Kathak: a mix of story-telling and dance

Search for the beauty within an unshaped space, says Usha Upta when she brings Khoj – A Contemporary Kathak Dance Extravaganza to The Firehall from Wednesday, Sept. 21 to Saturday, Sept. 24. “Just like how the ocean is always moving with the currents and the flow of the waves, we also move endlessly, from our beating heart…

On stage: modern Bharatanatyam

Indian Canadian dancer and choreographer Sujit Vaidya explores queerness, sensuality, and movement in his performance of Off Centre at Performance Works on July 12, as part of the Indian Summer Festival. The performer has challenged himself to express his queer identity within a very traditional dance form. Bharatanatyam is said to be the oldest classical dance form…

A rough road towards equality, democracy and freedom in Africa

Gregory Maqoma’s Via Kanana opens with one word projected onto a white screen: corrupt. The Soweto-born choreographer brings together the traditional township dance of pantsula with contemporary counterparts to create a performance that emulates both struggle and hope. Under South Africa’s apartheid regime, black rural populations were displaced to the townships that surround big cities. In these…

Babel 7.16 – An epic dance performance about diversity

An epic award-winning international dance performance Babel 7.16 will be on offer to the Canadian audiences through DIGIDANCE webcast from Dec. 8 to 19, 2021. With a cast of 22 dancers from 15 different countries, Babel 7.16 weaves together dance, music, and theatre in a two-hour production to explore the complexity, chaos and possibilities that arise when different people…

Why We Fight – A journey to the soul

Even though Capoeira is an ancient art form, it is the glue for a 21st-century Brazilian family. Maya Annik Bedward’s documentary Why We Fight portrays the power of culture, family, and resilience by following the evolution of Capoeira’s use in the family from innocent fun to a way to cope with the daily challenges of their son’s…

Firehorse and Shadow An interactive virtual performance

A personal journey of four generations of Chinese Canadian women seeking their own identity takes on a creative format to engage audiences as the Dreamwalker Dance Company presents a virtual performance of Firehorse and Shadow. “The experience is very sensory based, and we like to shift perspective through using perception and imagery that lead you…

When the student becomes the master: Maria Avila

“Flamenco has kept me invested and interested because it is constantly challenging, and this is what drives me to continue. It’s a lifelong pursuit,” says Maria Avila. A Vancouver-based flamenco dancer, Avila is currently offering online courses to further people’s passion for this dance form amidst the pandemic. Avila started dancing as a young child…

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…