Welcome to the 33rd annual Dancing on the Edge Festival!

A Note From our Festival Producer

Welcome to the 33rd annual Dancing on the Edge Festival.  It is so exciting to be able to bring live performances to dance audiences both on indoor stages and in outdoor spaces this year.   This year’s festival is a hybrid model with live dance performances accompanied by films; film screenings; films online and one live stream event where performances are influenced by the tides.

We have carried forward all the lessons learned since last year’s event with regard to COVID safety measures and have worked with the artists to provide a manner in which their works can be shared safely.   It has been probably one of the more difficult festivals to bring together as it was only after May 25th that It was confirmed that we could move forward with live outdoor performances and just recently indoor works.   But we went for it and I will be always grateful for the understanding and support of the artists and the Dancing on the Edge and Firehall staff who have worked diligently to pull this together.

While we are unable to have guest artists at the festival this year from outside BC, we have selected works from some of Vancouver’s most exciting choreographers to share with you.  The festival opens with Radical System Art’s M.O.I. – the partitions, a work that was shown during its development at last year’s festival, and is followed through the ten day event by a new choreography and film from Wen Wei Dance, Inverso Dance’s 1:1:1 on program with the premiere of Kirsten Wicklund and Peter Smida’s Prominence and Glory.  And the list goes on. 

Throughout the festival, we will be sharing the works of those choreographers and companies commissioned to create work for the festival.  Seven different projects were commissioned and while not all will be completed this year, because of the pandemic, all will have a presence at this year’s event.  Some of these works will be shared through films such as Rob Kitsos’ The threshing Floor will be on a shared performance with Vanessa Goodman and Alexis Fletcher’s TUNING.  And Raven Spirit Dance’s commission for the continued development of Confluence will be shown live with a film showing excerpts from Meredith Kalaman commissioned work that will premiere live at the 2022 festival.   OURO Collective’s Fire06 commissioned work will be part of live performances in the courtyard on a shared program with Generous Mess’ commissioned work and the final commissioned work from Immigrant Lessons will share the courtyard stage with the collective minds of CAMP.  And not to forget, Billy Marchenski’s light-bearer, which will be live-streamed from the Iona tidal flats located by the Vancouver Airport.

Film screenings in the theatre will include the premiere of Company Ci’s Limb(e)s, Immigrant Lessons’ ORIGINS/How Do We Co-Exist? and from Portland, Oregon, push/Fold’s compilation of three different works as their introduction to our community.

In partnership with the Dr. Sun Yat-Sen Classical Gardens, we will present Dumb Instrument Dance’s Dreaming of Koi and at the Russian Hall, Rachel Meyer’s Mama, do we die when we sleep?

And the film pack will include a wide range of new dance works from O’Dela Arts, Julianne Chapple, Kelly McInnes, Shion Sky Carter, Tara Cheyenne Performance and more. 

Yes, there is a lot to see so get ready to experience an explosion of contemporary dance.  I am so delighted that dance is back on stage, outside and online after being limited to online for what seems like a very long time.  I  hope you enjoy this hybrid version of Dancing on the Edge and I hope to see some of you at the limited capacity live performances that we have on offer.

Keep on Dancing,

Donna Spencer,

Festival Producer.


Dancing on the Edge Festival operates on the unceded, ancestral territories of the Coast Salish peoples – the Sḵwx̱wú7mesh (Squamish), Stó:lō and Səl̓ílwətaʔ/Selilwitulh (Tsleil-Waututh) and xʷməθkʷəy̓əm (Musqueam) Nations.

Click HERE for a printable schedule of events!

Show Programs and Biographies


Sarah Hutton & Aiden Cass by Evan Morash

light-bearer  |  Billy Marchenski

Dreaming of Koi  |  Dumb Instrument Dance

Proof  |  Kirsten Wicklund
Initial Response and Reconfiguration  |  Peter Smida

“1:1:1” (phase one)  |  Inverso Productions/Lesley Telford
Prominence & Glory  |  Kirsten Wicklund & Peter Smida

Confluence  |  Raven Spirit Dance
the sea of my tomorrows  |  Meredith Kalaman

Mama, do we die when we sleep?  |  Rachel Meyer

Tuning  |  Vanessa Goodman
The Threshing Floor  |  Rob Kitsos

ORIGINS/ How Do We Co-Exist?  |  Immigrant Lessons

by means of each other  |  Generous Mess
Fire06  |  OURO Collective

Two  |  Wen Wei Dance

M.O.I. – the partitions  |  Radical System Art/Shay Kuebler



Festival Film Package

Ted Littlemore by Wendy D.



Bodies  |  push/FOLD

Limb(e)s  |  Company Ci

Origins: How do we exist?  |  Immigrant Lessons


To note:  Please arrive no earlier than 30 minutes before the performance. At this time, we ask that masks be worn inside the Firehall. Patrons may take their masks off while in theirs seats, or outside in the courtyard at their discretion. Door sales will be available if the performance is not sold out.


DOTE Festival Staff

Donna Spencer Festival Producer

Amber Barton Associate Curator

Jessica Gerlach Administration

James Proudfoot Lighting Director/Technical Director

Alistair Wallace Venue Technical Director/Film Coordinator

Jillian Perry Production Manager

Evan Ren Production Assistant

Linzi Voth Stage Manager

Chris Randle Videographer

Jodi Smith/JLS Entertainment Publicity/Marketing Coordinator

James Glen Graphic Design

Ryan Yee Lighting Operator

Chengyan Boon Sound/Video Operator (1)

Taylor Janzen Sound/Video Operator (2)

Gabriel Raminhos Courtyard Lighting & Sound Operator


Board of Directors

Shion Carter by Lula-Belle Jedynak

Reshaad Ali President

Jack Vickery Vice President

Anna Dueck Secretary

Faiza Hakim Treasurer

Caitlin McKee Past President

Directors at Large:

Curtis Ellis

Dave Jackson

Ilona Guenther

Donna Spencer (ex-officio)


Firehall Staff

Donna Spencer Artistic Producer

Susan Shank General Manager

Alistair Wallace Technical Director

Jessica Gerlach Box Office and Marketing Coordinator

Jillian Perry Production Manager


Festival Venues

Firehall Arts Centre – Theatre & Courtyard

Kelly McInnes by Eddy Van Wyk

280 E Cordova St


V6A 1L3

Dr. Sun Yat-Sen Classical Garden

578 Carrall Street


V6B 5K2

Russian Hall

600 Campbell Avenue

BC V6A 3K1


Funding Bodies & Sponsors

BC Gaming Commission, Canada Council for the Arts, Canadian Heritage, British Columbia Arts Council, City of Vancouver, The Georgia Straight, East Van Graphics, City Television, Stir, & Dr. Sun Yat-Sen Classical Chinese Garden.

Special Thanks to

Bard on the Beach for providing the risers for our Courtyard Works, the Arts Club Theatre for producing our face masks, and our donors.