Chrystal Dance Prize Recipients Receive $56,000 to Support Impactful International Projects

Since 2010, Dance Victoria has awarded more than $484,000 through its annual Chrystal Dance Prize – Projects to support Western Canadian dance artists collaborating with international creators. Dance Victoria is excited to announce this year’s CDP – Projects award recipients, committing $56,000 in commissioning support to their innovative projects.

Justine A. Chambers (she/her) receives $26,000 to support Leave The Edges, a project that brings together award-winning established artists Baff Akoto (UK), Yinka Esi-Graves (UK), and visionary cultural producer and curator Anthea Lewis (UK) to expansively re-imagine Akoto’s film installation with live performance. Leave the Edges is an immersive dreamscape that explores Africa’s diverse diasporic identities through dance, poetry, and music. The film turns to movement to gently draw on the silver threads connecting the diaspora across ancestries, borders, and cultures. This collaborative project proposes an on-going dialogue between live choreography and the film. 

Alexis Fletcher (she/her) & Sylvain Senez (he/him) of Belle Spirale Dance Projects receive $15,000 towards a new creation presented as a two-piece performance choreographed by Fletcher and Fernando Hernando Magadan (he/him, Spain/Holland), respectively. Relying on the universality and strength inherent in the dancing body, eight dancers explore the frail line between safety and endangerment, our ephemeral nature, and the resilience to nurture hope in our world that stands at cross-roads. In this celebration of interconnectivity, the project brings together some of BC’s most prominent dance artists with acclaimed international dancers and collaborators. Cross-cultural exchange is a key inspiration as the artists ignite the research stage with Indigenous leaders at HOST Consulting. Additional collaborators include lighting designer Victoria Bell (she/they); and dance artists Justin Duarte, Livona Ellis, Marisa Gold, Will Jessup, Oksana Maslechko, Justin Rapaport (he/him), and Lazaro Silva.

Caroline MacCaull (she/they) & Sammy Chien (he/she/they) of Chimerik 似不像 receive $15,000 for Inner Sublimity, a work that showcases the complexity of life, the light and shadows we all face. This duet, created in partnership with Horse Dance Theater 驫舞劇場 with Wu-Kang Chen 陳武康 as Movement Collaborator/Advisor (Taiwan) and Wen Huang 黃雯 as Creative Producer (Taiwan), utilizes cutting-edge interactive technology and deep somatic movement explorations while combining East and West cultural knowledge, spiritual practices, and movement to intentionally expand the narrow view that Western society has imposed upon spirituality. By questioning these different paradigms, the artists begin to open new dialogues, new connections, and new potential for collective healing.

For more detailed information about these projects and artist bios, please visit

About the Chrystal Dance Prize

The Chrystal Dance Prize is generated from a bequest made by Dance Victoria patron, Dr. Betty “Chrystal” Kleiman, held at the Victoria Foundation. The Chrystal Dance Prize – Projects supports exceptional dance research and/or creation between a Western Canadian dance artist, collective, or company and an international dance artist. A committee of dance professionals is assembled each year to select the recipients. Prize recipients may also have the opportunity for a two-week residency at Dance Victoria Studios. Recent Chrystal Dance Prize – Projects winners include Julia Taffe of Aeriosa Dance Society, Shion Skye Carter, and Amber Downie-Back.

About Dance Victoria

Dance Victoria brings the World’s Best Dance to the Royal Theatre and supports the development of new dance for the international stage from its studios in Quadra Village. As a non-profit charitable society, Dance Victoria operates with the mission to promote the appreciation of dance by developing and presenting diverse local, Canadian, and international artists, and by engaging the community in the celebration of dance.

For photos of the prize recipients, please contact:

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Downloadable PDF media release here.