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Dance Victoria’s subscriber newsletter

ISSUE  • WINTER  • 17th Season + Alberta Ballet + The Nutcracker + Dance Days/Night Moves + more

Videos, + photos fo in e r mo web on the

Dance at the Royal Alberta Ballet Fumbling Towards Ecstasy November 8 + 9 • Fri + Sat • 7:30 pm Royal Theatre Running time: 1 hour 30 minutes (including intermission)

Alberta Ballet + Victoria Symphony The Nutcracker

photo © Phil Crozier

December 6 + 7 • Fri + Sat • 7:30 pm December 7 + 8 • Sat + Sun • 2:00 pm Royal Theatre Running time: 2 hours (including intermission)

 Footnotes • Issue  • Winter 

Dance at the Royal Care for Pop? The debate continues: Is Alberta Ballet selling out with its series of “pop” or

Dance Victoria is a charitable non-profit society dedicated to excellence in the presentation and development of dance. Dance Victoria brings the world’s best dance to the Royal Theatre each season and from its studios at 2750 Quadra Street, it nurtures the creation of new dance works and dance artists. Dance Victoria Board: President

Colleen Gibson

Vice President

Dr. Jennifer Charlesworth


Gail Maier


Jane Tice


Carlos MacDonald Helen McAllister Jean McRae Chris Wilson Rod Windjack

(as they call them) portrait ballets or is it actually an innovator? This work with Sarah McLachlan followed on the heels of two previous pop ballets when it premiered in . Artistic Director/choreographer Jean Grand-Maître had already created works based on the songs of Joni Mitchell and Elton John. Since premiering Fumbling Towards Ecstasy he’s also choreographed a work entitled Balletluja set to  kd lang songs. In May , Alberta Ballet will premiere a new Joni Mitchell ballet based on her love songs. Some would argue that Grand-Maître is selling out, becoming a populist, catering to the lowest common denominator. Others say he is responding to the times. In a May  Calgary Herald interview, Grand-Maître said: “It’s interesting to see, even in the ten years I’ve been here, how everything has changed. You can’t get off the bus. You have to follow the times and figure out how to survive in different environments. I think that’s what makes the arts very creative. That’s how these portrait ballets started — the need to get different audiences into the theatre. We couldn’t have hoped for a better approach.” In the same interview, Grand-Maître tells the journalist that he is only interested in working with music from pop artists who have had a long and enduring career: who have contributed to the world of music, who are innovators and artistically serious. The proof is in the pudding, so they say. Alberta Ballet has enjoyed strong box office. These ballets have drawn a new audience to the theatre. But will they stand the test of time? We’ll have to see. FN

Staff: Producer

Stephen White

Executive Director

Jason Dubois

Associate Producer

Elise Wren

Administration Cindy Borbridge Assistant Bill Hamar

If you’d like to volunteer for Dance Victoria call 250-595-1829 Studios and Office: 111 – 2750 Quadra Street Victoria, BC V8T 4E8 250-595-1829 DanceVictoria.com for trailers, tickets and more info Footnotes is written by Stephen White (unless otherwise noted) and proofed by Anne Moon.

RUBBERBANDance Group in Victor Quijada’s Gravity of Center. Photos © Michael Slobodian

Trips Coordinator

DanceVictoria.com • ď˜ť

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 help maximise your experience with Dance Victoria. • 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 Cindy at info@dancevictoria.com 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 Subscriberâ€? price. • 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. • Through the year we will be notifying our subscribers about special Dance at the Studio 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 info@dancevictoria.com and tell us that you’d like to to be included in updates. We will not trade or sell your contact information and you can unsubscribe at any time.


