This year’s Vancouver International Dance Festival features a ton of premieres, as well as the return of audience favourite Dairakudakan.
Taking place March 4 – 30, the nearly month-long program features performances by both internationally revered artists and lauded Vancouver performers. See below for some highlights.
Dairakudakan: Pseudo human/Super human (March 8 9, 8 p.m., Vancouver Playhouse, 600 Hamilton St.)—A Canadian premiere from Japan’s Dairakudakan, Pseudo human/Super human is choreographer/ director Akaji Maro’s “meditation on the dissonance between the fruitless pursuit of technology and the resulting crushing absence of humanity.” In other words, artificial intelligence is taking over. Sculptor KUMA/Katsuyuki Shinohara contributes iron and glass stage installations, and Keisuke Doi and Jeff Mills have composed “a frenetically energetic score of techno music” for the butoh ensemble’s show.
Tjimur Dance Theatre: Varhung – Heart to Heart (March 29 30, 8 p.m., Vancouver Playhouse)—Taiwanese dance-theatre company Tjimur Dance performs the Canadian premiere of Varhung – Heart to Heart. In it, “five dancers embark upon a tender journey to the very heart of their people by sharing private stories of their lives, loves, and difficulties.” Choreographed by Baru Madiljin, the work has garnered critical acclaim for its movement and expression of the traditional culture of Taiwan’s indigenous Paiwan people.
Olivia C. Davies/O.Dela Arts: Gidaashi (March 14-16, 7 p.m., Roundhouse Exhibition Hall, 181 Roundhouse Mews)—A world premiere of Gidaashi, choreographed and performed by Vancouver’s Olivia C. Davies. Translated, the title means “she is removed by the wind.”
Vision Impure: Pathways (March 20-23, 8 p.m., Roundhouse Performance Centre)—Choreographed by Noam Gagnon, Vancouver’s Vision Impure presents the world premiere of their latest work, Pathways. The dance is described as an “illumination of the stories we share in relationship to one another, complicated and intensified by urban living.”
10 Gates Dancing: Trust (March 27-30, 8 p.m., Roundhouse Performance Centre)—Created and performed by choreographer Tedd Robinson and composer Charles Quevillon, Trust is a duet from Ottawa’s 10 Gates Dancing. The show makes its West Coast debut with the festival and is described as a “curious new contemporary work” that “examines the dynamic interchange of building, maintaining, and testing trust between partners.” Audiences are invited to enter into an exercise through the interplay of dance artists.
Kelly McInnes: SHINY (March 20-23, 5 p.m., KW Production Studio, 10-111 Hastings St. W)—Vancouver dancer/choreographer Kelly McInnes’ SHINY “explores and challenges the impossible beauty standards that women are measured against through mass media.”
Other works at the festival includes world premieres from Vancouver choreographer Lesley Telford. More West Coast premieres include Serpentine from Daina Ashbee (Montreal) and bang bang from Manuel Roque (Montreal).