The Dance Current ~Roots and Wings
Now celebrating his twelfth year as artistic director of Winnipeg’s Contemporary Dancers (WCD), Brent Lott has brought his wealth of experience working with other significant Canadian artists to the Prairies. At WCD, Lott celebrates Winnipeg’s dance roots while lifting up a new generation of dancers. Read More »Holly Harris met with Lott to discuss his tenure at WCD, the importance of Winnipeg’s dance roots and his desire to support and lift up a new generation of dancers. This December he premieres a new full-length work, As Though I had Wings, inspired by the poetry of Jaik Josephson, who is also his partner. This work initially grew out of Lott’s deepening concern over increasing public and political censorship and how certain communities are effectively silenced by crushing political forces – drawing a comparison, for example, to the tragic dismissal and denial of members of the LGBTQ community during the early, panic-fuelled days of the AIDS crisis. In addition to his own work and ensuring the continued vitality of WCD, Lott hopes his legacy will be the new generation of dance artists he has shepherded into the profession through projects such as Verge, a developmental company for students emerging from the School of Contemporary Dancers. ~Les Prairies sont un terreau fertile pour les danseurs au Canada, et Brent Lott figure parmi le talent de la région. Il célèbre actuellement sa douzième année comme directeur artistique de Winnipeg’s Contemporary Dancers (WCD). Holly Harris rencontre Lott pour discuter son travail à WCD, l’importance de l’histoire de la danse à Winnipeg et son soutien d’une nouvelle génération de danseurs. En décembre, il présente sa dernière création intégrale As Though I Had Wings, inspirée par la poésie de son conjoint Jaik Josephson. Le processus est nourri de ses craintes en regard de la censure publique et politique et du silence imposé à certaines communautés par des forces politiques oppressantes. Il trace un parallèle au désaveu tragique des membres de la communauté LGBTQ pendant les débuts paniqués de la crise du VIH/SIDA. En plus de son travail chorégraphique et son dévouement à la vitalité des WCD, Lott espère léguer à l’art une nouvelle génération d’artistes de danse qu’il aura guidée dans le métier par des projets comme Verge, une compagnie de transition pour les élèves diplômés de la School of Contemporary Dancers. Brent Lott and Winnipeg choreographer Ming Hon / Photo by Leif Norman
NYE with WCD
WCD will hold our AGM on Monday October 24th at the Rachel Browne Theatre at 7:00pm.
Cyndi Forcand recognized by the Provincial Council of Women as a woman to celebrate!
Cyndi Forcand our Treasurer,colleague,and friend, recognized by the Provincial Council of Women as a woman to celebrate!
For over twenty years, Cyndi has shared with other LEAF Manitoba volunteers the vision of, and work toward, true Equality for women and girls!
As you know, one of the priorities of responsible governance is financial accountability. Cyndi, with exemplary honesty, reliability, and many volunteered hours ensured that the Board had comprehensive, detailed information in support of this role. As Treasurer, she was involved in the financial aspects of all activities, in particular with the annual educational and fund-raising Breakfast. With this special event, her participation included Chairing and Co-Chairing. As a Board Director, Cyndi brought an open, frank, respectful approach to discussion and decision making.
Cyndi attributes the development of her interest in social justice to her work with the National Film Board during its glory days when the focus was on social analyses and progressive change, with “wonderful” documentaries, Studio D and equality for women, etc. An added benefit offered by NFB was their flexibility as to when one’s paid work was carried out, and their encouragement of volunteer community involvement. While at NFB, Cyndi’s creativity was evidenced in her development of a special unique boutique and the engagement of volunteers to staff it.
Cyndi’s other major volunteer contributions include 20 years on the Contemporary Dancers Board of Directors. Reflecting her love of dance, she served the organization as Treasurer, President, and in raising dollars for a venue. As a marketing committee member with The Manitoba Horse Council, Cyndi pursued her love of horses, and advanced the work of the Council.
