Dance Victoria’s subscriber-only newsletter
ISSUE • NOVEMBER • Les Ballets Jazz de Montréal + Nutcracker + Dance Days + more
Les Ballets Jazz de Montréal November 15 + 16 • Fri + Sat • 7:30 pm Royal Theatre Running time (including intermission): 1 hour 45 minutes
Les Ballets Jazz de Montréal’s Morgane Le Tiec, Brett Taylor, Alexander Hille in Wen Wei Wang’s Night Box. Photo © Benjamin Von Wong
Goh Ballet + Victoria Symphony The Nutcracker November 30 + December 1 • Fri + Sat • 7:30 pm December 1 + 2 • Sat + Sun • 2:00 pm Royal Theatre Running time (including intermission): 2 hours PRESENTING SPONSOR
GOH BALLET TOUR SPONSOR
Videos, + photos fo in e r mo web on the
Footnotes • Issue • November
Les Ballets Jazz: Years Young It has been four years since Les Ballets Jazz de Montréal (BJM) performed in
Known primarily for the mid-to-large scale classical and contemporary dance it brings to Victoria each season, Dance Victoria also plays a signiﬁcant role in the development of the local and national dance milieu. Dance Victoria Studios is a 12,000 square foot facility in the Quadra/Hillside neighbourhood replete with fully outﬁtted dance studios and a performance lab, a hub of dance activity for the region. Dance Victoria’s annual Chrystal Dance Prize (16,000 in 2013) is one of the largest awards for dance in Canada. Visit DanceVictoria.com Dance Victoria is governed by a Board of Directors that includes: President
Dr. Jennifer Charlesworth
Carlos MacDonald Helen McAllister Jean McRae Chris Wilson
Victoria to rousing ovations. In that time, the company has continued to refine how it approaches commissioning, developing and touring new works. While it has always toured in Europe more recent tours are in larger centres and more prestigious houses. This year marks a return to the U.S. after a few years absence. The company is in more demand than ever, a good spot to be when you are celebrating years. The current Artistic Director, Louis Robitaille, began in and has persevered with a formula of bringing the most exciting emerging choreographers to the company to create new works. There is always an audition period of sorts. The choreographer is invited to spend a week in the studios with the dancers. They take class and then begin developing material together — in a way feeling each other out. For Robitaille the relationship between the visiting choreographer and the dancers is as important as the work they create together. If all goes well, a contract is offered and the choreographer is invited back for a longer creation period. Of the three pieces we will see in Victoria, Harry, by Israeli-American choreographer Barak Marshall, is the newest work, having premiered in France in July. Born and raised in Los Angeles, Marshall has spent his adult life in Israel working with such dance giants as Ohad Nahrin at Batsheva Company — Israel’s foremost contemporary dance company. In this new work, which includes the full company ( dancers), Marshall gives us Harry who struggles to overcome both physical and existential forces. The work underscores a recurrent theme in human interaction: conflicts and our ability to overcome them. The work is imbued with hope and humour, alternating group sequences with trios and duets. Marshall has compiled a sweeping score that includes big band jazz, Israeli folksongs and traditional music. DanceVictoria.com has a very interesting short video on its site that documents the making of Harry. The other larger choreography on the program is by Vancouver dance artist Wen Wei Wang. Wang is well known to Victoria audiences; his two works Unbound and Cock-Pit have been performed here. As well, Wang has been the mentor for Dance Victoria’s The LOLA Projects, travelling to Victoria to work with local choreographers Connie Cooke, Lori Hamar and Leah Wickes.
Production/ Jason Dubois Business Manager Tours Coordinator
Dance Victoria Studios: Suite – Quadra Street Victoria, BC VT E -- DanceVictoria.com Footnotes is written by Stephen White (unless otherwise noted) and proofed by Anne Moon.
