Highlights for the Vancouver International Dance Festival 2017

Kenesis is a multidisciplinary performance that will focus on the search for utopia.

Best eye candy: Alonzo King LINES Ballet | March 3-4 | Vancouver Playhouse $50 for students

Performing two works, SAND and Shostakovich, this contemporary ballet company impresses with long lines and deep emotional expression. The choreography takes classical ballet and gives it a new sense of form while infusing it with cultural references and working with classical music. These remarkable dancers bring passion and depth to Alonzo King’s rich choreography. They are only here for two nights and they are sure to be incredible shows; don’t miss your chance to see this world-class company from San Francisco.  

Best performance art: Dairakudakan | March 10 – 11 | Vancouver Playhouse $50 for students

One of the most anticipated shows at the festival, this butoh-theatre company from Japan impressed Vancouver dance goers last time they were in town. They are bringing a new show, Paradise, that explores the Persian origin of the word meaning “enclosed garden.” With colourful costumes, near-nudity, and a conceptual narrative, this butoh (a type Japanese contemporary dance) show should be a great opportunity to expand your horizons. This is among many chances to see butoh at VIDF, as festival producers Barbara Bourget and Jay Hirabayashi, Vancouver’s own butoh masters, are also presenting some of their own works.

Best technical effects: Kinesis Dance somatheatro | March 2-4 | Scotiabank Dance Centre $25 for students

In celebration of the company’s 30th anniversary, Vancouver-based Kinesis Dance Somatheatro will present In Penumbra, a multi-media work about the search for utopia. Paradise seems to be a recurring theme of the festival, and this show aims to explore the good, bad, and ugly of our insatiable desire to reach paradise. A continuation of 2015’s U>W, the show is set to have innovative lighting and special effects that will surely add to the multi-dimensional experimental choreography of artistic director Paras Terezakis.

Best show featuring locals: Rob/Jane/Kim | March 16 – 18 | Roundhouse Exhibition Hall free with VIDF membership (cost of membership is $3)  

Mentor and SFU dance professor Rob Kitsos has teamed up once again with alumni Jane Osborne and Kim Stevenson to create Death and Flying, a work about the power of objects to evoke memories and create connections with those closest to us. The piece is inspired by poet Max Heinegg, and uses gesture, recordings and memories to explore the way we choose to keep certain object, but leave others behind.

Best emotional intensity: Compagnie Virginie Brunelle | March 16 – 18 | Roundhouse Performance Centre $25 for students

Virginie Brunelle brought her intense, emotionally powerful work to VIDF last year, and the Montréal-based choreographer will be back with To the Pain That Lingers, a piece about unfinished business between two people and the pain associated with ending a relationship. The aim is to explore our connection to each other and what is left behind when that is broken. If it’s anything like last year’s sensual, honest duet that was also about difficulties in relationships, it is sure to have audiences on the edge of their seats.

Best shows for a tight budget: Dancers Playing Basketball and KTL Company | March 5, 12, 19 | SFU Woodward’s Atrium | Free

Dancers Playing Basketball is exactly what it sounds like: a group of dancers who meet up to play basketball together. The group will present an informal show in the Woodward’s Atrium basketball court.

KTL Company is an urban dance group that is based out of Harbour Dance Centre. They aim to offer training and performance opportunities to Vancouver dancers and choreographers. They’ll be sharing some of their smooth moves on the same dates in the Woodward’s Atrium.

For more information or to purchase tickets, visit vidf.ca.