Bring­ing dance to the peo­ple

Pop-up per­for­mances sched­uled from Wed­nes­day to Satur­day

North Bay Nugget - - NEWS - MICHAEL CHEN

Bernard Pen­ney loves bring­ing dance to the pub­lic.

As a part of next week’s On the Edge fringe fes­ti­val, ur­ban dance com­pany Gad­fly will per­form 12 five-minute dances and in­ter­ac­tive work­shops through­out North Bay, start­ing Wed­nes­day.

Fund­ing came from the On­tario Arts Coun­cil on the con­di­tion that it be used to “de­velop au­di­ences for dance.”

Pen­ney, the an­i­ma­teur, which is a pro­moter for artis­tic events, came up with the idea in or­der to ex­pose a “ready-made au­di­ence” to the shows. There will be per­for­mances in places where crowds are sure to gather, such as the wa­ter­front and Powas­san li­brary.

“It will cer­tainly help break down the stigma of dance, which has been a prob­lem,” he says. “It’s a real chal­lenge to get peo­ple out and en­joy dance.”

Pen­ney has done sim­i­lar events in the past, like a fla­menco dance on city tran­sit a few years ago.

“We drove around the col­lege route, up and down a few times and peo­ple who got on the bus ex­pe­ri­enced fla­menco gui­tar and fla­menco danc­ing live on the bus, it brought a lot of smiles to faces,” Pen­ney says.

Pen­ney ex­plains that each of the pop-up per­for­mances will be two five-minute dances or one 10-minute in­ter­ac­tive work­shop with who­ever’s present.

“The in­ter­ac­tive work­shops [will] get peo­ple up and with them danc­ing, show­ing them moves, that’s what it’s all about,” he says.

There are many dance stu­dios and schools in the city, but Pen­ney be­lieves North Bay is “more par­tic­i­pa­tory.” He hopes the pop-up work­shops, which are suit­able even for kids and those with mo­bil­ity is­sues, will en­cour­age more peo­ple to get in­volved.

“The gen­eral pub­lic is not apt to go out and buy a ticket for danc­ing. That’s what we’re try­ing to do, get peo­ple more com­fort­able with dance.”

In ad­di­tion to the shorter pre­sen­ta­tions, lo­cal dancers from Global Groove have chore­ographed a more com­plex piece for an Aug. 19 per­for­mance at the wa­ter­front.

The first five-minute dance will be at 11 a.m. Wed­nes­day at Dis­cov­ery North Bay mu­seum. It will be fol­lowed by an­other at 2 p.m. at the YMCA day camp and a third at 5 p.m. at the gov­ern­ment dock.

Thurs­day will be­gin with a dance at Camp Til­licum at 11 a.m., fol­lowed by Powas­san li­brary at 2 p.m., Cen­ten­nial Park in Cal­lan­der at 3:30 p.m. and Pinewood Park Golf Course at 6 p.m.

A noon per­for­mance at the Capi­tol Cen­tre will kick off Fri­day, fol­lowed by the wa­ter­front at 2:30 p.m. and North Bay Mall at 6:15 p.m.

Next Satur­day will have three dances, at Dis­cov­ery North Bay mu­seum at 11 a.m., at the down­town buskers’ stage at 1 p.m. and the Capi­tol Cen­tre at 8:45 p.m.

PHOTO BY E. S. CHEA

Gad­fly will per­form a se­ries of 12 five-minute dances and in­ter­ac­tive work­shops next week in North Bay.

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