After an invigorating this morning, my good friends Kathleen, Michele and I sat reveling in the exciting weekend ahead. As they sipped their coffee and tea just before heading into the studio to rehearse for this weekend they calmly let their muscles fire and relax to prepare for the afternoon.

This weekend at Open Studio Series performance audiences will be treated to some pieces that have been carefully moulded, still pliable for future workings but nonetheless formed into lively, conceptually explored and in depth performance work.

Michele, Lydia and Vivika getting prepped with their sweet kicks

Fresh from the studio will be Kathleen Doherty’s Emerge piece having been worked for 3 weeks 3 hours each day with 3 beautiful and talented dancers: Vivika Ballard, Michele Slattery and Lydia Zimmer. With Doherty’s go-getter attitude, the artistic director of Votive Dance has been nominated for and awarded numerous opportunities within the dance community. One such opportunity is the Emerge program which offers time to work a piece featured in Votive Dance Company’s upcoming annual show in April; allowing Open Studio attendees a sneak peek

Michele Lydia and Vivika in studio rehearsal with Kathleen

of the show ahead. Her piece allows for real-time exploration and will question the who what when and how of everyday. I stepped into the studio today to catch a glimpse of their rehearsals where they are working with power, rhythm and a trio of strength and humility.

La Azulita (Megan Matheson Hamilton) will be returning with her work delving deeper into her Kinetic Explorations artist residency. Working in her style of dance Flamenco; experimenting with new ways to present the traditional sphere with Hip Hop inspired sound performed by: Craig Mercer and MC Tacktishion of Universal Soul. The last time I saw her piece her solitary presence filled the room to the brim with light colour and enamour.

La Azulita

She executed precise arm and foot styling and a vocal composition that simultaneously played with the rhythm created by her feet. A piece to be excited for, Y Vas (and they go) will be entertaining on many levels.

Candice Pike is visiting us from small town Corner Brook in Newfoundland. Pike is a small town girl with a huge heart, personality and breadth of knowledge. Having first met this dynamite and socially engaged choreographer last May at the CLEaR Forum residency, our work together reached as far as Newfoundland’s Future of Nature Festival and will now be presented for Halifax’s audience.

Candice Pike and Kara Friesen in rehearsal for Couerpulse (ii) Photo: Tom Cochrane

Her interest in the Heart to create moving and contemplative performance has affected me as an artist which translated well to the warm and welcoming audience in Newfoundland. I’m so excited for Candice’s arrival in Halifax and to work with her again as interpreter; sharing her sense of compassion, empathy and intelligent curiosities with my home city. Candice’s interest in community, geographic and identity-based groups allows her to apply specific and alluring concepts within her work creating compelling and accessible work such as coeurPulse (ii)

Pamela Tzeng with an interest in solo and collaborative work will be offering a piece this weekend that attempts suspension in time. An impressive array of experience especially in the Western part of Canada, she will also be offering classes this Thursday and Friday morning at the Conservatory from 9:30-11am. A class focusing on floor play and bone initiated movement, the workshop will allow exploration of a dancer’s individual physicality.

Be sure to also attend Candice Pike’s workshop from 2pm-4pm open to ALL this Sunday at DANSpace. Based on her interest in the heart she will be leading our group through family engaged heart observation. Listen to your mother brother, cousin’s, baby’s or partner’s heart and learn to gain inspiration from the rhythm created from another life source.

Lots to participate in this weekend. Catch you on the flip side, grab a beer and relax this Saturday or Sunday as you witness some invigorating dance performance.

8PM/ Saturday and Sunday/ 27th and 28th/ February 2016

Tickets: $10 Regular/ Students and Seniors $8

9:30-11AM/ Thursday and Friday/ 25th and 26th/ February 2016


Maritime Conservatory 6199 Chebucto Rd.

2-4pm/ Sunday/ 28 February /2016


Cost: $10 per adult