It's an appropriately busy International Dance Day (and a recently declared Nova Scotia Dance Week), for Live Art Productions: Tonight is the premiere of Denise Fujiwara's new piece at the James Dunn (420-0003 for tickets), and the launch of their 2010-2011 season.
Although contemporary dance might not be the loudest or the best-known art form in the region, it has some of the most devoted followers I've seen here. In fact, Paul Caskey, Live Art's artistic director, says that their audience numbers went up about 30 percent last year. Caskey doesn't bother making comparisons with popular theatre like Neptune—they know who their audiences are—but still recognizes that many people are reluctant to attend dance due to the misconception that they "need to be able to understand a specific message." But contemporary dance, according to Caskey, is an opportunity to "take the blinders off your imagination." In other words, just sit back and watch.
Live Art's new season is a mix of returning favourites and world premieres, with a strong emphasis on visual language and collaborations.
La Carré des Lombes (Montréal): La où je vis
September 30 - October 2, 2010, 8pm, Sir James Dunn Theatre
Danièle Desnoyer’s quintet, Là où je vis, moves against a striking background and soundtrack. Watch in the video and you can see media artist Manon de Pauw drawing on the background palette in real-time.
SINS (Halifax): Xs (world premiere) / Susie Burpee (Toronto): new work (world premiere)
October 7-9, 2010, 8pm, Sir James Dunn Theatre
SINS (Sometimes in Nova Scotia)—Jacinte Armstrong, Susanne Chui and Sara Coffin—and acclaimed choreographer Susie Burpee, who worked with Mocean last year, are residents at Ross Creek Centre this summer. According to Caskey, this is a great opportunity for dancers—especially for Nova Scotia dancers who tend to be more geographically isolated—to eat, sleep, talk and dream dance.
Compagnie Marie Chouinard (Montréal): 24 Preludes by Chopin and The Rite of Spring
November 17, 2010, 8pm, Rebecca Cohn Auditorium
One of Canada's top choreographers and a Halifax favourite returns with 12 dancers and two pieces.
Montréal Danse/George Stamos (Montréal): Plastic Troglote (World Premiere)
January 20-22, 2011, 8pm, Sir James Dunn Theatre
Anyone who was around for George Stamos' intense DJ-and-sweater piece at the Dunn a couple years ago knows that the Dartmouth-born choreographer is something special (see the video). Collaborating with Montréal Danse, this animalistic work is a guaranteed visual spectacle.
Watch MontrÃ©al Danse Troglodyte Plastique in Drama | View More Free Videos Online at Veoh.com
Paul-André Fortier (Montréal): Cabane
February 17-19, 2011, 8pm, Various locations (TBA Nov. 17)
Moving out of traditional theatre, Fortier travels around with his shelter to various locations over the three nights. When Caskey saw him perform in Montreal, it was in a parking garage one night, and a chandelier ballroom the next. His Halifax locations aren't determined yet, but Caskey is thinking institutions: government, military, church.
Salt Truck Follies, March 5, 2011
Live Art Dance's annual fundraiser.
Wen Wei Dance with the Beijing Modern Dance Company (Vancouver): Under the Skin
March 14, 2011, 8pm, Rebecca Cohn Auditorium
Choreographer/dancer Wen Wei Wang explores "cultural and personal identity," joined by China’s Beijing Modern Dance Company.
Dance on Screen: April 2011 (date and venue TBA)
Short films programmed within the Halifax Independent Film Festival each April.
605 Collective (Vancouver): Audible
May 5-7, 2011, 8pm, Sir James Dunn Theatre
Five dancers perform hip-hop movements within the framework of contemporary dance. Caskey says that often street dance loses its energy and gets flattened on stage, but the group is the best that he's seen, "rich within the context of contemporary dance."