Movement is the vehicle through which artists deal with personal issues and express their views on contemporary society in the works Live Art Dance presents in its 2018–19 season.
The six-show season, which began on Sept. 20 with Attakkalari Dance Theatre from Bangalore, India, on its first national tour, features performers from hip-hop, street, contemporary, ballet, and tap worlds.
“One of the things Live Art tries to do is to show our audience different kinds of dance,” says artistic director Randy Glynn, a dancer, choreographer and teacher whose background is in contemporary dance.
He is hoping for a sell-out on March 26, 2019 when Ballet BC, a perennial Live Art favourite, brings a troupe of 16 to perform a one-night only show of pieces by Cayetano Soto and Medhi Walerski, plus a new work by Emily Molnar.
“They always bring astounding work with extraordinary dancers,” Glynn says, describing the Vancouver-based company as one of the most sought after in the world. Halifax joins Ottawa and Toronto as the only Canadian stops on this year’s international tour.
Vancouver’s Shay Kuebler and Radical System Art make their Halifax debut Oct. 5 and 6 with Telemetry, a blend of theatre, martial arts, and dance (including tap, swing, contemporary, and house.) It’s an intensely physical, athletic show with “creative, intriguing staging and wonderful dancers,” says Glynn.
Halifax-based The Woods collaborated with Ghettosocks for the 2015 Live Art presentation Trpytich, which examined the process of creation itself, and now, Atlantic Canada’s first professional hip-hop company returns to Live Art on Dec. 7 and 8 to premiere the new work is an exploration of two health systems, mental and physical, and how trauma in one affects the other, explains The Woods’ choreographer and director Alexis Cormier.
It includes contemporary-based choreography by Halifax native Lydia Zimmer, who recently returned from Montreal, Jay Harvey a former company member of The Woods, and Cormier.
Zimmer, who studied ballet in Toronto, Winnipeg, and Boston, before moving to contemporary dance, “has great thoroughbred classical training,” says Cormier. Harvey, is an “accomplished freestyle artist who battles.”
They are both experimental movers with a similar aesthetic, she continues. “It’s a brilliant opportunity to bring the two together. The movement crosses between street dance and contemporary in a really consistent way.”
Cormier says Interupted, which includes six stories performed by a dozen dancers ranging in age from 18 to 30, explores all the choreographers’ personal histories with physical and mental health.
Sharing the bill is Toronto’s award-winning urban sensation Gadfly, presenting Klorofyl, influenced by 1964 Japanese film Seven Samurai and including original music by world-renowned violinist Dr. Draw.
Rounding out the season is Man, choreographed by Norway’s Solvi Edvardsen and performed by India’s Sudesh Adhana, on Jan. 11 and 12 and Montreal’s RUBBERBANDance on April 26 and 27. RUBBERBANDance presents Vic’s Mix, with highlights from the repertoire of artistic director Victor Quijada. “Its a true ‘best of,’ superbly kinetic with a strong influence of street dance in vocabulary,” says Glynn.
Man, a dialogue between Edvardsen and Adhana, is a full-length solo. Full-length solos can a difficult proposition, as it can be hard to maintain audience attention, but Glynn has high expectations. “The work has to go all the way drawing the audience in and the dancer has to have the goods which Sudesh Adhana does. It’s a powerful work.”
A former principal dancer with the legendary Danny Grossman Company in Toronto, Glynn took over as artistic director for Live Art Dance three years ago with a mandate to grow the audience. Last year, the first full season he programmed, saw a 45% rise in attendance, a 20% rise in single ticket sales and a 36% rise in subscriptions to 180. Glynn aims to hit 200 subscribers this season.
Most Live Art shows are in the Sir James Dunn Theatre at Dalhousie Arts Centre. The Ballet BC performance is in the Rebecca Cohn Auditorium. Learn more at liveartdance.ca.