Left to right, Michelle Lui, Bevin Poole and Vanessa Goodman. (photo by David Cooper)
Dancers Dancing and SFU Woodward’s present the world première of 20.20.20, in which audiences will not just see, but feel the city come to life onstage. At the Goldcorp Centre for the Arts Sept. 24-27, the show captures the atmosphere of urban Vancouver in all of its complexities from a unique lens.
Celebrating 20 years of working in Vancouver, choreographer Judith Garay looks at 20 intersections in the city to set 20 dancers in motion – inspired by interactions of architecture, pigeons, overpasses, green spaces, mountain views, skateboards and especially the people, old and young. Contrast and contradiction drive the work to be physically exhilarating and thoughtful, prosaic and emotionally charged.
The artists – including Jewish community member Vanessa Goodman – have dug their heels into the world of Vancouver, and brought their experiences and observations back to the studio, where it has been a process of using pedestrian research and full-body articulation to create beauty in otherwise overlooked aspects of city life. The synergy of their work is expressed organically in the process, as the dancers have felt charged by the city itself. They expect a similar visceral reaction for audiences.
As the team continues to organically replicate the city life to stage, they have been surprised in how the process is revealing Vancouver. Contrasts keep resurfacing, like urban and green, rich and poor, young and old and the infamous weather that changes a sky of grey clouds to one of blinding sun. These balances reflect the ever-evolving city from day to day, and naturally beg for a creative portrayal that is full of movement and life.
With music by Stefan Smulovitz, lighting by John Carter and costumes by Margaret Jenkins, 20.20.20 steers away from a traditional tour of Vancouver, instead providing multiple ways to emotionally experience the city. Performances at the Goldcorp Centre, 149 West Hastings St., are at 8 p.m. Tickets are available online at sfuwoodwards.ca or dancersdancing.com.