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Chutzpah! Festival showcases three programs of cutting-edge dance

Leslie Telford premieres a piece by Isreali choreographer Itzik Galili. Photos by Rahi Rezvani. 

The CHUTZPAH! Festival, the Lisa Nemetz International Showcase of Jewish Performing Arts, never fails to bring exciting dance to Vancouver.

Opening the whole festival, which also includes music, theatre, comedy and even a silent film screening with live music, is a Canadian Premiere choreographed by Itzik Galili and danced by BC-born Lesley Telford and Spain’s Miguel Olivera, Brittle Failure, by Lesley Telford with Japanese scenographer Yoko Seyama. Filling out that show is Vancouver’s own  605 Collective, the freshest dance artists around.

The other two shows are AMP, Sidra Bell Dance New York and San Francisco-based LEVYdance and If at All + Zion, by the Kibbutz Contemporary Dance Company.

Dancer Lesley Telford’s international career has taken her from Les Grands Ballets Canadiens to the Compañia Nacional de Danza in Madrid to Netherlands Dans Theatre. When You See God…Tell Him, danced by Lesley Telford and Miguel Olivera, captures Galili’s ability to balance abstraction and narrative in a work of great finesse that moves audiences deeply.

Galili, who has created works for Les Ballets de Monte Carlo, Batsheva Dance Company, Dutch National Ballet, the Royal Finish Ballet and shares the role of artistic director of Dansgroep Amsterdam, is “…an original dance-maker in terms of the profile of the movement itself, full and dynamic, as well as that of the choreographic prose, fluid and linear.”

Brittle Failure, danced by Clyde Emmanuel Archer and Iratxe Ansa (both formerly with Compania Nacional de Danza), and Miguel Olivera (formerly with Nederlands Dans Theatre) explores the concept of the house as a symbol of permanence and its fundamental importance to our self-identity. This new work defines the conditions when solid materials fracture under pressure and periodically transform by examining the fault-lines of these formed constructions and their inherent fragility, even as they give us the illusion of stability.


The 605 Collective opens the evening with new and remounted repertoire, featuring co-directors/performers Lisa Gelley, Shay Kuebler and Josh Martin. The Vancouver-based company is committed to the creation and performance of new work inspired by both urban and contemporary dance.

The second program is AMP, a collaborative program that brings together the sensibilities of two cutting-edge dance companies, Sidra Bell Dance New York and San Francisco-based LEVYdance, offering audiences a “two for one” East Coast/West Coast experience.

 Sidra Bell Dance New York presents Nudity, an innovative, provocative and kinetic work that evinces a love affair with formalism, utility, focus, rigor, and regimen. Known for its daring, densely layered, kinaesthetically detailed and emotionally intense choreography, LEVYdance is “thoughtful, provocative…profoundly interesting,” says the Washington Post. Performing for the first time in Vancouver, the company presents three short works from its repertoire, including if this small space, Falling after Too and Physics.

The third program by the Kibbutz Contemporary Dance Company, a leading Israeli company, is led by choreographer Rami Be’er. Opening for Kibbutz is a remount of Israeli American choreographer Barak Marshall’s gorgeous duet Zion, performed by Vancouver’s own James Gnam and Rebecca Margolick.

 February 7-March 3, 2013

Performances at the Norman & Annette Rothstein Theatre, Vogue Theatre,

Cory Weeds Cellar Jazz Club & VENUE

Single tickets:

 Lesley Telford, Itzik Galili and the 605 Collective

Thursday Feb. 7 @ 8:00pm
Saturday Feb. 9 @ 9:00pm
Sunday Feb. 10 @ 7:00pm
Post show talkback – Feb. 10
Norman & Annette Rothstein Theatre

 AMP – Sidra Bell Dance New York + LEVYdance

Saturday Feb. 16 @ 8:00pm
Sunday Feb. 17 @ 7:00pm
Monday Feb. 18 @ 8:00pm
Post show talkback – Feb. 17
Norman & Annette Rothstein Theatre

 If at All + Zion

 Wednesday Feb. 20 @ 8:00pm

Thursday Feb. 21 @ 8:00pm

Saturday Feb. 23 @ 8:00pm

Sunday Feb. 24 @ 2:00pm
Post show talkback – Feb. 23
Norman & Annette Rothstein Theatre


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