Highlights of this year’s Vancouver International Dance Festival

LiftUp-Sebastian Pena

The Canadian premieres of Possible Impossible and Crisálida, two co-productions from Sweden’s Memory Wax and Cuba’s Danza Teatro Retazos, are among the highlights of this year’s Vancouver International Dance Festival.

From Feb. 28 – March 19, the 2016 VIDF will host dancers from Sweden, Cuba, Japan, Quebec, Ontario, and Vancouver in an impressive array of world, West Coast, and Canadian premieres. Here are some highlights.

Compagnie Virginie Brunelle: Foutrement (March 3 – 5, Roundhouse Performance Centre, 181 Roundhouse Mews) – The Quebec contemporary dance company makes its West Coast premiere with Foutrement. The production draws inspiration from classical ballet, with three dancers, a man and two women, playing the game of seduction.

Natsu Nakajima: Like Smoke Like Ash (March 8 – 9, Roundhouse Performance Centre) – The Japanese butoh artist, now in her seventies, performs in this West Coast premiere. Nakajima studied under butoh’s founders Tatsumi Hijikata and Kazuo Ohno.

Kokoro Dance: Book of Love (March 9, Vancouver Playhouse, 600 Hamilton St.) – The Vancouver dance company, which recently celebrated its 30th anniversary, presents an encore performance of their Book of Love. Hailed as “fresh, strange, and wildly engaging” (Georgia Straight), the full-length work features an original composition by Jeffrey Ryan performed live by chamber orchestra Standing Wave.

Memory Wax/Retazos: Possible Impossible/Crisálida (March 11 & 12, Vancouver Playhouse) – These Canadian premieres from Sweden’s Memory Wax and Cuba’s Retazos showcase the rhythms of Cuba along with surreal imagery via masks, props, and video projection. The piece Possible Impossible deals with time and space, challenging our awareness of reality, while Crisálida uses pantomime, hip-hop, and folklore to create larger-than-life characters.


EDAM: The Secret Life of Trees (March 10-12, Roundhouse Performance Centre) – Vancouver’s EDAM dance company presents the world premiere of a piece inspired by the West Coast rainforest.

The festival also features a variety of free-for-member performances. Membership is included in the price of 8 p.m. tickets or can be purchased separately for $3 and allows entry to shows in the Roundhouse Exhibition Hall throughout the run of the Festival. Roundhouse Exhibition Hall performances include Circadia Indigena, Sujit Vaidya, Project Soul, and dumb instrument Dance.

Additionally, there will be FREE performances by Mascall Dance and Raven Spirit at the Woodward’s Atrium. Visit VIDF.ca for tickets and details.

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