Dancing on the Edge

Festival of Contemporary Dance

Dancing on the Edge


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

Dancing on the Edge 2018 introduces new intern

Helping us out with the festival this year is our lovely intern Athena Lewis!

Originally from the United States, Athena completed most of her dance training at a CityDance conservatory where she gained exposure to artists such as Ronen Koresh, Rob Priore, Ronald K. Brown, Maleek Washington, and many more. She has also attended many summer intensives throughout the US, and she is thankful to have moved to Vancouver after finishing a year at Florida State University. Currently, Athena is taking prerequisites for naturopathic medical school as well as working towards her BFA in dance at Simon Fraser University. She hopes to someday become a permanent resident of Canada and continue to be a working artist in her field.

Thanks Athena

Olivia C. Davies | 28th Festival


Dancing on the Edge presented my work, “Open Fire” in the Firehall Arts Centre as part of the 28th edition of the festival. This contemporary dance work based on the short story by Carmen Aguirre is accompanied by live reading of the story by the author, original score by Canadian composer Sky Shaver, and cast that includes myself along with Bolivian dancer, Alejandra Miranda, and Columbian actor, Sindy Angel. The short work was created through a co-production commissioned by the Chan Centre for the Performing Arts and the Dance Centre in the interdisciplinary program, “Beyond Words” and premiered in May 2016. I remember the electricity in the air as Carmen’s words were amplified through the sound system and the chills I felt as each scene fell away and the invocation of the main character’s spirit began to fill the theatre. Strong emotions are elicited through the re-telling of the hard truths woven throughout the story. Both myself and Sindy recall feeling the presence of the main character as we waited back stage for our entrances. I am grateful for providing space for this story to be told in the context of the dance festival.

Photo  by Yvonne Chew


Press for Open Fire – DOTE 2016
Review by Elliot Cheung for Ubyssey Online
In “Open Fire,” biography, poetry, dance and other multimedia were interwoven in a unique expression of a dark period in Argentinian history. Local playwright Carmen Aguirre’s narration of the story — in which a woman returns to the place of her mother’s murder forty years — received a physical treatment from the dancers, including choreographer Olivia C. Davies. While watching, one was given room to judge for themselves whether the dancers were following the dictation of the words, or if their physical theatre had become the instigator of the story.
The movement was deep and impressionistic, working with stagecraft to create memorable tableaux, involving both the visual and the aural. Such moments will allow the audience to re-live the emotive gravity brought on by both the subject and the performers’ deeply-felt interpretations.

Vanessa Goodman | Dancing on the Edge 2014

Vanessa made the cover of the Georgia Straight July 3-10 2014 and embarked on a new journey that year…

“Rising Vancouver choreographer Vanessa Goodman has created a piece where, as she puts it, “the space dances as much as the performers.”

The young dance artist, who won the local Iris Garland Emerging Choreographer Award in 2013, putting her $5,000 winnings toward this project, has watched the piece similarly evolve and shift over three years of development.

From Vanessa“Dancing on the Edge Festival allowed me to really grow as an artist performing in others works but also as a choreographer making my own works. For me it is where my professional career as an artist in the Vancouver community began to take shape.”


The priority of the company is to foster work that reflects the human condition, using dance to decode contemporary experience. It is the company’s goal to create immersive environments, working towards facilitating an engrossing experience for those who witness the work. Goodman was the recipient of the 2013 Iris Garland Emerging Choreographer Award and the 2017 Yulanda M. Faris Program. She has been commissioned to create works for the Dancing on the Edge Festival, The Gwaii Trust, Vancouver Biennale and Simon Fraser University. Most recently her work has toured nationally and internationally and been presented by DanceHouse, SFUW, The Canada Dance Festival, The Dance Made in/ Fait au Canada Festival, The Bienal Internacional de Dança Do Ceará, On the Boards, The Risk/Reward Festival, The Dance Centre, The Shadbolt Centre for the Arts, Small Stage, Push Off, Music on Main and The Chutzpah! Festival.


