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Sunday, March 24, 2013

VIDF presents new Choreographic Award

>> by Samantha Mehra
The Vancouver International Dance Festival (VIDF) recently announced its inaugural Choreographic Award, which recognizes (biennially) outstanding artistic achievement in choreography. On March 5th, 2013, Michelle Olson, artistic director of the Vancouver-based Raven Spirit Dance, was presented with the first award in recognition of her choreographies, which were influenced by the culture of the Yukon Territory’s Tr'ondëk Hwëch'in peoples. The VIDF, a festival that features local, national and international contemporary dance artists, ran from March 2nd through 23rd, 2013.
More: vidf.ca
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Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Phase one of mapping study released

>> by Jaimée Horn
The dance section of the Canada Council for the Arts has released findings for Phase One of the Canada Dance Mapping Study. The Literature Review confirms that information is still missing, and that many gaps have yet to be filled before the full spectrum of dance in Canada has been outlined. The findings have, however, provided data about professional dance practices and infrastructure, dance that is of European origin, and the professional landscape in specific parts of the country. As research continues throughout the coming months, dance communities already connected to the study as well as those that have yet to be mapped will help to fill in more of the missing pieces. Read more about the study here.
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Historic costume to be conserved

 Postcard of Maud Allan in her work Vision of Salomé, c. 1908 / Photo courtesy of Dance Collection Danse

 Brassiere portion of Maud Allan’s Vision of Salomé (1906) costume / 
Photo by Andreah Barker, courtesy of Dance Collection Danse
>> by Catherine Singen
Dance Collection Danse (DCD) recently announced that Maud Allan’s historic Salomé costume will receive treatment from the Canadian Conservation Institute (CCI). Once conserved, the costume will provide the focal point for future exhibitions that could include other Maud Allan artifacts in the DCD archives including a bisque nodder, Salomé cigarettes, Salomé corn plasters, postcards, photographs, Allan’s diaries and papers, and other pieces of her Edwardian-era clothing. Amy Bowring, DCD’s Director of Collections and Research, comments, “This restoration project not only highlights an important Canadian cultural artifact but also signifies the importance of dance history within the shared heritage of Canadians.” Maud Allan, a native of Toronto, first wore the costume in 1906 when she debuted her choreographic work The Vision of Salomé in Vienna. Allan’s performance was later seen by King Edward VII who recommended her to the management of the Palace Theatre in London. Allan took London by storm giving over 200 performances in the city beginning in March 1908. Her sensational Vision of Salomé with its risqué costume spawned a Salomania craze that led to dance imitators and a variety of unique merchandise. A pianist by training and highly musical, Allan’s dances were moving interpretations of music by such composers as Chopin, Mendelssohn and Brahms.
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Update in the story of Bolshoi director acid attack

>> by Andrew Guilbert
The person responsible for last January’s acid attack on Bolshoi Director Sergei Filin has apparently been revealed. In a taped confession released by Moscow police, one of the Bolshoi’s star dancers, Pavel Dmitrichenko, admits he was responsible for the attack that left the forty-two-year-old Filin with severe burns to his eyes and face. “I organized that attack but not to the extent that it occurred,” said Dmitrichenko in the police footage. Two alleged accomplices are believed to have aided the dancer: Yuri Zarutsky, who allegedly threw the acid in Filin’s face, and Andrei Lipatov, who allegedly drove the get away vehicle. Moscow police believe that Dmitrichenko told Zarutsky about what time the director would leave the theatre on the night of the attack. Police say they became suspicious of Dmitrichenko when they discovered he had been in close contact with an unemployed convict, had purchased SIM cards for mobile phones under an alias and had inquired about Filin’s schedule. Bolshoi spokeswoman Katerina Novikova said that Filin had been informed of the situation but that the theatre would not comment until after the trial. Dmitrichenko, who joined the Bolshoi in 2002, had danced in the company’s production of Swan Lake as well as performing the titular role in Ivan the Terrible. He was scheduled to perform in the Bolshoi’s Sleeping Beauty on March 16th. The New Yorker’s David Remnick has written a detailed account of the scandal at the Bolshoi called "Danse Macabre". It is available for reading online here. Read Andrew Guilbert’s earlier news item here.
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BC Arts Council receives record-high budget

>> by Cynthia Brett
The BC government surprised the arts community last month when it announced a $24 million budget for the British Columbia Arts Council (BCAC) in 2013/14, a record high. $5.25 million of this funding will flow from the recently announced BC Creative Futures strategy, a government initiative developed to stimulate growth in the creative sector. Geared toward younger generations, the plan invests in many of the BCAC's youth and education programs. Other funding comes from the ongoing Arts and Sports Legacy fund, a three-year initiative rolled out in 2010 that gives $10 million annually to arts and culture. Mirna Zagar, executive director of The Dance Centre in Vancouver, commented to The Dance Current, "Of course any funding increase is always welcome. However, this is not so much an increase as what seems to be an effort to restore funding and most likely can be viewed as a pre-election booster ... This does not appear to really be new money – it's more about how the existing funds are now being allocated. A good move is the fact that most of it now appears to be flowing back to the community through the BC Arts Council." With funding not yet fully restored, and another $2 million still unallocated, the BC arts community will just have to wait and see what happens next.
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Canadian awarded Prix de Lausanne 2013

Caroline Gravel and Danny Desjardins in Catherine Gaudet's Je suis un autre / Photo by Louise Leblanc

>> by Jaimée Horn
This year, event coordinators welcomed nearly 1400 people to the twenty-sixth Prix RIDEAU, held in Québec from February 17th through 21st. Among those recognized was Jacques Poulin Denis, choreographer, dancer, actor and composer, who received the PRIX RADARTS/RIDEAU, an invitation to present his work at the next FrancoFête in Acadia. Also celebrating were Cas Public's Director of Development Marc-Antoine Arrieta, recipient of the PRIX BIS-LA SCÈNE; and choreographer Catherine Gaudet. Gaudet received the PRIX LOJIQ MONDE, a $2000 award for her piece Je suis un autre. Every year Les Prix RIDEAU honour professionals from the performing arts, recognizing those who work tirelessly to make creative work accessible in our communities.
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Canadian awarded Prix de Lausanne 2013

Cesar Corrales / Photo by Gregory Batardon, courtesy of Prix de Lausanne 

>> by Naomi Brand
Canadian Cesar Corrales has been awarded the Prix de Lausanne 2013, an international ballet competition for dancers ages fifteen through eighteen. The forty-first edition of the competition, which takes place annually in Switzerland, had seventy-five candidates and eight finalists who won scholarships to one of the twenty-eight Prix de Lausanne partner schools around the world. Corrales began dancing at age four and has performed with The Royal Winnipeg Ballet, The National Ballet of Canada, Les Grands Ballets Canadiens and played the title role in the stage show Billy Elliot. He is sixteen years old and currently lives in Montréal.
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