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Pre-Show Chats Presented by Fumbling Towards Ecstasy Join us in the lobby at 6:50 pm for a chat with choreographer and Alberta Ballet Artistic Director Jean Grand-MaÎtre. Grand-MaÎtre will talk about working with Sarah McLachlan. He’ll also take your questions. The Nutcracker Join us 45 minutes before the show for a host of free family friendly activity including Klara’s Closet where boys and girls can play Nutcracker dress-up. Bring your camera! We’ll also have our very popular story-teller Jim Leard on hand to recount the tale of the Nutcracker with zest and zeal.

Pay Your Age Dance Victoria is very proud of its new Pay Your Age program that is open to anyone aged 12 to 29. We’re also very grateful that Il Terrazzo Ristorante agreed to support this initiative. Do you have a young friend who would like to attend a Dance Victoria performance but simply can’t afford it? Tell them about Pay Your Age. About three weeks prior to each performance, Pay Your Age tickets will be made available. There are limited numbers so the trick is to act fast. “Like� us on Facebook or follow our Twitter feed to learn when the Pay Your Age tickets are available at the box office. Also — did you know that we have $29 tickets available for most shows this season?

 Footnotes • Issue  • Winter 

January 23 – February 2



From Ballet to Bollywood, Belly-dance to Ballroom, dance takes over this town in late January. This is your chance to sample free classes regardless of whether you’ve danced before or not. Make Dance Days your New Year’s Resolution. For a complete schedule visit DanceVictoria.com starting January 2, 2014 or pick up a Dance Days program from any Serious Coffee location on southern Vancouver Island beginning January 15.

February 6 – 8

On Sale



Treena Stubel photo © Miles Lowry; Out Innerspace photo © Wendy D Photography; The 605 Collective photo © David Cooper; Lee Su-Feh photo © Yvonne Chew

NEW! Dance Victoria is introducing a cutting-edge contemporary dance performance series to complement all of the free dance classes during Dance Days. In addition to the exciting performances detailed below, Night Moves includes free daytime studio showings of works by the best dance artists living and working on the west coast. EXCLUSIVE PRE-SALE OPPORTUNITY FOR SUBSCRIBERS. Buy your tickets now before they go on sale to the general public on November 8. Tickets only $20/show or buy the Night Moves Pass and see all three for $50. The Night Moves Pass also gets you an exclusive invite to the post-show party with the performers on stage at the Metro Studio, Friday, February 7. CAUTION: Night Moves promises to be more fun than you’ve had in a long time. Buy your tickets and passes at DanceVictoria.com For up-to-date information visit DanceVictoria.com/performances/NM Like us on Facebook. Follow us on Twitter.

OUT INNERSPACE Vancouver Me So You So Me Created and performed by Tiffany Tregarthen and David Raymond FEBRUARY 6 • THR • 7:30 PM • METRO STUDIO FEBRUARY 7 • FRI • 9:00 PM • METRO STUDIO “Out Innerspace’s warped new hot pot of Japanese pop culture and contemporary dance is as much fun as a Saturday-morning animé marathon. Setting things to the freak-out rhythms of Japanese percussion iconoclast Asa-Chang, the Vancouver duo [Tregarthen and Raymond] somehow manages to fuse silliness on the scale of Domo and Pokemon with choreographic art. Suffice to say you’ve never seen movement like this, or characters like this, on a dance stage before…amid all the madness, the pair has managed to craft a moving portrait of two people trying to connect.” – Georgia Straight

DanceVictoria.com • 

Kick off Dance Days with

BOUNCE AROUND THE BUILDING! Curated by Treena Stubel JANUARY 25 • SAT • DOORS 7:30 PM • DANCE VICTORIA STUDIOS BOUNCE Dance Cabaret features short new works by local choreographers and physical theatre artists. This season performances will be scattered throughout Dance Victoria Studios’ 12,000-square-foot facility. There will be dances in studios, hallways, on staircases and maybe even the kitchen. Base camp is the bar in the lobby, with excursions to different dances scheduled every few minutes. Take it all in or see just a few, but be ready for 10 pm when the mirror ball drops, the DJ starts spinning, and BOUNCE kicks off Dance Days with an unforgettable party!

