerging artists.
If you didn’t have a career in dance, what might you be doing?
I understood my place in this world at an early age, I felt creativity in my veins. If I did not have a career in dance, I would probably be a clown with Cirque du Soleil, an actor or a film director. All those belong to my world of passions, and they are with me every day, supporting me in my dance career, which I love so much.
What is your next project(s)?
With Lamondance, my next project is our June production, “The Things That Dreams Are Made Of,” the training program season finale presenting works from guest choreographers Anya Saugstad, CAMP Collective, Margarida Macieira and myself, and on top of that, coordinating our next season. I am so excited to restage “Before Dawn” a work made for camera for the Vancouver International Dance Festival, and bring it to the stage for a live audience next season, for our professional dance company.
Many things are happening, and I am very busy and grateful for the opportunities ahead.
The Dance Centre presents the Discover Dance! series
Thursday April 20, 2023 | 12 noon
Scotiabank Dance Centre
Listen to Davi on The Dance Centre Podcast
Photos by Adrian Ortega
Explore dance performances currently presented by The Dance Centre. Each season, you’ll find new dance shows. See what’s on today.