Member Spotlight: 2015

Dance Centre Member Spotlight: 2015

December 2015: MOVE: the company

Josh Beamish with Wendy Whelan; Photography by Daniel Robinson

Founded in 2005 by Artistic Director Joshua Beamish, Vancouver- based MOVE: the company is one of Western Canada’s most prolific ballet and contemporary dance companies. Beamish and MOVE: the company have performed throughout the globe at notable venues and festivals such as London’s The Royal Opera House, NYC’s Joyce Theater, The Baxter Festival in Cape Town, Montreal’s Tangente, Usine C and Studio 303, as well as the Vancouver International Dance Festival, Chutzpah Festival, Dancing on the Edge and as part of  The Dance Centre’s programming in Vancouver. Currently, Beamish is collaborating with The Royal Ballet to workshop a new version of the classic Giselle.

To kick off 2016, MOVE: the company will be premiering a full-length work for seven male dancers at the Actor's Fund Theater in New York, followed by the company’s annual Gala at the Roundhouse in Vancouver. You can catch Beamish’s new solo work at MovEnt's Dances for a Small Stage in February. To find out more about Joshua Beamish and other upcoming projects for MOVE: the company, visit

October 2015: Katie DeVries

Photography by Rob Trendiak

Katie DeVries is an independent, Vancouver based dancer and choreographer. Her works are intricately layered compositions; lucid, dynamic and sometimes humorous expressions of her imagination. Her creations have a strong theatrical sensibility, and her movement balances fine detail with forceful agility. Katie often finds inspiration in literature's observation of the world and in music's ability to expose hidden ideas.

With support from the Canada Council, Katie presented Feast at Dancing On The Edge in 2014. Katie has been a repeat guest choreographer at SFU, most recently, was invited to present her work Humble Violet for the fall repertory show. In 2015, Katie worked with Michael Kong in This Hallowed Space Has A Corridor for Dancing On the Edge and will be performing in a work by Daisy Thompson this fall for Dance In Vancouver. Katie is in early planning for a labyrinthine installation designed to be accessible to blind and visually impaired audiences. She is continuing her latest work, Two Great Truths for touring in 2016, as well as a new work called Natural Satellite, with Kimberly Stevenson, which will be presented at 12 Minutes Max in November, 2015.

September 2015: Vancouver Ballet Society

The Vancouver Ballet Society is a unique, non-profit organization that supports and revitalizes dance through its many educational initiatives. We offer Master Classes throughout the year with internationally recognized choreographers and dancers; we host an annual Spring Seminar, where we award a significant number of scholarships to aspiring dancers; and our library and archives are open to the public (by appointment). We also present an annual scholarship showcase, upcoming on November 8; please call the office at 604 681-1525 to reserve your tickets. In 2016, VBS will celebrate 70 years of fostering contemporary and classical dance.

One of our flagship programs is Dance International magazine, which we have published quarterly since 1977. With the magazine’s international stories and readership, we are proud to be supporting a wide, inclusive environment where dance of all kinds can exist beyond the stage, and to be supporting established and emerging writers from Vancouver, Canada and the world. Dance International will celebrate its 40th anniversary in 2017.  

August 2015: pataSola dance

Photographer Tonya Ng

pataSola dance was founded in 2013 by collaborators Eduardo Meneses-Olivar and Salome Nieto. Highly influenced by “Realismo Magico” and Butoh, pataSola’s work intersects the line between the material and spiritual worlds, exploring themes of ritual, myth and spirituality and their place within contemporary dance. The company strives to produce work that is challenging, provocative and innovative, collaborating with artists from diverse cultural backgrounds and of different stylistic genres to bring universality to their work. Prominent collaborations with spoken word artist Kagan Goh and poet Shauna Fowller, and musicians Adam Farnsworth and Nicholas Epperson are among the eclectic repertoire of pataSola dance. The company has performed locally and internationally at festivals in Mexico, Thailand and Argentina. This summer pataSola dance will be travelling to Argentina and Nicaragua to complete and present Metamorphosis Butoh directed by Gustavo Collini. In the fall, the company will begin their new creation Umbral – an exploration of death through a collage of dance, poetry, photography, film and music, set to premiere in Vancouver July 27-29, 2016 at the Roundhouse Performance Centre. |


