Get to know your CADA/West

June 2013 Member's Newsletter...

This edition features a profile of street dance artist Debora Friedmann; selected articles for summer reading; & our monthly dance citizenship challenge

Member Profile: Debora Friedmann

Where are you from?

I was born in Mexico City, Mexico. However, I immigrated to Canada at the age of 3 so I basically consider myself a Vancouverite.

When and how did you start dancing?
Did you do other dance training before you got into street dance?

I started dancing at Harbour Dance Centre in 2008. I grew-up in the musical theatre community of Vancouver, training at the Gateway Theatre Academy and Arts Club Summer intensive while in high school, however I was not a very strong dancer, as I never focused on that aspect of my performance. A choreographer from a show I was working on recommended I try going to Harbour to improve my technique in a ballet class. I started taking Danielle Clifford’s Thursday night ballet intro religiously. I took Eric Malapad’s Street Jazz intro one night after Danielle’s class, curious about other dance styles, and completely fell in love with the world of street dance.

What roles do you play in your community?

I am a student, a teacher, a devoted company member, an advocate for street dance, and a hip-hop anthropologist in training. I work to encourage strong connection in the street dance community between generations and the different genres. As a student I am developing writing on street dance and culture in relationship with my own community and experience as a dancer.

Are there any activities coming up that you would like to bring to our attention?

The 2nd annual Vancouver International Street Dance Festival will be happening the first weekend of August this year at Robson Square. Last year it was one of the best events of the summer! It’s a great chance to appreciate street dance culture in Vancouver in the same location many of these dancers train throughout the year.

As a CADA/West Board Member, what aspects of a career in street dance are you hoping to address/ameliorate?

I aim to raise awareness within the street dance community of the resources and opportunities available to them as professional dancers. I also hope to continue to legitimize street dance as a vital art in Canadian culture.

How do you see street dance integrating with other dance forms?

I have always seen street dance as being connected with other dance forms, partially due to its roots in the movement of swing dancing, salsa, as well as party dances. However, I see all dance as expression through movement regardless of form and street dance carries this idea.

What is good dance citizenship to you?

My understanding of good dance citizenship is the devotion to not only the furthering of your own art but also building the community and advocating for the importance of dance in the wider culture.

Twitter Highlights: Articles

Summer is a great time for research, perhaps to start thinking about new projects or because, with a bit more time on our hands, we just can. Please find below links to 6 articles selected from our recent tweets to get you thinking:

Knowing Not Knowing: Improvised Choreography in Contemporary Dance

by George Stamos | The Dance Current

"I have found that engaging performance is more about the artists on stage knowing what they are doing in great detail, and less about whether or not it is completely choreographed or improvised."

Sexism in dance: where are all the female choreographers?

by Luke Jennings | The Observer

"Darling, I'd love to have you as a choreographer but you know you're a girl."

Choreographer Liz Lerman on the ups and downs of aging

by Laura Hambleton | The Washington Post

"I know the joke is dancers are dumb, but actually dancers are super smart because we work our brains really differently."

The Value of Presenting: A Study of Performing Arts Presentation in Canada

By Inga Petri | Canadian Arts Presenting Association

"The idea of participation challenges the consumerist relationship to culture"

Reasons Not to Stretch

by Gretchen Reynolds | The New York Times

"…warm-up dynamically, by moving the muscles that will be called upon in your workout."

Ten Suggestions: Peggy Baker, Mark Morris, and Mikhail Baryshnikov

by Peggy Baker | Peggy Baker Dance Projects blog

"I realized that I had been in the habit of comparing myself to other dancers rather than thinking of myself purely in relation to the choreography."

connect with us on Twitter for more like this

Speak With Your Feet

This month's dance citizenship challenge...

Read Simon Brault's Remarks on Cultural Citizenship—
just what is it?

Whether you are inserting 'dance' for 'cultural' citizenship or are considering dance in the context of the whole of culture, this article is a challenging read: are we really engaged with our form? with our role as artists?

Simon Brault's Remarks, AGM of the Canadian Commission for UNESCO
from the Canada Council for the Arts news feed on their new website

"The idea of cultural citizenship is very promising for the future. First and foremost, it redefines the role of the arts, culture and heritage in a context of sustainable development and even human development."

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