Helen Walkley takes this year's Isadora Award while Paras Terezakis is the recipient of the Lola Award. Photos by Chris Randle.
Helen Walkley takes this year's Isadora Award while Paras Terezakis is the recipient of the Lola Award. Photos by Chris Randle.

Dance artist Helen Walkley and Kinesis Dance somatheatro’s artistic director Paras Terezakis are this year’s recipients of the BC Dance Awards.

“These are trying times for the arts and culture sector. Nothing is normal, and reasons to celebrate are few. So I am very pleased to have the opportunity to support and acknowledge the achievements of two exceptional artists,” says The Dance Centre’s executive director Mirna Zagar in a media release. “These awards illustrate the depth of artistry and the diversity of choreographic approaches in British Columbia today.”

Winner of the 2020 Isadora Award for Excellence in Dance is Vancouver-based independent dance artist, choreographer, improviser, performer and teacher Helen Walkley.

The annual award, named for dance pioneer Isadora Duncan, was established by The Dance Centre in 1999 to recognize and celebrate the achievements of the dance profession in British Columbia. Nominated by dance artists, the winner is selected by a jury of peers. Walkley will receive a sculpture designed by glass artist Mary Filer, subsidized rehearsal space and a cash award.

Created in 2012 to encourage and facilitate the work of mid-career and senior choreographers, the biennial Lola Award is named after award-winning Vancouver dance artist Lola McLaughlin.

This year’s recipient of the $10,000 cash award is Kinesis Dance somatheatro’s Paras Terezakis, acknowledging his “commitment to cross-disciplinary collaboration”.

A native of Greece, Terezakis began his professional training in ballet and theatre studies, going on to work with Experimental Ballet Athens and various theatre companies. After moving to Canada, he continued his studies before founding Kinesis Dance somatheatro in 1986. Since that time, he has created over forty works for his company, which has performed in fifteen countries across Europe, Asia and the Americas. Terezakis was the 2010 recipient of the Isadora Award for Excellence in Choreography for his piece BOX4.

“Helen and Paras have each contributed well over two decades of dedicated commitment to the development of the art form,” says Zagar in the release. “Each has pushed artistic boundaries and taken audiences on transformative journeys. The times we are living currently require reflection; they require care and attentiveness to the work of others, so we can hear our own voices better and see more clearly what our role may be. The arts and artists are more important than ever now. We hope that we will soon be able to come together to salute them in person as well.”