(Top) Youri de Wilde, Céline Cassone in Harry; (left) the Company in Harry. Photos © Gregory Batardon
Wang drew his inspiration for his work Night Moves from the vibrant night life in Montréal. Personally I think this is Wang’s strongest work in the last few years. The finished piece is a collaboration with the dancers themselves and Wang’s long time lighting designer James Proudfoot. The company is successful in capturing the pulsing rhythm of the city at night. The anticipation of what the night might hold is shot through the beginning of the work. There is a beautiful sensuality as the dancers weave in and out of group sequences. Wang is a master of the “stage picture,” arranging the movement in surprising ways that occupy the full stage. Last but not least, Spanish choreographer Cayetano Soto has created a short pas de deux called Zero in On. Soto trained as a dancer in Spain and Holland and has been choreographing since the early part of this century. For this work he has reduced the size of the stage so that we as audience “zero in on” the dancers. Soto borrows a very classical structure for this piece, but the movement is definitely modern — straight or angular arms and legs, a closed hand, the dancers balancing each other’s weight as they lean away and into the stage. All together the three works make a fully satisfying evening that highlights the company’s range. It’s clear that in the years since Les Ballets Jazz was founded, it continues to be relevant — more than relevant — exciting and in the vanguard of contemporary dance. FN
Pre-Show Chat Join us in the lobby at 6:50 pm for a chat with BJM Artistic Director Louis Robitaille. Louis will talk about the performance you are about to see, how he selects choreographers and dancers and he’ll take your questions.
(top) Members of the Company in Night Box. Photo © Benjamin Von Wong; (bottom) Céline Cassone and Alfredo Garcia Gonzalez in Zero in On. Photo © John CS Hall
Welcome (Back) to Dance Victoria! Your patronage means a lot to us and we look forward to having you with us this year. Here are a few tips to make your time with us easier. Let us get your name right. If it is spelled incorrectly or something’s wrong with your address call us or send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org and we’ll correct it right away. At any time during the year you can buy extra tickets to any show and get the subscriber price (20 oﬀ). Just tell the box oﬃce you want the “Friend of Subscriber” price. Any issue you might have with tickets (lost tickets, ticket exchanges, refunds), please call Dance Victoria at 250-595-1829 and let us take care of it. Truth is that although the McPherson Box Oﬃce does a great job for us, their staﬀ is selling tickets to a huge number of events every day and they have blanket policies for all of it. At DV we have our own policies: • Please don’t wear scented products at the theatre. Several of our patrons are sensitive to perfumes or even allergic to the chemicals that are combined to make scents. • No babes in arms in the theatre. Just like you, we love them, but they are unpredictable little bundles. NEW! Through the year we will be notifying our subscribers about special events at Dance Victoria Studios, like dance cabarets, intimate performances of new works or updates about casting and pre-show chats for our main stage series. To minimize marketing costs and maximize the fees we pay artists, we’d like to tell you about them by email. Take a moment to email us at email@example.com and tell us “I want to be included in Dance Updates.” We promise we will not trade or sell your contact information and you can unsubscribe at any time.
Footnotes • Issue • November
Transitions By Stephen White
Tours hosted by Dance Victoria Producer Stephen White and Tour Coordinator Bill Hamar
Chicago Dance and Architectural Tour
Years ago when I was Glynis Leyshon’s Associate Director at the Belfry Theatre, she told me that she had recently realized that a play’s success was in how the director handled the transitions from one scene to another. For Glynis, it was an “ah ha” moment, a new realization. Plays were changing at that time. It was the s and scripts had become more cinematic, constructed with many scenes often set in different locations. There had been a break from the traditional “drawing room” comedies and tragedies. In these new plays the actors exited with a table and two others came on with chairs and Scene began. Funny how that memory has stayed with me: Glynis looking at me in the rehearsal hall and saying “It’s all in the transitions, Stephen.” I’ve discovered over time that this notion is applicable to life. Life is always changing. Things are often different than what we anticipated. But it’s all about how we get ourselves through the transitions — with grace and intelligence or by yelling, kicking and screaming. I’ve done my share of the latter, but now I’m older so I’m more interested in the former. This spring and summer has been a tough transition for me personally: Tony Cheong leaving Dance Victoria to pursue new interests. He’s been such a wonderful man to work with and I know that those of you who worked with, met or even just talked to Tony understand why it has been so hard to say goodbye. He has been a rock and a very smart second opinion on so many things, life is different without having him around every day. Whoever next hires Tony will be a lucky person. Of course the other side of this is our excitement in welcoming Jason Dubois into our small company. In our negotiations with Jason, who comes to us via Vancouver, I must have said six times, “Are you sure what we are doing here in Victoria and what we plan to do in the future will be enough to interest you?” What else can you say to a production guy with a business degree who has toured the world putting dance productions into venues as far flung as Germany, Holland, Australia, China, Hong Kong, Italy, New York. But he likes us and he wants to make a bit of a lifestyle change and — here’s the big bonus — his partner lives here — has done for a few years now. Jason looks forward to settling into a normal domestic arrangement. This is one transition that has been sad and exciting. So sorry to see Tony go, but very excited to have Jason join us. FN
Travel with Dance Victoria
May – , Pack your bags. Stephen and Bill are leading a tour to the fabulous city of Chicago, birthplace of the skyscraper. With six nights at the Conrad Hilton Hotel, just steps from Chicago’s Magniﬁcent Mile, this trip includes an architectural boat tour on the Chicago River, a backstage tour and performance by the Joﬀrey Ballet, a hilarious night at Second City comedy club, entrance to the Chicago Art Institute, a day-long tour (including brunch) of Oak Park (the Frank Lloyd Wright neighbourhood) and much more. Tour Price: 2,695 pp (double occupancy) includes return air, 6 nights accommodation, daily breakfasts, tours and performances, welcome reception, wine and cheese tasting and more.
