Crimson Coast Dance Society’s Infringing Dance Festival includes pieces such as Co.Erasga’s Unwrapping Culture, which shows July 8 at 7 p.m. at the Vancouver Island Conference Centre. Photo Contributed

Crimson Coast Dance presents Infringing Dance Festival July 6-9

Annual festival in Nanaimo combines traditional and contemporary voices through dance

Traditional and contemporary voices combine through dance during the 19th annual Infringing Dance Festival.

The festival runs from July 6-9. Free performances are at Maffeo Sutton Park and paid performances and workshops are at various locations.

“What we get to do is share culture through dance, one of the most beautiful aspects of culture,” said Holly Bright, artistic director of Crimson Coast Dance Society, about the annual festival. “When we understand something, we care about it. It’s a wonderful opportunity to experience traditional cultural dances as well as the contemporary voice of the dancers who are strongly connected to their culture.”

Bright said with it being Canada’s 150th anniversary this year, it is an important time of reconciliation and of honouring other cultures.

“One of the things I really appreciate is the contemporary work of artists who are steeped in vision and are speaking from that place in their bones, their cultural connection through their cultural voice,” said Bright. “This year’s festival is completely different in that each indoor performance is intimate and interactive. The audience are not mere spectators, nor are you put on the spot. The audience gets to engage with the work as though it were an installation in a gallery. My intention is that these unique shared experiences enhance our understanding of each other through cultural dances and contemporary cultural voices.

The Things I Carry, by Battery Opera and Lee Su-Feh, is July 7 at 8 p.m. and July 8 at 2 p.m. at the White Room, located at 4 Church St. The show uses storytelling, song, movement and electronic devices to open conversations and artistic reflections on migrations and the cultural impact for European and Canadian societies.

“She speaks about how we are connected as people and how we connect to each other through the land,” said Bright. “If we separate ourselves from the land, we separate us from each other.”

Rapping and Unwrapping Culture is July 8 at 7 p.m. at Vancouver Island Conference Centre’s Dodd Narrows room. The event includes two pieces: Unwrapping Culture by Company Erasga and Hip Hop Pow Wow with Angela Miracle Gladue, DJ All Good and Wass Wuttunee.

Bright said Unwrapping Culture is a piece that explores the commodification of culture and how it changes the culture and how people relate to it.

This Land, These Waters on July 6 at 7 p.m. at Vancouver Island Conference Centre’s Dodd Narrows room. The show features Snuneymuxw dancers and a Body of Water residency performance.

Tickets are $25 per show available on Crimson Coast Dance’s website.

Attendees can purchase tickets, register for workshops or learn about festival performances at the dance museum tent, located in Maffeo Sutton Park beside the Nanaimo dragonboat information booth.

The festival also includes a number of workshops, which can be found on the organization’s website.

Infringing Dance Festival has many free activities at Maffeo Sutton Park running July 7-9. A full list of activities is available by visiting

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