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Ohad Naharin, photo by Icare



AND JUST WHAT WAS HE DOING IN MONTREAL? By Series Producer, Stephen White

On May 5, 1998, the New York Times ran a story titled “In Israel, Religious Groups Opposed Batsheva Dance Company Dress”. The furor? The ultra-Orthodox deputy Mayor of Jerusalem and two religious groups protested Ohad Naharin’s newest choreography that was to be included in a special jubilee performance entitled “Art of the State: Israel at 50”. Their concern? The dancers were costumed in undershirts and shorts.

Bowing to political pressure, the state government initially pulled the performance from the program. Then, the controversy reached the highest levels with Prime Minister Netanyahu finally intervening and interrupting his lunch with Al Gore to reach an amicable solution. In the end, however, Naharin, unhappy with the imposition of “censored compromise”, resigned as Artistic Director from Batsheva Dance (rather than sell his soul). The company’s dancers walked out in protest and


the story was beamed around the world. That moment in time was probably what brought world attention to Naharin and his company, and yet, for many years, he had been impressing critics and dance audiences in Europe and the US with his innovative, provocative choreographies. Born in Israel, Naharin began his training at age 22, at Batsheva Dance. Early in his career, modern dance legend Martha Graham, calling him a natural dancer, invited him to New York where he continued his studies at the Julliard. He then danced with Maurice Bejart’s company for a year before forming The Ohad Naharin Dance Company which in addition to presenting seasons of dance in New York during the 1980’s, also toured throughout the US and internationally. In 1990, Naharin accepted an invitation to become Artistic Director of Batsheva Dance, Israel’s preeminent modern dance company. His work revitalized Batsheva. He brought new young dancers to the fold and began working in new ways that attracted unprecedented audiences to the performances. Since then Naharin has received commissions from around the world and Batsheva has performed at many of the most prestigious festivals in Europe, Asia and the US.

Ohad Naharin, photo by Icare

Founded in 1957, Les Grands Ballets Canadiens has a long tradition of training and performing, as well as commissioning new works to be set on the company. These commissions have ranged from ballet to modern. Current Artistic Director (1999) Gradimir Pankov is committed to building an international reputation for Les Grands as an exciting, accomplished company. In spring 2002, Naharin traveled to Montreal to set 8 short pieces on the company, which comprise a sort of retrospective of his work in the past decade or so. Of his work, Deborah Jowitt wrote in the Village Voice: “If you could hold one of Ohad Naharin’s dances in your hand, it would feel smooth. Think of a polished stone. It looks like a piece of secret sculpture, but hurl it and it becomes a weapon.” The Victoria Dance Series Board of Directors Nancy Glerup Bonnie Light Robert Milne Anne Russo Jane Tice Wendy Vernon

Minus 1: A Dance Tribute to Ohad Naharin Les Grands Ballets Canadiens de Montreal Tuesday, April 8 and Wednesday, April 9 @ 8 pm Royal Theatre

Executive Producer Stephen White (250) 595-1829 vicdanceseries@shaw.ca

Royal Theatre Lobby 7:20 pm prior to the Performance

Technical Consultant Ian Rye

Pre-Show Chats We weren’t able to confirm who would be on hand for the popular pre-show chats on April 8 and 9, but please be assured it will be someone interesting from Les Grands Ballets Canadiens who can offer insight into the evenings performance. As always, we will begin the chat at 7:20 pm in the east lobby of the Royal Theatre.


DANCE SERIES NEWS dom that these dancers get an opportunity to work on advanced technique with a visiting instructor. The class was filled to capacity and by all accounts was a highlight of the year for most participants. Our hope is that when Crystal is back in town next year, she will again be able to offer a Master Class and another Conversational Dance.