Berlin, Copenhagen, Stockholm May – , Berlin: home to Prussian kings, the Weimar Republic, avant garde ﬁlm, music, and theatre. Then came the rise of Nazism, the war, the post-war division of the city and the reuniﬁcation. Evidence of each of these periods is there for you to experience. With our tour you will visit a palace, enjoy a performance of the Berliner Philharmoniker, visit the Reichstag and the Jewish Museum, take in the Pergamon Museum with its full-scale reconstruction of a Roman market, and much more. After six full days, transfer by ﬁrst-class train to picturesque Copenhagen. Enjoy a performance by Danish Dance Theatre, tours of palaces and the National Gallery, a visit to the Tivoli Gardens. The last two nights of this 16-day tour are in Stockholm, where you’ll see one of the world premiere performances of a new Romeo and Juliet danced by the Royal Swedish Ballet. Tour Price: 4,850 pp (double occupancy) includes return air, all transfers, daily breakfasts, tours and performances, some lunches and dinners. For more information or to book your tour call Bill at 250-595-1829 or William.Hamar@Vision2000.ca Land Only pricing available
Visit DanceVictoria.com for a full itinerary
Photos © Benjamin Moore
Nutcracker Kids Supported by The Royal and McPherson Box Oﬃce For the past six years, members of the community such as you have supported Dance Victoria in providing free Nutcracker tickets to those children in our community who are less fortunate. Hundreds of children have been introduced to their first live performance with this program. This season we are partnering with Big Brothers and Big Sisters to distribute the tickets. The children and their “Bigs” attend the opening night performance and after the applause has died down, they are invited backstage where they meet the Nutcracker Prince and Sugar Plum Fairy and get up close to the sets, costumes and props. This year Dance Victoria will match every $60 donation with two free tickets and the Royal and McPherson Box Office has agreed to waive its services charges as a way to get more kids into the theatre. You can mail a cheque payable to Dance Victoria Society 111 – 2750 Quadra Street, Victoria, BC VT E, use a credit card over the phone (250-595-1829) or go to DanceVictoria.com to donate on our secure on-line donor page. A charitable tax receipt will be issued.
