Dance trav­els to wa­tery depths, hip-hop heights


The Georgia Straight - - Fall Arts Preview -


It is a good time to be a dance 2

fan in Van­cou­ver. First, we have a wealth of fresh lo­cal tal­ent cre­at­ing cut­ting-edge new work (see the likes of Vanessa Good­man and Ju­lianne Chap­ple, be­low, not to men­tion su­per­star Crys­tal Pite). Sec­ond, we have truly ex­cit­ing world-class work tour­ing here—from French hip-hop aeri­al­ists to a lav­ish ode to Leonard Co­hen. Find time for what you can.

SARA CALERO COM­PANY (At the Van­cou­ver Play­house on Septem­ber 22) As part of the Van­cou­ver In­ter­na­tional Fla­menco Fes­ti­val, the Span­ish troupe presents a timely piece on mi­gra­tion and dis­place­ment. Petisa Loca looks at the ex­pe­ri­ences of the fe­male diaspora when thou­sands of Spa­niards were forced to em­i­grate to Amer­ica in the mid-20th cen­tury. The Draw: A chance to see one of the fore­most dra­matic tal­ents in Spain’s fla­menco scene out­side of the Ibe­rian Penin­sula. Tar­get Au­di­ence: Rain-soaked Van­cou­verites who would rather be sit­ting in a Madrid tablao right now.

NEVER STILL (At the Fire­hall Arts Cen­tre from Septem­ber 26 to 29) Ris­ing chore­og­ra­pher Vanessa Good­man, of Ac­tion at a Dis­tance, takes her in­spi­ra­tion from wa­ter and plays with so­cial, en­vi­ron­men­tal, and bi­o­log­i­cal themes. Here, she works with a top­notch team of tal­ent—sh­ion Skye Carter, Stéphanie Cyr, Bynh Ho, Alexa Mar­don, James Proud­foot, and Lexi Va­jda—and at­mo­spheric au­dio-vi­su­als by Loscil. The Draw: Few build mul­ti­me­dia worlds like Good­man, and the rip­pling Tyvek sheets that work as set pieces here should cre­ate a flow­ing new uni­verse. Tar­get Au­di­ence: Swim­mers, divers, en­vi­ron­men­tal­ists, and the thirsty.

KATIE DUCK: CAGE (At the Sco­tia­bank Dance Cen­tre on Septem­ber 28) The leg­endary, Am­s­ter­dam-based im­pro­viser makes her first visit here in 30 years. The con­stants here are a black dress, a chair, three wigs, and a sharply fem­i­nist view­point on the hor­rors of our world, but the sound and sound­track change. For Van­cou­ver’s show, she’s joined by mu­si­cians Ben Brown, James Meger, and Rox­anne Nes­bitt. The Draw: Un­pol­ished, raw life. Tar­get Au­di­ence: Dance risk-tak­ers who like the adren­a­line rush of spon­tane­ity.

JOE: A SOLO SHOW (At the Sco­tia­bank Dance Cen­tre from Oc­to­ber 18 to 20) For Van­cou­ver dance veteran Joe Laugh­lin’s first full-evening solo show, the Joe Ink artis­tic direc­tor turns to three vastly dif­fer­ent chore­og­ra­phers for new works—and voice-overs from those artists to ac­com­pany them. Am­ber Funk Bar­ton, Gio­conda Bar­b­uto, and South Africa’s Vincent Mantsoe are on tap. The Draw: See­ing the chameleon­like Laugh­lin morph be­tween cre­ations. Tar­get Au­di­ence: Any­one who likes a three-for-one spe­cial.

COM­PANY WANG RAMIREZ (At the Van­cou­ver Play­house on Oc­to­ber 26 and 27) In this dy­na­mite Dance­house sea­son opener, the rev­o­lu­tion­ary French com­pany brazenly mixes mad hip-hop skills with Wuxia mar­tial arts—the lat­ter’s su­per­hu­man soar­ing feats courtesy of rig­ging and bungee ropes. Cre­ated by chore­o­graphic duo Sébastien Ramirez—a for­mer Red Bull BC One B-boy champ—and Ger­manko­rean Honji Wang, the grav­i­ty­de­fy­ing five-dancer Border­line should blow your mind. The Draw: Ghost­like white han­boks, Crouch­ing Tiger, Hid­den Dragon fly­ing, and badass break danc­ing, all in a sin­gle show. Tar­get Au­di­ence: Avid mem­bers of this world’s mas­sive cul­tural melt­ing pot.


SUF­FIX (At the Sco­tia­bank Dance Cen­tre on Oc­to­ber 26 and 27) Thanks largely to the Iris Gar­land Emerg­ing Chore­og­ra­pher Award, one of the


city’s most ex­cit­ing young artists has a new full-length work. Ex­pect Suf­fix to coolly meld dance, video, sound, light, and sculp­ture to explore the ef­fects of our high-tech world and our drive to­ward im­mor­tal­ity. The Draw: Chap­ple’s abil­ity to con­jure strik­ing, sur­real im­agery. Tar­get Au­di­ence: Techies and vis­ual artists.

