During Dance Days, now in its 11th year, local studios offer free adult dance classes in all kinds of styles: ballet, ballroom, dance roller skating, efunk and more; see new professional work in development by Victoria and Vancouver artists; participate in discussions and roundtables; and meet and mingle with artists and dance presenters.
One of the highlights during Dance Days is the opportunity to see new works-in-progress (aka Rough Cuts) by some of the west coast’s hottest dance artists and choreographers. These informal performances are presented at the Metro Studio Theatre under work lights and without costume or makeup. All performances are followed by informal discussions where the artists answer your questions about the work that they’re creating.
PLEASE NOTE: WE ARE PLEASED TO OFFER THESE PERFORMANCES FOR FREE, BUT WE ALSO ENCOURAGE DONATIONS TO CONTINUE TO FEED THE DEVELOPMENT OF NEW WORK. LIMITED SEATING. RSVP TO RESERVE YOUR SEAT.
Presenters’ Roundtable • McPherson Playhouse
Saturday, February 1, 2020 11:15am Details below. RSVP required.
Les Ballets Trockadero de Monte Carlo • Royal Theatre
Tuesday, February 4, 2020. *One performance only*
Direct from New York City, this playful and entertaining skewed view of traditional ballet is a perfect, polished parody of the highest order!
Kidd Pivot’s Revisor • Royal Theatre
February 7 + 8, 2020
On the final weekend of Dance Days 2020, we present Kidd Pivot’s Revisor, a contemporary dance theatre work by Crystal Pite and Jonathon Young, creators of the international sensation Betroffenheit. Revisor’s premiere sold out in Vancouver. Don’t miss this fascinating dance theatre hybrid that was commissioned in part by Dance Victoria and several local donors.
Rough Cut: John (Excerpt)
Friday, January 31 • 3:30 – 4:30 pm
Metro Studio Theatre
Choreographer: Helen Walkley
Performers: Josh Martin, Billy Marchenski
Composer: James Maxwell
John is a memoir of Helen Walkley’s oldest brother John who disappeared from Vancouver in May 1969, never to be heard from again. Walkley sourced from family letters dating from 1959 to 2010, which document the years leading up to his disappearance, his medical history, and the subsequent tracking her parents did of his disappearance. He was 23 at the time and Walkley was 13.
Helen Walkley is a contemporary dance artist in Vancouver who has also lived and worked in the Netherlands, Germany and the U.S. She is a certified Laban Movement Analyst and has an MFA in Interdisciplinary Studies from SFU. Numerous Artist in Residences have supported her work and most recently at Vancouver’s Dance Centre. She has an ongoing collaboration with composer James Maxwell and has performed with improvisation artists Peter Bingham, Lin Snelling and Marc Boivin.
Want to attend? RSVP to [email protected] with “John” in the subject line.
Rough Cut: A + A
Friday, January 31 • 5:30 – 6:30 pm
Metro Studio Theatre
Choreographers & Performers: Alexis Fletcher, Andrew Bartee
Having spent years practising their craft with high-level company settings, Alexis and Andrew are compelled by duet work as both creators and viewers of dance. Their relationship is the primary starting place for this work, and they are interested in how structure and relationship inform one another. They spent a month in residency at Dance Victoria Studios in September creating this work and exploring its thematic principles and physical vocabulary. They are interested in the ways their conceptual ideas can be distilled and grounded in their bodies and are dedicated to a durational process to create a rich choreographic landscape. The first incarnation of the piece premiered at the Chutzpah! Festival Vancouver in November 2019.
Alexis Fletcher is a dance artist, independent choreographer and producer, and has danced with Ballet BC for the past 14 years. Since its inception in 2015, she has also co-produced and curated a multidisciplinary, grassroots performance series at her home with her husband Sylvain Senez, entitled The Dance Deck. They present original multi-disciplinary works by established professional artists. Andrew Bartee is a dance artist, maker and educator based in Vancouver and Seattle. He has danced, created and toured nationally and internationally with Ballet BC, Pacific Northwest Ballet, Whim W’him, and Kate Wallich + The YC.
Want to attend? RSVP to [email protected] with “A + A” in the subject line.
Saturday, February 1 • 11:15 am
McPherson Playhouse Lobby | Free
Join facilitator Dr. Allana Lindgren and guest artists in a lively and enriching conversation. Attended by local dance artists and visiting dance presenters and open to the public, this roundtable promises to provide unique insights into the life of a dance artist.
Limited capacity. Want to attend? RSVP to [email protected] with “Roundtable” in the subject line.
Rough Cut: Red on Red (formerly #MMIW)
Saturday, February 1 • 2:00 pm
Metro Studio Theatre
Choreographer: Visible Bodies Collective
Director & Dramaturge: Jo Leslie
Performers: Lindsay Delaronde, Cheryl Henhawke, Nicole Mandaryk, Elowynn Rose
What happens when four Indigenous women come together in a dance studio? Curiosity brought us to explore Indigenous stories of injustice in the realm of movement. Exploring social justice through arts practice, we co-create a shared vision healing violence through dance, performance and storytelling. We stand together to hold space between the murdered and missing and to the invisible women. We embody the in-between space of life and death and advocate for the ones gone and lost.
