Dance around the Valley with events

Dance is an art form with significant impact on our culture — today it is everywhere from flash mobs on the street to reality television.

Dance is an art form with significant impact on our culture — today it is everywhere from flash mobs on the street to reality television.

If you enjoy programs like So You Think You Can Dance, you are sure to enjoy Mascall Dance: Nail to House, a Sid Williams Theatre Society presentation on Nov. 3 at 7:30 p.m.

Nail to House has two parts: the first, an informal talk that is a window to the art form of dance, and the second, a performance of Homewerk, the critically acclaimed contemporary dance piece that tells a story about the universality of home and belonging.

The informal talk will provide insight into the narrative and movement of Homewerk, explaining the creation process of the piece. The narrative of Homewerk is both personal and universal, making it a uniquely accessible forum to talk about dance.

Those new to dance will find the information very educational, while those already students of dance will delight in the perspective and rich details of the creation process.

Homewerk is an educational dance piece that inspires and entertains through stories of home from around the world. It stems from over 18 years of research on home and belonging. Dance is used as a medium for storytelling to engage our ideas of home, including shelter, comfort, and acceptance, in creative and physical ways.

Four dancers tell stories through words and choreographed movement, using cardboard props that create vivid imagery as they transform from houses into villages, to screens at an airport to medieval gowns. Buildings are created and destroyed, flattened and climbed.

“I saw a preview of this performance at Pacific Contact [an annual industry conference in Vancouver] a few years ago and it has stuck in my mind. The sets are incredibly inventive and the story a powerful one. Even if you’re not involved with dance anyone would enjoy the spectacular artistry of this piece,” says Joanne Mills, the Sid Williams Theatre Society’s event co-ordinator about programming the Mascall Dance performance.

Mascall Dance was formed in 1989 to realize the ideas and original work of choreographer Jennifer Mascall.

The overall artistic objective of Mascall Dance is to provide a forum for research, creation, performance, education, documentation and dissemination of contemporary dance and related disciplines. The company places a high priority on mentoring emerging artists and new choreographers.

Mascall Dance: Nail to House happens at the Sid Williams Theatre on Nov. 3 at 7:30 p.m. in Courtenay. Tickets can be purchased at the Sid ticket centre, by phone 250-338-2430 or online at www.sidwilliamstheatre.com.

• • •

The public is invited to attend two free events presented by the Sid Williams Theatre Society and made possible by the support of Made in BC: Dance on Tour.

An Evening of Dance and Learning on Oct. 30 at the Comox Valley Art Gallery at 7:30 p.m. features a free performance by many local dancers in varied styles of dance.

Jade de Trey, local dance outreach co-ordinator for the presentation, explains, “I asked many local dancers to perform in their particular style and then share a bit about their dance, why they enjoy it, its history and perhaps explain some of the movements.

“Sometimes it can be challenging for an audience to understand dance because of its abstract form. Perhaps this combination of performance and talk will help people feel a greater understanding of what they are watching.”

Some of the dance styles featured are capoeira, contemporary, contact improvisation, belly dance, hoop dance, ecstatic dance, Cuban salsa, swing, and bachata.

An award-winning choreographer and performer, Mascall Dance’s artistic director Jennifer Mascall will teach a free workshop on experiential anatomy and the creative process Nov. 2 at the Abbey Studio in Cumberland (corner of First Street and Penrith Avenue).

“My interest is the body. Finding places in the body that lead us to dancing,” Mascall says.

“Why was the waltz so shocking when it arrived in the 18th century? A man put his hand around the waist of another person.

“But to really fly while waltzing you need to release the back of your heart into the stranger’s hand. Quite an intimate thing to do in public. The creative process part is how to take a detailed part of your anatomy and express it from there, from that place, in movement.”

To register and for more information, contact Jade de Trey at 250-400-0842 or visit www.sidwilliamstheatre.com/season.

— Sid Williams Theatre

 

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