Dance in Vancouver

Photos: Ziyian Kwan, by Chris Randle; and Battery Opera, by Yvonne Chew
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Country and Region CanadaBritish Columbia
Type of Festival Dance
Location of Festival Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada
Festival Contact Information

The Dance Centre
Scotiabank Dance Centre, Level 6
677 Davie Street
British Columbia
Canada V6B 2G6
Phone: 604-606-6400
Fax: 604-606-6401
Online email only

Festival Description

Vancouver’s contemporary dance scene takes centre stage in Dance In Vancouver at the biennial event that provides a unique opportunity to experience the energy and innovation of contemporary dance generated by local artists — with eight companies performing excerpts of new works and recent hits in four mixed programs. The 2013 edition features some of the West Coast’s most exciting companies: Wen Wei Dance, Tara Cheyenne Performance, Joe Ink, Sarah Chase with Andrea Nann, dumb instrument Dance/Ziyian Kwan, Vision Impure with Nova Dance, the plastic orchid factory and battery opera performance. Organized every two years by The Dance Centre, BC’s resource centre for dance, Dance In Vancouver is unique for its concentrated focus on promoting the province’s contemporary dance talent, not only to local audiences, but also to dance promoters and scouts who come from across Canada and around the world to sample West Coast dance.

Executive Director Mirna Zagar explains: “Dance In Vancouver works on many levels. It’s a great opportunity for local audiences to experience the diversity of work taking place here, and it’s a chance for the artists to build national and international connections – with potential for future touring and creative partnerships, and enhanced visibility for Vancouver and BC dance on the world stage.” This edition has been programmed by guest curator Jeanne Holmes, Artistic Producer of the prestigious Canada Dance Festival, and members of five major Canadian presenting networks are scheduled to attend (CanDance Network, Made in BC - Dance on Tour, Ontario Presenting Network, La danse sur les routes du Québec, and the Atlantic Presenters Association).

Festival Dates November 20 - 23, 2013
Festival Links

Festival Events:

Programming 2013:
  • Program One: Wen Wei Dance Made in China + Tara Cheyenne Performance Highgate
    Wednesday November 20, 7:00pm + Saturday November 23, 9:00pm
    • Wen Wei Wang’s intimate new work is collaboration with Gao Yanjinzi, Artistic Director of Beijing Modern Dance Company, and Qiu Xia He, of Vancouver’s Silk Road Music. Through dance, music, storytelling and multimedia they explore individual personal narratives that are bound by a shared Chinese heritage, and how their traditional artistic forms have evolved in a modern world.
      Highgate is a morbid romp through Victorian funerary culture, jumping straight from the darkest part of Tara Cheyenne Friedenberg’s imagination. Reflecting personal and collective grief, a band of figures captivate in this fascinating gothic dance of death, physical oddity, humour, and horror.
  • Program Two: Sarah Chase/Astrid Dance and Andrea Nann/Dreamwalker Dance Company new work + Joe Ink Left
    Wednesday November 20, 9:00pm + Saturday November 23, 7:00pm
    • The hypnotic works of Sarah Chase are rooted in a distinctive style which combines words and stories with movement, underpinned by influences including mathematics, memory, and the natural landscape. Commissioned by Toronto’s Dreamwalker Dance Company, her new work for the exquisite dancer Andrea Nann integrates these elements to achieve a simple yet compelling aesthetic, full of poetic resonance. Quirky and wickedly sophisticated, Left is one of Joe Laughlin’s most enduring and popular works, depicting a man coming to terms with his life in a tightly focused pas de deux – with a teacup.
  • Program Three: dumb instrument Dance/Ziyian Kwan the neck to fall + Vision Impure and Nova Dance DVOTE: Lust, Madness and Mayhem
    Thursday November 21, 7:00pm + Friday November 22, 9:00pm
    • the neck to fall is a solo created and performed by the exceptional dancer Ziyian Kwan. Featuring an original score by cellist Peggy Lee and percussionist Dylan van der Schyff, it examines a woman’s vulnerability by sifting through layers of persona, each danced with distinct kinetic motifs: levity, gravity, implosion and grace. Vision Impure’s Noam Gagnon teams up with the innovative bharata natyam dancer Nova Bhattacharya for a daring and intense duet exploring the profound connection between two human beings, touching on themes of devotion, submission, sexuality and spirituality.
  • Program Four: plastic orchid factory post + battery opera performance Everything
    Thursday November 21, 9:00pm + Friday November 22, 7:00pm
    • post is a multi-disciplinary work that frames the allure, elegance and cultural disconnect of classical ballet in Western Canada. With four classical dancers, a deconstructed piano score, and the unexpected use of ballet’s iconic tulle and pointe shoes, choreographer James Gnam creates a thought-provoking and visually stunning examination of beauty, nobility, partnership and power. Su-Feh Lee’s (battery opera) mesmerizing solo Everything is set to Barry Truax’s I Ching-inspired electroacoustic score, and conjures up a theatrical ritual of smoke, numbers and flying objects in order to negotiate the history she carries in her body with the history of the territory on which she dances.


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Practical Info:

Participant registration 2013:
  • Register for the 9th edition of Dance In Vancouver, taking place November 20-23. This biennial event (odd numbered years) began in 1997 and has established itself as a chance for presenters from across North America and around the world to view the eclectic contemporary dance of Canada’s West Coast, and to sample a distinctive artistic milieu.
  • Dance In Vancouver offers a carefully structured and intensive program with:
    • mainstage performances featuring some of the West Coast’s most exciting and innovative artists
    • informal studio presentations
    • moderated round table discussions where presenters and artists can network and exchange information and experiences
  • It provides a forum in which to explore the potential for future collaborations with Western Canadian dance artists and organizations, and to learn about an upcoming new generation of choreographers as well as to see established artists who practise in BC. Dance In Vancouver seeks to engage in dialogue around residencies, creativity and community engagement, and we hope you will join us and contribute to these dialogues.
  • This edition’s curator is Jeanne Holmes, Artistic Producer of the Canada Dance Festival. We are also excited to be hosting a major gathering of Canadian presenters from the CanDance Network, Made in BC - Dance on Tour, Ontario Presenting Network, La danse sur les routes du Québec, and the Atlantic Presenters Association, offering a chance for you to connect with a veritable who’s who of Canadian dance presenters!
  • Finally we have a limited number of complimentary hotel rooms courtesy of our hotel sponsor the Holiday Inn Vancouver Downtown, available on a first-come, first-served basis for presenters travelling from outside of BC, so I encourage you to register early to take advantage of this opportunity.
  • Register Now
  • If you would like any further information, please do not hesitate to contact me — Mirna Zagar at


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