Dancer Ziyian Kwan and others dance their frustration over B.C.’s arts cuts

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For a complete series of photos take a look at Ziyian Kwan’s blog.

By Janet Smith

A veteran Vancouver dancer and her colleagues are taking their frustration over B.C. arts cuts to the streets.

Ziyian Kwan is dubbing her protests “what i am dancing sundays”. She’s organizing impromptu dance/rally/busking sessions in front of the Gene Cafe at Main and Kingsway.

Her next dance-protest is this Sunday (August 15) from 4 to 6 p.m., and she invites other artists angered by the provincial Liberals’ slashing of both gaming and core funding to the cultural sector to join her. So far dancer-choreographers Jennifer ClarkeLee Su-FehJay Hirabayashi, and others have joined her on the sidewalk.

Read the entire article here at the Georgia Straight.

Climbing and contemporary dance meet in “White Spider”

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Had to take a brief break from the blog during the Olympics. Information overload. Back to some of the most interesting events happening in Vancouver. This new choreographic work by Jennifer Mascall looks very promising.

Choreographer Jennifer Mascall’s White Spider scales wild heights
By Gail Johnson
Publish Date: March 4, 2010

Rare is the 21st-century dancer who’s limited to a single style. Rather, more and more of those who call the studio and stage their workplace can execute a breadth of forms, from classical ballet to contact improvisation, modern dance to martial arts.

But mountain climbing?

True to modern-day form, when Vancouver choreographer Jennifer Mascall asked five dancers to take up the activity for a new piece, none of them blinked.

“We went to the Edge [Climbing Centre] and got our belay tickets,” Mascall says in an interview before a rehearsal at West Vancouver’s Kay Meek Centre. “We weren’t so much interested in getting up as we were exploring the physicality of what the harness does with your body.”

Scaling peaks is at the heart of the Mascall Dance artistic director’s latest work, The White Spider. It takes its name and inspiration from the book of the same name by Heinrich Harrer, who in 1938 was on the first team to successfully climb the north face of Switzerland’s treacherous Mount Eiger. The 5,000-foot ascent, whose name means “ogre”, is also known as the Murder Wall because of the number of lives it has claimed.

The parallels between mountaineering and dance are undeniable, Mascall explains. Whether it’s a group of climbers ascending a precipice single file or an ensemble of performers swirling together on-stage, each member is completely dependent on the others. One slip-up and everyone suffers.

Then there is the unshakable commitment that climbers and dancers make to their chosen activity, a loyalty that leaves some people perplexed.

Read the entire article here.


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dancer, originally uploaded by inklake.

Taken during a performance of the Arts Umbrella dance company on Granville Island, Vancouver today.


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A strong case for arts funding at the Arts Umbrella rehearsal studios on Granville Island yesterday. This was an afternoon preview of “Samsara”, choreographed by Margo Sappington, music by Tony De Vit, and performed by their Senior Dance Company. All of these dancers are between 16-19.

"Samsara", originally uploaded by inklake.

The video clip was shot on my iPhone.

605 Collective at Dancing on the Edge

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Absolutely love this photo from the Straight. Wish I could have caught their performance.

605 Collective mashes forms at Dancing on the Edge
By Gail Johnson

Bringing a brazen physicality to Dancing on the Edge, the 605 Collective melds five individuals and countless styles
605 collective
Anything goes when it comes to divulging intimate details on-line. Whether it’s via social-networking sites or blogs, there’s apparently nothing too personal to be posted. We’re a culture obsessed with having a Web presence, and yet more people are waking up to the fact that so much sharing has its drawbacks. There’s the erosion of the very notion of a “private” life. And even though the Internet means people are in touch more than ever before, perhaps society has never been so disconnected.

Complete article


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roxanne, originally uploaded by inklake.