Dancing Through The Seasons Artistic Director's Message
Welcome to spring and all the good new energy it brings. This edition of our newsletter celebrates some of the growing branches and roots deepening within and around Aeriosa.
We are so excited to be working alongside Butterflies in Spirit and their inspiring circle of partners on our upcoming co-production, "Dancing to Remember". The vision we are creating together comes straight from the heart and puts dance into service as a practice of activism and healing.
We are intently focused on providing a welcoming, accessible, respectful environment for people to gather. If you feel ready to return to the theatre, please do join us, for this is a truly special show you won't want to miss. Tickets are available via our websiteaeriosa.com
Warm wishes, Julia Taffe, Artistic Director
Current Dancing to Remember - April 30th @ 6pm
Photo Credits: Jaime Leigh Gianopoulous & Tim Matheson
Government of Canada and Women and Gender Equality Canada, City of Vancouver, Canada Council for the Arts, Vancouver Foundation, Vancouver Civic Theatres, BC Arts Council, Shadbolt Centre for the Arts, Roundhouse Community Arts and Recreation Centre, Vancouver Aboriginal Community Policing Society, WAVAW (rape crisis centre), Full Circle First Nations Performance, Luminesque Dance, Supernaturals Modeling
With gratitude and respect for these lands and their first peoples we acknowledge the xʷməθkwəy̓əm (Musqueam), Skwxwú7mesh (Squamish), and Səl̓ílwətaɬ (Tsleil-Waututh)
Looking Back A Web of Interconnected Species VanDusen Garden - 2019
During the first Vancouver International Vertical Dance Summit (VIVDS), thirty-nine artists from around the world explored Aeriosa systems for dancing with trees at VanDusen Garden, when long-time Aeriosa dancers Keely Sills and Julia Carr co-led a week-long workshop exploring movement in the trees with the VIVDS participants.
Shortly afterwards, Julia and Keely returned to the VIVDS VanDusen tree workshop site and co-created an Aeriosa performance called “A Web of Interconnected Species” which was open to public audiences.
Dance Artists: Chandra Krown, Gina Alpen, Julia Carr and Meghan Goodman Photos provided courtesy of Meghan Goodman.
Inspiration In The Arts
We would like to introduce our newsletter readers to the music of Kin Balam. Composer/performer Balam has been commissioned by the Butterflies in Spirit to create a new song for the Butterflies and guest artists which will premiere at “Dancing to Remember".
What is Kin Balam (The Path of The Jaguar)
“Kin” the “path” (in Lenca Poton), and “Balam”, “jaguar” (in Mayan Yucatec) translates as the path of the jaguar. In my Indigenous culture the jaguar is a profound, and philosophically multi-layered symbol central to our identity. The jaguar is seen to be the most powerful, highly intelligent, and beautiful creature capable of wielding mastery over the jungle. In ancient times, our warriors used to paint themselves as jaguars before they walked into battle. This was done to bathe themselves in the spiritual powers the jaguar possessed. The jaguar is also the animal spirit whom represents femininity, and our mother earth.
My personal life story, and that of my communities’ is one defined by the relationship between a far-reaching struggle, and the journey taken to heal and overcome such impossible odds. The real human story of our personal and collective path is the very essence of Kin Balam. In this sense, Kin Balam symbolizes returning to ourselves, to our roots, to our deepest truths, to our learning of tangible love, to the healing of our pain, to decolonizing, to reconnection, to forgiveness, to the mistakes that fructify into teachings, to the actions required by necessary social, environmental, and political change. These conceptions gave birth to Kin Balam, The Path of the Jaguar. For all we truly leave behind and before us, is the legacy of our actions. And it is this very legacy, which we all must soulfully, and mindfully be giving rise to.
