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ISSUE 69 • FALL 2021 • Nutcracker News + Return to the Royal + Residencies + more…
Celebrating 25 Years of the World’s Best Dance
Ballet Memphis (Virtual Presentation)
e Our fre gift to ! Victoria
A FREE gift from Dance Victoria and the Royal & McPherson Theatre Society!
December 9–12, 2021 Running Time: 55 minutes LEAD SPONSORS
In the Studios Rachael Price & Brandon Lee Alley • Kayla Henry • Amber Downie-Back • Visible Bodies Collective
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Dance Victoria brings the World’s Best Dance to the Royal Theatre and your home and supports the development of new dance for the international stage from its studios in Quadra Village. Dance Victoria is a non-proﬁt charitable society. DanceVictoria.com
Dance Scene Adieu! BY STEPHEN WHITE
Dance Victoria Board: Susan K.E. Howard
Maggie Bartold Frances Grunberg Stacey Horton Carrie Smart
Staff: Executive Producer Stephen White General Manager
Operations Manager Shireen McNeilage Marketing Manager
Studios & Admin Assistant
Production Manager Holly Vivian Graphic Design
Bonnie Light Advertising
If you’d like to volunteer for Dance Victoria please visit DanceVictoria.com and complete the online volunteer form. Studios and Ofﬁce: 111 – 2750 Quadra Street Victoria, BC V8T 4E8 250-595-1829 DanceVictoria.com for trailers, tickets and more information Footnotes is written by Tracy Smith and Stephen White (unless otherwise noted).
WHEN I TOOK THE CONTRACT to produce the annual Victoria Dance Series 21 years ago, I quickly realized, that for it to be sustainable, it needed to grow roots in the community. As a presenter, especially in the early years when you’re building an audience for a brand-new organization, one bad outcome at the Box Ofﬁce can sink you. If the economy takes a nosedive, you’re done. A snowstorm on Nutcracker weekend can kill you (as it almost did in 2004). I knew I needed to develop an organization that would be valued in the community, beyond the shows at the Royal Theatre. That was the task I set myself. Over the years, through trial and error, through thick and thin, we have arrived at that place. And I feel so grateful to the many people, like you, that helped us get here. Thank you. In March 2020, when we were forced to cancel our performances at the Royal Theatre and shutter our studios, I felt a profound sense of loss. It took me a few days to understand what it was that I was missing. I realized, it was the community that we had built together, a community of unique individuals with a respect for each other and an appreciation for, and love of, dance at its core. And here we are today, on the threshold of our 25th Anniversary season, with a return to the Royal this winter, thriving studios, a dozen artists and collectives in residence at our studios this year, money in the bank to ensure we make it through turbulent times, a new 10-year lease on our studios in Quadra Village, improvements underway to make our Vernon studio adaptable for ﬁlming dance, a book celebrating the vibrant dance scene in Victoria on its way to publication, a new interactive community dance archives site at DanceVictoiria.com, and a new scholarship for young Canadian dancers to be awarded this spring, which when combined with our annual Chrystal Dance Prizes, brings Dance Victoria’s total support for young dancers and commissions for mid-career artists close to $60,000 annually. With all that is behind us and everything we’re looking forward to this year, I can think of no better time for me to take a bow and exit stage left. I have had a wonderful time as Executive Producer of Dance Victoria, and though I will be sad to retire in June 2022, I am conﬁdent that the incredible team of Bernard Sauvé, Shireen McNeilage, Tracy Smith, Holly Vivian, and Kiera Shaw will take this organization forward in exciting new ways. Thank you all. I look forward to seeing you at the Royal in February. FN
Dance Victoria Studios and the Royal Theatre are situated on the traditional territories of the Lekwungen speaking Esquimalt and Songhees Nations whose people have lived and danced on this land for thousands of years.