Lindsay Delaronde was born and raised on the Kahnawake reservation and has lived on Canada’s west coast for 13 years. She is a multidisciplinary artist and facilitator of traditional workshops and holds a Masters in Fine Arts and in Indigenous Communities Counseling Psychology from the University of Victoria. Indigenous Women’s Performing Arts Collective is a group of Indigenous women that come together to explore dance, movement, and storytelling. Their collective practice is centered in Indigenous worldview, social justice art, land-based and place-based knowledge. The collaborative practice is held by a council of Indigenous women gathering story, igniting the fire of truths and knowledge to be embodied. They gather to heal intergenerational and historical trauma from the impacts of colonization. Through their bodies they liberate, restore, reclaim and resist.
Visible Bodies Movement Collective is an inclusive, transient group of Indigenous women who come from many nations and places across Turtle Island. Our collective practice is centered in Indigenous worldview, social justice, land-based and cultural knowledge. Our collaborative practice is held by a council of Indigenous women gathering stories and igniting the fire of truths to be embodied. We gather to heal our intergenerational and historical trauma from the impacts of colonization. Confronting injustices of violence and social issues is at the heart of the work. Mending past, present and future, weaving story, rhythm and our natural abilities to orate our experiences. We unite to explore dance, movement, and story-telling through our bodies. Our intention is to create a space of resurgence and gain our rightful power and positions in our societies by embracing dance and movement as the medium. Grounding in ancient knowledge, earth sound and sacred movement we embark on a journey of rediscovery. Through our bodies we can liberate, restore, reclaim and resist.
Want to attend? RSVP to [email protected] with “#MMIW” or “Red on Red“ in the subject line.
Rough Cut: OFF CENTRE (Excerpt)
Saturday, February 1 • 4:00 – 5:00 pm
Metro Studio Theatre
Choreographer: Sujit Vaidya
Performer: Curtis Andrews, Arun Mathai and Sujit Vaidya
OFF CENTRE reflects upon multiplicities of existence and negotiations to find connections within oneself. Reflecting on the disorientation of immersing himself in the ideas of an ancient art form while living in today’s world as a gay man, Sujit Vaidya creates this work from a deeply personal space.
Sujit Vaidya is an independent Bharatanatyam (Indian classical dance) artist in Vancouver and has performed in Canada, U.S., Europe and India. He uses Bharatanatyam as a language to reimagine traditional texts and contextualize them in ways that are relevant to him as a gay man living in today’s times. He finds it important and urgent to question the narrative and relevance of non-inclusive traditional texts. Vaidya was the first South Asian artist to receive the Vancouver City’s Mayor’s Award for Best Emerging Dance Artist in 2010.
Want to attend? RSVP to [email protected] with “OFF CENTRE” in the subject line.
Rough Cut: Clown for Hire by Angela Mousseau and What Remains of Chelsea Jane (Excerpts) by Kelly Hobson
Saturday, February 1 • 6:00 – 7:00 pm
Metro Studio Theatre
Clown for Hire
Choreographer: Angela Mousseau
Performers: Ellie Bishop, Ted Littlemore, Esrael Haile
“I have built a career out of self-deprecating humour and I don’t want to do that anymore. Do you understand what self-deprecation means when it comes from somebody who already exists in the margins? It’s not humility, it’s humiliation. I put myself down in order to speak, in order to seek permission to speak, and I simply will not do that anymore. If that means my comedy career is over, then, so be it.” — Hannah Gadsby, Nanette
What Remains of Chelsea Jane (Excerpts)
Choreographer: Kelly Hobson
Performers: Ana Laura Aranda Garcia, Erick Alexis Aguirre Cisneros, Esrael Haile, Makenzie Svenson, Anna Lawrance, Natsumi Tsuruta, Noah McKimm
Writing: Chelsea Jane | Music: Hank Pine
This work is based on the writing of Vancouver Island-based writer Chelsea Jane. Haunting and raw, this is a visceral interpretation of grief in the shadow of the overdose crisis.
Angela Mousseau and Kelly Hobson participated in a two-week Choreographic Lab intensive at Dance Victoria Studios this past summer with Artistic Directors Justine A. Chambers and Susan Elliott. For Dance Days, they will share works they further developed from the lab. Mousseau is a 2002 graduate of The University of the Arts in Philadelphia, PA where she majored in modern dance. She is on faculty at Dansko Studios, Boston Dance Collective, Westcoast Performing Arts Academy, the Victoria Academy of Ballet, and resident choreographer of Convergence Contemporary Ballet.
Hobson is a dance artist, choreographer, teacher, actor and musician and the Artistic Director of the Victoria School of Contemporary Dance and founder of Dance Berserker Dance.