Flamenco dancer wins 2021 Vancouver International Dance Festival Choreographic Award

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      A local flamenco dancer has been named as this year's recipient of a Vancouver choreography award.

      At a presentation at KW Studios on May 23, Vancouver International Dance Festival coproducers Barbara Bourget and Jay Hirabayashi announced that the 2021 Vancouver International Dance Festival (VIDF) Choreographic Award of $2,300 will go to Vancouver contemporary flamenco dancer and choreographer Maria Avila.

      Bourget said that this Avilia is the fifth person to receive this award.

      The VIDF Choreographic Award is supported by the Larisa Fayad Memorial Fund, and Hirabayashi explained that Fayad was the VIDF technical director and associate lighting designer. Tragically, Fayad died in a plane crash in Thailand 2007. In her memory, her family and friends created an endowment fund for the festival to continue Fayad’s work by assisting the careers of lighting designers and choreographers. 

      The video presentation, which streams until Sunday (June 6), includes the short film “The Bull | El Toro”, directed by Audrey Bow. This visually striking film, featuring a performance by Avila, was shot beneath the Burrard Bridge to evoke elements of the bull ring (concrete and earth) and arose from Avila’s MFA thesis in dance at York University.

      The 21st season of the Vancouver International Dance Festival, which began on March 4, continues livestreaming from KW Studios at the VIDF website until June 20.

      Meanwhile in other dance news, the Dance Centre announced that Vancouver dancer Shion Skye Carter will receive the Iris Garland Emerging Choreographer Award.

      You can follow Craig Takeuchi on Twitter at @cinecraig or on Facebook.