Dancer Genevieve Johnson performs during the Crimson Coast Dance Society annual general meeting on Feb. 28. (Josef Jacobson/The News Bulletin)

Dancer Genevieve Johnson performs during the Crimson Coast Dance Society annual general meeting on Feb. 28. (Josef Jacobson/The News Bulletin)

Crimson Coast Dance Society marks 20th anniversary at annual general meeting

Founder Holly Bright says her group has helped grow contemporary dance in Nanaimo

Holly Bright says contemporary dance was nonexistent in Nanaimo when she moved to the city in 1992. Since then, Crimson Coast Dance Society’s founding artistic director said she’s seen it grow into a small industry that draws crowds to rival the big cities.

“Comparatively, city-to-city, Nanaimo’s attendance numbers are right on par,” Bright said.

“We’re on par with Vancouver audiences, particularly relative to population size, and nonetheless sometimes we have bigger audiences than the same show will get in Vancouver. So there’s definitely an interest.”

This year Crimson Coast marks 20 years of promoting, presenting and nurturing contemporary dance in Nanaimo. Bright said her group’s efforts have been fruitful, as contemporary dance is no longer an obscure novelty.

“Every school has contemporary dance, the Upper Island Musical Festival has a contemporary dance section … and now all the schools are inviting other artists in to come and teach from outside, so there’s this industry that’s starting,” she said.

“And to be 20 and see that our impact is that, means a lot. I know that, no matter what, there’s been an impact and that people have been touched by it.”

Crimson Coast’s anniversary was celebrated at the group’s annual general meeting at Pacific Gardens Co-housing Community on Feb. 28 with cake and a performance by dancer Genevieve Johnson.

Bright said the organization is maturing beyond its adolescent phase. She said her goal is to increase the scale of their programming by bringing in more international artists and commissioning increasingly complex performances by local artists.

“We’re just at this place where we’re no longer a teenager and we’re really looking to be an organization that continues to expand and grow rather than just do what we always do,” Bright said.

“And so in order to do that and continue on in our life we get to grow a lot of roots and a lot of branches.”

During the meeting, Bright outlined the events Crimson Coast will be presenting for the remainder of its season. She said she was particularly excited about an upcoming collaborative show featuring local dancers and the NOLA Nighthawks jazz band.

But Bright noted that Crimson Coast’s offerings are limited by its budget and in order to keep providing new platforms for local and visiting dancers, Crimson Coast needs to increase society membership and audience turnout.

Her question for potential patrons of dance is, “Are you curious?”

“There’s some really fantastic stuff that happens on the stage,” she said.

“It’s provocative and stimulating and beautiful. It’s amazing what people can do with their bodies and how innovating people are when they’re articulating an idea through the body… It’s like witnessing poetry unfolding in front of you.”



arts@nanaimobulletin.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Island Health is expanding COVID-19 testing in Nanaimo with a new testing location at Vancouver Island University. (News Bulletin file photo)
Island Health expands COVID-19 testing in Nanaimo

Health authority opens new testing site with double the capacity at Vancouver Island University

Steven Michael Bacon, is expected to see his next court date Feb. 12, in B.C. provincial court in Nanaimo, where a date for a preliminary inquiry could be set. (News Bulletin file)
Date for preliminary inquiry in Makayla Chang murder case expected in two months’ time

Steven Michael Bacon’s next appearance in Nanaimo court set for Feb. 12

The city has announced that the Port Theatre will be closed until the new year. (News Bulletin file photo)
Nanaimo’s Port Theatre to remain closed until end of 2020

Refunds available as December events rescheduled due to COVID-19 restrictions

Jesse Birch, Nanaimo Art Gallery curator, hangs a print by B.C. artist Anna Wong. An exhibit of 70 of the artist’s works opens Friday, Dec. 4, and runs until Feb. 7. (Chris Bush/News Bulletin)
Nanaimo Art Gallery exhibit explores life work of overlooked B.C. printmaker

‘Anna Wong: Traveller on Two Roads’ features more than 70 art works and personal belongings

Patricia Kent, 25, was reported missing over the weekend, as her family has been unable to reach her, say police. (Photo submitted)
UPDATE: RCMP report Nanaimo woman missing since Saturday found safe

Patricia Kent, 25, had not been seen nor heard from since Saturday, say police

A B.C. Ambulance Service paramedic wearing a face mask to curb the spread of COVID-19 moves a stretcher outside an ambulance at Royal Columbia Hospital, in New Westminster, B.C., on Sunday, November 29, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
B.C. records deadliest weekend of COVID-19 pandemic with 46 deaths; more than 2,300 cases

Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry provides COVID-19 update

A sign is seen this past summer outside the Yunesit’in Government office west of Williams Lake reminding visitors and members to stay safe amid the COVID-19 pandemic. (Rebecca Dyok photo)
B.C. First Nation leaders await Commissioner decision on COVID-19 case information

Release of life-saving data cannot wait, says coalition of First Nations

MLA Jennifer Whiteside is also the minister of education. She is speaking out against Chilliwack school trustee Barry Neufeld and asking him to resign. (Black Press)
New education minister calls on Chilliwack trustee to resign

Whiteside echoes former minister’s promise to look at options to remove Barry Neufeld

Peter Beckett. ~ File photo
Supreme Court of Canada to decide if it will hear appeal in 2010 wife murder trial

Peter Beckett has stood trial twice for murder in connection with the death of his wife, Laura Letts-Beckett

Tabor Home in Abbotsford. (Ben Lypka/Abbotsford News)
B.C.’s largest COVID-19 care-home outbreak records 19 deaths, 147 cases

Tabor Home in Abbotsford has been battling outbreak since Nov. 4

Ash and Lisa Van carry a freshly cut Christmas tree while wearing personal protective masks at a Christmas Tree Farm in Egbert, Ontario, Sunday, Nov. 29, 2020 THE CANADIAN PRESS/ Cole Burston
‘Everyone wants a tree and they want it now’: Christmas tree sales on pace for record

Anticipated demand for Christmas trees has sparked a rush by some to purchase more trees wholesale

Business groups have been advocating for years that local approvals for construction in B.C. are too long and restricted, and that B.C.’s outdates sales tax deter business investment. (Black Press Media file photo)
B.C. residents worried about COVID-19 deficit, business survey finds

Respondents support faster local approvals, value added tax

The first of two earthquakes near Alaska on the morning of Tuesday, Dec. 1, 2020, is shown in blue. (USGS)
No tsunami risk after two earthquakes near Alaska

Both earthquakes hit near the U.S. state on Dec. 1

The CVRD will reconsider its policies on fireworks after receiving complaints. (File photo)
Cowichan Valley Regional District considers options for fireworks after complaints

Distict only allows fireworks on Halloween and New Year’s Eve, with a permit

Most Read