Support for Local Dancers Our local dance makers have told us that their greatest need is studio time — to create, rehearse and even perform, so we created the free Studio Access program. Approved projects receive 60 hours of free studio time and an additional 40 hours at only $5/hour. Interested in learning more? Contact Stephen White at email@example.com or 250-595-1829 or visit our Free Studio Access web page on DanceVictoria.com.
Photos: Stephen White by Tracy Smith.
DanceVictoria.com • 3
Dance Victoria Turns 25! As Dance Victoria turns 25, we’re reﬂecting back on key milestones from 1995 to the present. Some great memories and we look forward to creating many more in 2022!
1995 Founding Producer, Douglas Durand, begins the groundwork for Victoria Dance Series (VDS).
1997/98 Inaugural season launched featuring Les Ballets Jazz de Montréal, Ballet BC, Royal Winnipeg Ballet and Western Ballet Theatre.
2001/02 5th Anniversary. Dance Series becomes ﬁve productions per season with premiere of ﬁrst contemporary dance presentations.
2005/06 Vancouver’s Kokoro Dance’s Sunyata (commonly referred to as the mud bath) causes people to stream out of the McPherson Playhouse. Controversy lasts for months. VDS takes ﬁrst organized dance tour group to New York.
2009/10 DV receives large bequest from Dr. Betty “Chrystal” Kleiman and the Chrystal Dance Prize is born.
1996 First advisory committee (later the founding Board of Directors) formed with Robert Milne, Lynda Raino, Anne Russo and Bonnie Light.
2000 Stephen White hired as Producer after Durand takes job at London Arts Council UK.
2002/03 Les Grands Ballets Canadiens performs Ohad Naharin’s Minus One to standing ovations.
2001 2002 2003 2004
2003/04 Vancouver ‘s battery opera causes a stir with a performance inspired by cockﬁghting replete with full nudity and performed in a gymnasium that would become the Metro Studio Theatre.
2006/07 10th Anniversary. VDS changes its name to Dance Victoria.
2005 2011/12 15th Anniversary. LOLA Projects are born, named for the late Lola MacLaughlin.
2013/14 DV launches Night Moves for 30 to 45 year olds and Pay Your Age for 12 to 29 year olds.
2015/16 Kidd Pivot + Electric Company Theatre perform their moving dance theatre work, Betroffenheit. Subscribers enjoy a behind-the-scenes talk prior to RWB’s Going Home Star: Truth and Reconciliation with author Joseph Boyden and RWB Artistic Director André Lewis.
2017/18 DV presents three Victoria premieres: Aspen Santa Fe Ballet, Dancers of Damelahamid and Ballet Hispánico. Alvin Ailey American Dance Theatre performs a mixed rep program for one night only.
2010/11 Dance Victoria Studios opens its doors. Alvin Ailey American Dance Theatre thrills Victoria audiences with sold out shows. DV awards its ﬁrst Chrystal Dance Prize to Jung-ah Chung.
2011 2012 2013 2014 2015
2019/20 DV has a record-breaking season with presentations by Aspen Santa Fe Ballet, Ukrainian Shumka Dancers (Nutcracker), Kidd Pivot (Revisor), and Les Ballets Trockadero de Monte Carlo before COVID-19 hits. Provincial Health Orders force the cancellation of Ballet BC’s sold-out performances of Romeo + Juliet on March 13. Cast and crew were at the Royal when guidelines are enforced.
2008/09 DV moves its ofﬁce from White’s basement to 2750 Quadra. DV commissions Crystal Pite’s Dark Matters, which was performed across North America and Europe for two seasons. Alonzo King LINES Ballet performs Irregular Pearl.
2014/15 BalletBoyz® wows Victoria with performances of Serpent and Fallen. Royal Winnipeg Ballet performs their Canadianized Nutcracker which remains DV’s top grossing production of all time.
2016/17 Dance Victoria launches its 20th Anniversary Season with a record number of subscribers and sponsors. Les Grands Ballets Canadiens returns to perform Minus One!
