Dance icon Nigel Charnock's influence reached Vancouver
The arts world is reeling from news that fearless, bad-boy Brit dance icon Nigel Charnock has died at only 52.
The founding member of DV8 and former artistic director of Helsinki Dance Company succumbed on August 1 to a cancer he only found out about, reportedly, in June.
Charnock was a maverick who drew on influences as diverse as yoga, ballet, and Shakespeare, and almost always had a thread of pitch-black humour running through his work. He could shock audiences--one piece was about a necrophiliac serial killer--but as he once explained to the Straight: "It's not that I want to shock audiences, but I like speaking on big themes: love, sex, and death. What else is there? What I do is about being human, the way we lead our lives, our relationships with other people, what we think of ourselves."
He had a strong local and national connection to the dance community here. There are dancers in the Vancouver scene who have studied with him, and he's choreographed work for everyone from Vancouver's Noam Gagnon to Louise Lecavalier, who presented his Children as part of the DanceHouse season in 2011. He also appeared at the PuSh International Performing Arts Festival in 2005 and 2007.