We've moved to the...

All new thedancecurrent.com

You will be redirected in 4 seconds

Headlines and details published by The Dance Current.

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Crystal Pite wins Jacob's Pillow Dance Award

Crystal Pite / Photo by Joris JanBos

>> by Cynthia Brett
Acclaimed choreographer and performer Crystal Pite, artistic director of Kidd Pivot Frankfurt RM, has been awarded the fifth annual Jacob's Pillow Dance Award. This award recognizes exceptional visionary talent and is accompanied by a $25,000 prize, as well as a custom-designed glass sculpture by renowned artist Tom Patti, which Pite will receive at the Jacob's Pillow Season Opening Gala on June 18th. Ella Baff, executive and artistic director of Jacob's Pillow, commented in a press release that "Crystal is one of the most talented, intelligent, and original dancemakers to come along in recent years ... She is respected and admired by the dance field throughout the world, and each of her creations is something unexpected and deeply imaginative." Pite is a former dancer of Ballet British Columbia and the Frankfurt Ballet. She founded Kidd Pivot in 2001, which is currently the resident company at Kunstlerhaus Mousonturm in Frankfurt. She was also resident choreographer for Les Ballets Jazz de Montréal from 2001 through 2004, and has choreographed for numerous companies, such as Nederlands Dans Theater I, Cullberg Ballet, The National Ballet of Canada, Ceder Lake Contemporary Ballet, Alberta Ballet and Ballet Jörgen Canada.
Bookmark and Share

Friday, June 10, 2011

Moze Mossanen's The Dancemakers coming on DVD

Cover design for The Dancemakers: Ginette Laurin / Design by Michael Ripley

>> by Naomi Brand
Moze Mossanen's 1988 film series The Dancemakers will be released on DVD on June 24th. Dance Collection Danse (DCD) has been distributing the series on VHS for many years and has now redesigned it for DVD. The show profiles Canadian contemporary dance and features masterworks by six choreographers: David Earle, Danny Grossman, Christopher House, James Kudelka, Ginette Laurin and Constantin Patsalas. Works recorded include Earle's Sacra Conversazione, Kudelka's In Paradisum and Grossman's Endgangered Species; and the series captures performances by dancers such as Danny Grossman, Randy Glynn, Suzette Sherman, Christopher House, Grace Miyagawa, Edward Hillyer, Veronica Tennant, Kevin Pugh, Ginette Laurin and Ken Gould. The DVD version includes bonus features such as new interview footage with the director, photo galleries and an electronic Teacher's Guide. To celebrate the launch of The Dancemakers as well as the closing of their latest exhibition, Dancing Through Time: Toronto's Dance History 1900-1980, DCD is hosting a party on June 24th at the Market Gallery in Toronto where DVDs will be sold at a discounted rate. Admission is by donation.
Bookmark and Share

Leica Hardy receives honorary doctorate

>> by Naomi Brand
Dance educator and choreographer Leica Hardy received an Honorary Doctorate of Fine Arts from Saint Mary's University last month during the spring convocation ceremony. Hardy is the owner and artistic director of the Leica Hardy School of Dance in Dartmouth, Nova Scotia, where she has contributed to the field of dance for thirty years. Born in Toronto, Hardy trained in ballet and modern dance at York University, The Royal Winnipeg Ballet School, The School of American Ballet in New York and the Banff Centre, studying with Canadian modern dance teachers Linda Rabin, David Earle and Carol Anderson, among others. She has performed across Canada and has choreographed over forty works including pieces for Mermaid Theatre of Nova Scotia, Mocean Dance and Symphony Nova Scotia where she has choreographed and directed The Nutcracker for over twenty years. Hardy has had an extensive career as a dance educator in both Ontario and Nova Scotia and is the founder of the Young Company of Halifax Dance. She is in an examiner for the Society of Russian Ballet and is a member of its national executive council. "The offer of the degree was an enormous surprise," says Hardy, "and I am particularly gratified that my contribution to dance over the years is being recognized beyond our dance community. St. Mary's is also making a significant public statement – that dance and dance education are an important part of our lives in Nova Scotia."
Bookmark and Share

Thursday, June 9, 2011

CADA-ON publishes professional standards for dance, version 3

CADA-ON Executive Director Elizabeth Chitty and Co-chair Nova Bhattacharya / Photo by Brodie Stevenson

>> by Samantha Mehra
The Canadian Alliance of Dance Artists, Ontario Chapter (CADA-ON) has published Version 3 of its Professional Standards for Dance (PSD), a living document that provides guidelines for members of the organization for negotiating work agreements and for providing minimum standards regarding fees, hours and working conditions. The latest version, which replaces the 2009 Version 2, includes new sections, such as Copyright and Touring, as well as updates on fee minimums and cost of living increases. The PSD is distributed to CADA-ON members and is available at no cost as an electronic copy on the organization's website. CADA-ON was formed in 1986 to improve the working conditions of dance artists by strengthening the self-representation of its members.
Bookmark and Share

