Dancing on the Edge

Festival of Contemporary Dance

Dancing on the Edge



The Dancing on the Edge Festival Returns for its 31st Year

Festival of Contemporary Dance takes centre stage July 4 to 13

Vancouver, BC –The Dancing on the Edge Festival is Canada’s longest running festival of contemporary dance, taking place July 4 -13, 2019at various venues in Vancouver, including DOTE’s home venue, the Firehall Arts Centre.

Festival Founder and Producer Donna Spencer is excited to announce that this year’s DOTE showcases over thirty performances involving more than thirty innovative choreographers. Artists from across Canada, and around the globe will dance on stages and in the streets during the ten-day festival, in full length and mixed bill programs, as well as site-specific works.  The 31st annual Dancing on the Edge Festival will bring dance in all shapes and forms to Vancouver audiences.

This year’s lineup includes: Vancouver’s Ziyian Kwan/dumb Instrument Dance, Tara Cheyenne Performance, Rachel Meyer, Mascall Dance, and Raven Spirit Dance, Paulo Lima (Brazil), Danse Carpe Diem (Montreal), Nasim Lootij (Montreal), Stacey Horton (Victoria), Helen Walkley and more.

About Dancing on the Edge Festival Society

The Dancing on the Edge Festival Society strives to stimulate the development of high quality contemporary Canadian dance artists and choreography through the presentation of work from emerging and established local, regional, national and international dance artists and companies. Each year the Festival provides a catalyst for discussion about dance, either through forums, roundtable discussions, or talkbacks. The Festival also acts as a facilitator for new dance creations, through commissions, residencies, and co-productions.

Significance of the Festival

Many of BC’s eminent choreographers have been presented by the Dancing on the Edge Festival including: Crystal Pite, Emily Molnar, Serge Bennathan, Wen Wei Wang, Aeriosa Dance. In addition to national companies such as Compagnie Marie Chouinard, Brian Webb Dance Company, Paul-André Fortier, plus thousands of performing dance artists from across Canada.  It’s important to note, with many festivals, such as the Canada Dance Festival and Magnetic North Festival re-configuring itself after a hiatus, it is significant that Dancing on the Edge Festival continues its work for the Canadian arts + culture community, not only artists, but even more importantly for our audiences.

Ticketing Information

Dancing on the Edge Passes

Passes are the best way to truly experience the festival & save.

The EDGE 4 Pack – $85.00
(Four tickets, works out to just over $21/ticket)

The EDGE 6 Pack – $120.00
(Six tickets, works out to just $20/ticket)

SINGLE TICKETS available through the Firehall Arts Centre Box Office at 604.689.0926 or online at tickets.firehallartscentre.ca.

VENUES:  Firehall Arts Centre, SFU Woodward’s, along with site-specific work at locations to be determined.

General Tickets: $28

DOTE Member Tickets: $24

Student/Senior Tickets: $24

Student/Senior DOTE Member Tickets: $22

DOTE Membership: $10

More Information

For more information on the Dancing on the Edge Festival, visit dancingontheedge.org or call 604.689.0926.

Thank you for your 2019 submissions!

Thank you to all who have submitted their applications for our 2019 Festival.

Submissions for our 2019 Festival are no longer being accepted.

We look forward to reviewing all applications and we will be updating applicants early 2019.

Until then! xo


p.s. be sure to subscribe to our e-newsletter to receive our latest news and updates.

Tessa Perkins // Best of the Fest:: review

“As the longest-running contemporary dance festival in Canada, Dancing on the Edge (DOTE) has spent the last three decades presenting an array of innovative and daring contemporary dance works from local, national, and international dance artists. This milestone year was no exception, and here is the best of this year’s fest.” Tessa Perkins 

Tessa writes for  Dance InternationalDance Collection Danse MagazineThe Dance CurrentThe PeakPress+1,The Canadian Film ReviewThe SourceCitysoup.ca, and the Earthsaver Newsletter

and also writes about Vancouver’s arts + culture events on her blog Centre Stage  –  be sure to follow Centre Stage on InstagramTwitter, and Facebook.

Read Tessa’s full review of Dancing on the Edge Festival 2018


Choreographer + Performer: Amber Barton Funk

Photography: Chris Barton


Thank you

To our audiences, artists, volunteers and staff.

Thank you.

Our 30th Festival was a success and we could not have done it without YOU!

We want to take this opportunity to express our gratitude for your support. We are proud to be Canada’s longest running Contemporary Dance Festival.This festival belongs to us all and we endeavour to continue creating space to explore and push new boundaries of dance – a powerful form of artistic expression that engages and inspires us all.

We want to hear from you. If you have any questions or would like to give us feedback about the festival, please email us: info@dancingontheedge.org

Once again, thank you to all the organizers, artists, volunteers and audiences who have contributed to the success of Dancing on the Edge over the past three decades.

Until next time!
Dancing on the Edge Festival

DSC 7029 cred Erik Zennstom

Vision Impure

Kokoro Dance 123

Wreck Beach Butoh

AlvinErasgaTolentino KasandraLea


20170922-IMG 7048 2 cred Leif Norman

Alexandra Elliott Dance

Meredith Kalaman cred Curtis Stodgell 2577-1

Meredith Kalaman

Liz Kinoshita Volcano cred GianninaUrmenetaO 121

Liz Kinoshita

Martin Gotfrit 9870cred Paula Viitanen

Rob Kitsos


Amber Barton Funk

DOTE-Poster-11x17 2 dote 2018

Performance, Place and Politics

Since our inception, we have been dedicated to supporting artists seeking new perspectives, new points of view in what we call dance.  We seek to share new ideas with our audiences.  Peter Dickinson shares his thoughts in his blog post.

