in all directions
Canadian dance scene has never been more vibrant or more warmly
acclaimed. This year witnessed landmark achievements of every
scale in a rich variety of dance traditions.
National Ballet of Canada's 50th anniversary featured coast-to-coast
touring, a summit of international ballet directors, and the premiere
of James Kudelka's first original full-length ballet The Contract.
Vancouver's Scotiabank Dance Centre opened its doors in September
2001 and by April 2002 had welcomed over 16,000 dance enthusiasts.
In Toronto, Menaka Thakkar celebrated 25 years of Canadian leadership
in the classical Indian form Bharata Natyam. In Montreal, Daniel
Soulières produced a retrospective of greatest hits
to mark 20 years of Danse-Cité, an innovative program that
celebrates the master interpreter. In Morley, Alberta, Kehewin
Native Performance hosted the first-ever Canadian Aboriginal Dance
Lock's La La La Human Steps, The Royal Winnipeg Ballet, MC2Extase
(Compagnie Marie Chouinard), Toronto Dance Theatre, Les Ballets
Jazz de Montréal, solo artist Sarah Chase and master improviser
Andrew de Lotbinière Harwood among many others
found new audiences at home and abroad. The Council supported
dance creation that traveled to every province and every continent.
choreographers turned their abilities to dance creation for young
audiences. Judith Marcuse's DanceArts Vancouver created Fire
where there's smoke, while Paul-André Fortier developed
and toured Jeux de fous. Joe Laughlin traveled to South
Africa to work with Moving into Dance Mophatong, a renowned ensemble
with a strong education component. While very distinct, these
productions are all directly inspired by the experiences of young
people. Their perspectives give authenticity and edge to powerful
works danced by a new generation of professional artists.
Council's dance card includes a host of rising young choreographers
and interpreters. Among them: choreographer Alvin Tolentino and
filmmaker Kevin Cottam, whose Sola won a Gemini Award and
was nominated for the prestigious Grand Prix International Vidéo
Danse (Paris); choreographer-dancer-composer-designer Peter Chin,
who premiered Bridge with assistance from the Council's
Millennium Arts Fund; William Lau's Little Pear Garden, which
specializes in classical Chinese opera; and Julia Barrick-Taffe,
whose aerial dancers literally bounce off building walls and mountain
cliffs. Virtuosity, in all directions.
Image: Dancer-choreographer Sarah Chase in muzz.
Above: Martine Lamy and artists of the National Ballet of Canada,
in The Four Seasons. (Photo: Lydia Pawelak)