Vancouver International Dance Festival presents diverse array of local and international artists

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Vancouver International Dance Festival | Vancouver Playhouse, Roundhouse Performance Centre, Scotiabank Dance Centre, KW Production Studio, Woodward’s Atrium | March 1 – 24

Presenting both local and international talent on Vancouver stages, the Vancouver International Dance Festival (VIDF) returns for a three-week festival of performances, workshops, and other activities.

Three Canadian premieres are highlights of the festival: New York’s contemporary company White Wave Dance, Mexico’s Compañía de Danza Experimental de Lola Lince, and Hungary’s Ferenc Fehér. New York’s Shen Wei Dance Arts appears in their western Canadian premiere, along with a West Coast premiere from Montreal’s Lucie Grégoire Danse. Local choreographer Amber Funk Barton/the response. Will present a world premiere. Read on for a list of all the enriching performances on offer at VIDF.

Shen Wei Dance Arts (New York)

Folding and Rite of Spring

Vancouver Playhouse, March 2 & 3, 8pm

Widely celebrated for their mesmerizing movement, striking beauty and elegant expression, New York based contemporary dance company Shen Wei Dance Arts will leave an indelible impression with their Western Canadian premiere. They will present two dazzling pieces by Artistic Director and Choreographer Shen Wei.

Folding, an otherworldly dreamscape set to Tibetan Buddhist chanting melded with the ethereal melodies of John Tavener, is a work of captivating simplicity and control that showcases Shen Wei’s genius. Rite of Spring is a compelling abstract interpretation of a two-piano version of Stravinsky’s iconic score, creating a fascinating physical calligraphy. The dancers spiral and swirl across the stage with an exuberance and lyricism that celebrates the dancers’ athleticism and exhilarating artistry.

Amber Funk Barton / the response.


Scotiabank Dance Centre, March 1 & 2, 8pm March 3, 2pm & 8pm

As part of VIDF and the response.’s 10th Anniversary season, Vancouver’s own Amber Funk Barton performs her first full-length solo in the world premiere of VAST. The rhythm of the body is relentless and its relationship to the universe is constant. The properties found in our blood and bones are also present in the stars. Inspired by personal travels and universal space, VAST is an ode to the explorer that resides in all of us and represents the traveler and the dreamer who wonders what resides beyond the edge.

Amber Funk Barton endeavors to create a performance experience that is both personal yet universal, using the medium of dance to celebrate the uncertainty and duality of human life that is both powerless and mighty.

Dancers Dancing (Vancouver)


Roundhouse Exhibition Hall, March 8 to 10, 7pm

Confabulation is inspired by memory and lives well lived. Choreographed by Judith Garay and performed by Jane Osborne, Bevin Poole and Garay, the piece adheres to the Tennesse Williams quote that “…life is all memory, except for the present moment…” Threads of thought and memory ferment inside the work, filled with struggle, tenacity and joy. Confabulation lives on the edges of mind and memory – looking back to see tomorrow and yesterday. It is grounded in uncertainty and the belief that false memories and imagination are an ineluctable aspect of our past and bring multiple dimensions to our present.

EDAM (Vancouver)

Hindsight, Sinking SuZi, and Engage the Feeling Arms

Roundhouse Performance Centre, March 8 to 10, 8pm

Three stirring works will showcase the creative highlights of EDAM’s Artistic Director Peter Bingham’s illustrious career, which has spanned over four decades: Hindsight is a seminal work originally created in 1995, and reveals Bingham’s evolution as a choreographer. Loaded with imagery of sadness and longing, dancers Kelly McInnes and Olivia Shaffer are like birds that have forgotten how to fly as each movement evokes a sense of heartache and loss.

Originally commissioned by Ziyian Kwan in 2002, Sinking SuZi was reworked in 2009 and will see its third incarnation at this year’s festival. Kwan will perform in this sparse and elegant study of physical presence, which speaks to the evolving mentorship between Bingham and Kwan: teacher to student, choreographer to interprète and most recently, artist to artist.

Performed by Walter Kubanek, Diego Romero and Olivia Shaffer, Engage the Feeling Arms is representative of Bingham’s current work. A complex and constantly fluctuating piece, this dance is about shifting relationships, fluidity, shared imagery, and dynamic physicality.