THE 605 COLLECTIVE Vancouver Inheritor Album Choreographed by Lisa Gelley, Shay Kuebler and Josh Martin FEBRUARY 7 • FRI • 7:00 PM • METRO STUDIO FEBRUARY 8 • SAT • 9:00 PM • METRO STUDIO The 605 Collective continues to build on a combined movement vocabulary derived from house, hip hop, capoeira and contemporary dance practices. Inheritor Album is a collection of short pieces that pulls apart the roles of inheritor and predecessor, exploring the space between the two. “The 605 Collective is extraordinarily strong. Their movement is lightning quick, flipping from the floor to standing and whipping across the stage. There is a coiled energy to the way they move…Inheritor Album is an extraordinary experience.” – Sound and Noise

BATTERY OPERA Vancouver Jung-Ah, Su-Feh and Everything Created and performed by Lee Su-Feh and Jung-Ah Chung ONE SHOW ONLY! FEBRUARY 8 • SAT • 7:00 PM • METRO STUDIO A program of two works that bring into focus the complex shifts of the human body in relation to landscape and territory. In Lee Su-Feh’s Everything a dancer negotiates an environment of smoke and numbers, flying objects and the rigorous beauty of Barry Truax’s electro-acoustic score. In Jung-Ah, Su-Feh a collaboration between Lee and Victoria dancer Jung-Ah Chung, dance is stripped down to its barest essentials. Or is it? “The texture of the work itself is both fascinating and mystical…I deeply appreciated the minimalism and rigor of this work.” – PLANK

 Footnotes • Issue  • Winter 

Dance Seen What I Did on My Summer Vacation I went to Europe on one of Dance Victoria’s tours. Berlin, Copenhagen and Stockholm, by train over  days. As always, Bill Hamar did an excellent job combining walking tours with museum entrances and amazing performances. “Amazing performances…” You’re thinking of course he’s going to say that, it was one of Dance Victoria’s tours. But I mean it. You have to trust me. In Berlin we saw the Berlin State Ballet perform three short works at one of Europe’s most famous (and notorious) nightclubs. The kind of club where you arrive Friday evening and leave Sunday night and in between – well, use your imagination. There are famous DJs whose sets begin at : am on Saturday for instance. There are no mirrors anywhere and there are lots of dark corners. For the production we saw, the ballet company had installed a temporary stage with seating for . The club itself is an abandoned concrete power plant with a ceiling that towers  feet above – a big, barren raw space located in a particularly hard-scrabble neighbourhood of East Berlin. The three pieces performed that night were choreographed (fittingly) to electronic music. The place was packed. Out front, when we arrived, people were clamouring for tickets. We could have sold our  tickets three times over at twice the price, but thank goodness we didn’t. The performance was electrifying. In Copenhagen, we went to the opera. Not just any opera, this was

a four hour production of Wagner’s Tannhauser in Copenhagen’s unbelievable  million opera house. It wasn’t an easy evening. The opera was sung in German with Danish surtitles. That night I discovered that the English language does not share a single word with Danish. Not even an “ah hah,” nothing. There are so many umlauts and accents the Danish surtitles looked like hieroglyphics. I’ve since read that Danish is such a tricky language with odd dialects and regional intonations even the Danes don’t understand each other. But I digress. Not all our group made it through the full four hours, but I’m glad I stayed, just for the experience. It was Wagner so there was lots of orchestra, the opera house itself was stunning and the staging included a guy walking on the ceiling. There were other great performances, but the best was on our last night in gorgeous Stockholm. A new Romeo and Juliet by the famous Swedish choreographer Mats Ek danced by the Royal Swedish Ballet. I’m not exaggerating when I say it is among the top ten performances I have seen in my life. A complete piece. Like visual art. The performances were achingly poignant — especially a solo near the beginning performed by the choreographer’s  year-old brother. All this left me with a new perspective. Something I needed to relearn. Simply put, it’s about the ART. In North America when we producers of performing arts get together and commiserate about declining audiences and shifting demographics we never talk about the fact that maybe what we’re presenting or producing isn’t interesting. We’re trying too hard to hold onto the audiences that have been with us, careful not to offend them, rather than making bold choices. I mean the state ballet company in a notorious techno club? A  year-old dancer? None of these choices were gratuitous: instead they were integral to the artistic statement each time. I re-learned an important lesson this summer. FN

