Red Sky Performance: 20 years of innovative works

Sandra Laronde wanted to make a difference in Canada. She created the Toronto-based Red Sky Performance with Indigenous art and stories for the stage, rejuvenating a community as a result of their performances. “[There was] somewhat of a vacuum of Indigenous performance in Canada at the time as it relates to interdisciplinary or dance works,”…

Celebrating resilience through performing arts

Dancers of Damelahamid will be holding the 14th annual Coastal Dance Festival online in celebration of Indigenous arts. The virtual video program will feature the world premiere of a short dance in honour of the late Elder Margaret Harris by Dancers of Damelahamid. Performances and stories by the Dakhká Khwáan Dancers, Git Hayetsk Dancers, Git…

Arno Kamolika – An unlikely Bharatanatyam dancer

“Dance is an expression of community, and the performer brings something to the performances based on their experiences,” says Arno Kamolika. A Bangladeshi-Canadian architect-turned-dancer, Kamolika is bringing her latest performance, Parasakti, to audiences on March 19, 2021 at UBC’s Chan Centre for the Performing Arts. Growing up in Dhaka, Bangladesh, Kamolika, who comes from an…

Healing through dance

“Until Canada actually cares about this issue, our women are still going to go missing and be murdered at a high rate in this country,” says Lorelei Williams. Williams, an activist from the Skatin Nations on her mom’s side and Sts’ailes (Chehalis) on her dad’s side, is raising awareness about missing and murdered Indigenous women…

Zahra Shahab: transformation and identity through movement

Zahra Shahab, an artist known for blending visual art and choreographed pieces, will showcase a performative art piece at the University of British Columbia’s Museum of Anthropology (MOA) on Mar. 5, 2020 for International Women’s Day. Shahab entered into dance in an unconventional way. As a graduate from the University of Calgary School of Creative…

Grupo Corpo returns to Vancouver

The Brazilian contemporary dance company Grupo Corpo will present two works at the Vancouver Playhouse on Feb. 28 and 29. Hosted by Dance House, this is the company’s second visit to Vancouver, following a ten year absence. “[Grupo Corpo has achieved a] reputation recognized around the world, because they truly do a very unique movement…

A little bit of Ireland in Vancouver

Vancouver has the luck of the Irish! This year Irish dancing is coming! It’s been a long time, and Deirdre Penk O’Donnell says it’s worth the wait. “This is the first time in 22 years that this event has been in Western Canada,” says Penk O’Donnell, chairperson for the 2019 North American Irish Dance Championships,…

Dialogue through dance

Vancouver International Dance Festival will take on the city with its 2019 edition. From March 4 to March 30, dozens of celebrated artists perform in several places in Vancouver, showcasing powerful presentations from a diverse group of talented artists. Jeanette Kotowich, a Vancouver based performer, is one of the talents that will enlighten the art scene…

Blood on the Dance Floor – Fighting stigma all around

Blood on the Dance Floor, a powerful theatre performance by Australian indigenous artist Jacob Boehme, is currently on tour in Canada. Created in collaboration with ILBIJERRI, one of Australia’s leading theatre companies known for its innovative works by Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander artists, the Vancouver performance will run in at the Simon Fraser University…

The Med’Cine all properties of a dance

Med’Cine is a performance that reaches out to the soul of the viewer. O.Dela Arts, featuring Olivia C. Davies, has brought together two current feature dance pieces Gateways and Rematriate for a Nov. 17 performance at the Presentation House Theatre (PHT). “For the audience, Med’Cine is a description that represents the healing that can be obtained through the arts,” says Davies, a…

Lessons in our time

Multimodality is what comes to mind while watching Immigrant Lessons perform. Multimodality describes communication practices using a variety of modes such as visuals, audio and movement to relay a message. In an upcoming performance at the Roundhouse in Yaletown on October 21, the group of experienced young performers will relate a rigorous tutorial through their…

Chichaklar Dance Company: tradition meets innovation

Chichaklar Dance Company will be performing their own variations on Azerbaijani folk dances at the Turkic Festival on May 27 at the North Vancouver Shipyards. “One of the first [goals] has always been to share the culture with the audience… we really wanted [to try] to be a little more innovative and outside of the…

Exploring Sami culture in a positive way

With her first-ever Canadian performance, Norwegian-Sami artist Stina Therese Lorås Hessaa brings her world premiere to this year’s Coastal First Nations Dance Festival from Feb. 27–Mar. 4. Known as a dancer, performer, playwright and theatre director, 41-year-old Hessaa comes to Vancouver from Trondheim, Norway. Her work has toured stages and festivals in countries all around…