2003/04 Season

Crystal Pite and Lynda Raino, photo by Bonnie Light

Since I first took the reins of the Victoria Dance Series, it has been my wish to be able to put the next season on sale to our subscribers while we are in the current season (about the same time as our professional opera, theatre and symphony put their season on sale). It seemed that finally, this year, everything was lined up to allow me to do this. I had dates booked at the theatres and companies confirmed for months and months—and then—three weeks ago, it all seemed like it was about to crumble. One company phoned to say they weren’t sure they were going to be able to do a western tour, another informed me they had no new repertoire to show Victoria. And a third, told me they hadn’t made a final decision on what they would present. You can imagine, that after the cancellation of La La La Human Steps this past season, these kinds of calls make me very nervous. February and March were very busy months for the Victoria Dance Series. In addition to two shows in the space of a week (Royal Winnipeg Ballet and O Vertigo Danse), Crystal Pite was in town to begin working with Lynda Raino on the new dance piece that the Series has commissioned to be included in our upcoming season. I dropped by the studio one day as Lynda and Crystal looked at the video of the day’s work – and found them pointing to the screen with expressions like “That’s a keeper—let’s play more with that…” offering me an insight into their process. Crystal will be back in Victoria a number of times in the next twelve months as they continue to build the piece. While she was here, we asked her to present a Lecture Demonstration in our “Conversational Dance” series on her process for creating new choreographies. We had a great turnout and were treated not only to stories about her days of dancing with Ballett Frankfurt, but at the end of her talk, she demonstrated with an incredible improvisational dance that left us all a little speechless for a minute or two. The following week, she offered a Master Class in contemporary dance technique to advanced students. I was thrilled that she wanted to teach advanced students, because it is sel-

But, that said, things seems to be moving in a very positive direction on a number of fronts and I hope that by mid-April we can go on sale. You will be notified by mail and given an opportunity to buy tickets before the performances go on sale to the general public.

Choice One major change in the composition of the season in 2003/04 is that the Series will be broken into two. Series 1 (Main Stage) will have a concentration on classical ballet, and Series 2 (Second Stage) will bring new dance – including the Pite/Raino project, to a dance audience that enjoys innovative contemporary dance. You will also be able to buy the entire season, both contemporary and classical, the choice is yours. As always, I would love to hear what you have to say. Stephen White Executive Producer


DANCING ON THE ISLAND Footnotes brings you the latest information from dance companies and organizations on Vancouver Island

Victoria Affirmation photo: Miles Lowry Dancers: Lori Hamar, Rachel Anderson, Treena Stubel

ROMP! A Festival of Independent Dance Presented by Suddenly Dance Theatre May 8, 9, 10 2003 Belfry Arts Centre $20 / $16 Students, Seniors VDS Subscribers: $18 / $14.40 The 7th annual ROMP! A Festival of Independent Dance presents three programs: 1 Affirmation An original Suddenly Dance Theatre production with Lori Hamar, Rachel Anderson, Treena Stubel and Holly Bright. Designer: Miles Lowry. Director: David Ferguson May 8 @ 7 pm, May 10 @ 9 pm 2 Salome the Headhuntress Created by Constance Cooke. Starring Jung-Ah Chung and Roderick Glanville. May 8 @ 9 pm, May 9 @ 9 pm 3 Out Of Body (Mixed Program) Features the work of Lynda Raino, David Roland, Tara Cheyenne Friedenberg, Karen Jamieson, Wen Wei Wang, Trina Rasmuson, Stephanie Gilliland and some dance on film. May 9 @ 7 pm, May 10 @ 7 pm Phone: 385-6815 for more information or visit www.suddenlydance.ca

Dance Card Update Our subscribers continue to enjoy discounts at Hugo’s Grill (623 Courtney St., in The Magnolia Hotel). Reservation recommended. Phone 920-4844 Another local company has joined our roster of local businesses offering subscriber discounts: Silk Road Aromatherapy & Tea Co. in Victoria’s Chinatown (1624 Government St., Victoria BC, V8W 1Z3. Phone 704 2688 ext. 2, fax 382 0001, silkroad@silkroadtea.com, www.silkroadtea.com). Featuring premium quality loose teas, teapots, teaware, aromatherapy bath, body, skin & haircare. All natural products, made fresh in Victoria with premium quality ingredients. Natural day spa. Silk Road offers Subscribers a 10% discount on all retail products upon presentation of your Dance Card. Unfortunately, because prices are already so reasonable, the discount does not extend to spa services.


X TRAINING Increasingly, I am aware that the lines in the performing arts are blurred. Dance artists are exploring their theatricality, theatre artists are building movement based pieces. Even visual artists are exploring performance – and as practitioners, these artists are working with each other to develop new forms of expression. Introduce new technologies, like video/still photography projections, live feed video, new music, etc. and all of the arts

begin to meet at a crossroads, informing each other, borrowing, mutating and becoming something entirely new. In the spirit of creating a dialogue and understanding about contemporary culture, Footnotes will be including a new feature entitled “X Training” in each issue, to inform you about innovative new performance in Victoria. Here’s a couple of what I would consider to be, “must-see events”.