July 2015: MISCELLANEOUS Productions

Photographer Chris Randle

Now in its 15th year, MISCELLANEOUS Productions is a community-engaged arts organization based in Vancouver, BC that serves and collaborates with culturally and socially diverse youth to create interdisciplinary performances. Under the artistic direction of Elaine Carol, the company aims to create works that will effect social change, and offer artistic opportunities to empower inner-city youth and inspire personal transformation. Dubbed as a “Glee with Grit” company, MISCELLANEOUS Productions merges high art, community development and popular culture in productions that incorporate contemporary and hip hop dance, live theatre, performance art, World music, and documentary films.

This August, MISCELLANEOUS Productions premiers Haunted House, a site-specific work of solo and ensemble pieces, taking place in and around an old Vancouver house in the West End at 1447 Barclay. The work uses art as a vehicle to confront the things that scare us most deeply, addressing how naming and telling stories about our fears can empower us to overcome that which haunts us. For  more information on Haunted House and the company visit:

June 2015: CollabArt Creations

Photographer Mits Naga

CollabArt Creations is a contemporary dance company committed to introducing innovative and exciting contemporary dance and visual arts to a broad range of audiences. The company is focused on making art more accessible to everyone, whether a young, old, new or seasoned theatre patron.

CollabArt, as its name suggests, collaborates with a variety of artists and performers to continuously create, expand and explore artistic expression. Under the artistic direction of Kylah Powell, CollabArt Creations provides opportunities for professionals and emerging artists to work together and produce eclectic forms of art, both visual and performance.

To date, CollabArt Creations has produced several full-length shows throughout the Lower Mainland, all of which were well received by enthusiastic audiences! CollabArt Creations recently produced a show titled Something Old, Something New, as part of a Faculty Concert Series held at Place Des Arts, where Kylah currently teaches. She is now in the process of researching ideas for her next

May 2015: Wen Wei Dance

Photographer Chris Randle

Wen Wei Dance’s work reflects a multiplicity of dance and social experiences. Each creation is influenced by the evolution of personal identity, and strives to reflect the underlying experience of social, cultural and personal development. Wen Wei Dance creates provocative performances of a distinctive trans-cultural sensibility.  With a highly individual style, Artistic Director Wen Wei Wang fuses precise choreography with stunning visual design and music, turning each work into a rich and unique world.

Since 2003, the company has created a repertoire of full-length works including Made in China, 7th Sense, Cock-Pit (winner of the Rio Tinto Alcan Performing Arts Award), Under the Skin (co-created with the Beijing Modern Dance Company),Three Sixty Five, Unbound (winner of the Isadora Award for Excellence in Choreography), and One Man’s. Wen Wei Dance has performed these acclaimed works across Canada and at festivals around the world, including Canada Dance Festival, International Contemporary Dance Festival in Colombia, and the Venice Biennale in Italy.

April 2015: Debbie Lee Dance Company

Founded in 2004, Debbie Lee Dance Company is a multi-tiered company that runs out of Scotiabank Dance Centre in Vancouver. DLDC is devoted to inspire, mentor, develop creative thinking and provide artistic opportunities to recreational, emerging and professional dancers. With divisions in education, performance, and mentorship, DLDC also runs a bridging program for the emerging artist. The curriculum offers training to children, teens, and adults, in classical ballet, pointe, contemporary, modern, Classico Español and flamenco dance. Each year, Debbie Lee commissions guest choreographers to create new works on the Performing Youth Company which will be performing this spring at the Surrey Festival of the Arts in April, Festival du Ballet in May, and at the annual showcase at Scotiabank Dance Centre in June.

