O Canada

By Fuhrer, Margaret; Levy, Monica | Dance Spirit, May/June 2009 | Go to article overview

O Canada


Fuhrer, Margaret, Levy, Monica, Dance Spirit


OUR NEIGHBOR TO THE NORTH HAS A RED-HOT DANCE SCENE! HERE'S A SURVEY OF THE COUNTRY'S DANCESCAPE, EH?

Seattle, WA, to Vancouver, BC: two and a half hours. Burlington, VT, to Montréal, QC: two hours. Buffalo, NY, to Toronto, ON: one hour, 45 minutes! Canada's just across the border - and from ballet to modern, hip hop to tap, this ginormous nation is flush with dance offer- ings. Plus, dance in Canada is remarkably well funded by organizations like the Canada Council for the Arts, and with the recession making gigs in the U.S. increasingly hard to find, now might be the perfect time to explore options abroad (especially when "abroad" is just a few hours away). You asked us about Canadian dance- here's the scoop!

The Banff Centre's Professional Dance Summer Program

Tucked away in the mountains of Calgary's Banff National Park, The Banff Centre has been inspiring artists for almost 75 years. The Centre's Professional Dance summer program offers an elite group of ballet students- chosen by the artistic directors of top ballet companies-four weeks oi intensive summer training, capped by a week of performances, banffcentre.ca/theatre/ dance

Les Ballets Jazz de Montreal

(BJM Danse)

With a group of super-talented, versatile dancers and a repertory that includes works by Mia Michaels, Aszure Barton, luv Mclntyre and Canada's own Crystal Pite, it's no wonder that BJM Danse has a huge international fan base, bjmdanse.ca

James Kudelka...

It's hard to name a ballet company in North America that Ontario-born James Kudelka hasn't choreographed for. From full-length story ballets to abstract pieces, and from The National Ballet of Canada to the American Ballet Theatre, this Officer of the Order of Canada has done it all.

Les Grands Ballets Canathens de Montréal

Nearly forty dancers strong, with a repertory that ranges from classics like The Nutcracker to avant-garde works by Mats Ek and Jií Kvlian. 50-year-old Les Grands Ballets Canathens de Montréal has something for everyone, grandsballets.com

"The Canadian dance scene has so much to offer! It's really picked up in recent years- there's a great modern scene in Montréal, and then the west has a lot of hip hop and commercial dance. Canadian authences are increasingly interested in dance, too, which is exciting."

-Christina Buclie uf BMJ Danse

La La La Human Steps

Edgy, Montreal-based La La La Human Steps, which has worked with musicians like David Bowie and Frank Zappa, has a signature move: the barrel jump, a horizontal pirouette in the air. Édouard Lock, the company's founder and artistic director, asks his dancers to do sports training to build up the stamina and power required for his high-energy choreography. IaIaIa humansteps.com

The National Ballet of Canada

Founded in 1951, The National Ballet of Canada is the country's largest classical ballet company, with a roster of more than 70 dancers and a repertory that ranges from big story ballets like Giselle to push-theenvelope contemporary pieces. The company is also a hub for new talent, like 22-year-old corps de ballet member Plena Lobsanova, who represented NBC at the Eighth International Competition tor the Erik Bruhn Prize this March, national. ballet.ca

BALLET LEGEND

Prima ballerina of The National Ballet of Canada for 28 years and frequent partner of Rudolf Nureyev, Karen Kain is one of the most famous dancers ever to come out of Canada. Today, Kain is the artistic director of The National Ballet of Canada.

"There's a wonderful dance scene all across the country, from small regional companies to larger groups. It's a rich dance tapestry."

-Karen Kain

Canada's Royal Winnipeg Ballet

Why is this troupe- the longest continuously operating company in North America- "royal"? Because Queen Elizabeth II of England granted it that title in 1953, 14 years after it was founded! …

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