Fall Arts Preview: 5 Dance Shows to Delight and Inspire

From flamenco to philosophy to meditations on feast and famine, Vancouver’s dance roster is guaranteed to move you all through autumn.

1. Vancouver International Flamenco Festival

Since 1990, this annual event has celebrated the centuries-old musical and dance traditions of southern Spain that have become globally synonymous with romance and seduction. This year, a program of 10 events takes place at Granville Island’s Waterfront Theatre and other venues, featuring talents from across Canada and, of course, Spain. September 11 to 24, vancouverflamencofestival.org

2. Feasting on Famine

Combining theatre and dance with martial arts, local company Radical System Art is audacious by nature. Its newest production, which launches the Firehall’s 35th season, finds company founder Shay Kuebler exploring the inherent narcissism of bodybuilding and the pursuit of “trying to create the perfect body while others in the world are starving.” September 27 to 30, Firehall Arts Centre, firehallartscentre.ca

3. Ballet BC: Program

The city’s premier ballet company sets its 2017/18 season in motion by bringing together two international titans of the art form. Resident choreographer Cayetano Soto, from Barcelona, presents the world premiere of his own self-explanatory New Work, while Sweden’s Johan Inger performs his B.R.I.S.A. for the first time in North America. November 2 to 4, Queen Elizabeth Theatre, balletbc.com

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4. Dance in Vancouver

Dance artists in B.C. often struggle to reach global audiences (never mind those at home), which is why this biennial festival is so invaluable. As well as offering local enthusiasts the chance to see some of the province’s best contemporary soloists and companies in a concentrated time frame, the festival also draws scouts from around the world, who come to make new discoveries. This year’s program includes Aeriosa Dance Society, Co.ERASGA, Wen Wei Dance and many others. November 22 to 26, Scotiabank Dance Centre, thedancecentre.ca

5. Wells Hill

Via her non-profit company, Action at a Distance, Vancouver-based dance artist Vanessa Goodman has drawn considerable accolades (including being chosen for the prestigious Yulanda M. Faris Choreographers Program) for her thoughtful, often provocative work. In keeping with the company’s stated mission to “foster work that reflects the human condition, using dance to decode contemporary experience,” the three-years-in-the-making Wells Hill pays tribute to two legendary Canadian iconoclasts: musician Glenn Gould and media theorist Marshall McLuhan. (The production’s title is a reference to the address of Goodman’s Toronto childhood home, where McLuhan was a previous occupant.) November 24 to 26, Fei and Milton Wong Experimental Theatre, actionatadistance.ca

Check back for more on the hottest theatre, music and visual arts shows in Vancouver, part of our 2017 Fall Arts Preview!