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

Just Posted

OPINION: It’s important that we exercise our right to vote

If we vote for a competent and collaborative council, the Hub City will thrive, says guest columnist

Discontent City can remain where it is until the end of next month

B.C. Supreme Court judge grants application for an extension to comply with injunction

Clippers bounce back and beat Eagles

Nanaimo defeats Surrey 6-2, next home game is this Sunday, Oct. 21

SD68 candidates make last pitch prior to election

Nanaimo Duncan and District Labour Council hosted a meet-and-greet for prospective school trustees

LETTER TO THE EDITOR: So much for ‘say no to drugs’ in Canada

I’m from the ‘users are losers’ generation, says letter writer

UPDATE: Shots fired at house during fight in Nanaimo

Shots were fired at about 2:30 p.m. Thursday in 500 block of Kennedy Street, say RCMP

Candidate lists finalized for Nanaimo, Lantzville, RDN, school district

Nomination deadline passes in advance of Oct. 20 local government elections

Election 2018: candidate questionnaires

News Bulletin’s questionnaire responses for Nanaimo, Lantzville, school board, regional district

When to vote, where to vote, how to vote

Voting day is Oct. 20, with polls open 8 a.m.-8 p.m.

Beefs & Bouquets, Oct. 18

To submit a beef or bouquet to the Nanaimo News Bulletin, e-mail bulletinboard@nanaimobulletin.com

‘Mom, I’m in trouble:’ Canadian faces 10 years for alleged graffiti

Brittney Schneider, another tourist caught spraying message on walls of Tha Pae Gate in Thailand

Feds consulting on national anti-racism strategy behind closed doors

Heritage Minister Pablo Rodriguez says people still face systemic racism in some communities

Enbridge aims for mid-November to finish B.C. pipeline repair after blast

A natural gas pipeline that ruptured and burned near Prince George caused an explosion and fireball

Most Read