Japan’s Dairakudakan and Taiwan’s Tjimur Dance Theatre to Headline 2019 Vancouver International Dance Festival

 Internationally Acclaimed Artists Gather in Vancouver for Highly Anticipated Annual Event of Diverse Dance Performances, Workshops, and Public Education 

The Vancouver International Dance Festival (VIDF) proudly presents its breathtaking 2019 festival season, showcasing a month-long program replete with exhilarating performances by both internationally revered artists and lauded Vancouver performers, engaging workshops, and a plethora of interactive dance activities, March 4 to 30, 2019, at various venues throughout Vancouver. The 2019 VIDF will showcase Canadian premieres from Japan’s sensational Dairakudakan — a VIDF audience favourite — as well as Taiwan’s Tjimur Dance Theatre, appearing in Vancouver for the very first time; three world premieres from Vancouver’s own Vision Impure, Olivia C. Davies, and Lesley Telford; and three West Coast premieres from East Coast artists Daina Ashbee (Montreal), Manuel Roque (Montreal), and 10 Gates Dancing (Ottawa), among many others.

“Dance is a unique and powerful medium that communicates and expresses our deepest, innermost thoughts and emotions, transcending the cultural and geographical constructs of today’s world,” says Barbara Bourget, Co-Producer of VIDF. “The VIDF is a platform for an array of international artists to showcase their vision, honour their customs and traditions, remove barriers, and spark dialogue amongst us. Through a thoughtful, curated program showcasing globally renowned artists from Canada and abroad, our goal is to be a catalyst for meaningful expression, connection, and conversation.”


Dairakudakan (Japan)
Pseudo human Super human
Vancouver Playhouse, March 8 & 9, 8pm
VIDF welcomes the highly provocative Japan-based butoh ensemble Dairakudakan, who return with the explosive Canadian premiere of Pseudo human Super human. Choreographer and director Akaji Maro shares his emotionally charged meditation on the dissonance between the fruitless pursuit of technology and the resulting crushing absence of humanity.

Showcasing the stunning iron and glass stage installations of dynamic sculptor KUMA/Katsuyuki Shinohara, set to a frenetically energetic score of techno music by Keisuke Doi and Jeff Mills, the butoh masters commence a futuristic odyssey, advancing forward to a world where artificial intelligence threatens to consume our very existence. Renowned for its dramatically visceral and revelatory theatrical performances, Pseudo human Super human is a compelling and assaulting exposition on the disturbing potential of technology to distort the nature of society.

Tjimur Dance Theatre (Taiwan)
Varhung – Heart to Heart
Vancouver Playhouse, March 29 & 30, 8pm
Taiwan’s esteemed indigenous dance-theatre company, Tjimur Dance, performs the Canadian premiere of Varhung – Heart to Heart — a lyrical and vulnerable exploration of the complexities of the human heart. Praised by The Scotsman for having a “mesmerizing quality that borders on the hypnotic,” five dancers embark upon a tender journey to the very heart of their people by sharing private stories of their lives, loves, and difficulties. This deeply moving and emotionally honest work, choreographed by Baru Madiljin, gained critical acclaim for its breathtaking movement and heartfelt expression of the traditional culture of Taiwan’s indigenous Paiwan people. Through rich tapestry, flawless artistry and elegant sincerity, Varhung – Heart to Heart gingerly peels back layers to reveal a human essence that is universal, baring their own souls in the process.


Manuel Roque (Montreal)
bang bang
Roundhouse Performance Centre, March 13-16, 8pm
A celebrated dance virtuoso, soloist Manuel Roque presents the West Coast premiere of his highly acclaimed bang bang — an electrifying, visceral ode to the physical demands of the body. An articulated and disciplined performance, the award-winning bang bang is an abstract meditation on endurance and achievement, pounding its message out to viewers through jarring repetition and transcendent physicality.

Olivia C. Davies / O.Dela Arts (Vancouver)
Roundhouse Exhibition Hall, March 14-16, 7pm
The highly anticipated world premiere of Gidaashi, choreographed and performed by Olivia C. Davies, gracefully weaves narrative through a hauntingly expressive performance, exploring the transience and fragility of life. Translated to mean ‘she is removed by the wind,’ Gidaashi is a somber meditation on what it means to be displaced from one’s home to a place that is devoid of love and laughter.

Jeanette Kotowich (Vancouver)
Roundhouse Exhibition Hall, March 20-23, 7pm
Celebrated Métis choreographer and performer, Jeanette Kotowich, blends contemporary and Indigenous practices in her latest work, Eloise. This intimately provocative work brings insight to the practice of honouring traditional territory through sincerity, hilarity, and gratitude. A study in contrasts, Eloise parallels the irreverent against reverence and the inner terrain of the body against the physical land to which we are all tied.

