Dance Dialogues 2004
by Amy Bowring
CSDS/SCED, the Canada Dance Festival and The Dance Current worked in partnership this spring to produce Dance Dialogues 2004, a series of dance literacy activities held in Ottawa from June 3-14, 2004 during the Canada Dance Festival (CDF). The project consisted of a national conference, post-performance discussions, a discussion panel on Le Groupe Dance Lab and Carol's Dance Notes. Dance Dialogues became a much discussed component of the festival as people gathered in the National Arts Centre Fountain Room several mornings and evenings during the festival.
For three mornings, festival attendees gathered to hear a range of lively discussions that incorporated papers by CSDS/SCED members as well as presentations by the authors commissioned to write articles for a new book edited by Brian Webb. Papers primarily reflected the artists and works presented at this year's edition of CDF but also included Laban Movement Analysis of Jean-Pierre Perreault's Joe, a lecture-demonstration on classical Indian dance, and a discussion of dance animation projects in Canada.
Presenters and papers:
- Philip Szporer - Expanded Creativity
- Gurney Bolster and Sylvie Pinard - Duality, Plurality and Transformation: An Analysis of JOE, by Jean-Pierre Perreault
- Max Wyman - Evelyn Hart and Rex Harrington: Souls at Risk
- Brian Webb - Creativity and Celebration: A Meditation on Dance Through the Work of Lock and Fortier
- Anne-Marie Gaston - Reading Creativity Within the Context of South Asian Dance Forms
- Kate Cornell - Crystal Pite: Passion Overdrive
- Su-Lin Tseng - Kaeja d'Dance: Asylum of Spoons, The Creative Process Throughout the Choreography
- Zab Maboungou - Déplacements, en temps et lieux / Movements in Time and Space
- Myra Davies - The Pursuit of Hip
- Douglas D. Durand - "Dancing Our Stories": Personal Narratives from Dance Animation and Community Dance Projects in Canada
Post-performance discussions were held following all performances, excluding opening and closing nights, with moderators coming from the CSDS/SCED membership and The Dance Current's writers' pool. This extremely well-attended component of Dance Dialogues provided accessible in-depth analysis and discussion regarding each performance. Moderators were able to stimulate an informed discussion and audience members really appreciated the chance to connect with the artists immediately following the performances. The list of moderators consisted of:
- DanStaBat: Philip Szporer
- Les Ballets jazz de Montréal: Kate Cornell
- Anne Troake: Sara Porter
- Le Groupe Dance Lab: Megan Andrews, Amy Bowring, Brian Webb
- Fortier Danse-Création: Kaija Pepper
- Anik Bouvrette: Megan Andrews
- Theatre Flamenco: Bridget Cauthery
- Kaeja d'Dance: Brian Webb
- Compagnie Danse Nyata Nyata: Bridget Cauthery
Carol's Dance Notes
CSDS/SCED members Carol Anderson and Dance Collection Danse (DCD) were involved in Dance Dialogues through Carol's Dance Notes. Written by Carol Anderson and published by DCD for the past seven years, the successful Carol's Dance Notes have developed and educated audiences through Carol's insightful observations and descriptions of dance works. Dance Notes were inserted in playbills for performances by O Vertigo and Red Sky/Peter Chin.
Le Groupe Dance Lab Panel Discussion
Brian Webb moderated a discussion regarding the impact and experience of participation in Le Groupe Dance Lab's choreographic lab and mentoring process. Barbara Laskin, who has written a paper on Le Groupe for Brian Webb's upcoming publication, began the session by presenting a summary of her paper. Brian then opened the floor for a discussion between audience and panelists. Artists on the panel included previous Le Groupe choreographers, dancers and supporters: Karen Guttman, Rob Abubo, Yvonne Coutts, Michael Trent and Serge Bennathan. Many tributes were made regarding the success and importance of this choreographic lab and Lab founder (and co-founder of the Lab's previous incarnation, Le Groupe de la Place Royale) Peter Boneham was present in the audience and was able to pepper the discussion with humorous anecdotes and other insights.
Amy Bowring, a dance writer and historian, is the Research Coordinator at Dance Collection Danse, founder of CSDS/SCED and copy editor of The Dance Current.
Dance Dialogues 2004 acknowledges the support of the Canada Council for the Arts which last year invested $16.2 million in dance throughout Canada. / Dialogues sur la danse 2004 remercient de son soutien le Conseil des Arts du Canada, qui a investi 16,2 millions de dollars l'an dernier dans la danse à travers le Canada.
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