At the age of 19, she enrolled in a law course. As an unanticipated result, the instructor, Ian, became her life long partner! Together, they enjoy travel, movies, golf and art. Since her retirement, mahjong has captured Cyndi’s attention, and she has recruited friends to share this during social times together. Cyndi does enjoy socializing and entertaining. She is one of the friendliest, most outgoing women I know, yet in her volunteer involvement she chooses to work “behind the scenes,” absolutely abhors and refuses to engage in public speaking.
I hope this has helped you to begin to know Cyndi, a strong, modest, and caring woman, partner, friend, volunteer who, without any public recognition, has contributed hundreds and hundreds of hours to making our community better.
I encourage you to express to her the appreciation and celebration we share!
MB W.I S E. Board Chair
WCD is working hard to produce a truly engaging 2016/17 season. It will be officially announced in early September however a little bird told me that you should save October 7th or 8th to join us for the 1st show of the season, The Moon at Midnight (part of WCD’s annual Prairie Dance Circuit show). Choreographed by Edmonton’s Amber Borotsik this inter-generational and inter-ability performance examines the inner truth of lived experience and explodes it out in cinematic fashion. An intersection between dance, theatre and sound The Moon at Midnight is a love letter to physical truth and … to monster movies!
Photo Credit: PK Photography
Winnipeg’s Contemporary Dancers
WCD 2016 SUMMER SCHOOL
Rachel Browne Theatre 204-211 Bannatyne Ave
August 22nd to 26th & August 29th September 2nd.
10:00am – Noon Technique with Johanna Riley
1:00pm – 3:00pm Contact Improv with Ali Robson
Full session $175
Technique only $100
Contact Improv $100
Drop In $13/class
Space is limited to 20 participants so register early! Participants include those entering the senior professional program. You can reserve a spot with a $40 deposit and pay the balance on the first day of class.
Source: Winnipeg’s Contemporary Dancers
OUTSIDE THE BOX WITH WINNIPEG’S CONTEMPORARY DANCERS
ON SALE NOW!11 / 04 / 16
With the launch of our newest philanthropy piece for Winnipeg’s Contemporary Dancers, we wanted to give you a little more background on the piece itself by speaking with Brent Lott, Artistic Director of WCD. Find out why contemporary dance is an essential part of the community, how the necklace itself represents the field, and a bit about the WCD’s upcoming performance of DUETS.
CAN YOU EXPLAIN TO OUR READERS WHAT CONTEMPORARY DANCE IS AND ITS IMPORTANCE IN OUR COMMUNITY?
Contemporary dance is a vital and provocative genre that propels the art form forward through innovation and experimentation. Sometimes referred to as modern dance, this artistic practice uses the whole body as its canvas. There is no set movement syllabus or definitive style but an openness to all the possibilities inherent in the wonders of the human body. How, where and why the body moves is determined by the choreographers’ interests, intentions and/or questions. At its finest, contemporary dance arouses curiosity, stimulates discussion, challenges how we see and understand the world and provokes change in how we interact with each other and our environment.
As you can tell, I believe there are many reasons why contemporary dance is important. I would like, however, to expand on how modern dance propels the art form forward. Contemporary dance attracts creators who are risk takers; those who think ‘Outside the Box’. What our audiences experience at a modern dance performance can be seen years (20-40) later in large Concert Hall-like venues being performed by ballet companies. It takes time, money and embracing the possibility of failure to innovate. In dance the trajectory that leads to the big stage often begins with contemporary dance. So if you are interested in this continuum; if you like the idea of experiencing the exhilaration of birthing, I encourage you to think ‘Outside the Box’ and check out some contemporary dance.
HOW DOES THE PIECE REFLECT YOUR ORGANIZATION?
With this necklace Hilary Druxman has perfectly captured what contemporary dance is! What began as a conversation about who WCD is and how contemporary dance fits into the vast and varied world of dance, became a piece of jewelry; a work of art itself. Hilary has transformed a philosophical discussion into a necklace. I see the square portion as being the wider artistic form, dance. I see the triangular portion, that is suspended by the form, as contemporary dance. The triangle, like contemporary dance, dangles (or dabbles) “Outside the Box”, catching and casting light as it moves through time and space. It is perfect! I cannot thank Hilary enough.