Vision Impure (Vancouver)
Roundhouse Performance Centre, March 20-23, 8pm
Choreographed by Noam Gagnon, Vision Impure presents the world premiere of their latest work, Pathways — an illumination of the stories we share in relationship to one another, complicated and intensified by urban living. When simple moments become complex, we question our true connections within our community. A collaborative performance derived from the previous work of numerous past solos, Pathways represents a reimagined perspective on human connection.

Lesley Telford (Vancouver)
New Creation
Roundhouse Exhibition Hall, March 27-30, 7pm
VIDF is excited to unveil the world premiere of Lesley Telford’s new work, New Creation, performed by Stephanie Cyr and Eden Solomon. After a career in Europe spanning 20 years, Telford has refined a choreographic approach that combines impulse-based physicality and technical rigour with sensitivity to the minute relationships between performers themselves and between performers and their environment. She creates by building situations that can propel dancers into something they didn’t predict, exploring the body’s instinctive response systems.

10 Gates Dancing (Ottawa)
Roundhouse Performance Centre, March 27-30, 8pm
The West Coast premiere of Trust is a thought-provoking duet created and performed by choreographer Tedd Robinson and composer Charles Quevillon. This curious new contemporary work creatively examines the dynamic interchange of building, maintaining, and testing trust between partners. Audiences are invited to enter into a playful exercise through the interplay of dance artists, examining more about their own beliefs in the world, and reflecting on exactly who they trust.


Raven Spirit Dance (Vancouver)

Gathering Light
KW Production Studio, March 13-16, 5pm
An intimate journey from seed to flower, Gathering Light is an evocative meditation on the deeply seated impulses within ourselves to seek and embark upon transformation, helping us to find the light and reveal the barriers to our full blooming. Choreographed by Michelle Olson of Raven Spirit Dance, this seminal work is performed by a quartet in the round, creating a sense of ritual space where transformation is an experience intimately shared between audience and performers.

Kelly McInnes (Vancouver)
KW Production Studio, March 20-23, 5pm
A confronting and compelling multidisciplinary performance, SHINY explores and challenges the impossible beauty standards that women are measured against through mass media. Created and performed by Kelly McInnes, in collaboration with Maggie McGhee and Luciana D’Anunciacao, this arresting work examines the masking of the individual in pursuit of the bizarre sameness of the beauty standard, highlighting the absurd quest for perfection through surreal, grotesque, yet mundane means.

Daina Ashbee (Montreal)
KW Production Studio, March 27-30, 5pm
A powerful installation performance, Serpentine is a bold exploration of the impact of repetitive movement to evoke a strong reaction from its audiences, allowing the performer to fully occupy not only the physical space, but also the time and attention of her viewers. Choreographed by Daina Ashbee and earnestly interpreted by dancer Areli Moran, Serpentine distills Ashbee’s three previous works into one provocative presentation. Jean-Francois Blouin’s disturbing electric organ composition juxtaposed against Moran’s slow sensual movements escalate into a violent yet beautiful crescendo.


V’ni Dansi – March 10 & 17, 2019 @ 2pm; March 24, 2019 @ 2pm & 3pm
Harbour Dance ITP & Platform – March 10 & 17, 2019 @ 3pm
All free performances are held at Woodward’s Atrium


The Vancouver International Dance Festival (VIDF) is a social-profit, artist-run organization dedicated to supporting and furthering the art of culturally diverse contemporary dance. Each year the Festival scours the globe, and its own backyard, to assemble a month of emotionally rich and intellectually stimulating dance expressions. In doing so, the Festival functions as an important link between Vancouver and a vibrant, international community of artists, ensuring world-class contemporary dance will always have a place in the hearts and minds of Vancouver audiences.

LISTING INFORMATION 2019 Vancouver International Dance Festival
Dates: March 4 to 30, 2019
Tickets: Vancouver Playhouse: Adults $70, Seniors/Students $60, Groups of 10 or more $50 (please call VIDF box office at 604-662-4966 for group sales).

Roundhouse Performance Centre: Adults $35, Seniors/Students $30, and Groups of 10 or more $25. On Wednesday nights, every patron that buys two ADULT tickets will get one of these for free.

KW Production Studio: Adults $20, Seniors/Students $15, and $10 for groups of 10 or more. On Wednesday nights, every patron that buys two ADULT tickets will get one of these for free.

Roundhouse Exhibition Hall: Free with VIDF Membership ($5); Woodwards Atrium: Free

Box Office: vidf.ca/tickets or call 604-662-4966
Website: vidf.ca

Media release and image provided by Sarah Ghosh, Murray Paterson Media Group. Image of Tjimur Dance Theatre’s Varhung – Heart to Heart photo by Jhao Lun Huang


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