It is not often that Vancouver contemporary dance comes with homemade perogies.
But the tasty Eastern European dumplings will not be the only bite-size items on offer when Dances for a Small Stage moves to the Ukrainian Hall this weekend.
Now in its 12th year, the highly popular event sees dance artists and choreographers perform with three key restrictions: the stage is just 10 by 13 feet, the pieces are only five to seven minutes long, and they must be complete works with beginnings, middles and ends.
Among the premieres is a piece by So You Think You Can Dance Canada contestant Kirsten Wicklund that blurs classical lines with hip-hop, a work by veteran MachineNoisy choreographer Daelik that explores outer space using silver emergency blankets, a capoeira-fuelled creation by Farley Johansson, and a piece by Dayna Szyndrowski that combines tap with looped live harp.
“The beauty of the small stage is that you can get up there and experiment,” co-curator Julie-anne Saroyan says. “And it’s over in five to seven minutes, so you’re not too tortured if it doesn’t work out.”
Also joining the B.C. artists is Quebec choreographer Jean-François Duke of La Rotonde, who will launch Dances for a Small Stage in Quebec City. Between performances, emcee James Fagan Tait will read some of the world’s greatest poems about dance.
And then there are the perogies, sausages and beer that come with the new venue.
“The perogie people wanted to know how many people were coming and when I told them – I think they just about had a heart attack. They’ve never had so many,” Ms. Saroyan says. “But I’m pretty excited about that part.”