Debbie Lee has been working as an educator, director, performer, and choreographer for the past 30 years in both the US and Canada. She was the School Director for the Aspen Santa Fe Ballet Company, Colorado; the Telluride Society of the Performing Arts (Joffrey Ballet of Chicago summer residency); the Artistic Director of the Yuma Ballet Theatre Company, Arizona; and the Richmond Hill Academy of Dance, Toronto. Debbie also served as a past board member for The Dance Centre Society.

March 2015: Joe Ink.

Photo by Michael Slobodian

Joe Ink was founded in 1995 and has built a reputation for creating provocative, witty and lyrical work. Described as “wickedly sophisticated,” “unusual,” and “daring,” this Vancouver dance company speaks in a movement language all its own. Since its inception, Joe Ink has balanced local performances and projects in partnership with national and international artists and organizations and also produced public performances in the context of the community-based dance program Move It! Joe Ink.'s latest project is a multi-generational meeting of the minds, bringing together dance artists Gioconda Barbuto, Heather Dotto, Kevin Tookey and Joe Laughlin. The foursome has developed a rare and unique chemistry in the creation of this new work about connecting family histories, changing seasons and time lapse. The piece premiers October 1, 2, 3, 2015 at Scotiabank Dance Centre.

Joe Laughlin is the founding Artistic Director of Joe Ink. A particularly versatile choreographer, he has created numerous productions that have been performed in Canada, the US, UK, Europe, South Africa and South Korea. Joe has received the Banff Centre's Clifford E. Lee Award, Canada Council’s Jacqueline Lemieux Prize and The Dance Centre’s Isadora Award for excellence in choreography. 

February 2015: Shiamak Davar International

Shiamak Davar International is a global performing arts company that educates, entertains and empowers through dance and the performing arts. The Shiamak Dance Team, Vancouver has performed at events like the Opening Ceremony of the World Police and Fire Games & We Day at the Rogers Arena, the Celebration ceremonies of the 2010 Winter Olympics, The Vancouver Cherry Blossom Festival, Multicultural & Ethnic Community Events, and the Times of India Film Awards at BC Place. India’s top choreographer, Shiamak Davar, known as the ‘Guru of Contemporary Dance’ in India, has revolutionized modern Indian dance through his work in film and theatre, fusing contemporary dance, Bollywood and Jazz. The SHIAMAK Dance Academy now spreads the joy of dance in over 143 locations across India, Canada, Australia, UK, UAE and USA.
Selcouth is Shiamak’s newest contemporary dance production performed by The Shiamak Davar Dance Company.  An exploration of the physical and spiritual side of the human mind, Selcouthtraces the journey of a woman realizing her rare and unusual existence, her indispensability and fragility. Selcouth will be presented in Mumbai March 2015. 

January 2015: TomoeArts

Photographer:  Eugene Lin

TomoeArts, directed by Colleen Lanki, is a dance theatre company that works between traditions and disciplines, specializing in Japanese classical dance.  Colleen founded TomoeArts in 2008 when she returned to her hometown of Vancouver from Tokyo, Japan.  The company is committed to the creation of interdisciplinary performances that incorporate traditional Japanese forms and aesthetics. Projects range from performances of traditional Japanese dance in parks, contemporary dance-theatre in art galleries, Japanese festival dance inspired performances with hand-held projectors and umbrellas in rainy city streets, kabuki dance concerts featuring master artists from Japan, intimate dances in kimono for special events, concerts of voice and music, and magical theatre of image and sound.  In 2015, TomoeArts will produce Yûko-kai, a short concert of traditional dance, have screenings of kabuki dance plays in their Salon Series, and in July will produce Weaver Woman, a dance theatre project combining spoken text, Japanese dance-based movement, and live music created for erhu (Chinese lap-fiddle), cello and percussion, based on a chilling contemporary Korean short story.