Held in the upper lobby of the Playhouse prior to each performance, Speaking of Dance Pre-Show Talks are a great way to connect with the companies you are about to see. Hosted by a dance expert, and frequently featuring guests from the company, pre-show talks can deepen your understanding of contemporary dance and provide context for what’s on stage.
Speaking of Dance Pre-Show Talks begin at 7:15pm and are approximately half an hour in length.
Co-presented with SFU Woodward’s.
Clifton Brown (Choreographer’s Assistant, Dancer and Rehearsal Director) began his professional career when he joined the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater in 1999. There he was featured in many works, named Assistant Rehearsal Director, and served as Judith Jamison’s choreographic assistant. While dancing with the Ailey company he was nominated in the U.K. for a Critics Circle National Dance Award for best male dancer. Brown has received a “Bessie” Award in recognition of his work with the Ailey company, as well as a Black Theater Arts Award. He has had the privilege of performing at the White House, and for President Obama. He has also danced with Earl Mosley’s Diversity of Dance, Lar Lubovitch Dance Company, and as a guest artist with Miami City Ballet, Rome Opera Ballet, Nevada Ballet and Parsons Dance Company. He has made several television appearances including performing as a guest artist on So You Think You Can Dance and Dancing With The Stars. As a répétiteur, he has set the work of Alvin Ailey, Earl Mosley and Jessica Lang on various companies. He continues to assist Lang on her creations across the globe, most recently for Birmingham Royal Ballet and the Glimmerglass Opera Festival. Brown is a founding member of JLD.
Deborah Meyers (Dance Writer, Vancouver Sun) has been watching, writing and talking about dance for a long time and in multiple ways. She has edited a dance magazine (Dance International), contributed to national and international dance periodicals and publications, done radio reviewing, conducted research on the changing role of dance in communities, facilitated public conversations about dance on our stages and in our lives, participated in communities of practice on dance criticism, and for more than a decade been a freelance dance contributor to The Vancouver Sun. During the day she is Manager, Arts and Heritage, for the Department of Canadian Heritage.
Louis Robitaille (Artistic Director, BJM)
Janet Smith (Arts Editor, Georgia Straight) has been covering the arts scene in Vancouver for the past 25 years, covering everything from alleyway operas to tutu ballets. As well as serving as the arts editor for the Georgia Straight, she writes reviews and profiles about the city’s dance scene.
Hervé Koubi (Artistic Director, Compagnie Hervé Koubi)
Kaija Pepper (Editor, Dance International Magazine) is the editor of Dance International magazine (since Fall 2013). Her criticism and essays have appeared in the Globe and Mail, The Walrus, Queen’s Quarterly and many other publications. In 2014, Dance Chronicle in the U.S. commissioned her biographical essay, Creative Encounters and Critical Conversations. With Dance Collection Danse Press/es, she published a trio of books on Vancouver dance history, and in 2012 co-edited (with Allana C. Lindgren) Renegade Bodies: Canadian Dance in the 1970s. A highlight of past research was the hands-on experience of remounting Kay Armstrong’s 1949 quartet Étude with David LaHay at Ballet Kelowna. Kaija has enjoyed teaching Critical Writing in the Arts at Simon Fraser University, and also several incarnations of her Writing Dance workshop, first programmed by The Dance Centre in 2002 during Dancing on the Edge, and heading to Dance Victoria next July.