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Friday, February 24, 2012

Ken Roy (1963-2012)

Ken Roy
>> by Jacqueline Hansen
On January 28th, 2012, Canada lost one of its premier contemporary dancers, Ken Roy, after a year-long battle with cancer. The forty-eight-year-old is being remembered by Canada’s dance community as a great dancer, an artist and a friend, and for his intensity, passion and generosity. Originally from Nova Scotia, Roy began his career with Le Groupe de la Place Royale in Ottawa. He went on to perform in over thirty productions and six films dancing in the works of Jean-Pierre Perreault, Louise Bédard, Daniel Léveillé and Sylvain Émard, among others. Roy shared his experience and knowledge of contemporary dance as a teacher for nearly twenty years, including seven years at Concordia University. His colleagues and students at the university attempted to describe the mark Roy has left on them: “The impact Ken had on the people he met and the emptiness he leaves in our hearts goes beyond what can be communicated with words.” A tribute to Roy’s career will be held this spring, organized by members of the Montréal dance community.
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Jacques Gorrissen (1945-2012)

Jacques Gorrissen (1996). Photo by Cylla von Tiedemann

>> Naomi Brand
Jacques Gorrissen, Belgian-born dancer and longtime National Ballet principal character artist died on January 20th, 2012, at the age of sixty-six. Born in Ghent, Belgium, Gorrissen studied dance at the Royal Flemish Opera School and upon graduation joined the Royal Flemish Opera Ballet in Antwerp. In 1968 he joined The National Ballet of Canada, was promoted to soloist in 1972, and was a principal character artist from 1985 until 1998. Gorrissen's range as a character dancer extended from the comic to the tragic. He earned both critical and audience acclaim in such roles as Dr. Coppelius in Coppélia, Friar Laurence and the Duke of Verona in Romeo and Juliet, the Master of Ceremonies and the Tutor in Swan Lake, the Catalabutte in The Sleeping Beauty, and Gamache and Sancho Panza in Don Quixote, among others. Gorrissen also danced several roles in works by James Kudelka including The Four Seasons (1997), a featured role in Pastorale (1990), Tesman in Hedda (1983) and The Balloon Seller in Washington Square (1979).

Condolences can be sent to Morley Bedford Funeral Home.
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Thursday, February 23, 2012

New Works invites you to #sharedance with the world

>> by Jaimée Horn
New Works, the Vancouver-based arts organization that presents dance and also provides mentorship and management to a roster of clients, initiated the new hashtag #sharedance on February 1st. New Works is encouraging everyone to post, upload and tweet their daily encounters with dance using #sharedance, in order to make dance more accessible and to share dance with the world. In addition, New Works will feature some of the #sharedance stories in its e-newsletter, offering contributors the opportunity to win a New Works Dance Card that provides discounts to performances in Vancouver.
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