Van­cou­ver’s dance tal­ents dom­i­nate stage


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Lo­cal dance tal­ent re­ally takes 2

the spot­light this au­tumn, with home­grown artists like Josh Beamish, Vanessa Good­man, Deanna Peters, and Shay Kue­bler stag­ing am­bi­tious full-evening cre­ations.

It’s a sign our dance scene is thriv­ing and nur­tur­ing a new gen­er­a­tion of artists. Need more proof? Check out the 11th bi­en­nial Dance in Van­cou­ver, Novem­ber 21 to 25 at the Sco­tia­bank Dance Cen­tre, which show­cases ris­ing West Coast names like Mered­ith Kala­man, Ae­riosa, and Ju­lianne Chap­ple.

This list only high­lights the fall, but watch for two big shows—also by big Van­cou­ver tal­ent—in the new year: a dou­ble bill by es­tab­lished mav­er­icks Chick Snip­per and Tara Cheyenne-frieden­berg at the Fire­hall Arts Cen­tre Fe­bru­ary 21 to 24, and the breath­lessly awaited re­turn of Crys­tal Pite and Jonathon Young’s Betrof­fen­heit—a sec­ond chance to see Kidd Pivot and Elec­tric Com­pany The­atre’s sem­i­nal, Olivier Award–win­ning ex­plo­ration of grief for those of you who missed the un­for­get­table sold-out run last year at Dance­house. Take our ad­vice: don’t mess up this time.

SAUDADE (At the Sco­tia­bank Dance Cen­tre from Septem­ber 20 to 23) Chore­og­ra­pher Josh Beamish re­turns to town with a yearn­ing work for six male dancers. The ti­tle comes from a Por­tuguese word that trans­lates loosely as a driv­ing de­sire for the unattain­able. Set to solo cel­list Hil­dur Guð­nadót­tir’s haunt­ing score, it ex­plores fleet­ing re­la­tion­ships and the way they stick with us long af­ter they’re over. The Draw: A team of dancers whose cred­its in­clude Ned­er­lands Dans Theater, Alvin Ai­ley Amer­i­can Dance Theater, and La La La Hu­man Steps. Tar­get Au­di­ence: Any­one who knows that break­ing up is hard to do.

EMBRYOTROPHIC CAVATINA (At the Round­house Com­mu­nity Arts and Recre­ation Cen­tre from Septem­ber 20 to 23 and Septem­ber 26 to 29) Kokoro Dance’s Bar­bara Bour­get, Jay Hirabayashi, Molly Mcder­mott, and Billy Marchen­ski nav­i­gate life and death and al­most ev­ery­thing in be­tween, all to a mov­ing or­ches­tral score by Pol­ish com­poser Zbig­niew Preis­ner. The Draw: Stripped down lit­er­ally and fig­u­ra­tively, the show is a chance to revel in the raw power of the com­pany’s bu­to­hin­spired work. Tar­get Au­di­ence: Bu­toh buffs and view­ers who like to get at the meat of our ex­is­tence.

FEAST­ING ON FAMINE (At the Fire­hall Arts Cen­tre from Septem­ber 27 to 30) Rad­i­cal Sys­tem Art’s Shay Kue­bler turns his con­sid­er­able phys­i­cal and comedic chops onto the body­build­ing world, in all its ob­ses­sion. The Draw: An early ex­cerpt from this at the 2015 Danc­ing on the Edge fest turned head-to-toe shav­ing into high art and mor­phed mus­cle­man poses into a warped stop-start bal­let. It’s hi­lar­i­ous, awe-in­duc­ing, and ac­ces­si­ble. Tar­get Au­di­ence: Pro­tein-shake-pound­ing weightlifters—and any­one who’s ever ob­sessed over a calo­rie.

ALL WAYS (At the Sco­tia­bank Dance Cen­tre from Oc­to­ber 12 to 14) Com­pañia Sharon Frid­man is named for the cel­e­brated young tal­ent who founded it in Madrid, af­ter train­ing and per­form­ing in Is­rael. The pieces on view here play com­plex games with con­tact im­prov—flow­ing, in­tensely phys­i­cal pieces, the for­mer a duet, the lat­ter


a swirling, ur­gent cre­ation for seven crack dancers. The Draw: The chance to suss out a younger gen­er­a­tion of Is­raeli chore­og­ra­phers, and see if it’s as red-hot as the one that pre­ceded it. Tar­get Au­di­ence: Con­tact-im­prov fans and those on the look­out for some­thing new.

AN­I­MAL TRISTE (At the Sco­tia­bank Dance Cen­tre from Oc­to­ber 19 to 21) Sad an­i­mals, in­deed: that’s how chore­og­ra­pher Mélanie De­mers presents us hu­mans in her hard-driv­ing fourhan­der, pre­sented by Van­cou­ver’s plas­tic orchid fac­tory and her MAYDAY com­pany. The quar­tet of dancers— plas­tic orchid’s James Gnam, Marc Boivin, Bri­anna Lom­bardo, and Ri­ley Sims—are an­drog­y­nous, pearl-draped crea­tures climb­ing to­ward civ­i­liza­tion but ever fall­ing into their an­i­mal ex­is­tence. The Draw: A rare West Coast taste of the Mon­treal avant-garde, wrapped in those al­lur­ing pearls. Tar­get Au­di­ence: Boundary push­ers who like life on the edge.