2016 2017 2018
2018/19 DV adds a matinee performance of BJM’s Dance Me (to the music of Leonard Cohen) because of ticket demand and organizes a cross-Canada tour of Norwegian choreographer Sølvi Edvardsen’s MAN.
2019 2021/22 DV celebrates its 25th Anniversary Season and upgrades its Vernon Studios for screen dance. New dance scholarship established at the Victoria Foundation for Canadian dancers in training wishing to study abroad.
2020/21 Dance Victoria launches its Virtual Home Season in response to COVID-19 restrictions and a Dance Days video contest in collaboration with the InterCultural Association of Greater Victoria.
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A FREE Gift Presented by Dance Victoria in partnership with the Royal and McPherson Theatres Society
Ballet Memphis in Nutcracker December 9–12, 2021
Join us for joy! Dance Victoria in partnership with the Royal and McPherson Theatre Society present Ballet Memphis’ one-hour, made-for-TV holiday classic, Nutcracker, arriving Thursday, December 9 until Sunday, December 12, 2021 and it’s FREE for you to stream on any internetenabled device from the comfort of your home. Join us and bring the magic of the holiday season into your home with this beautiful, ﬁlmed presentation of Nutcracker! The classic tale of young Clara and her dream Prince was ﬁlmed at the historic Mallory–Neely House in the Victorian Village district of Memphis. Performed to Tchaikovsky’s legendary score by the Memphis Symphony Orchestra, all 55 minutes of the ballet are thoughtfully curated from the Christmas Eve party at the Stahlbaum house to the ﬁerce battle with the Mouse King, and the beauty and magic of the Land of Snow, Land of Sweets, and the famous Nutcracker pas de deux. This presentation of Nutcracker is a gift for you, a gift for Victoria! To learn more about this holiday presentation and how you can help us bring the presentation to even more families in our community this season, visit DanceVictoria.com and DanceVictoria.com/nutkids. Tickets: Free but you must register at DANCEVICTORIA.COM or RMTS.BC.CA to secure your online access. Registration begins November 16, 2021. Limited availability so register early! FN
Nutcracker Kids Nutcracker Kids Campaign Chair
We’re calling on folks like you to help us bring the holiday classic, Nutcracker, to our community for FREE! This year, in partnership with the Royal Theatre, we are wrapping up a special gift and sending it out with our very best wishes to every household in our region! The Ballet Memphis one-hour, made-for-tv version of Nutcracker is enchanting, ﬁlled to the brim with joy. With your help, we will reach out to Victoria Women’s Transition House, the Victoria Native Friendship Centre, and Family Services of Greater Victoria to ensure each and every one of their client families can experience the magic of Nutcracker in their own homes. Please consider donating to Nutcracker Kids to give every child access to this holiday presentation. Visit dancevictoria.com/ nutkids for details to donate or call Dance Victoria at 250-5951829. The kids will love you for it! Thank you to Julie Rust Personal Real Estate Corporation | Engel & Völkers, Campaign Chair of the Nutcracker Kids Campaign.
