The Infringing Dance Festival will be “dancing in the belly of the dragon” as it hosts its major annual event at the same time the Nanaimo Dragonboat Festival is going on at Maffeo Sutton Park.
Crimson Coast Dance Society’s biggest festival is happening July 5-10, with free, ticketed, indoor and outdoor events from dawn for ‘early risers’ to dusk for ‘late nighters.’
Artistic director and producer for the Crimson Coast Dance Society, Holly Bright, said one of the headlining acts, Alexandra (Spicey) Landé, will teach a class on July 6, followed by a performance on July 7.
“She likes her choreography to remain true and faithful to the base of hip hop and its origins, while also exploring the choreographic language to be fluid in the storytelling. Which, in some ways, looks like a fusion of hip hop and contemporary dance,” said Bright.
On July 6, Spicey’s dance company EbnFloh will hold a class at the Vibe Dance Studio at 11 a.m.
The next day, from 8-9 p.m., EbnFloh will perform In Ward at the Port Theatre.
“They’re not the first company – many companies were working on the idea of isolation and autonomy and relationship before COVID even hit. And that’s when In Ward started to be developed. It was about those topics. And then COVID hit and those topics became real. The company continued to work on the piece while actually in isolation and then brought it together when they were able to reconnect again,” said Bright.
According to a release for the festival, In Ward is a street dance creation that plumbs the depths of complex relationships with all the dramatic tension and humour of humans grappling for hope.
Another unique French production starts July 9 at 5:30 a.m. and will take place at three locations within walking distance of each other at Pipers Lagoon. Le Souffle de l’Aube, (the Breath of Dawn) is an invitation to experience the daily rebirth of the sun at dawn. Participants will embody a collective tribute to the natural world that surrounds them, awakening and opening their minds to performances inspired by natural elements like rocks, wind and birds, noted the release.
“We have never really done anything like this … and this is really exciting because it connects us with the land which is something that seems to be incredibly important these days,” said Bright. “The dancers take on imagery like animals and creatures in the wild – which is why we’ve chosen Pipers Lagoon, because of its wildness. And the juxtaposition of the human body acting as an animal in the natural word is really breathtaking,” she said.
Infringing will see SplashMob participants learn and practise movements from July 5-7 at Sway’ A’ Lana Lagoon in advance of a free performance on July 10.
Following the EbnFloh dance class on July 6 will be a ‘Night Salsa in the Park’ at Maffeo Sutton’s Lions Pavilion.
July 7 will see Lila, an interactive performance born out of play, at Maffeo Sutton from 5-6:30 p.m., where performers and spectators use ‘silent disco’ technology to enjoy the show.
Also that day, from 6:30-7:45 p.m at the Port Theatre, a Ukrainian feast and fundraiser will be held for attendees to enjoy between shows. Money raised will go towards supporting local Ukrainian refugee families through Sandy’s Ukrainian Kitchen’s initiative.
On July 8, from 6-8 p.m., a ‘Glimpse of India,’ as curated by Sukhi Sangha, will see Bhangra-inspired music and dance with live performances and lessons, also at Maffeo Sutton.
An hour-long community drum circle led by Dave McGrath will start at 8 p.m. on July 8 at Maffeo Sutton Park.
On July 9, from 11-4:30 p.m., the ‘Qw’uyulush ‘utl Swy a lana’ will be held at Maffeo Sutton as a free event, curated by Tsatassaya White, which celebrates powerful performances by Indigenous artists. Bright indicated a possible “surprise visit” from Nanaimo’s hip hop dance duo Funkanometry.
‘Laughter and Lightbulbs’ will take place July 9 at the Port Theatre, starting at 7:30 p.m., and feature Nanaimo’s Peter Hudson and Sukhi Sangha, as well as Sunee Dhaliwal from Vancouver.
On the final day, July 10, ‘Domingo de fiesta’ will start at 11 a.m. as another free Maffeo Sutton event with nine performances demonstrating salsa, samba, capoeira, hip hop, swing and urban kiz.
Included in the city-wide festival will be a free downloadable augmented reality dance piece called Dance Trail by Gilles Jobin.
For tickets and more information, visit www.crimsoncoastdance.com/event/infringing-dance-festival-2022/.