Our Present Dance Histories (2017)

 

Our Present Dance Histories, or, Dance Histories Project, or, Vancouver Dance: an incomplete history of the present – Part 1 is a collaborative work between Alexa Mardon, Justine A. Chambers and Peter Dickinson, with installation design by Natalie Purschwitz. The project premieres at Dance In Vancouver 2017, from November 22nd-November 26th, throughout the city and at all times.

Almost three years ago, we (Justine A. Chambers, Peter Dickinson, and Alexa Mardon) set out to make a project about the past, present and future of our dance community. As we know, history is never fixed – it is subjective, fragmented, and continuously moving. As dance artists, our histories are often written for us, rarely written by us. What would it mean to be the authors of our own contexts?

Our Present Dance Histories, or, Dance Histories Project, or, Vancouver Dance: an incomplete history of the present – Part 1, is, as of November 2017, a fragmented and decentralized work, housed in The Dance Centre, and in the bodies of the community that moves through, with, around, and against this space. It is a choreography of words and thoughts, a sprawling, living installation, a research project with no governing hypothesis and no anticipated conclusion. Drawing from over fifty interviews with a range of Vancouver dance artists, the project consciously investigates the slippage between fact and fiction, the ways in which much of this history is shared, but also remembered differently–in ways that are distinctly emplaced and individually embodied. Recognizing this, we invite you to meet the work, and its various distributed component parts, on your own terms and in your own time, moving through the project and having it move through you.

Dance Centre has published some writing around the project, which positions each of the collaborators more deeply in relation to the work.