After 11 years of bringing you local reporting, the team behind the Vancouver Observer has moved on to Canada's National Observer. You can follow Vancouver culture reporting over there from now on. Thank you for all your support over the years!

Mascall Dance Presents White Spider with Set Design by Alan Storey and Music Composed by Jeff Corness

White Spider is a dance production choreographed by Jennifer Mascall, set design by sculptor Alan Storey and music composed by Jeff Corness.  It  premiers at the Vancouver International Dance Festival,  March 12th and 13th at the Roundhouse Community Center and the Vancouver Playhouse Theater.

The production is inspired by Henrick Harrer's book White Spider that chronicles the history of many failed attempts to ascend the North Face of the Eiger Mountain in Switzerland and the eventual successful ascent by the Harrer's party in 1938.

When three highly talented people get together and create a production, the result is electric.  What interests me most is the process of creation by these three artists.  I wonder which came first, the music or the choreography?  In this production, the set design plays an important role.  

I had an opportunity to see a rehearsal.  It seemed to be a very challenging piece for Jennifer, but I understand what she does is always challenging.  The stunning sculptural stage set by Alan Storey could be easily placed in an art gallery.  And the music magically connects one movement to the next and pulls together what seems to be unpredictable choreography.  The music moved me. 

It seemed to be demanding and strenuous work for dancers, as well, even though they looked utterly poised.  When it was all over, I realized how intensely I was watching.

It is an inspiring production. You feel that you are climbing the mountain along with dancers.


Jennifer Mascall is an artistic director for Mascall Dance.

Alan Storey is a Vancouver based sculptor.

Jeff Corness is a Vancouver based composer.


The order of artists in the photograph avobe: from left, Alan Storey, Jeff Corness and Jennifer Mascall.


Yukiko Onley is a Vancouver based photographer specializing in photographing people.  Her service is available upon request.  For more information, please visit

Read More:

More in A–List

Local art jewellery designers collaborate to create stunning works for Noh performer

Yayoi Hirano, mime artist, appears in her new production MEDEA wearing a magnificent neck piece specially designed for the production by three local jewellery artists.

The fascinating world of artist Manabu Ikeda

Manabu Ikeda decided to come to Vancouver when he received a scholarship from the Japanese Ministry of Culture one year ago. He chose Vancouver, he says, because he wanted to see how people lived...

Kokoro Dance brings otherworldly performance to Wreck Beach

Kokoro Dance Wreck Beach Butoh performance is one of Vancouver's yearly summer events. I had the opportunity to photograph the rehearsal before the actual performance last month. It was a gray and...
Speak up about this article on Facebook or Twitter. Do this by liking Vancouver Observer on Facebook or following us @Vanobserver on Twitter. We'd love to hear from you.