The Magic of Movement: The Vancouver International Dance Festival 2011

As I’ll sadly be missing the Dublin Dance Festival this year I thought I’ll sign up with the Canadian equivalent, the Vancouver International Dance Festival, which took place from 1 to 19 March 2011. It was a busy time as I had just started a new job the week it launched, but I still managed to fit in quite a few shifts.

The space where the festival was held, the Roundhouse Community Arts Centre in Yaletown, was interesting as it had a main theatre as well as a lobby dance space with a dance photography exhibition, a bar (where moi and the other volunteers were serving drinks) and nicely arranged tables and chairs right in front of the stage. On a couple of nights there were also free cappuccinos and lattes courtesy of Blenz Coffee accompanying the free half hour dance shows that happened every night before the main performance. This setup was a great way for those just starting to learn about modern dance to get a taster of the various dance styles, from contemporary and ballet to hip hop.

I mainly worked at the concessions bar and at the membership stall and we had lots of fun getting to know the audience, many of whom returned for several shows. In general though, compared to some other festivals, this one was definitely more of the serious sort, will all our energies focused on the performances and the art of dancing. I saw a few of the shows and was personally most impressed by Canadian dancer Hiromoto Ida, Khambatta Dance Company from Seattle and T42 Dance Projects from Switzerland/Japan. A friend of mine, who had never seen a contemporary dance performance live before, was really amazed at the emotions Khambatta got across, we sat really close to the stage and it was lovely to see what impact it had on him. And now I miss the Dublin Dance Festival even more…

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