DanceVictoria.com • 5
In the Studios We are thrilled to share that our Vernon Studio has been upgraded with new equipment, curtains, lighting and more, and is ready for dance artists to undertake ﬁlming projects! A big thank-you to our 50/50 rafﬂe ticket buyers and supporters for helping this vision come to life. The core crew involved in the upgrades were Production Manager Holly Vivian (project manager); Steve Shortt (rigger & planning); Graham Croft (lead hand); and additional crew support from Olivia Wheeler; Troy Rayner; Zenon Kozak and Hina Nishioka. They installed a curtain track and blackout curtains so that the studio can be
transformed into a black box performance space within minutes! When parted, the curtains reveal a white backdrop (cyclorama) that vividly absorbs and reﬂects colourful lighting. In the coming months we’ll be adding new LED lighting, an upgraded lighting console, the cyclorama backdrop and more! We’re excited by this transformation, making the Vernon studio a wonderful space in which to livestream, perform or ﬁlm dance. To learn more, visit the Rent page on DanceVictoria.com. FN
Dance Victoria Announces Artist Residencies for its 2021/22 Season We absolutely love hosting dance artists in our spaces. The creative energy that they bring is palpable! For our 2021/22 Season, we are providing ﬁnancial assistance and studio access for the following resident artists and dance collectives who were selected through a proposal process. “There were actually many more that we had hoped to include in our program, but we were limited by studio availability and resources. That said, we are very excited to welcome a rich and diverse group of artists to our studios.” STEPHEN WHITE Visiting artists from the mainland have been offered one- or two-week intensive residencies, whereas local Victoria-based artists have the luxury of extending their residency over several months, returning to the studios for a few hours every week. Vancouver-based Jennifer Aoki is a fourth-generation Japanese Canadian whose grandmother was a victim of internment and dispossession during the Second World War. Aoki will spend two weeks at Dance Victoria Studios in June 2022. Her primary research is Canada’s ﬁrst Japanese Garden and Teahouse, located in Esquimalt Gorge Park that was looted, vandalized, and destroyed after Canada’s Japanese population was gathered up in 1942 and forced into camps in BC’s interior. Aoki will work with University of Victoria’s Landscapes of Injustice research project. Well-known to Victoria audiences from past residencies, showings and performances, former Ballet BC dancer Alexis Fletcher is teaming with contemporary, improv dancer Arash Khakpour to develop a work based on poems by beloved Persian poet Farrough Farrokhzad (1934– 1967). Fletcher and Khakpour will be in residence for two weeks in the spring/summer of 2022. Local dancer Kayla Henry will use her recent experience with cancer to build a duet that is reﬂective of the emotional journey she experienced before ﬁnding balance. Victoria-based dancers Branwyn
Bundon and Alia Saurini will participate in the residency but ultimately, Henry plans to perform the piece with Vancouver’s Arash Khakpour. Local dance artist Constance Cooke will act as the dramaturg/outside eye on this piece. Kiera Shaw (who works with Dance Victoria as its Administrative Assistant) will be reunited with her long-time collaborator Sophie Dow to continue their research on a work that will eventually be set on ﬁve dancers. During their residency, Shaw and Dow plan to involve locals in an experiential movement workshop. Local dancer, instructor, and choreographer Treena Stubel will direct Ghanian-Canadian Sabur Abdulai in a piece called Bamaya — a traditional West African dance created by the Dagomba women in the early 19th century to celebrate the coronation of their king and the return of the rains in their drought-stricken region. Stubel and Abdulai plan to develop a full-length piece with text, dance and drum for a studio showing in spring 2022. Dance Victoria has given “carte blanche” to Vancouver-based, Ballet BC dancer/artist/ﬁlmmaker Peter Smida to continue the development of any one of three or four current projects. Smida was part of a residency at Dance Victoria in 2020 that became a widely shared and critically acclaimed dance ﬁlm. Filipino-Canadian dance artist Ralph Escamillan will spend a week in residence during Dance Days (January 2022) as he continues to build his newest, large-scale piece Piña. In the fall of 2020, Escamillan received a $10,000 Chrystal Dance Prize award to support the early development of this project. Escamillan will reach out to the local Filipino population in Greater Victoria to involve them in his process. Kemi Craig, a Victoria-based performance artist of African descent, has been working with ﬁlm and movement during her 2020/21 residency. Dance Victoria will extend her access to its studios and provide support for her interest in ﬁlmmaking in its newly upgraded
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Vernon Studio now equipped as a ﬁlm studio. Former Ballet BC dancers Racheal Prince and Brandon Lee Alley spent a week in late September in our studios working on a collaboration with a certiﬁed ASL interpreter, making movement that integrates signing and storytelling. Visible Bodies Collective is an Indigenous performance collective led by Lindsay Delaronde that has been in residence at Dance Victoria Studios since 2018. The group continues to build performance skills with mentors brought into their process. Only recently, Visible Bodies has started making pieces for performance. Dance Victoria has welcomed the group back to its studios in 2021/22. Victoria dance artist Amber Downie-Back is developing a duet entitled MUTATION that fuses video, sound, and movement. She will use contact microphones, pressure and light sensors among other tools working closely with musician Angus Steele-Gaffney as she builds this new piece. Sarah Hutton and Aiden Cass return from Vancouver for a two-week residency in December bringing dancers Eowynn and Isak Enquist with them to continue their work on Generous Mess, exploring the relationship we have with our loved ones and the complexities around aging, dying, mourning and celebrating life.
