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Brilliant young dancers from the Arts Umbrella Dance Company showcase bold, innovative works

Andrea Rabinovitch
May 16th, 2013

Janessa St. Pierre leaps boldly into the future. Photos: Michael Slobodian

Not only do you get to experience beautifully trained dance artists from the Arts Umbrella Dance Company (AUDC) at Season Finale May 24 to 25 - two evening shows May 24-25 and one matinee May 25 -  at the Vancouver Playhouse, you also get to enjoy choreography from some of the most important contemporary choreographers alive today.

 Artistic Director Artemis Gordon is excited by the prospect.

“The new works that have been created with the dancers this season include some of the most thrilling and exciting choreography I have seen,” says Gordon. “It’s hard to know what to be most proud of: the choreography or the dancers.”

Ask a teenager (they know everything)

Ellie O'Day
May 9th, 2013

Boca del Lupo's Micro Performance Series 2013

ASK A TEENAGER: Mammalian Diving Reflex (Toronto)

May 30 – June 2

Teenagers are famously complex and emotionally unstable. Their limbic systems are on overdrive, their hormones are running amok, they’re prone to staying up late, sleeping well past noon and taking crazy risks. It’s no accident. Scientists believe teen brains are particularly alive, active and sensitive. Their behaviour is an evolutionary feature; it’s how they define and distinguish themselves. It’s how they get shit done. Teen brains are fast, risk-taking blobs that make creative and sometimes bizarre leaps and associations, giving them an adaptive edge. This is a scientific fact.

Teens have been taking advice from adults for many years. Now it’s time for these adaptive adolescents to come up with some answers to adults’ problems.

Ballet BC's much anticipated Giselle

Andrea Rabinovitch
Apr 23rd, 2013

Celebrating Jose Navas' brilliance, Ballet BC reimagines a new Giselle. Image of Alexis Fletcher.Photo by Michael Slobodian.

Giselle, the legendary ballet told from a contemporary point-of-view by Ballet BC ‘s Resident Choreographer José Navas, will be the swan song of his three year residency.

At the Queen Elizabeth Theatre, April 25-27, 2013 for three evening performances at 8 pm,  Navas will assuredly create something compellingly beautiful.



“It is the tale of love, betrayal and the supernatural," explained Navas in a break from rehearsal. Using the original music by Adolphe Adam and the narrative line written by Jules-Henri Vernoy de Saint-Georges and Theophile Gautier – the librettist took his inspiration from a poem by Heinrich Heine- Navas which maintained the same structure. “I wanted to honour the story and the original score.”

Celebrate National Dance Week and International Dance Day at The Dance Centre

Andrea Rabinovitch
Apr 23rd, 2013

Marie-Josee Chartier of Toronto's Chartier Danse employs dance, text, voice and puppetry, inviting us on her solo journey. Photo by Ayelen Liberona.

In celebration of National Dance Week and International Dance Day on Monday, April 29, The Dance Centre presents a program of events featuring dance styles that range from contemporary and flamenco to historical and Ukrainian.

Delinquent Theatre remounts the hugely successful Stationary: a Recession-era Musical

Andrea Rabinovitch
Apr 1st, 2013

Composer of Stationary, Mishelle Cuttler, plays the power hungry boss who hides the wallflower girl she once was.

A musical play about twenty-somethings dealing with the reality of a working life after the hopeful imaginings of their post secondary education? It’s art imitating life for creators Christine Quintana and Mishelle Cuttler of Delinquent Theatre. Following sold out houses and rave reviews at last summer’s Neanderthal Festival, STATIONARY: A Recession-­era Musical  is being remounted  for a two week run at North Vancouver’s Presentation House Theatre from April 4 to April 14.

 Chatting with Cuttler in a break from her day job as a part time legal secretary, the multi talented artist who lists in her arts biography composer, musical director, sound designer, actor and musician with a soft spot in her heart for novelty instruments, she explained the genesis of creating a musical from scratch.

National Ballet of China tells tragic tale in visually stunning Swan Lake

Andrea Rabinovitch
Feb 26th, 2013

The beautiful Odile/Odette role requires extenisve technical chops and emotional depth.Photo by Liu Yang.

