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Thursday, June 13, 2024

Julia Taffe & Justine A Chambers recipients of this year’s dance awards

Annual awards acknowledge both the achievements and the potential of British Columbia’s choreographers

The artistic director of high-flying Vancouver dance company, and Vancouver dance artist have been named recipients of this year’s BC Dance Awards.

Receiving the 2018 Isadora Award for Excellence in Dance is choreographer and artistic director of vertical dance company Aeriosa, Julia Taffe. A certified rock guide, prior to her work at Aeriosa, Taffe worked with dance artist Ruth Cansfield, and California based dance company, Bandaloop.

The annual Isadora Award, named after 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. Members of the dance community nominate artists for the award, and an independent jury of professionals makes the selection. Recipients receive a sculpture by glass artist Mary Filer, subsidized rehearsal space at Scotiabank Dance Centre and a monetary award.

Winner of the Lola Award for mid-career and senior choreographers is Justine A. Chambers. The award “acknowledges Justine A. Chambers’ commitment to opening new conceptual and experiential spaces for audiences and performers, and her work as a thinker, collaborator across disciplines, and catalyst who explores and creates new ground for embodied performance.”

Named after the award-winning Vancouver dance artist Lola MacLaughlin, who died in 2009 after a long battle with cancer. The biennial award consists of a $10,000 cash prize for the artist.

“We hope this award will reflect and nurture some of the essence of Lola’s spirit, artistic approach and vision, and contribute to the growth of a Vancouver aesthetic that reaches beyond our shores,” says Tony Giacinti, Lola’s husband and a major contributor to the establishment of the award.

The Lola Award has been previously presented to Crystal Pite (2012), Lee Su-Feh (2014) and Rosario Ancer (2016).

“These awards illustrate the depth of artistry and the diversity of choreographic approaches and investigations in British Columbia’s dance community today,” says Mirna Zagar, executive director of The Dance Centre. “They also attest to how dance manifests itself in our society both on and off stage, how this ever-evolving art form transforms and challenges the traditional understanding of what dance is and what it can be, and how dance can magically reshape our world and contribute to new connections to our environment.”

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