Wednesday, December 8, 2021

Putting the live back in Live Art Dance

Following a 22-month pandemic-induced hiatus, the Halifax dance presenter opens its 2021-2022 season with Bygones from Vancouver's Out Innerspace Dance Theatre.

Following a 22-month pandemic-induced hiatus, Halifax dance presenter Live Art Dance returns with five shows in its 2021-2022 season.

Opening the season on November 26 is Bygones from Vancouver contemporary dance company Out Innerspace Dance Theatre. It is a show Live Art Dance’s artistic director Randy Glynn says is loaded with remarkable visuals and special effects.

“It celebrates what we have overcome and how something challenging can lead to something beautiful. It is spooky, but it’s also very hopeful,” says Glynn. “The two dancers that lead Out Innerspace Dance, David Raymond and Tiffany Tregarthen, are featured dancers in Crystal Pite’s Kidd Pivot and are really imaginative creators.”

Initially programmed for Live Art Dance’s COVID cancelled season last year, Bygones arrives in Halifax following a recent European tour and will open at the National Arts Centre in Ottawa just seven days before performing at Live Art Dance.

For years Live Art Dance has been offering up the most dynamic and magical visual shows and if you haven’t seen a Live Art Dance, you don’t know what you’re missing.

“Normally we would be presenting the show at the Cohn, but because of their schedule, we’ve moved to the Spatz,” says Glynn. “It is a little less well equipped to accommodate it technically, but we’ve come up with all the bells and whistles to make it work and it will look remarkable.”

The venue move is a prime example of the challenges facing organizations like Live Art Dance as they navigate the pandemic. Most of this season’s shows are rebooked from previously cancelled performances. “All of them have been rebooked at least twice and in some cases, four and five times due to changing regulations,” says Glynn

It is also why Live Art Dance is presenting a season but is not offering a season subscription.

“It becomes complex if you sell a season and then have to cancel,” explains Glynn. “So rather than have to navigate the returning of funds, which is pretty laborious and time-consuming, we elected to go with single ticket sales for the rest of the season.”

Despite the challenges, Glynn remains optimistic.

“I think the shows that we have planned are very good, interesting and powerful,” he says. “Who knows if we’ll ever get back to the way it was before some, and some would argue that maybe that’s not the best place to go anyways, but I’m hopeful.”

That hopefulness extends into next year when Live Art Dance will present Ever So Slightly from Montreal’s Rubberband in January 2022 as the second show in its season.

Live Art Dance's artistic director Randy Glynn is optimistic as his organization moves forward in the new normal.
Live Art Dance’s artistic director Randy Glynn is optimistic as his organization moves forward in the new normal.

“The last time they were here they nearly sold out and delivered a spectacular show,” says Glynn. “They are truly one of the best contemporary companies in the country at the moment with some very powerful, interesting work.”

Other works to be presented in 2022 include the premier of Rebecca Lazier’s immersive dance project and performance installation, Everywhere The Edges in February and Red Sky Performance’s Trace in March. The season will conclude with Wen Wei Dance’s Yin Yung, featuring five female performers.

Glynn hopes audiences will go along for the ride with them as his organization looks to return to some sort of normalcy over the coming months.

“In some ways, we are the best-kept secret in the city,” he says. “For years Live Art Dance has been offering up the most dynamic and magical visual shows and if you haven’t seen a Live Art Dance, you don’t know what you’re missing.”

Bygones plays the Spatz Theatre (1855 Trollope St, Halifax) on November 26. Visit liveartdance.ca for tickets and information on it and the rest of the 2021-2022 season shows.

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