Vancouver International Dance Festival
With the Vancouver International Dance Festival running this month, we asked Jay Hirabayashi, Executive Director of Kokoro Dance and the VIDF, to give us some of his picks for this eclectic festival.
We have programmed many dance performances that should be of interest to readers of The Bulletin at the 2011 Vancouver International Dance Festival. From March 1st to 3rd, at 7 PM, on our newly named Blenz Coffee Community Stage at the Roundhouse Arts & Recreation Centre, battery opera presents Lee Su-Feh and Chung Jung-Ah in a piece about being hyphenated. Japanese Canadians will connect to the body expressions of Su-Feh, born in Malaysia, and Jung-Ah, born in Korea, as they relate their hyphenated experiences to each other.
More free performances by Switzerland’s T42 Dance Company take place at 7pm from March 15 to 17, featuring Japanese dancer Misato Inoue and Swiss dancer Félix Duméril in a humorous duet where they try to transcend cultural and language differences through a communication with their bodies.
Also performing on March 15 to 18 at 8pm on the main stage at the Roundhouse is Nelson, BC’s Hiromoto Ida in The Gift, sharing a program with Montreal’s Marc Boivin performing his solo, Impact. Boivin says he wants “to speak of connections between people and of the magnitude of their influence on one another. To whom do we owe the person we become? How do other beings collide with our own existence and ultimately, what shapes our identity? One by one, humans participate in the world, leaving behind a signature, a trace that someone else will find and make his own. Their ripples collide and converge, embrace one another, morphing into new influences. Impact is also and above all a body onstage, the body of a dancer who has lived and embodied the contributions of many, and who has been attuned to their diverse voices. A body on and in which this symphony of influences is harmonized and divided.”
Ida addresses a similar theme in The Gift which he says is concerned with the nature of memory—what we remember, what we don’t want to remember. Large boxes appear on the stage. There is a mystery of what they might contain. An old man has boxes of memory, some painful, some beautiful, some that you want to hold forever. Somehow, he finds himself in a box, maybe as another gift. Old people quietly sitting have these boxes that they are in where their lives are re-lived. Ida always brings a quiet pathos, laced with gentle humour, that evokes reflection on whom we are and why we are here. He calls his one-man company Ichigo-Ichieh, a Japanese phrase meaning “one time, one meeting” that signifies that we should treasure each encounter, each memory, as they only happen once.
Kokoro Dance will give site-specific performances at 2pm on February 27, March 6, and March 13 at the Vancouver Art Gallery’s Offsite installation constructed by Heather and Ivan Morison and called Plaza. Using a Japanese technique for preserving and protecting wood from the elements called shou-sugi-ban, Plaza is a spectacular 30’ high blackened-wood structure standing next to the Shangri-La Hotel on West Georgia Street (near Thurlow).
Kokoro Dance also performs on March 18 and 19 with the Vancouver Symphony Orchestra at the Roundhouse in three works: Essence by Michael Hynes, Music of Amber by Joseph Schwanter, and I Sing – The Body, by Scott Good, the VSO Composer in Residence who has written this work specifically for us.
The full program of thirty-three performances and an exhibition of thirty years of dance photography can be found on the VIDF website (vidf.ca).
Join us in celebrating another spectacular season of dance.
11th Vancouver International Dance Festival
Featuring Kokoro Dance and the VSO (Kokoro Dance 25th Anniversary season), Marc Boivin and Ichigo-Ichieh, T42 Dance Projects, battery opera, The Source, Arts Umbrella, Khambatta Dance Company, Now or Never, EDAM, Yvonne Pouget, Trial & Eros-Deborah Dunn, Cruceta Flamenco
Info & Tickets: www.vidf.ca