The opportunity to see Swan Lake is rare due to the enormous undertaking for a company. Not only are the dancers pushed to the limits of their technical skill and musicality but the narrative must also be served. It also requires a company able to employ large numbers and to be funded to tour. One of the top traditional classical ballet companies in the world, The National Ballet of China, is being produced by Ballet BC at the Queen Elizabeth Theatre from February 27-March 2, 2013 for four evening performances of Swan Lake at 8:00 pm .

“The National Ballet of China is doing the Natalia Makarova version which is very close to the original,“ shared Emily Molnar, artistic director of Ballet BC, who has been working with Les Grand Ballets Canadiens in Montreal for two years to bring the company to Canada. Help from TREK, a mining company, sealed the deal.

A prince, a beautiful woman who morphs into a swan by day, and an evil sorcerer tell this rather dark tale of love gone terribly wrong.  

BJM: Works by Millipied, Soto and Marshall beats flowers and chocolates for your Valentine

Andrea Rabinovitch
Feb 13th, 2013

BJM, the best (and best looking) dancers you'll see anywhere. Photo Benjamin Von Wong.

Get ready for top flight dance entertainment when BJM (formerly known as Les Ballets Jazz de Montréal) showcases three famous contemporary choreographers in BJM: works by Millipied, Soto and Marshall, this Friday and Saturday at the Vancouver Playhouse. Produced by DanceHouse, celebrating its fifth anniversary supplying Vancouver with the opportunity to experience the best  the world has to offer in contemporary dance, BJM is a hot, hot, hot, date night.

 Chatting with Robitaille, artistic director since 1998, on his lunch break from rehearsal in Montreal, he suggested that BJM’s mandate is not to create dance that is incomprehensible or that solicits snores.

“Dance can be very hard to understand sometimes, “he suggested. “ This is definitely not BJM’s personality.”

Mary Walsh's Dancing with Rage does battle at the Firehall Arts Centre

Andrea Rabinovitch
Feb 5th, 2013

Actress, comedienne and social activist Mary Walsh in character offering the quintessential Canadian experience.

What Canadian hasn’t watched comedienne Mary Walsh as Warrior Princess Marg Delahunty on CBC's This Hour Has 22 Minutes?  With her Toys R’ Us sword in hand, Walsh has cornered many political figures (most recently former Toronto mayor Rob Ford) into satirical interviews, causing many a viewer to wonder: How does she have the guts to do that?

Walsh, whose one-woman show Dancing with Rage is showing at the Firehall Arts Centre in Vancouver this week, explains that her acts are not so much about having chutzpah, but rather about fear and the Walsh family motto of “I’m not backin’ down tonight.”

“It is daunting," Walsh confessed.

One-man King Lear blasts cultural boundaries using Peking Opera and modern theatrical techniques

Andrea Rabinovitch
Jan 22nd, 2013

Distilling  the 16 characters of King Lear into a one-person show is no mean feat. Fusing time-honoured Peking Opera techniques with  modern conventions transforms Shakespeare’s monumental tragedy of power and deception into a thrilling theatrical experience. The PuSh International Performing Arts Festival and the Asian-Canadian Special Events Association present Wu Hsing-Kuo  of Taiwan’s Contemporary Legend Theatre February 1 and 2, 8:00 pm at the Centre for Performing Arts in Vancouver.

Aided only by costume pieces and virtuoso acting, he is joined onstage by a full complement of traditional Chinese musicians.

Chatting with Managing Director of the Asian-Canadian Special Events Association, Charlie Wu, it became clear just how important this piece is.

Walking Projects tells compelling city stories in a guided tour

Andrea Rabinovitch
Jan 16th, 2013

Arash Khakpour, Maxine Chadburn, David McIntosh, Pedro Chamale  Photo credit: Yvonne Chew

There are three events associated with "Walking Projects: Vancouver, crawling, weeping, betting” and all of them are fascinating and free. battery opera performance and Unit/Pitt Projects presents these super cool events that look at stories in the city. Running January 17 to March 1, 2014, the events are centered around Unit Pitt Projects.

The brainchild of David McIntosh and Chris Bose, the two met up in Kamloops when McIntosh, a writer, singer, sommelier, and the artistic producer of battery opera along with artistic director Lee Su-Feh, went to work on a project. Meeting Bose was a chance encounter when the artist he was looking for never materialized and someone told him about Chris Bose, a First Nations writer, multi-disciplinary artist, musician and filmmaker.

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