BAL­LET BC: PRO­GRAM 1 (At the Queen El­iz­a­beth The­atre from Novem­ber 1 to 3) The com­pany kicks off its artis­tic direc­tor’s 10th-an­niver­sary sea­son with some new work and an old favourite. Com­pany head Emily Mol­nar gets a case of the blues, work­ing with the mu­si­cal form for her driv­ing new un­ti­tled cre­ation. She’s also brought back quirky au­di­ence favourite Petite Céré­monie—an ap­peal to the crowds who en­joyed Romeo + Juliet by the same chore­og­ra­pher, Medhi Waler­ski. And she closes out the pro­gram with a cov­eted work by her for­mer men­tor at Bal­lett Frank­furt: the Canadian pre­miere of Wil­liam Forsythe’s phys­i­cally de­mand­ing 1989 piece En­emy in the Fig­ure, a piece that pushed bal­let to new ex­tremes. The Draw: Forsythe’s chore­og­ra­phy was sem­i­nal; Waler­ski’s de­light­ful. Tar­get Au­di­ence: Con­tem­po­rary bal­let fans—with a cap­i­tal C.


THE BLACK PIECE (At the Sco­tia­bank Dance Cen­tre from Novem­ber 6 to 8) The Dutch-flem­ish tal­ent ex­plores all our fears and fas­ci­na­tion with the dark, us­ing film-noir touch­stones (rush­ing foot­steps; flash­light re­veals) in a work with five dancers and a cam­era op­er­a­tor. The Draw: Se­duc­tive, el­e­gant dance that taps all your senses. Tar­get Au­di­ence: Peo­ple who aren’t afraid of the dark.


PUB­LIC AND PRI­VATE (At Left of Main from Novem­ber 13 to 17 and Novem­ber 20 to 24) Dumb In­stru­ment Dance presents the pre­miere of Ziyian Kwan’s new full-length work, fea­tur­ing video and a team of strong fe­male dancers: Delia Brett, Hay­ley Gawthrop, Erika Mit­suhashi, and Deanna Peters. The Draw: Live taiko mu­sic drives the ac­tion. Tar­get Au­di­ence: Em­pow­ered fe­males, and those who know and love Kwan’s pen­chant for the quirky, the per­sonal, and the ki­netic.


DESH (At the Van­cou­ver Play­house from Novem­ber 21 to 24) The U.K. kathak vir­tu­oso who has wowed the world with his chore­o­graphic in­no­va­tion presents a fam­ily-friendly show that will sweep you away. In­ter­act­ing with richly drawn, sto­ry­book­like an­i­ma­tion, the in­spired artist tells a dream­like tale of a boy ex­plor­ing his Bri­tish and Bangladeshi roots. It’s co­p­re­sented by SFU Wood­ward’s Cul­tural Pro­grams, Dance­house, Théâtre la Seiz­ième, and 149 Arts. The Draw: The chance to re­claim your sense of won­der—and watch your own child un­leash his or hers. Tar­get Au­di­ence: Those who want to be­lieve in magic again. Jazz de Mon­tréal—pays grand homage to Leonard Co­hen. Be­gun with the leg­end’s bless­ing be­fore the revered singer­song­writer-poet’s 2016 death, the half-mil­lion-dol­lar mul­ti­me­dia pro­duc­tion de­buted last De­cem­ber for Mon­treal’s 375th an­niver­sary cel­e­bra­tions. Three Euro­pean chore­og­ra­phers— An­do­nis Fo­ni­adakis, Annabelle Lopez Ochoa, and Ih­san Rustem—cre­ated works for each of his songs here. The Draw: The songs, of course, matched by what is prob­a­bly the most tech­ni­cally honed troupe in the coun­try. Tar­get Au­di­ence: Fans of the Bard of the Boudoir will say “Hal­lelu­jah”.


(At the Cultch’s His­toric The­atre from Novem­ber 27 to De­cem­ber 1) The rock ’n’ roll bad boy of dance is back. This time out, Mon­treal’s Frédérick Gravel strips things down for a fierce duet with muse Bri­anna Lom­bardo, their props an ipad for mu­sic, pro­jec­tors, a chair, shoes, whisky, wa­ter, and glasses. The Draw: As we’ve seen here with pieces like Usu­ally Beauty Fails, Gravel has the unique abil­ity to raise laid-back ba­nal­i­ties to tran­scen­den­tal lev­els. Tar­get Au­di­ence: By now, the mu­si­cian-chore­og­ra­pher has built a solid fan base here.

REVISOR (At the Van­cou­ver Play­house from Fe­bru­ary 20 to 23, 2019) Kidd Pivot’s Crys­tal Pite and Elec­tric Com­pany The­atre’s Jonathon Young—the lo­cal dream team whose Betrof­fen­heit won a Bri­tish Olivier Award and stunned houses across Europe—are back with a lighter new dance-the­atre work that plays with satire, ab­sur­dity, and farce. Dance­house presents. The Draw: Hands down the most an­tic­i­pated dance event of the en­tire cal­en­dar. Tar­get Au­di­ence: Any­one who saw Betrof­fen­heit and will never for­get it.


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