Stephen White photo © Benjamin Moore; (above) Out Innerspace photo © Wendy D Photography; (left) 605 Collective photo © David Cooper

By Stephen White

DanceVictoria.com • 

Travel with Dance Victoria


Hosted by Producer Stephen White and Trips Coordinator Bill Hamar

Seattle Cultural Fix March 20 – 23, 2014 Three exceptional nights in Seattle Return travel on the Victoria Clipper, three nights accommodation at the Roosevelt Hotel, full breakfasts March 21 and 22 plus:

Supported by The Royal and McPherson Box Office

$60 from you brings disadvantaged kids to The Nutcracker! Every year we ask donors to help us bring disadvantaged kids to a performance of The Nutcracker. A $60 donation from you will bring a Big Brother/Big Sister and their Little Brother/Little Sister to the Saturday, December 7 performance. After the show, the kids are invited to come on stage where they meet the dancers, and get a close up view of the sets, costumes and props. Over the past six years, almost a thousand kids have benefited from this program. It’s always touching to see the kids, wide-eyed with wonder when they meet the Sugar Plum Fairy. For many kids, The Nutcracker is the first live performance they’ve seen. To Donate: phone 250-595-1829 or visit DanceVictoria.com and donate through our secure site. All major credit cards accepted.

A hosted welcome reception

A walking tour of Pike Place Market

Guided tour of Seattle Art Museum

Dance at the Studios

A tour of Pacific Northwest Ballet’s remarkable studios and costume shop

Presented by Jawl & Bundon

Dinner at Ten Mercer

A performance by Pacific Northwest Ballet

And more.

Tour Price: $898 pp (double occupancy) Phone Bill at 250-595-1829 or william.hamar@vision2000.ca

Big Apple Dance Tour New York: May 8 – 13, 2014 The world’s best dance in the world’s most exciting city Trip includes return air, transfers, accommodation at the Edison Hotel (just steps from Times Square), five American-style breakfasts and:

Lee Su-Feh photo © Yvonne Chew

Nutcracker Kids

A hosted welcome reception

A delicious food tour of Greenwich Village

An informative backstage tour at Lincoln Centre

Amazing performances by New York City Ballet and American Ballet Theater

A Harlem Gospel tour

A tour of Radio City Music Hall

A picnic lunch in Central Park

And more.

Tour Price: $2,645 pp (double occupancy) Phone Bill at 250-595-1829 or william.hamar@vision2000.ca

For five years, Dance Victoria has offered a program entitled The LOLA Projects. The LOLAs match a senior dance artist from Vancouver with emerging Victoria-based dance/physical-theatre artists who are developing their own new works. This year, battery opera’s Lee SuFeh (Vancouver) is working with Victoria’s Alex Thompson and Andrew Barrett. Lee spends time with each artist individually and then brings both into the studio to see each other’s work and provide feedback. Lee brings a wealth of experience to her role as “mentor” for these two young artists. She has worked extensively in dance and theatre over more than  years, training in traditional Malaysian and contemporary dance, martial arts and improvisation. Excerpts from Thompson and Barrett’s new works will be shown publicly (FREE) as part of the Dance Days | Night Moves event (Noon: Thurs., Feb.  at Dance Victoria Studios). Lee’s solo Everything and her duet with local dancer Jung-Ah Chung will be performed on Saturday, February  (: pm, Metro Studio) as part of Night Moves. FN