META (At the Sco­tia­bank Dance Cen­tre on Oc­to­ber 27 and 28) Deanna Peters of Mutable Sub­ject de­buts the re­sults of her well-de­served Iris Gar­land Emerg­ing Chore­og­ra­pher Award, putting her form-mash­ing style to­gether with the tal­ents of con­tem­po­rary-dance artist Jus­tine A. Cham­bers and hip-hop maven Kim Sato. Lo­cal de­signer Natalie Purschwitz pro­vides the threads, DJ Ice-b spins the tunes, and light­ing de­signer James Proud­foot il­lu­mi­nates the ac­tion. Ex­pect sur­prises, a hy­brid of styles, and a touch of the sur­real. The Draw: The com­bined forces on this project are sim­ply some of the coolest tal­ents in town right now. Tar­get Au­di­ence: If you know any one of th­ese artists, you know who you are.

MOR­PHED (At the Van­cou­ver Play­house on Oc­to­ber 27 and 28) Dance­house’s sea­son opener, Fin­nish sen­sa­tion Tero Saari­nen, crafts a crack­lingly fresh, con­tem­po­rary ode to mas­culin­ity. A stage sur­rounded by sway­ing ropes and Esa-pekka Salo­nen’s icy or­ches­tral score adds at­mos­phere. The Draw: Saari­nen’s work feels beau­ti­ful and re­fined yet raw and authen­tic at the same time. It’s some­how epic yet in­ti­mate. Tar­get Au­di­ence: Fans of that crisp Nordic aes­thetic and Finns who want to cel­e­brate their centennial through art.

PRO­GRAM 1 (At the Queen Eliz­a­beth The­atre on Novem­ber 2 and 4) Bal­let BC opens its sea­son with a pre­miere by Cayetano Soto, its cel­e­brated res­i­dent chore­og­ra­pher, and with the North Amer­i­can pre­miere of B.R.I.S.A., by Swedish star Jo­han Inger, an alum­nus of Ned­er­lands Dans Theater. The Draw: Lo­cal au­di­ences al­ready love the un­pre­dictable Soto, but the re­turn of work by Inger—whose the­atri­cal Walk­ing Mad was a ma­jor hit at Bal­let BC a few years ago—should bring out the masses. Tar­get Au­di­ence: Lo­cal bal­letomanes ea­ger to see our topflight troupe set the bar even higher.

WELLS HILL (At the Fei and Mil­ton Wong Ex­per­i­men­tal The­atre at SFU Wood­ward’s in the Gold­corp Cen­tre for the Arts from Novem­ber 24 to 26) Dance­house, SFU Wood­ward’s Cul­tural Pro­grams, and SFU’S School for Con­tem­po­rary Arts join forces to cel­e­brate Canada 150+ with a lo­cally crafted work that could not be more fit­ting. Van­cou­ver chore­og­ra­pher Vanessa Good­man has been hon­ing this smart mul­ti­me­dia ode to the philoso­phies of Cana­dian icons Mar­shall Mcluhan and Glenn Gould for three years. The Draw: Wells Hill feeds your brain while con­jur­ing an at­mo­spheric black­white-and-grey vis­ual world, too. Tar­get Au­di­ence: Those who know that the medium is the mes­sage—and that move­ment can make it even bet­ter.


Feast­ing on Famine Mor­phed


There may be other words for 2

the state of art mu­sic in Van­cou­ver, but this year a “glut” seems most ap­pro­pri­ate. Whether it’s be­cause our town is fi­nally be­com­ing both cos­mopoli­tan and so­phis­ti­cated (if dis­tress­ingly un­af­ford­able), or be­cause there’s been an in­flux of new blood into some of our most cher­ished cul­tural in­sti­tu­tions, or be­cause pro­gram­mers have taken ad­van­tage of all that on­cein-a-life­time Canada 150 cash, we’ve never seen a sea­son like this.

Par­tic­u­larly wel­come are the re­turn of year-round pro­gram­ming to the Van­cou­ver Opera sched­ule, and the tor­rent of new and ex­per­i­men­tal com­po­si­tions that will be pre­sented as part of the In­ter­na­tional So­ci­ety for Con­tem­po­rary Mu­sic’s an­nual con­fer­ence, held here for the first time and co­hosted by Mu­sic on Main.

TIME TRACKS (At the Or­pheum on Septem­ber 22 and 23) The VSO’S sea­son opener prom­ises great­ness—and some­thing for ev­ery­one, too. Draw: The North Amer­i­can de­but of Van­cou­ver Sym­phony Orches­tra mu­sic di­rec­tor Bramwell Tovey’s ti­tle piece; ac­com­plished for­mer VSO con­cert­mas­ter Dale Barl­trop’s Aus­tralian String Quar­tet play­ing John Adams’s Ab­so­lute Jest for String Quar­tet and Orches­tra; and Peter Ilich Tchaikovsky’s tem­pes­tu­ous Sym­phony No. 5 in E Mi­nor. Tar­get Au­di­ence: Ev­ery­one. Didn’t I just say that?


