• By a large paper tree, a woman in a paper dress sings about the butterflies fluttering all around her, among the peach flowers and the willow trees.

    On her strange, blue shoes she moves gracefully, and the horse-hair whip that she holds in her hands flows from pose to pose. Cai Lun (He Ling) is in a garden thinking about what she can give the Emperor to write on, as he's endlessly dictating missives to all corners of his realm. It's Ancient China, and her current options are silk (too expensive) and bamboo (too heavy). And so, the woman in...

    The Life of Paper, Lenard Stanga and He Ling. Photo: Michael Ford
  • The array of choreographers included in the latest EDAM presentation The Body Eclectic was intriguing enough to draw me from my abode: Jai Govinda, Artistic Director of Mandala Arts and Culture; Emily Molnar, former Frankfurt Ballet superstar; and Peter Bingham, contact dance guru.

    There are very few dance companies in Vancouver that have not experimented with Bingham at EDAM. EDAM offers training and workshops in contact dance, a form which focuses on improvisational kinetic experimentation. The company is also known for the many creative collaborations it has encouraged over the years by giving dancers the physical space to rehearse in...

    Body Eclectic
  • Meg Walker and Anna Russell attended sound-garden-scape: Gastown by Eric Powell, May 16, co-presented by VIVO Media Arts Centre. Meg Walker attended Surf and Turf Soundwalk, May 18, curated by Jean Routhier.

    AR: Why did you check out the sound walk that you went on? 

    MW: For me, I have an affection for new music generally and I remember becoming curious about the nuances of sound-related thought when I first read R. Murray Schaefer's writings a few years ago. He and others ran a project for several years called the World Soundscape Project, and I believe they invented the term...

    necessary equipment for the sound walk
  • Of course eating people is wrong. But sometimes it’s necessary.

    Our social and evolutionary conditioning is so deep that when imagining possible cannibal scenarios for ourselves – a plane crash in the Andes, say – we like to believe we’d starve before eating a fellow passenger. Yet, looked at rationally, if we were starving and meat, whatever its source, was just lying there, why shouldn’t we eat it? Why can’t we see that left leg as just a piece of meat rather than a piece of Kevin?

    Bone in her Teeth, Peter Anderson and Tanya Podlozniuk; photo: Tim Matheson
    I had seen the images for months. Svelte dancers bound and supported by prostheses and canes. They had created quite a stir in the national dance community. It wasn’t just the imagery. I had heard about Marie Chouinard’s new piece bODY rEMIX through various channels, it is a piece that has gathered critical acclaim across Canada.


    There was definitely a lot of buzz about this show... and I can tell you one reason why. bODY rEMIX is one of the first times I’ve had the chance to see a full-length dance piece on...

    Body Remix: David Rancourt and Lucie Mongrain Photo: Marie Chouinard
  • The Electric Company and The Virtual Stage have based their co-production of Jean-Paul Sartre’s 1944 play No Exit on an alluring idea. The stage set for the play is normally a hotel room, where three dammed characters are locked in the hell of each other’s company for all eternity.

    In this production, the three are placed in a closed room separate from the audience instead, and we can see them only by live video feed. The space on stage becomes the hallway and back rooms of hell adjoining their prison. An inside-out existence for an existentialist play.

    Arriving fifteen minutes...

    Jonathon Young (the Valet, foreground), with Andy Thompson (Cradeau), Lucia Frangione (Estelle) and Laara Sadiq (Inez). photo: Tim Matheson.
  • If you’re new to the contemporary dance scene in Vancouver, you may not realize that the Experimental Dance and Music (EDAM) studio on the main floor of the Western Front is the centre of the city’s choreographic universe. Many of Vancouver’s top choreographers and dancers have trained or performed with the EDAM company at some point in their careers.

    Veteran artists like Barbara Bourget, Lola MacLaughlin, Jennifer Mascall, Jay Hirabayashi and current artistic director Peter Bingham were all founding members. Much of the cream of the next generation are, or have been, principal dancers with EDAM—performers like Anne Cooper, Delia...

    Body Eclectic