The Surfacing event that took place at The Dance Centre this past weekend proves that there is life yet in and at Ballet BC. The same municipal government that is spending feverishly to gussy up the city in advance of the Olympics is also slashing public library budgets, this production ha all the elements of thrilling theatre: a great story simply told; a uniformly superb cast; sharp direction; and an overall design concept (set, sound, and lighting) that integrated seamlessly with the theatricality and thematics of the play. the spaces between—at times painfully proximate, at other times as painfully distant—themselves and the bodies of their would-be others, who are watching silently from the shadows (Crystal Pite is a goddess) and the 605 Collective: Vancouver has a happening dance scene, let me tell you. the structures of performance can help theatricalize and make newly compelling for local audiences various scenarios of present-day global political urgency. So far so good. Now the hard work begins. But for now I must sign off–Amber Funk Barton and her new company, The Response, are performing her first full-length dance work, Risk, at the Firehall Arts Centre tonight, and Richard and I have tickets. And so we do find our way back to the performative after all, although this is hardly my preferred kind of political theatre. Nevertheless, the curtain has dropped for now, and Harper will get his second act. I welcome the addition of The Response to the ranks of Vancouver’s dance companies (especially given the uncertain future of Ballet BC), and look forward to Barton’s next creation with great anticipation. In the end, our seats were just fine. Just back from a noon show at The Dance Centre: excerpts from Lola MacLaughlin’s Provincial Essays (2007). Given McLaughlin’s passing earlier this month after a brave battle with ovarian cancer, the place was understandably packed, with many well-known members of the local dance community in attendance. It’s the end of a long week, he Iggy Pop of Vancouver dance, complete with the impossibly lean, wiry, heroin chic-style body and eyeliner. His solo work is always intensely accelerative, a series of controlled spasms that move outward from a vertical standing position to consume his body and to fling it through space with incredible abandon and force.with his quiet arm extensions;has kept us pretty busy debating the aesthetic, ideological, and institutional exchanges between the two media. I would argue, more concerned about forging more durable associations between producers and audiences joined in mutual endeavor and creative experimentation about what the arts can or should do to stimulate and reinvigorate public debate about how the arts should be funded and managed civically, provincially, and nationally.The work’s conceit is simple: every day for 30 days Fortier performs a rehearsed dance solo of 30 minutes at the same time in the same outdoor urban location. Thereafter, the piece proceeds in terms of a succession of movements choreographed around the dancers’ own embodied relationship with the city, with various colour sequences filmed in and around Gastown becoming the basis for a reconfiguration (sometimes willful, at other times willed) of those relationships in solos and duos and trios that are all about negotiating the space between self and otherDanceHouse‘s second season got off to an explosive start at the Vancouver Playhouse this weekend, with two works from the red-hot choreographer and composer The dancers are also clearly having fun discovering how their classic technique can be adapted and expanded via this new form, and in response to each other’s bodies. The highlight of the evening for me. , the piece begins with the dancers, aligned horizontally and staggered according to height (short, tall, short, tall), slowly emerging out of shadow. The evening concluded with local darling Crystal Pite’s Short Works: 24, two dozen minute-long, largely non-narrative pieces set to pulsating music by Pite’s longtime collaborator, Owen Belton, and featuring the dancers in solos, duos, trios, and larger group formations exploring the kinesthetic possibilities of pure movement.This is a show that is sensorially and intellectually ravishing–as all great art should be. I was glad to be among last night’s audience ofThe small space seems to have brought out the theatricality in both the dancers and the choreographers, with most of the works (some of them, very witty) straddling the dance-theatre divide.