The Vernon and District Performing Arts Centre presents Toronto Dance Theatre’s House Mix March 3. (Photo submitted)

Performance showcases best of Canadian choreographer

Toronto Dance Theatre's House Mix pirouettes through Vernon March 3

Christopher House began his career as a dancer and worked his way up to being one of Canada’s most renowned choreographers.

The Vernon and District Performing Arts Centre presents Toronto Dance Theatre’s House Mix March 3 at 7:30 p.m. House Mix is the fourth show in the Vernon and District Performing Arts Centre Society’s 2017/18 Dance series.

Named Canada’s “most enduringly inventive choreographer” by the National Post, House Mix showcases the best of House’s award-winning contributions to Canadian dance.

“Featuring six masterworks from his career, this touring program celebrates the high calibre choreographic invention of House and the Toronto Dance Theatre,” said society audience development officer Keyanna Burgher.

House joined the Toronto Dance Theatre as a dancer in 1979, became resident choreographer in 1981 and finally artistic director in 1994. Under his direction, the company has collaborated with international artists and brought stimulating new perspectives to the scene, influencing dancers and choreographers across the country.

“House Mix commemorates the past, present and future of House’s career,” Burgher said.

The 90-minute program includes Martingales, Fjeld duet, Fjeld trio, Thirteen, Echo Dark, and the kinetic classic Vena Cava. Titled after the veins that carry blood into the heart, the closing number Vena Cava features flowing, bold red costumes and stunning ensemble movements, reminiscent of the inner workings of the human body.

“Come early for a pre-show performance by emerging choreographer Damarise Ste Marie as she presents Heartbeats. Five performers meld drumming, body percussion and movement to create an exciting fusion performance inspired by contemporary, flamenco and Gumboot dance,” Burgher said. “The artists move as a collective, each finding their own way within the group. The dancers construct and deconstruct shapes in the space by manipulating wooden boxes, which also act as musical instruments. Audience members are invited to participate in the performance by providing pulse and rhythm; a collection of heartbeats.”

Heartbeats will start at 7 p.m. in the Marie Flemming Hall.

In lead up to House Mix, the Society hosts Looking Back, Looking Forward: Artists in Conversation; a panel discussion of local artists celebrating over 30 years of successful artistic careers, emceed by The Morning Star arts editor Parker Crook.

“Join us Feb. 22 at 7 p.m. as Vernon’s best, including author John Lent, composer Imant Raminsh and visual artist Julie Oakes share insights on life as working artists, and what’s to come in their future works. Celebrate Vernon’s own local artists and their contributions to our community.”

This panel discussion event is free and open to the public.

Tickets for House Mix March 3 are $38 for adults, $35 for seniors and $33 for students and are on sale now through the Ticket Seller, 250-549-7469, www.ticketseller.ca.

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