Click on Balam's social media links below to learn more:
Special Connections Julia Carr - Aeriosa Assistant Artistic Director
Julia Carr braids together a livelihood as a dancer, collaborative interdisciplinary creator, educator, arts administrator and emerging photographer. Since 2005 Carr has danced professionally. Predominantly for Vancouver-based Choreographers including: Caroline Liffmann, Michelle Olson, Julia Taffe, Yvonne Chartrand, Henry Daniel and others. In 2008, Julia co-founded the interdisciplinary Body Narratives Collective where she began integrating her dance and photography practices into creative expressions. In 2008 Carr also became Assistant Artistic Director of the Vancouver-Island youth dance company Dancestreams, which she now directs from the mainland. Julia also helps BC teachers and classrooms use dance to explore curriculum subjects through Vancouver Biennale, Artstarts, and Dance Centre initiatives. In 2014 Julia Carr was selected as one of three Canadian artists to participate in a nomadic interdisciplinary arts residency in Australia. She then returned down under to collaboratively create and perform on a grain silo as part of the Nati Frinj 2017. Julia became a Mom in 2015, and acted as General Manager helping Peter Bingham at EDAM from 2018-2022.
Tell us about how you started dancing with Aeriosa?
It was a combination of luck and opportunity. I was in a rehearsal process with Raven Spirit Choreographer Michelle Olson which involved working with dancer Cara Siu, who had recently done a first gig with Aeriosa for the opening of the Richmond Olympic Oval. Cara gave me the insider tip that Aeriosa's Artistic Director Julia Taffe (JT) was looking to train some new dancers. I had seen glimpses of the Company, and thought "I'd love to do that!", so I followed up and emailed Julia Taffe with a letter of interest and resume. I had done some aerial cradle sessions with Kira Schaffer and an Aeriosa workshop inside the Dance Centre’s theatre previously. JT met me for coffee, and offered me a gig that I accepted. The project was to figure out how to work and perform outdoors in Whistler in February 2009 in preparation for 2010 Cultural Olympiad celebrations. Michelle Olson was the co-choreographer of this project. I also remember that after JT offered me the opportunity, Cara and Michelle took me to the climbing gym for the first time ever. I climbed halfway up the wall when my legs started shaking and like a scared kitten I took a belayed lower to the ground. I did touch the top anchor before I left the gym that session, but I also recognized for the first time perhaps a real visceral fear of heights. I think it was only a 30ft high truss that I worked on for my first Aeriosa gig, and I sort of chuckle at myself nowadays when I remember how ‘exhilarating’ I found the highest point in particular rigging that system.
What are you looking forward to creating and doing with your new position as Aeriosa’s Assistant Artistic Director?
I am looking forward to continuing to work and dance with all of the wonderful people in Aeriosa’s network. I am also looking forward to integrating my long-exposure photography and vertical dance practices into creative expressions through this new position. I'm excited about the relatively new partnership with the Roundhouse Arts and Recreation Centre-- Aeriosa now has a place from which to offer vertical dance training opportunities! In addition, I have an interest in helping Aeriosa to identify architectural and tree dancing workshop and performance ‘venue’ sites. So, if you are reading this, and are connected to a site with architecture or giant tree partners longing for dancers, could you please send further info about that to my new email address: email@example.com ? Thank you!
What is important and relevant to you as an artist ?
I try not to take this life for granted and aim to make choices that benefit both myself and others. I strive to see things as they are, and not just as I want them to be. Artistic inquiry is important to me for processing and moving beyond pre-conceived notions. I love collaborating with people, discovering overlapping curiosities, so that the creation emerges into items or performance ceremonies and rituals that are larger and beyond the scope of a single human. A lot of my work to date has been responsive to opportunities, which is delightful, but I am also looking to make more intentional choices in the future. My dance and photography practices have both reached broadly into encompassing different styles, techniques, and communities. I value approaching encountered differences with curiosity.
When you think about 'flying', what do you imagine or envision?
A wall with big loft (that means a LONG rope). Hitting the height of a big jump there is a moment of what feels like weightlessness or flying before I feel the gentle tug of the rope guiding me back towards the wall.
to learn more about Julia Carr, visit her social media here:
Aeriosa Dance Society · 25-717 West 8th Ave · Vancouver, BC V5Z 1C9 · Canada