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July 2022: Rebecca Margolick
Who is Rebecca Margolick in a sentence?
I love history and nature, and one of my favourite things to do is listen to people tell me about their lives.
Tell us a bit about your work and practice.
I’m an independent dancer and choreographer. I’ve been creating solo and multidisciplinary work over the past 6 years – and more recently in the past year, I’ve been doing some commissions for different institutions and companies, recently at La Universidad Nacional de Costa Rica, and in Vancouver with Ballet B.C’s new Performance Project. My work is inspired by history, sound, music, and rhythm. I believe that dance is spiritual and a tool to connect us kinesthetically to something greater than ourselves. Dance is a way to access greater empathy. I love intensity, sensuality, power, care, and support within dance work.
How long have you been dancing?
I’ve been dancing since as long as I can remember, and probably before, whether at home, watching my mom teach dance classes as a baby, or in the studio learning. Dance has been in my family for generations on both sides; it runs deep.
How does dance fit into your life currently?
Dance is a major presence in my life and it’s present in different ways. It’s my career and work, but it’s also a spiritual practice, a community of people, and a way to communicate.
How would you describe dance’s impact on your life?
Overall, dance has provided a way for me to communicate through my body in a way that feels clearer and more direct than words often do. I’ve always had trouble expressing myself verbally, and in such a verbal, extroverted society, dance has helped me use my body as a way to connect deeper with others. Dance has led me to continue to feel more at home in my body and thus more confident in the world.
What three core values drive your engagement with dance?
Being open and saying yes to learning.
Creating and being in a space for people to question and learn from each other.
Democratizing and making contemporary dance less elitist.
Do you have a particular practice that you carry out each day or have you implemented new practices as a way of adapting to the current climate?
I wish I had a daily practice! I’ve been thinking about daily practice and rituals recently, especially while traveling so much. I’ve been learning Tai Chi from my dad, and I want that to become my daily movement practice. In the studio, my practice always includes improvising and just listening to how I want to move that day as a way to connect to my body and focus my mind. Walking and hiking have become important mental health practices for me throughout the pandemic and onwards.
What would you say are the most significant benefits for you in being a Dance Centre member?
The affordable and beautiful studio spaces have been so helpful and wonderful place to create!
How have you been spending your time during the COVID-19 pandemic, and what are you most looking forward to doing moving forward?
There have been many phases to this pandemic, to quarantining, from moving out of NYC and living out of my suitcase for a year, to spending more time with family, taking a step away from dancing, and then finding my way back in again, to traveling, performing, and creating again with a renewed sense of excitement. Performing has felt more sacred than it ever has for me, and I’ve been enjoying that. The thing I’ve been most looking forward to, thankfully, is what I’m doing right now. I’m traveling for a few months creating work performing and connecting with independent contemporary dance communities in various places. Right now, I’m in Costa Rica for six weeks working with La Universidad Nacional de Costa Rica creating a new work on the student company UNA Danza Joven (and learning Spanish!).
This year, we are celebrating the 20th anniversary of Scotiabank Dance Centre. What impact do you feel the building has had on the dance community, our city, and/or your own practice?
The building has been a meeting place for the community, a space to gather, to run into friends and acquaintances and to continue my relationship with the Vancouver dance scene. I really appreciate that it’s been a familiar place for me to come back to every time I’m here.
Rebecca’s Member Profile
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Photos by Jingzi Zhao and Vanessa Fortin