Goh Ballet’s The Nutcracker. Photo © David Cooper
Nutcracker Nuggets Since mid-September, at 2:00 pm every Saturday and Sunday afternoon at Dance Victoria Studios, the doors fling open and 70 young girls (and a few boys) bound up the stairs and into Studio 2 to rehearse their parts for Nutcracker with local ballet teacher Wendy Vernon and her assistant Capri Aspé. About 100 kids auditioned in the week after Labour Day. The studio lobby was packed as the kids
were measured and photographed and then sent upstairs to dance a few steps in front of the ballet mistress from Vancouver’s Goh Ballet. For the selected, dancing in costume under lights at the Royal Theatre, on stage with professional dancers and a live orchestra has a fairy tale quality. It is certainly a memory that will stay with then throughout their lives. It’s surprising the number of dancers that go on to successful careers citing their experience dancing as a party-girl, soldier or mouse as the inspiration to pursue their dream. Dance Victoria is pleased to welcome back Vancouver’s Goh Ballet and their production of The Nutcracker. This year’s production features two guest artists: both principal dancers from Seattle’s Pacific Northwest Ballet (PNB). Rachel Foster (selected as one of “ to Watch” by Dance Magazine) joined PNB in and was promoted to principal dancer in . Critics applaud her combination of precision and vibrancy on stage. She will dance the Sugar Plum Fairy to Seth Orza’s Cavalier. Orza, originally from San Francisco, comes from a family of dancers. His father and mother both danced professionally with Oakland Ballet and had six children — three girls and three boys — all of whom are also dancers. Orza danced with New York City Ballet for eight years before joining PNB in . He was promoted to principal dancer in . Orza claims to love partnering, anticipating the other dancer’s moves, finding his balance to support a lift or turn. These two dancers will add a special quality to this year’s presentation. If you haven’t purchased tickets to The Nutcracker and you want to buy some for a young friend or yourself you can still receive the subscriber discount (). Just call the box office at --, give them your name and tell them you want the “Friend of Subscriber” price. FN
Footnotes • Issue • November
His Floor is Our Wall The Legacy of Hugh MacPherson There has been a dramatic new addition in Studio One at Dance Victoria Studios. Hugh MacPherson’s floor is now our wall. In 2011, Dance Victoria received a very generous bequest from local dance enthusiast (improviser), student, creator Hugh MacPherson. Hugh, a smallish, spritely guy with a twinkle in his eye, lived on Dallas Road for several years. His was a corner suite with living room windows that looked south and west. Sun poured into the room. Several years ago, Hugh contacted local artist Bill Porteous and commissioned him to make a dance floor for his living room. He wanted Bill to design, install it and paint it. When everything was organized, Hugh went out of town and Bill got to work. He created a very dramatic swirl of pure bold colour on a white background. It is full of energy and movement. Bill finished the floor with several coats of a material not unlike Urethane that added a high gloss and preserved the original paint. After Hugh passed away, his family and friends set to removing the floor. It was cut into twelve sections and lifted out of the apartment. It lived in storage at Lynda Raino Dance for a couple of years until it came to Dance Victoria. Now it is on a wall in our studios. It has transformed the venue — making it a wonderful creative environment where dancers young and old learn and practice their steps. Thank you, Hugh and Bill. Your legacy lives on. FN
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Welcome Chris Wilson This spring, long-time Dance Victoria subscriber, volunteer and sometimes traveller (she travelled to New York and Cuba with Bill and Stephen) Chris Wilson approached us about joining the Board. Chris is an IT Change and Learning Management consultant with a large international company. Born in Ottawa, she indulged from an early age a keen interest in art, theatre and dance. After moving to BC, she began a career as a library technician and moved into educational technology integration when PCs were ﬁrst introduced. In 2006, she retired from 18 years as IT Services Coordinator for a School District in the Interior, and began her new career in Victoria. We are very happy indeed to welcome Chris to our Board of Directors.
#120-1047 Langford Parkway 250-590-1801 fastracmail.com
Dance Victoria is currently seeking people who would have an interest in joining our Board of Directors. Please direct all enquiries to Stephen White at firstname.lastname@example.org
Photo © Benjamin Moore
In the Community New Friends Dance Victoria has always relied on support from the private sector to ensure our ability to bring the best dance to Victoria as well as foster the best dance created in Victoria. This year we are pleased to welcome new sponsors Island BMW, Truffles Catering and Ramsey & Ramsey Flower Merchants. We are also pleased to welcome back Mayfair Shopping Centre. Of course our returning sponsors are DERMASPA (Season), YAM Magazine (Dance Days), CBC Radio One, Jawl & Bundon Barristers and Solicitors, Fastrac Mail, Toes ‘n’ Taps Dance Shoppe, Il Terrazzo Ristorante, The Times Colonist, CFAX 1070, and KOOL FM. Thank you to both new and returning sponsors. We certainly appreciate the support. Our public sector supporters include: The Department of Canadian Heritage, the Canada Council for the Arts, the BC Arts Council, CRD Arts Development, The Vancouver Foundation and Enterprising Non Profits.