 Footnotes • Issue  • Winter 


Dance at the Royal

Subscribers can buy additional tickets to any Dance Victoria performance at ay time of the year and save 20

PitePlex Victoria dance fans are thrilled that a hometown heroine’s work will whirl on to the big screen in November. An Evening with Crystal Pite features the choreography that Pite (rhymes with height) created for the Nederlands Dance Theatre. The 90-minute show plays Nov. 17 at 12.55 p.m. at Silver City (Tillicum mall). Dance Victoria hopes to make it a bit of an occasion as there are special ties between Pite and Dance Victoria. Pite is Canada’s best choreographer, according to former Toronto Star dance writer Susan Walker (whose parents live in Victoria). Pite, aged 42, will be watching the filmed performance with colleagues from her Kidd Pivot dance company in Vancouver. Her parents, Cadboro Bay’s Norm and Mickey Pite, may join her. From Vancouver Pite said: “I’m really happy with the production and it’s great to be able to share it with the folks at home.” Dance Victoria has twice commissioned her work — once in a piece with Lynda Raino. In 2009 Dance Victoria provided $200,000 to create Pite’s Dark Matters, which has toured three continents, winning several awards. She was an artist in residence in 2009 and is coming back next year to help celebrate the Royal Theatre’s 100th birthday. She is also creating a new piece for Dance Victoria in cooperation with the National Arts Centre and the Pan Am Games, to be held in Toronto in 2014. A recent article in a British newspaper, The Guardian, described dancers in Dark Matters, as seeming “to be wrenched in two directions at once — an experience with which Pite herself is familiar. ‘In me there’s a politeness and obedience that drives me crazy. It’s my Victoria upbringing. I resent it, and I push against it.’” Mickey Pite, Crystal’s mother, said Wendy (Marlow) Green was Crystal’s first ballet teacher and then Maureen Eastick took over until the 17-year-old left Victoria to begin her career with Ballet B.C. Also helping shape Crystal were Janice Tooby-MacDonald (tap dancing), Chris Richardson (jazz) and Sylvia Hosie (musical theatre). For tickets: Cineplex.com/events or visit Silver City box office. FN

Crystal Pite photo © Mark Mushet

By Anne Moon

BALLET BRITISH COLUMBIA January 30 + 31 • 7:30 PM • Royal Theatre Triple Bill (including Walking Mad)

BALLET DU GRAND THÉÂTRE DE GENÈVE March 14 + 15 • 7:30 PM • Royal Theatre Roméo et Juliette

ALVIN AILEY® AMERICAN DANCE THEATER April 8 + 9 • 7:30 PM • Royal Theatre Mixed Repertoire Buy extra Ailey tickets now before they go on sale to the public on Dec. 2!

Annual General Meeting Sunday, December 8 • 7:00 pm • Dance Victoria Studios, 2750 Quadra Street Sounds like fun right? Trust us, it will be. We’ll introduce you to our Board of Directors and after the (quick) meeting we’ll have wine and cheese to kick off the festive season! rsvp@dancevctoria.com

Dance Victoria gratefully acknowledges the support of the following public sector agencies: Public Sector Support

Dance Victoria’s Chrystal Dance Prize Fund and Endowment Fund are held at

Dance Victoria is a proud member of ProArt Alliance of Greater Victoria, The CanDance Network, Canadian Dance Assembly and the Greater Vancouver Arts Alliance.

Profile for Dance Victoria

Dance Victoria Footnotes 43 (Winter 2013)  

Dance Victoria's Footnotes 43 features Alberta Ballet "Fumbling Towards Ecstasy" + Alberta Ballet & Victoria Symphony "The Nutcracker" + mo...

Dance Victoria Footnotes 43 (Winter 2013)  

Dance Victoria's Footnotes 43 features Alberta Ballet "Fumbling Towards Ecstasy" + Alberta Ballet & Victoria Symphony "The Nutcracker" + mo...