Dancing on the Edge is back with the best of contemporary dance

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Dancing on the Edge Festival of Contemporary Dance | various venues - Firehall Arts Centre, Stanley Park, SFU Woodward’s World Music Studio | July 6 to 15, 2017  

Always celebrating the best in local and Canadian contemporary dance, Dancing on the Edge returns for a 29th year to present a unique program of innovative new works from near and far. The festival predominantly features local and Canadian artists, with a special presentation from the Beijing Modern Dance Company to open the festival. With so much on the program, it may be hard to know which shows to check out. This list provides just a taste of what the festival has to offer; we hope it helps you find the perfect show for you.

Best Show for those who like variety: Edges 1-7 by various artists

The “Edge” mixed bill programs are the heart and soul of the festival and feature two to three pieces of dance at once. These grab bags of contemporary dance often feature hidden gems and always provide a varied mix of styles. For example, Edge 1 features an intense duet by Tedd Robinson, a solo about her identity as an Asian woman by Yvonne Ng, and a physical interpretation of the meeting of a stick insect and a scorpion by Chick Snipper. 

Best show for those looking for international dance: Oath-Midnight Rain by Beijing Modern Dance Company

This show is said to be an exploration of Buddhist Samsara (the cycle of death and rebirth) and features five characters: a flower, grass, a bird, an insect, and a fish. The Beijing Modern Dance Company, formed in 1995, is relatively young but has toured extensively to many international dance festivals. The company is known for their melding of tradition with modern dance movement and arresting sets and costumes. This is sure to be unlike anything we’ve seen in Vancouver before.  

Best show for those who like to party: No Fun by Helen Simard

Contrary to what the title might suggest, this show is sure to be a blast — even though the description warns, “This show contains coarse language, bad attitudes, awkward silences, blinding lights, wailing guitars, underpants, and absolutely NO FUN.” Inspired by the music and movement of Iggy Pop, how could it not be fun? Featuring three dancers and four musicians, this show is a loud, hard-hitting force of nature that will shatter expectations and take you on an interdisciplinary journey that rocks.   

Best show for those who love the outdoors: Thunderbird Sharing Ceremony by Aeriosa Dance Society/Spakwus Slulem 

Set in the heart of the Stanley Park forest, this is a collaborative performance between Aeriosa Dance and Spakwus Slulem/Eagle Song. The ceremony by local Squamish, Musqueam and Tsleil-Waututh artists as well as Indigenous artists from elsewhere will be spiritually moving, and Aeriosa’s aerial dancers will captivate with their gravity defying choreography. Ancient forests and traditions combine with contemporary dance and inter-cultural collaboration to create this unique spectacle.

Best show for film lovers: EDGE Films: Best of F-O-R-M

This special one night only event is a screening of selected international, Canadian and local films from the Festival of Recorded Movement. F-O-R-M took place in June at SFU Woodward’s and featured the on-screen movement of athletes, dancers and other movement practitioners who have used film to creatively showcase their own form of movement. Over two days of screenings, the festival presented 27 films from 11 countries. This Dancing on the Edge screening will be a selection of the best of those films.

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