WHAT DO YOU HOPE THIS NECKLACE WILL DO FOR YOUR ORGANIZATION?
Stimulate conversation! If this necklace can get people to discuss how it evokes contemporary dance then I am more than pleased. If those discussions lead to new audiences, I will be even happier!
YOU MUST BE EXCITED ABOUT WCD’S UPCOMING PERFORMANCE DUETS. CAN YOU TELL US ABOUT THE SHOW?
DUETS is, as the title suggests, a program of works for two dancers. I am extremely excited for this show as it sees the return of two choreographers who got their start creating in Winnipeg; former WCD Artistic Director Tedd Robinson and former WCD dancer Lesandra Dodson. Robinson’s work, a world premiere commissioned by Winnipeg’s dancing dynamo, Alexandra Elliot, opens the evening with an intoxicatingly mythic duet performed by Elliot and Ian Mozden. Dodson’s duet, TWIGS, is a riveting world premiere performed by WCD dancers Ali Robson and Aaron Paul. Set to original music and text performed live by one of Winnipeg’s favourite singer/songwriters, Christine Fellows, TWIGS will be a feast for the eyes and ears. The third work programmed for the evening is the remount of my 2012 duet, ANGLE OF REPOSE. I originally made this duet for a man (Mark Medrano) and a woman (Kayla Henry). This time however, it is being performed by two woman. Why you ask?…Because it’s 2016! You will not want to miss what WCD dancers Jasmine Allard and Alexandra Winters pull off with this extremely physical duet that explores with bodies ‘the maximum slope, measured in degrees from the horizontal, at which loose solid material will remain in place without sliding’ or, the ANGLE OF REPOSE.
ANY TIPS FOR ASPIRING DANCERS?
Think ‘Outside the Box’!
DUETS runs April 21st – 23rd at The Rachel Browne Theatre at 8pm. Get involved in the world of contemporary dance and enjoy something new that may be outside your box by purchasing your tickets to this fantastic show.
“Logarian Rhapsody”, April 5 2016
DUETS ‘Logarian Rhapsody’
An invitation from WCD and the amazing Alex Elliott.
Friends, Family and Community,I would like to personally invite you to attend a very special performance of Tedd Robinson’s work, ‘Logarian Rhapsody’, performed by myself and Ian Mozdzen, with music composed by Charles Quevillon.I commissioned Tedd to create this piece in the fall and the four of us lived together in Tedd’s beautiful home in the countryside of Québéc. We ate, we worked, we walked, we talked. It was an incredible time.
Duets runs April 21-23rd at 8pm at the Rachel Browne Theatre -Tickets on sale now!
Gearshifting Performance Works presents HAPPYLAND
April 15-17, 2016 at The Rachel Browne Theatre in Winnipeg
Friday, April 15 and Saturday, April 16 @ 8:00pm
Sunday, April 17 @ 4:00pm
So what’s HAPPYLAND about? Check out our promo video to get a taste of what we are working on.
Choreography: Jolene Bailie
Lighting: Hugh Conacher
Sound: Susan Chafe
Dancers: Elise Page, Ian Mozdzen, Helene Le Moullec Mancini, Leelee Davis, Krista Nicholson, Jillian Groening, Camila Schujman
Happyland is created with support from The Manitoba Arts Council and The Winnipeg Arts Council.
Please note: This performance is not suitable for younger audiences. Mature themes, coarse language.
Running time: approximately one hour
Purchase advance tickets with a credit card or paypal at gearshifting.org
Tickets also available at the venue, one hour prior to performances. Cash only at the door please.
Tickets: $25 regular, $20 students/seniors/industry
The Rachel Browne Theatre is located at 211 Bannatyne (at Main Street) in the Exchange District.