Joel Klein new Made in BC Program Director

Joel Klein / Photo by Katherine Henderson

>> by Samantha Mehra
Made in BC recently announced the appointment of Joel Klein as its new program director. The move comes at a time when the organization begins a shift into becoming an ongoing program. As program director, Klein will take a leadership role in organization and program services. Klein has been an active administrator in British Columbia; he serves on the board of the Pride in Arts Society, has acted as registrar for general and professional stream programs and other roles at Arts Umbrella, and has also worked in the health sector administrating in surgery at the Vancouver General Hospital / UBC Eye Care Centre.
Bookmark and Share

Margie Gillis object of on-air bullying

>> by Amy Bowring
Montréal-based dance icon Margie Gillis was the object of on-air bullying when she appeared as a guest on SunTV's "Canada Live" on June 1st. The controversial news station, known for its sensational coverage and aggressive interviewing style, had contacted Gillis' office shortly after she received the Governor General's Award for Lifetime Achievement in the Performing Arts. Gillis told The Dance Current that staff at the news channel had been persistent in their requests for her to appear on the network and were repeatedly flattering in those requests. She says she was aware of the station's conservative approach to news coverage, but agreed to be interviewed and was told the topic would be arts funding in Canada. Gillis, who has had a thirty-nine-year career as a dance artist, did further research on arts funding to prepare herself for the session. Interviewer Krista Erickson introduced Gillis as a Governor General's Award winner and congratulated her on the award but then proceeded to verbally attack the dancer-choreographer, asking her why she deserved the $1.2 million in funding that she and the Margie Gillis Dance Foundation have received since 1998. Erickson exacerbated the situation by repeatedly talking over Gillis so her answers could not be heard properly. Throughout the interview, Erickson continually dismissed the value of tax-payer support for the arts. Gillis described being "shocked" by the attack, telling The Dance Current, "I was sitting in a small room with no one else there ... no one to dialogue with." She says, "What I found most disturbing was that [Erickson] thought part of it was amusing ... but her audience does not think what she says is amusing." Gillis added that she has received an overwhelming response from the dance community. Reflecting on the current times, she continued, "We need to face the future bravely. We cannot cower and be timid ... we have to stand up." On June 9th, Gillis posted a message on Facebook to thank people for their support and to discourage the spread of hateful messages. Rather, she encourages people to take action by writing to the CRTC, the Prime Minister and MPs. In her coverage, Erickson neglected to mention the grants and subsidies provided to many other economic sectors, including farming, manufacturing and media, of which SunTV's parent company, Quebecor, has been a past recipient. Globe and Mail TV reporter John Doyle pointed out in a June 9th article that SunTV's prime-time viewership is approximately 7000.
Bookmark and Share

Sunday, June 5, 2011

Shivani Thakkar joins cast of Bombay Bollywood

Shivani Thakkar / Photo by Ivan Karabobaliev

>> by Cynthia Brett
Calgary-based dance artist Shivani Thakkar is joining the cast of Bellydance Superstars’ new show as a soloist and lead dancer. Bombay Bollywood, produced by Miles Copeland, has already toured in Canada, the United States and Europe, and heads next to Japan. In a press release, Thakkar, who is associate artistic director of Manu Kala Mindir Dance Productions and founder of MKM BollyStars, called it a “thrilling experience and absolute honour.” www.bellydancesuperstars.com
Bookmark and Share

NBoC’s Sonia Rodriguez honoured by Spain

>> by Brittany Duggan
Sonia Rodriguez, principal dancer with The National Ballet of Canada, was awarded the Officer’s Cross of the Civil Merit on May 25th. With her husband, Canadian figure skater Kurt Browning, and their two sons, Rodriguez received the award from the ambassador of Spain to Canada, Eudaldo Mirapeix, at Spain's embassy in Ottawa. The Cross is a significant distinction in the arts given by the King of Spain and was established in 1926 to “reward the civic virtues of civil servants”. Born in Toronto, Rodriguez grew up in Spain where she trained in Madrid with Pedro de la Cruz and at the Princess Grace Academy in Monaco. She returned to Canada in 1990 to join The National Ballet of Canada and has been a principal dancer since 2000. Roles created for her include Cinderella in James Kudelka’s Cinderella and Princess Vasilisa in Kudelka's The Firebird. Rodriguez will next appear as Alice in Christopher Wheeldon’s North American premiere of Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland.
Bookmark and Share