Visit our New Website! As part of our 25th Anniversary celebrations, we have launched a gorgeous new website at DanceVictoria.com. In addition to an upgraded backend infrastructure for robust stability, support, and easier updates, the website has a sleek design, new content and features including: • New menu overlays and navigation so you can ﬁnd what you need more quickly • Image galleries for our presentations • A Dance Community Archives microsite commemorating the rich history of dance in our community and the ability to submit your own stories • New studio rental and event facility inquiry forms • A secure Media Centre where media can access promotional kits and images for our shows • “I want to…” section with hot links to FAQs and more
Dance Victoria’s Residencies Program is supported by the RBC Foundation – Emerging Artists Project, Jawl Bundon LLP, Canada Council for the Arts, and donors (like you). FN
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How to donate: Mail: Return this form with a cheque to: Dance Victoria Society 111 – 2750 Quadra Street, Victoria, BC V8T 4E8 Phone: 250-595-1829 with your credit card in hand Online: Donate over our secure page at DanceVictoria.com In Person: at Dance Victoria Studios (we’ll give you a tour) or at the Royal and McPherson Box Ofﬁces Dance Victoria is a federally registered charity and will provide a tax-deductible receipt for all donations $10 and over. Charitable # 87377 5522 RR0001
DanceVictoria.com • 7
Thank you to our 2021/22 Sponsors We are so thankful for the support of local businesses. We couldn’t bring the World’s Best Dance to our community if it weren’t for the support of the region’s private sector. We welcome the following sponsors this year: Andy Stephenson - Sotheby’s Cameron Izard Snell Professional Chartered Accountants Cascadia Architects Charelli’s Cheese Shop & Delicatessen Chateau Victoria Hotel & Suites D’Ambrosio architecture + urbanism Derma Spa DFH Realty Fastrac Print & Marketing Fort Properties Ltd.
Helijet hughes clothing Jawl Bundon LLP Jones Emery Hargreaves Swan LLP Julie Rust Personal Real Estate Corporation | Engel & Völkers Lorna Harris Luxe Home Interiors MAC Zen mōdev projects Page One Publishing/YAM Magazine Poppies Floral Art
RBC Rob Tournour Masonry Ltd. The Royal and McPherson Theatres Society Times Colonist Toes ‘n’ Taps Dance Shoppe Tulipe Noire Boutique Victoria Arts Marketing Willow Wealth Management | Raymond James A big thank-you to these folks for their support! FN
The numbers are in… Our fall 2021/22 subscription campaign numbers are in, and we now have an idea of how much rebuilding we have to do postpandemic. The good news for you is that there are still lots of great seats available at the Royal. For those that haven’t renewed or purchased a season subscription, we have enclosed our brochure summarizing our spectacular 25th Anniversary Season! More information is available on our new website at DanceVictoria.com.
