Dance performances

Long-awaited dance performances and Michele Riml’s new play are suspended due to the latest provincial health decree

Vancouver’s performing arts community has once again been hit by a provincial health order.

Today, Dr. Bonnie Henry announced that all community events and gatherings have been suspended in coastal Vancouver and Fraser Health until December 7.

This decree takes effect at midnight tonight and aims to curb the spread of COVID-19.

According to Henry orderedthis includes “musical, theatrical or dance entertainment or performance, live band performance, disc jockey performance, striptease, comedy, art exhibition, magic show, show puppets, fashion shows, book signings, reading, recitation, display, film”, and many more.

One of the victims is a series of highly anticipated dance performances.

British Columbia choreographer and dancer Mary-Louise Albert was to launch a program tonight called Solo dances/From past to present at the Scotiabank Dance Centre.

It was going to be the first live show at this facility since the spring, featuring Livona Ellis, Vanessa Goodman, Rebecca Margolick performing solos that Albert danced over two decades ago. Albert herself would make her big comeback as a dancer at 65 in a solo piece choreographed by Serge Bennathon.

But the three days of live dancing have been canceled. Instead, a video of the show will air from December 3 to 17, depending on the Scotiabank Dance Center website.

The Chutzpa! Festival planned to present hourglassa world premiere of dance by choreographer Idan Cohen, live with a simulcast from the Norman & Annette Rothstein Theater on November 25.

A live comedy event is also planned for the closing party of the festival on November 28 at the same location. All the other Chutzpah! Festival performances are presented virtually.

These are not the only cultural programs concerned.

Shawn Macdonald and Amy Rutherford as siblings in The Amaryllis.
Emily Cooper

The Firehall Arts Center was also hit hard by the order. The Amarylliswritten by Michele Riml and directed by Mindy Parfitt, had four more shows in its run.

Due to Henry’s executive order, the fire station has suspended all live shows until December 7.

Coincidentally, the Law just included fire station art producer Donna Spencer in its annual Best of Vancouver issue for being a leader in developing safe COVID-19 protocols in the arts.

“We are discouraged by the recent restrictions to suspend further operations, as our clients have greatly appreciated the refuge we have provided for them to enjoy the performing arts, but we respect the advice of Dr Bonnie Henry and will comply with these orders placed up to date,” Spencer said in a statement.

“The Firehall Arts Center hopes to be able to offer live performances again with our seasonal production, Solstice Greetingson December 17, 18 and 19, pending approval from the provincial health services authority,” she continued. “Customers will be notified of a possible virtual performance of Solstice Greetings.”

by Anita Rochon pathetic error was to have its live premiere in Vancouver on November 25.

The Vancouver premiere of the Chop Theater play pathetic error was to last five days starting November 25. This exploration of the impact of extreme weather events features actor Jonathon Young on opening night in a live, online presentation. Online broadcasts will continue.

And Chor Leoni Men’s Choir has planned a series of Translucence: an immersive experience of light and sound at the Sheraton Wall Center Hotel from December 4 to 23.

Due to the location of the hotel’s Grand Ballroom, groups of guests will be seated at great distances from each other to view a light show and listen to pre-recorded music.