“Framing that scene aesthetically on stage, Kramer forces us to sit with what we might otherwise choose not to see, to deal with its complicated layers of history and, perhaps most importantly, our own discomfort. This is not an easy work, but it is incredibly powerful, and I was never less than compelled.”


More here…

My photo

Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada
I live in Vancouver and teach in both the English Department and the School for the Contemporary Arts at Simon Fraser University. I am also the Director of SFU’s Institute for Performance Studies. My academic interests include theatre, dance and performance studies, film studies, and gender studies. I am actively interested in the relationship between art and politics, and especially what the performing arts can teach us about our relationships with the places we live, and with the world more generally. Hence this blog.



Vancouver Sun // Malcolm Perry Column 2018 30th Annual Festival

It only happens once a season — and this is your last chance!

Don’t miss out on our 30th Festival.
We are proud to be Canada’s longest running contemporary dance festival and we’d love for you to join us for the closing weekend.
We have exactly 8 shows left.
Full details, schedule and locations on our website.

Georgia Straight Review
“Even though Dancing on the Edge is hitting the middle age of 30 years, programming like this makes it clear it’s still a rebellious teen at heart—providing a glimpse into the kind of indie work you don’t get the chance to see elsewhere on the Vancouver arts calendar.”
Read more…


Win tickets to the 30th Anniversary Dancing on the Edge – Festival of Contemporary Dance presentation of Lara Kramer Danse’s WINDIGO (Montreal) at the Firehall Arts Centre (July 6 & 8).

Fierce and visceral, Windigo resonates in us like a cry, echoing a long history of human violation of the land and culture.  A Nordic epic with a post-apocalyptic stroll, Windigo exorcises the demons and the waves of violence perpetrated against the Amerindian people.

Choreographer, scenic design and costumes: Lara Kramer

Collaborators and Performers: Jassem Hindi & Peter James

Windigo is a co-commission from the Candance Creation Fund, Festival Trans-Ameriques, National Arts Centre, Usine C, Centre de Creation O Vertigo and the Dancing on the Edge Festival

This year’s DOTE showcases over thirty performances involving more than thirty innovative choreographers. Artists from across Canada, from Belgium and South Korea will dance on stages and in the streets during the ten-day festival, in full length and mixed bill programs, as well as site-specific works. The 30th annual Dancing on the Edge Festival will bring dance in all shapes and forms to Vancouver audiences.

How to Enter: https://www.straight.com/contests/win-tickets-30th-anniversary-dancing-edge-festival-contemporary-dance


Paul-André Fortier at The Scotiabank Dance Centre

We are so pleased to present the Western Canada Premiere of Paul-André Fortier Danse-Création’s SOLO 70: a dance by a man with a long dance history at The Dance Centre   July 7th and 8th @8pm 

A co-commission of the Candance Creation Fund, Festival Trans-Amerique, National Arts Centre, Agora de la danse, Dancing on the Edge Festival and Theatre National de Chaillot, Paris.

Tickets available at: http://www.dancingontheedge.org/program/solo-70-a-dance-by-a-man-with-a-long-dance-history/

Photographer: Sandrick Mathurin

Also a big thanks to Mirna Zagar, Executive Director of the Dance Centre, for sharing some kind words about your experience with the festival!

“Dancing on the Edge was my introduction to BC dance when I first came to Vancouver.  It is where one gets to taste the diversity of our local scene. It is a vibrant hub, connecting local artists across generations, supporting the development of local works and connecting them to key national players, and providing valuable support towards the build-up of the careers of many Vancouver artists. From the perspective of a producer, I am always amazed by the dedication of the small and passionate DOTE team who work under some trying conditions. Here is to the Festival for many years to come!”


Meredith Kalaman Shares Favorite DOTE Memory

We’re excited to have Meredith Kalaman join us for Dancing on the Edge this year as a part of the EDGE Six performances on July 12th and 14th! Tickets available at the link below:


I recall coming to Dancing on the Edge with my dad one summer. I was a young dancer, unsure of what I wanted to do with a career in dance but certain my future included dance. I booked my dad and I tickets to see a few shows, totally unaware of what we were going to. It must have been 2005 or 2006. I saw Katy Haris-McLeod do this solo onstage, she had this box that was lit up from the inside as if it held the secrets to the universe and I remember her running in circles repetitively, relentlessly, as if time didn’t even exist, as if telling us that life is infinite, if we only could just embrace that idea we would be free of time…..I was moved and inspired and mostly I remember watching this woman onstage who had created this solo and I sat there saying in my head “I want to do this, I must do this, I HAVE to do this too!!!!” Katy was a window into my future. Years later, having been on the other side of the curtain, listening to the buzzing audience before the lights went dark, I am reminded that Dancing on the Edge has been the beginning of so much for me and for so many artists, what a gift to be inspired, to inspire and get to give the gift of creativity away, all on the same stage.


Photo Credit: Curtis Stodgell

Canada Council Heritage Canada BC Arts Council Province of BC The City of Vancouver The Georgia Straight East Van Graphics Breakfast Television | City Omni