Uno Festival of Solo Performance

The Manulife Literary Art Festival

Presented by Intrepid Theatre May 12-18 at the Belfry Arts Centre Phone 385-6815 for tickets

A reading of Dancer, by Colum McCann

This year’s lineup of lone-stars includes Canadian comedy legend Andy Jones (far left) in To The Wall, the fifth acclaimed one-man show from one of the founding members of the ground-breaking Newfoundland Comedy troupe, CODCO. Other featured productions include: The Last of the Red-Hot Dadas, starring San Francisco’s Christina Augello as the eccentric Mama of the Dadaist Movement. May 15 @ 9, May 17 @ 7:15, May 18 @ 4

Exile extraordinaire, symbol, social force and enigma, Rudolph Nureyev was famous for more than great dancing. In a richly imagined book of historical fiction, Irish novelist Colum McCann brings us an unforgettable story that follows the life of the great Russian from his father’s war on the Russian steppes to the posthumous auction of art and ballet boots. McCann is one of more than 25 outstanding authors appearing at the Manulife Financial Literary Arts Festival, May 15 through 18, 2003. For more authors or ticket ($6 to $12) information: www.literaryartsfestival.org or call 1-250381-3979 or email literary@writeme.com

Natalie Derome multi-disciplinary Montreal performer in du temps d’antennes: solo low tech May 16 @ 6, May 17 @ 2 Australian physical theatre performer Nicola Gunn in The Elephant Club. May 12 @ 9:30, May 13 @ 7, May 14 @ 9:30 Edith Tankus spins a web of wonder, whimsy, and sweet carnival love in Not Yet, At All. May 16 @ 10, May 17 @ 6, May 18 @3 For more information about the Uno Festival or festival packages, call Intrepid Theatre at (250)383-2663 or visit the Uno website at www.intrepidtheatre.com


CHRISTINA AUGELLO The Last of the Red-Hot Dadas

NATALIE DEROME du temps d’antennes: solo low tech

NICOLA GUNN The Elephant Club



Victoria Dance Series 2003 Survey Fill out the survey below and you could win a pair of Stroller Passes to the Belfry Theatre’s 4-show Main Stage 2003/04 Season (Value $180). Please wait until you’ve seen les Grands Ballet Canadiens performance on April 8 or 9 and then, help us improve the Series by filling out the following survey. Mail completed survey to: Victoria Dance Series, 2236 Hampshire Tce., Victoria, BC V8S 3G9 Or fax to 595-1829 1)

How many years have you subscribed the Victoria Dance Series? Please circle one First Year




Will you subscribe again?

more Yes


If no, why not? ______________________________________________________________ ____________________________________________________________________________ 3)

Please rank this season’s performances with a rating of “1” being your favourite and “5” being your least favourite. ____ Ballet BC Orpheus ____ O Vertigo Luna


____ Lola Dance Volio

____ RWB Sleeping Beauty

____ Les Grands Ballets Canadiens Minus 1

Can you name any of the sponsors for the Victoria Dance Series? ____________________________________________________________________________ ____________________________________________________________________________


Do you subscribe to any other cultural organizations? Please circle as many as appropriate Belfry

Pacific Opera


Langham Court

Other: ______________________________________________________________________ 6)

Do you read “Footnotes”, the Series Newsletter?




Any ideas of how you might improve the newsletter? ____________________________________________________________________________ ____________________________________________________________________________ ____________________________________________________________________________ ____________________________________________________________________________


Suggestions regarding the Series in general (please include a separate sheet if necessary)

Demographic Information (optional) Male


Household Income: Age:

< 25


< $25,000 40 – 55

$26,000 - $40,000 56 – 65

$41,000 - $60,000

> $60,000

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Yes! Enter me into the contest to win 2 Stroller Passes to the Belfry Theatre’s 2003/04 Season (Value $180) Name:______________________________________________________________________ Address: ____________________________________________________________________ ____________________________________________________________________________ Daytime Phone: _____________________________________________________________ Email: ______________________________________________________________________

Profile for Dance Victoria

Dance Victoria Footnotes 02 (Spring 2003)  

Dance Victoria's Footnotes 02 features Who is Ohad Naharin? and Just What Was He Doing in Montreal? + Dancing on the Island + more.

Dance Victoria Footnotes 02 (Spring 2003)  

Dance Victoria's Footnotes 02 features Who is Ohad Naharin? and Just What Was He Doing in Montreal? + Dancing on the Island + more.