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Redefining the Contemporary
a roundtable discussion about the traditional & contemporary in dance

featuring: Margaret Grenier, Colleen Lanki, Lesley Telford and Sujit Vaidya
moderated by: Scheherazaad Cooper

December 5, 2020 @ 5-7pm PST
(short presentations and audience-panel discussion)


View the livestream as it happens on YOUTUBE

Read a SUMMARY OF THE ROUNDTABLE (click on the "read summary" button )

In Spring 2018, as one of her Artist-in-Residence activities at the Dance Centre, TomoeArts' artistic director Colleen Lanki organized an in-camera discussion with an amazing group of artists. Each of these artists works in a form of dance that uses a specific physical language and has a lineage of transmission which marks that form as "traditional," yet each artist creates "contemporary" performances incorporating those forms. The discussion was so rich, they decided they would expand it and share it with more people.

This roundtable discussion is the public face that discussion, and we want anyone connected to the performing arts to add their voice: audiences, artists, educators, researchers, funders, critics, students, administrators... We are investigating the following questions:
How is the "contemporary" expressed and perceived in a dance form normally labelled as "traditional" or "classical"?
Can we expand those perceptions and if so how?
Do we need new vocabulary for a different way to frame our work?
How can curation and programming expand to include more dance forms (particularly those not immediately labelled "Western"or (big C) "Contemporary" dance?

Each artist will present or demonstrate a specific idea or viewpoint. We will then open our discussion to you all, with hopes of broadening the scope of what "contemporary" means.

See the Dance Central article on the original in-camera discussion. See pages 4-6.

Read an article on the series in Dance International

This roundtable is part of an international series of events on the same topic. There will be online roundtables in India and Peru.
Please click HERE for more information.

more on the participants...

Scheherazaad Cooper is an accomplished Canadian performer and choreographer, drawing from nearly thirty years as an Odissi classical Indian dancer, as well as a background in theatre. She holds a PhD in Sociology and Performance from Goldsmiths University of London, and regularly serves as expert consultant, community programmer, and policy advisor.

Margaret Grenier is of Gitxsan and Cree ancestry and the Executive and Artistic Director for the Dancers of Damelahamid, which is dedicated to reviving Gitxsan dance traditions and presenting Indigenous dance.
Colleen Lanki is a performance creator, and the Artistic Director of TomoeArts. She has decades of training in nihon buyoh (dance of the kabuki theatre and the geisha) and holds the professional name Fujima Sayû.
Lesley Telford has worked for ballet companies around the world and is the Artistic Director of Inverso Productions.
Sujit Vaidya is an independent bharatanatyam artist based in Vancouver and has performed extensively in Canada, US, Europe and India.

Complete bios HERE.

Supported in part by The Dance Centre.