Propeller Dance Unveils Unique Pieces At Works-In-Progress Show

Propeller Dance is back this year with two new works-in-progress unique to dance in Ottawa and for Propeller Dance itself, and the buzz is strong. Two shows are already sold out on, June 21 and 22, though tickets remain for Wednesday June 20th at 7:30 pm. In its fourth year as artist-in-residence at Great Canadian Theatre Company [GCTC], the show is taking place in the Irving Greenberg Theatre Centre Studio Theatre, at 1233 Wellington St. W, with show times at 7:30pm.

The first piece in the show is Picture This, an ambitious project taken on by Artistic Co-Director, Shara Weaver. A group of ten community dancers will be presenting a series of powerful vignettes on the theme of embracing yourself amidst societal pressures and barriers. Most of these artists are brand new to the world of dance, exploring the creative process of self-expression under the direction of Shara and her director mentee Surraya Aziz. Of the project, Shara states, "I am so proud of the immense creativity and openness of this group to explore their histories through movement and storytelling." Plans are to present a development of this work on GCTC's mainstage in 2018-2019.

The second half of the show is My Mother's mother's mother's mother, the debut work of company dancer Robert Chartier about his journey connecting with his Indigenous heritage. Robert is of Wendat-Huron descent, and through his creative process has visited the indigenous community of Wendake numerous times. There, he met Wendat artists Aroussen and Bryce Morison, who have been advising him on the piece and will be dancing, singing and drumming in the performances.

Robert is the latest participant in Propeller Dance's Emerging Choreographers program, launched in 2013. This program is the first of its kind in Canada, aimed at mentoring artists with disability to develop their own artistic voice. Rob has also been successful in receiving individual grants as an artist during this process, through Canada Council for the Arts. Back in February, Robert was selected as one of ten recipients for the CBC Ottawa Trailblazer awards, which highlighted Ottawans making an impact in their communities. Of the creative experience, Robert told CBC, "I'm proud of myself, looking for my own history and what I've accomplished. I go to Wendake and I learn some things, and what I learn there I bring back to share with the dancers here".

As a works-in-progress show, each piece will be followed by a talkback moderated by company dancer Liz Winkelaar to receive valuable feedback from the audience as part of the creative development of the works. For the second year in a row, Propeller Dance is also offering a wide range of accessibility options with this show. Accessibility and engagement options include:

  • ASL interpretation

  • Live audio description of show on assisted listening devices

  • Sensory seats for people who are Deaf and low-hearing

Tickets are on sale now at GCTC's Box Office at 1233 Wellington West at Holland, 613-236-5196 or Tickets are $15 or pay-what-you-like.

Award-winning Propeller Dance is a company of dancers of all abilities and is a leader in creating, performing, teaching, and presenting integrated dance. Led by Artistic Co-Directors Shara Weaver and Renata Soutter, the Company's unique and compelling performances and training programs foster an integrated approach to dance, art-making and artistic expression. Disability is a difference in human experience rather than a limitation, lack of ability or something to overcome. Propeller Dance is now in its fourth year as GCTC's Company-in-Residence.

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