Dance Victoria Studios On Saturday, October 20, Dance Victoria Studios threw open its doors and spent the whole day and evening celebrating our fantastically renovated venue. One of our new amenities is a donor wall recognizing all the folks who gave to our campaign to buy and install the equipment in the performance lab. To dress up the wall, local tutu designer Pamela Martin of Matryoshka Rehearsal Tutus made the beautiful tutu pictured here. Now not only do we have all the equipment we need to make these studios the region’s dynamic hub for dance, we’re also beautiful to look at.
Dance Victoria Studios is dedicated to dance training, experimentation, creation, development and presentation: Something we dreamed about is now a reality. We have a few plans up our sleeves for how the venue might be best utilized, but mostly we want our local dance community to tell us how they want to interface with the studios. Already, October has been our busiest month on record with a three-day Bellyfit conference, rehearsals, fundraisers, classes and creation.
Tutu photo courtesy of CVV Magazine; Denise Lieutaghi, Lynda Raino, Cathy Fern Lewis in Three Good Women. Photo © Sylvain Lieutaghi
The LOLA Projects Two projects have been selected for Dance Victoria’s LOLA Projects this year. For those of you new to Dance Victoria, The LOLAs pair Victoria-based dancers/choreographers with a mentor from Vancouver. The mentor travels to Victoria and works in the studio with the Victoria artists over a number of months, offering insight and asking questions. This year the mentor is Vancouver-based dancer, teacher, choreographer Farley Johansson. Johansson received his basic training in New Zealand and has since enjoyed an international career teaching and dancing here at home but also in Brazil and Germany where he lived for a number of years. The two local projects include a piece called Three Good Women (working title) with Lynda Raino, Cathy Fern Lewis and Denise Lieutaghi. The second is a new work by young choreographer Andie Halliburn. Halliburn was the winner of Dance Victoria’s choreography award at the 2012 DanceWorks Festival. New this season, Dance Victoria’s award offers the young choreographer access to our studios, a mentor (Johansson), a lighting and video training workshop and a presentation of a work-in-progress. Look for Andie’s presentation at our studios in April 2013. FN
Footnotes • Issue • November
NEW! Borrowing a page from mega crowd-funding sites like Kickstarter, DanceVictoria.com has developed its own page to support projects being developed in its studios. The purpose of the page is to assist those artists developing new works raise money to pay themselves or buy costumes, pay designers and perhaps a technician. It’s all laid out on the page. First up is Lynda Raino’s project. We encourage you to visit the page and take a look. You’ll find video of Lynda’s project, a budget and regular updates on her progress with Cathy and Denise. All donors will receive a charitable tax receipt and a warm-fuzzy that they are supporting a group of artists making new work. FN
Subscribers can buy additional tickets at any time during the year and receive the subscriber discount. Call the Box Office at 250-386-6121 and ask for the Friend of Subscriber rate.
BOUNCE BOUNCES BACK! Treena Stubel, Artistic Director November , • : PM • Dance Victoria Studios ( Quadra St.) Mark your calendars for the exciting return of Bounce! A Dance Cabaret. After a year’s hiatus, Bounce! is back featuring new short dance works, live music and lively commentary all created by our local dance and dance friendly community. 15 at the door
YAM MAGAZINE DANCE DAYS February – , This year’s festival is jam packed with free dance classes in venues all over town and a cluster of hip, cutting-edge performances, including RUBBERBANDance Group and Joe Laughlin + Ballet Victoria (see below).
RUBBERBANDANCE GROUP February + , • : PM • McPherson Playhouse Gravity of Center Choreographer Victoria Quijada mixes hip hop and urban dance with contemporary dance in this compelling work for ﬁve dancers.
JOE LAUGHLIN + BALLET VICTORIA February + , • : PM • McPherson Playhouse Years of Dance Joe Laughlin is an award-winning choreographer from Vancouver who has been crafting beautiful intimate works that are tender, funny, dark and moody. For this presentation he is creating a new work that will be performed by Ballet Victoria.
Cathy Fern Lewis, Lynda Raino, Denise Lieutaghi in Three Good Women. Photo © Sylvain Lieutaghi
Dance Victoria's Footnotes 40 features Les Ballets Jazz de Montreal + Goh Ballet & Victoria Symphony "The Nutcracker" + more.
Published on Nov 15, 2012
Dance Victoria's Footnotes 40 features Les Ballets Jazz de Montreal + Goh Ballet & Victoria Symphony "The Nutcracker" + more.