Making connections to and through dance

Image provided by Winnipeg's Contemporary Dancers & photo by Leif Norman.

Winnipeg’s Contemporary Dancers (WCD) has announced that it will be moving forward with programming for its 56th season.

In order to prevent the spread of COVID-19, WCD has put new preventative measures in place to ensure that both dancers and audience members are safe while still being able to enjoy the wonderful dancing on display in Winnipeg.

Physical distancing will be enforced both within and outside the theatre, with ushers present to help guide audience members in and out to ensure safe traffic flow. Seating plans throughout the theatre will be physically distanced as well, encouraging patrons to sit in assigned seats in addition to enforcing a limited seating capacity.

WCD is also mandating government protocols such as the use of face masks, hand sanitization and COVID-19 screening tools prior to attending shows.

All shows for the season will be less than an hour in length and will not have intermissions.

Artistic director Jolene Bailie is hopeful for the coming year.

“We are entering the season with vitality, caution and optimism,” she said. “We look forward to collaborating with this season’s artists, their collaborators and the dancers.”

As it currently stands, the 2020-21 season will include a variety of programs to suit the interests of all audiences.

The Emerging Artist Initiative, in association with the School of Contemporary Dancers, is offering a performance called Up Close and disDANCING, which will consist of three works by five emerging dancers who are entering their careers in the midst of COVID-19 and explore all the challenges that come along with this new reality. You can catch these performances Nov. 4 to 7.

The second set of shows WCD is putting on, as part of its subscription series, is a brand new, commissioned work by Jera Wolfe, which will run from Dec. 3 to 6. Wolfe — a choreographer and performer of Métis heritage — will be hosting an artist talk on his work following the Dec. 6 matinee performance.

The subscription series will also contain a new work by Bailie, running April 22 to 25. This work features an ensemble of Winnipeg dancers and collaborations with Susan Chafe and Hugh Conacher. Bailie is known for creating complex abstract works and will also be giving an artist talk after the April 25 matinee.

Also included in WCD’s subscription series are two self-created solos, by Linnea Swan and Sara Porter, on a shared program. These performances will run May 28 to 30, after which an artist talk will be held by the artists.

Yes, by Swan, is a combination of dance, theatre and bouffon and has seen success nationwide. In this piece, Swan addresses Yvonne Rainer’s 1965 No Manifesto.

Porter’s work is renowned for her use of intelligence and humour. In the piece she is bringing to WCD, This Is My Math Dance, Porter uses these concepts in order to navigate the queer identity.

All performances by WCD this season will take place at the Rachel Browne Theatre. Tickets for WCD’s 56th season can be bought online and the company requests that guests purchase tickets in advance as there is a limited seating capacity in the theatre.

 

Further information on WCD’s COVID-19 protocols this season, its virtual content and its 2020-21 programming can be found on its website, winnipegscontemporarydancers.ca.