Vancouver’s dance scene experiences a live October revival

Thanks to the B.C. Vaccine Card program, it's possible to return to various venues to see performances on-stage

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      The introduction B.C. Vaccine Card program could mean that dance lovers can enjoy live performances for the rest of the year. Wouldn’t that be something after spending much of the past 19 months watching livescreened performance?

      Not that there’s anything wrong with staying at home and watching world-class artists on a computer screen. It’s convenient and it’s often less expensive.

      But it’s also usually impossible to replicate the energy that people feel inside a performance hall. Plus when you’re seeing dance live, your eyes, rather than the camera operator’s, let you choose what to focus on.

      With this in mind, Here are five shows or programs worth considering.


      (The Anvil Centre, October 15 and 16)

      Co.ERASGA’s 20th-anniversary collection of solo works premiered online last November, but now this spiritual journey is available live. It’s choreographed by Alvin Erasga Tolentino and features him along with fellow dancers Joshua Ongcol, Olivia Shaffer, Marc Arboleda, Antonio Somera, Alison Denham, and Marissa Wong. “They are diverse and unique, as each offers a distinct style and personal quality,” Tolentino told the Straight in a cover story about him last year.

      Ever So Slightly

      (Vancouver Playhouse, October 21 to 23)

      DanceHouse will present RUBBERBAND artistic director Victor Quijada’s hip-hop infused show. It was supposed to be in Vancouver in March 2020, which was the same month the World Health Organization described COVID-19 as a pandemic. “RUBBERBAND’s electrifying energy and explosive athleticism will remind us what is so entirely special, so utterly inimitable about live performance—sweeping us up and connecting us together on an exhilarating journey,” said DanceHouse artistic and executive director Jim Smith in a news release announcing the performances.

      EDAM Fall 2021 Choreographic Series

      (Western Front, October 27, 29, and 30, and November 3, 5, and 6)

      The EDAM Performing Arts Society presents new, in-person dance works created by choreographers Peter Bingham, Kelly McInnes, and Marissa Wong. Bingham's scored improvisations will feature Anne Cooper, Francesca Frewer, Hayley Gawthrop, Arash Khakpour, Alex Mah, Diego Romero, Olivia Shaffer and Antonio Someral Jr.; McInnes's Arriving out of silence is an improvised score created with performers Natalie Tin Yin Gan, Joshua Ongcol, and  Roxanne Nesbitt, as well as Elissa Hanson; Wong's Family Room is a series of solos made in collaboration with artists Justin Calvadores, Stéphanie Cyr, Tamar Tabori, and Shana Wolfe. It's Wong's first show since becoming artistic director of The Falling Company.

      The Personal Element, Azoth

      (Vancouver Playhouse, October 29 and 30)

      The Vancouver International Dance Festival is bringing San Francisco-based Alonzo King LINES Ballet to Vancouver for two pieces. The first, The Personal Element, features eight dancers offering a “poetic invitation” to let audience members make a personal connection to the piece, which is set to a piano score by Jason Moran. The second, Azoth, refers to the name given to Mercury by ancient alchemists. “When it comes to dance, people need to drop all expectations and not expect it to look like anything they’ve seen already,” King told the Straight many years ago.

      Unfold + Give

      (Queen Elizabeth Theatre, November 4, 5, and 6)

      Ballet BC returns to live performance with world premieres of works by Ethan Colangelo (Stadium), Lesley Telford (Lean-to), and Company 605 (After We Glow). In addition, Ballet BC will present the North American live premiere of Medhi Walerski’s Garden. Walerski’s show has been nominated in the past for best production by Dance Europe. Garden is inspired by Camille Saint-Saëns’ Piano Quintet in A minor, Op. 14.