Arts + Culture » Dance

On the Verge

Votive Dance’s Verge reframes the way you think about music and dance.

The music and the dancing take centre stage this weekend. - SARAH DOUGLAS
  • Sarah Douglas
  • The music and the dancing take centre stage this weekend.

Even off stage, crammed into a tiny office, the youthful energy of Votive Dance's Verge production team Andrew MacKelvie and Kathleen Doherty is palpable. Exuding a very Frances Ha-like eager enthusiasm, the pair dissects their first big performance—a collaboration that will reframe how you think about live music and dance.

"Typically, it's one accompanying the other," says Doherty. "Like backup dancing or vice versa, we're really trying to spin that on its head. See new and interesting ways for these two forms to communicate."

A friendship born from 1313 Music Association's summer Creative Music Workshop and a shared jazz background, saxophonist MacKelvie and dancer Doherty assembled a group of musical friends (violinist Rosanna Burrill, saxophonists Nicholas Dourado and Jackson Fairfax-Perry and Matthew Gallant on drums) and two other dancers (Kara Friesen, Michele Slattery) to interact in surprising and beautiful ways throughout the hour-long show. From a piece that plays with the physicality of silence in a puppeteer-like relationship between players and dancers, to a duet of genres and, above all, musicians that interact with space in unexpected ways. "There's a big difference between writing music and choreographing dance, it's also a part of the journey of this show," says Doherty, "how to break down those traditional barriers so these two forms can meet in the middle somehow."

The middle is just the beginning for these two, with Verge just the first in a series of explorations. "Our practice on our own has come a long way in doing this," adds MacKelvie. "I feel like we're getting closer to unlocking some sort of secret."

Saturday March 28, 8pm Sunday, March 29, 3pm
DANSpace, 1531 Grafton Street
$20/$15 advance, $22/17 door

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