Alvin Erasga Tolentino 2013 Memory – Site Specific Duet


In 2013- 25 minutes to mark 25 years. In celebration of Dancing on the Edge Festival’s 25th anniversary, Co.ERASGA’s Alvin Erasga Tolentino tackles a site-specific duet with critically acclaimed dancer Alison Denham. Composed of 25 gestures, Vancouver’s historic steam clock in Gastown comes alive with dance. Every noon for 12 consecutive days the two dancers created a ritual dance comprised of distinct dance gestures and moving in accordance with the clock’s signal. Alvin and Alison endured every audiences that came from all walks of life pushing the spirit of dancing on the edge an homage to it’s 25 years legacy to Vancouver dance.


Happy International Dance Day! April 29, 2018

We are dedicated to developing contemporary dance artists and endeavour to continue our 30 years of engaging audiences and artists.

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.


International Dance Day 2018
Canadian Dance Assembly



Since 2005, the Canadian Dance Assembly (CDA) has issued a message on behalf of the dance community in Canada as part of International Dance Day, which takes place annually on April 29th. This year, CDA invited Vivine Scarlett of dance Immersion to share her inspirational message to all Canadians. [Dancing on the Edge Festival](http://www.dancingontheedge.org) appreciates the work of CDA and would like to share their message to our community.

“The universal movement of dance releases the very essence of what is all around us. It connects and weaves so deep that one can feel the wisdom, patience and graciousness of its flow. With each move made there is a giving and receiving communication in that universal experience. Dance is a vehicle that lends itself to learning about oneself. It helps us move through life’s experiences by expressing our stories and our history, by commenting on our present and nurturing our future.

Dance for you.
Dance for us.
Just dance and let the rhythm of our spirits soar in the movement of DANCE.”

Vivine Scarlett

Gearshifting Artistic Director Jolene Bailie discusses her experience with the Festival

Jolene Bailie shares memories of 2002, 2004, 2005 and 2013.

“I participated in DOTE in 2002, 2004, 2005 and 2013. As a prairie artist from Winnipeg, and being isolated from all the major centres for dance, in a city with no dance presenter (and therefore very few touring shows ever come to Winnipeg), participating in the national dance community is critical.

Donna Spencer was wonderful to me each time I participated in the festival. She really made me feel like my work mattered, she provided an opportunity for my work to be seen, and she helped bring me and my work to Vancouver.

Each time I presented at the festival I not only had the wonderful chance to perform, I also was able to see other work, meet other artists, and some years participate in classes and workshops. My work was reviewed in newspapers and magazines and I had a chance to share programs with artists who I may never have had the opportunity to meet without the festival – including with Noam Gagnon, Andrea Nann and Alvin Tolentino. Touring my work also gave me the chance to further research and develop my work as I prepared for the festival. Each experience was meaningful, positive, and had facilitated my development as an artist.

My experience with DOTE included: bringing my own choreography, “Hybrid Human”, featuring five Winnipeg dancers in 2013, as well as performing solo work in 2002, 2004 and 2005, including the suite of five solos by Jose Limon, “Dances for Isadora”, “To Somewhere Else”, by Marc Boivin, “Etude” by Stephanie Ballard, and “After Words” by Gaile Petursson-Hiley.

Congratulations to DOTE on your 30th anniversary festival! Best wishes for 30 more! Huge appreciation to Donna Spencer, James Proudfoot and Chris Randle who were fully present and encouraging to me each time I participated in the festival.”

Jolene Bailie
Artistic Director,
Gearshifting Performance Works

Noam Gagnon tells us about his 30 years with the Festival



Noam Gagnon | memories from 1988

“My relationship with Dancing on the Edge dates back thirty years to 1988. I have so many amazing memories where magic truly happened between those walls, the audience and myself. If those walls could only speak! I remain extremely grateful for the many opportunities throughout the years that DOTE supported my works, giving me the chance to keep growing as an artist and giving those works a platform.

I remember early on, at the end of each festival, the technical crew would perform parodies of some of the works and then go on to give small awards. After watching an hilarious parody of the various works, The Holy Body Tattoo (including myself and Dana Gingras) was given an award for “White Riot” a piece for seven dancers. Years later “White Riot” would evolve into “monumental” a work that is still currently touring internationally in monumental theatres around the world.

From the bottom of my heart, thank you Dancing on the Edge for your unconditional support and for believing in me.”

Noam Gagnon
Artistic Director,
Vision Impure

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