The(At the Chan Cen­tre for the Per­form­ing Arts on Oc­to­ber 1) The Van­cou­ver Recital So­ci­ety’s sea­son is heavy on pi­anists both emerg­ing and ac­claimed, but only Korea’s Yekwon Sunwoo has the dis­tinc­tion of hav­ing won the 2017 edi­tion of the pres­ti­gious Van Cliburn In­ter­na­tional Pi­ano Com­pe­ti­tion. The Draw: An in­stru­men­tal­ist some con­sider the world’s best in the un­der-30 cat­e­gory. Tar­get Au­di­ence: Dig­i­tal thrill-seek­ers.

TURANDOT (At the Queen Eliz­a­beth The­atre from Oc­to­ber 13 to 21) Van­cou­ver Opera’s in­au­gu­ral spring fes­ti­val was an artis­tic suc­cess, but there are many who con­sider the com­pany’s re­turn to year-round pro­duc­tion an even bet­ter gift. The Draw: Gi­a­como Puc­cini’s fi­nal score, which here will fea­ture high drama in an­cient China, Marcelo Puente singing “Nes­sun Dorma”, and a wel­come dis­trac­tion from the on­set of win­ter. Tar­get Au­di­ence: Ari­at­ics.

MARIA POMIANOWSKA (At the Van­cou­ver Play­house on Oc­to­ber 14) Think “Frédéric Chopin” and the mind al­most in­vari­ably goes to the pi­ano, but this Van­cou­ver Chopin So­ci­ety pre­sen­ta­tion is some­thing else again. The Draw: Maria Pomianowska and her Pol­ish folk players join a dance troupe, a cham­ber orches­tra, and a bevy of lo­cal world-mu­sic vir­tu­osos to rein­ter­pret the great com­poser’s life and roots. Tar­get Au­di­ence: Glo­be­trot­ters and time trav­ellers.

(At the Van­cou­ver Play­house on Oc­to­ber 22) Th­ese Czech players are among the best of the new Euro­pean quar­tets—and are sure to be one of the high­lights of a solid Friends of Cham­ber Mu­sic sea­son. The Draw: Early mod­ernist mas­ter­pieces from Igor Stravin­sky, Mau­rice Ravel, and An­tonín Dvorák. Tar­get Au­di­ence: Cham­ber-mu­sic con­nois­seurs.

CROSSCURRENTS (At the Chan Cen­tre for the Per­form­ing Arts on Oc­to­ber 28) The as­ton­ish­ing per­cus­sion­ist Zakir Hus­sain has as­sem­bled a cast of Bol­ly­wood vet­er­ans and im­prov greats in a pro­gram that ex­am­ines the al­most cen­tury-old in­ter­play be­tween jazz and In­dian clas­si­cal mu­sic. The Draw: Dave Hol­land is the bassist. Has the man ever played


(At var­i­ous venues from Novem­ber 2 to 8) The In­ter­na­tional So­ci­ety for Con­tem­po­rary Mu­sic brings its an­nual con­fer­ence to Van­cou­ver for the first time, giv­ing lo­cal lis­ten­ers a week­long glut of the lat­est and best. The Draw: Mu­sic on Main’s as­tute artis­tic di­rec­tor, David Pay, cu­rates per­for­mances by Lori Freed­man, the Bozzini Quar­tet, Red Cham­ber, Turn­ing Point Ensem­ble, NOW Ensem­ble, the VSO, and many, many more. Tar­get Au­di­ence: Any­one in­ter­ested in get­ting a grad­u­ate de­gree in con­tem­po­rary mu­sic al­most overnight.

ONE LAST SONG (At West Van­cou­ver United Church and St. An­drew’swes­ley United Church on Novem­ber 11) Chor Leoni’s an­nual Re­mem­brance Day con­cert is both a heart­tug­ging cel­e­bra­tion of valour and a heart­felt prayer for peace. The Draw: Massed male voices de­liv­er­ing a mes­sage of hope, not an ul­ti­ma­tum for war. Tar­get Au­di­ence: True pa­tri­ots of all coun­tries and cul­tures.

PAUL LEWIS (At the Van­cou­ver Play­house on Novem­ber 19) Have we men­tioned that the Van­cou­ver Recital So­ci­ety is this year’s go-to source for awe­some pi­anists? The Draw: In the first of a four-con­cert series, the mag­nif­i­cent Paul Lewis com­pares and con­trasts clas­si­cal mas­ter­pieces from Franz Joseph Haydn, Lud­wig van Beethoven, and Jo­hannes Brahms. Tar­get Au­di­ence: Per­fec­tion­ists.

URI CAINE (At the Round­house Com­mu­nity Arts and Recre­ation Cen­tre on Novem­ber 25) Par­al­lels, a new com­mu­nity-based ini­tia­tive or­ga­nized in part by Van­cou­ver New Mu­sic, pairs eclec­tic pi­anist Uri Caine with a string quar­tet and

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