Choreographers Idan Cohen and Alvin Erasga Tolentino's world premieres will be available via livestream

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      The growing number of COVID-19 cases couldn't have come at a worse time for Vancouver's creative community.

      This is peak arts season, with new dance works and plays being unveiled.

      But two choreographers will not be able to launch their latest productions in front of live audiences.

      That's because Dr. Bonnie Henry's November 18 public health order cancels public gatherings.

      Idan Cohen Dance Company's Hourglass will be unveiled online at 7 p.m. on Wednesday at the Chutzpah! Festival.

      Featuring a duet with former Ballet BC dancer Racheal Prince and returning Ballet BC dancer Brandon Lee Alley, it will be accompanied by composer Philip Glass's 4 Piano Études, played by Leslie Dala.

      4 Piano Études was initially also going to be performed in front of a small audience at the Norman & Annette Rothstein Theatre.

      Tickets for the livestream are available on the Chutzpah! Festival website.

      "Gratefully, we are still able to proceed with the virtual performances for this show where you will have the opportunity to watch from the comfort of your own home," the Chutzpah! Festival said in a statement.

      "If you are a ticketholder for either of these performances, you will be contacted soon with your ticketing options and our offer to convert your tickets for virtual online tickets to replace your in-person tickets that you had already purchased," it continued. "The pandemic has significantly impacted the performing arts this year, and your support is needed more than ever. If you can donate the full amount of the difference in the price of the tickets, we thank you in advance for your generosity."

      Alvin Erasga Tolentino is celebrating the 20th anniversary of Co. Erasga with Offering.

      Offering takes dance into spiritual realm

      A second world dance premiere, Co. Erasga's Offering, was going to be launched at the Anvil Centre for a two-day run on November 28 and 29.

      It coincides with the 20th anniversary of the Vancouver dance company founded by Alvin Erasga Tolentino.

      But due to the provincial health order, it's also going to be available by livestream instead at 3 p.m. on each day. 

      Tolentino appeared on the cover of the Straight's Fall Arts Preview in September. At that time, he discussed the challenges of creating Offering with six dancers in what was originally going to be an ensemble.

      Because of the requirement for physical distancing in rehearsals—no touching was allowed—it evolved into six solos exploring the spiritual relationship between the body and the cosmos.

      “Can the body do that in dance? Can dance do that? Can movements do that? Can it be a prayer?” Tolentino asked.

      Offering will be performed by dancers Molly McDermott, Olivia Shaffer, Marissa Wong, Joshua Ongcol, Marc Arboleda, and Antonio Somera.

      Tickets are available on the Co. Erasga website.

      An illustration of Alvin Erasga Tolentino appeared on the cover of the Georgia Straight Fall Arts Preview.