Goh Ballet (Vancouver)

Selections from Paquita, Persuit, Pas de Trois from Swan Lake, Four Little Swans from Swan Lake, Winter from The Four Seasons, and The Bureau

Roundhouse Exhibition Hall, March 15 to 17, 7pm

With a wide-ranging and ever-expanding repertoire that encompasses classical and contemporary ballet, jazz, character, and national dance, the Goh Ballet enjoys international acclaim. The company’s performance at VIDF will include a diverse evening of dance featuring classical selections from Paquita and Swan Lake staged by Olga Iakovlevskaya and Yao Ping Zhu. Contemporary selections include Persuit choreographed by Monica Proenca; Winter from The Four Seasons choreographed by Adonis Daukaev; and The Bureau choreographed by Monica Proenca.

White Wave Dance Company (New York)


Roundhouse Performance Centre, March 15 to 17, 8pm

VIDF is pleased to present the Canadian premiere of White Wave Dance’s iyouuswe. Born from an exciting collaboration between WHITE WAVE’s artistic director, Young Soon Kim, and its nine dazzling dancers, iyouuswe has been hailed by Backstage as “an extremely well crafted, visually stunning, and emotionally rich work.” Scored to original music by long time collaborator Ki Young, this uninterrupted 65-minute journey will challenge audiences to examine who we are and how we relate to ourselves, and to each other. It is a story about developing meaningful relationships where we struggle to seek a sense of ‘i’ as part of a ‘we’.

Ferenc Fehér (Hungary)


Roundhouse Exhibition Hall, March 20 to 21, 7pm

Choreographed, composed and performed by Ferenc Fehér, the Canadian premiere of IMAGO is an award winning tour-de-force that investigates questions of masculinity and emotion. Fehér’s signature combination of freestyle dance, animal movements, and contemporary dance create an engrossing experience of primal vulnerability and raw emotion. IMAGO was featured in the 19th Contemporary Dance Festival in Veszprém, Hungary where Fehér was presented with the Special Award. He also received the Special Mention of the Jury Prize in Choreography at the 2017 Masdanza International Contemporary Dance Festival of The Canary Islands for another work entitled The Station.

Lucie Grégoire Danse (Montreal)

Les Choses dernières

Roundhouse Performance Centre, March 20 to 22, 8pm

Lucie Grégoire presents the West Coast premiere of Les Choses dernières, an emotional work freely inspired by Paul Auster’s novel, In the Country of Last Things, which enjoyed its world premiere at l’Agora de la danse in 1994. Acclaimed dancer Isabelle Poirier performs in this remount and becomes a woman emerging from the night, as if from a hidden, obscure territory. Her gestures promise to scrutinize time; her body is ever poised to flee, to the point of transparency. In ‘the country of last things’ where everything is disintegrating, she keeps wandering, impelled by the urgency of survival. Lighting by Alain Lortie and music by Robert M. Lepage will enhance this work, enveloping the stage in a cinematic aura filled with a veiled, yet inflamed sensuality.

The Biting School (Vancouver)

Disagreable Tales

Roundhouse Exhibition Hall, March 22 to 24, 7pm

Co-founded in 2015 by multi-disciplinary artists and brothers Arash and Aryo Khakpour, The Biting School specializes in dance, theatre, and performance art that explores social dynamics, historical roots, and political issues on a physical and visceral level. Inspired by a compilation of Christian moral tales written by Leon Bloy, Disagreeable Tales is an exploration of the violence, cruelty, and perversions in and around us. The piece raises the following questions: Where in our bodies does the sensation of this history of violence lie? What are the possible ways we could face this violence in order to acknowledge it? Perhaps in this acknowledgment maybe we find a moment of vague solidarity.

Compañía de Danza Experimental de Lola Lince (Mexico)

Estudios y Fragmentos Sobre el Sueño (Studies and Fragments on Dreams)

Roundhouse Performance Centre, March 23 & 24, 8pm

Choreographed by Natsu Nakajima and Lola Lince and making its anticipated Canadian premiere, Estudios y Fragmentos Sobre el Sueño explores the dichotomies of light and shadow, night and day, northern and southern hemispheres, wakefulness and sleep. Dreams, as an inexhaustible creative source, provide the inspiration for mesmerizing journey into the subconscious expressed through movement.

pataSola dance (Vancouver)


KW Production Studio, March 22 to 24, 5pm

In this compelling world premiere, pataSola dance mixes elements of Flamenco and Butoh with archetype, myth, and legend in response to global femicide. RIFT bears witness to the deep pain of women everywhere who address the loss and harm of gender violence in order to restore awareness and advocate for change.

Inspired by the power of Butoh and the Cante Hondo (deep song) in flamenco, this work explores the lament and struggle associated with the search for collective renewal.


For tickets and more information, visit

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