Annual General Meeting Sunday, November 7, 2021 • 5:00 pm Register at DanceVictoria.com (click Calendar) for a Zoom link We hope that you can join us for our virtual Annual General Meeting (AGM) as we celebrate the successes of our past season and discuss our future direction. And what a year it has been! If you have donated $10 or more to Dance Victoria Society since our last AGM (November 1, 2020), you are a “member in good standing” and can attend and vote at this virtual AGM. If you are unsure of your status, contact us at 250-595-1829 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Memberships will also be discussed at the meeting. Please register at DanceVictoria.com (click on calendar for November 7).
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609 Dunedin St., Victoria BC V8T 2L7 778-265-1315 www.fastracprint.com
Sell your home. Support Dance Victoria. Choose a DFH realtor below and mention Dance Victoria when you buy or sell your property. Ten percent of the realtor’s commission helps bring The World’s Best Dance to our community. Maureen Vincent | email@example.com • 250-656-0131
Terry Moore | firstname.lastname@example.org • 250-477-7291
John Melvin | email@example.com • 250-477-7291
Dorothee Friese | firstname.lastname@example.org • 250-477-7291
Peter Crichton | email@example.com • 250-477-7291
Rosemary & Gary Victoria Homes Team | firstname.lastname@example.org • 250-477-7291
8 Footnotes • Issue 69 • Fall 2021
Next DANCE VICTORIA DANCE DAYS It’ll Move You January 20–30, 2022 In studios all over town + virtual presentations + classes Dance Days is back for 10 days — when local studios offer free adult dance classes in all kinds of styles — ballet, ballroom, tap, barre, efunk and more. Start 2022 off right by ﬁnding something that’ll move you! Despite the challenges of COVID-19 last year, we had over 60 classes during Dance Days with local dance instructors offering a myriad of virtual classes, demonstrations and workshops. We’re still in the planning stages for Dance Days, but you can expect to experience new works by west coast artists performed live in our studios and via an online platform with lots of opportunities for connections, discussions and dance! Look for the complete online calendar of classes at DanceVictoria.com in January 2022.
Walkley’s oldest brother, John, who disappeared from Vancouver in May of 1969, never to be heard from again. Walkley sourced her material from family letters dating from 1959 to 2010 documenting the years leading up to his disappearance, his medical history, police reports, and the tracking her parents did of his disappearance. Performed by two of Western Canada’s top dance/theatre artists of their generation, Josh Martin and Billy Marchenski, John is a profoundly moving, strikingly relevant piece that resonates long after the curtain falls. Walkley weaves text with movement seamlessly in this perfect jewel of dance theatre. John was 23 at the time of his disappearance. Walkley was 13. “…moves on levels that transcend straightforward dance.” G E O R G I A S T R A I G H T
Choreography: Helen Walkley Composer: James Maxwell
Single Ticket Prices *Subscribers/Night Moves Members: $35 Other: $40 *Subscribers, we will be contacting you via email with a promo code to use online or in phone orders to access the subscriber discount.
You may remember experiencing a short excerpt of Helen Walkley’s John during Dance Days 2019. For Dance Days 2022, we’ve invited Walkley back to present her work in its entirety. John is a memoir of
Visit marywinspear.ca or call the Mary Winspear Box Ofﬁce: (250) 656-0275 (Monday - Friday 9:30am - 5:00pm Closed 12:00pm - 1:00pm)
January 20, 2022 • 7:30 PM Mary Winspear Centre (Charlie White Theatre)
Dance at the Royal Series Subscribers can buy additional tickets to Dance Victoria any time of the year and save 20%. All performances are at the Royal Theatre. Best Seats. Best Prices. The World’s Best Dance. Celebrating our Return to the Royal & Dance at the Royal Series Return to the Royal Sponsor
COMPAGNIE HERVÉ KOUBI (FRANCE/ALGIERS) FEBRUARY 4 + 5, 2022 • 7:30 PM
BALLET BC (VANCOUVER) MARCH 11 + 12, 2022 • 7:30 PM
BALLET HISPÁNICO (NEW YORK) APRIL 8 + 9, 2022 • 7:30 PM