Recap: The 32nd Annual Jessie Awards!

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The 32nd Jessie Award Nominees!

The Commodore Ballroom was filled with theatre folk on Monday, June 23 to celebrate the end of another fantastic Vancouver theatre season at this year’s Jessie Richardson Theatre Awards. The room was loaded with beautiful people, great speeches, and drinks!

A huge congratulations goes out to all the winners and nominees. Some of these people may seem like familiar faces from our 13/14 season! Here’s a quick recap.

The photos are provided by @JessieAwards and @UITATheatre

LARGE THEATRE

Floyd Collins by Patrick Street Production
Jeff Harrison – Outstanding Lighting Design (This is also the first Jessie received by a show at our York Theatre)

SMALL THEATRE

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James Sanders receiving the award on behalf of his dear friend Bob Frazer!

Whose Life Is It Anyway? by Realwheels Theatre
Bob Frazer – Outstanding Performance by an Actor in a Lead Role
Adrian Muir – Outstanding Lighting Design

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Drew Facey giving his speech after receiving an award

Penelope by Rumble Theatre
Drew Facey – Outstanding Set Design

Uncle Vanya by Blackbird Theatre
Marti Wright – Outstanding Costume Design

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Patrick Sabongui accepting the award on behalf of his Jason Rothery

Inside The Seed by Upintheair Theatre
Richard Wolfe – Outstanding Direction
Jason Patrick Rothery – Outstanding Original Script

Philip Birkby (one of our fantastic on-call electricians!) – Significant Artistic Achievement

THEATRE FOR YOUNG AUDIENCES

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The outstanding design team from Jack and the Bean

Jack and the Bean by Presentation House Theatre
Graham Ockley (one of our regular on-call electricians) – Outstanding Design

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The fantastic Brian Cochrane receiving his award

One of our box office staff members Brian Cochrane received the Ray Michal Prize for Most Promising New Director!

Our Executive Director, Heather Redfern, gathered with other members from the arts community attending the Magnetic North Festival in Halifax to cheer for The Jessies

Our Executive Director, Heather Redfern gathered with other members from the arts community attending the Magnetic North Festival in Halifax to cheer for the Jessies

The Best of Now: Gearing up for the Canadian premiere!

This is an exciting time here at The Cultch as we gear up for the Canadian premiere of The Best of Now by the Northwest Dance Project (Portland, Oregon) which opens on March 6! Touted as “one of the hottest dance companies in America”by Portland Stage Review, the company is ready to set the stage on fire with brand new works by Northwest Dance Project’s founder/artistic director Sarah Slipper, Chinese-born, Canadian based choreographer Wen Wei Wang, and the talented Danielle Agami!

Here’s a sneak peek at the project:

CHI choreographed by Wen Wei Wang

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CHI photo taken by Blaine Truitt Covert

This dance piece is all about energy, which is not surprising given the title. The show features nine fabulous dancers who move to Giorgio Magnanensi’s melodically restless score. The show moves like a movie as it draws from martial art and kung fu films.

Throughout, the dancers turn movements that traditional ballet might consider inelegant into moments of odd beauty: shoulder-tilts and torso-turns that emphasize the sheer physicality rather than the metaphoric possibilities of the human form. Dance is often at its best when its “meaning” is simply what it is: a particular movement through time and space, like the sound waves of music.

MEMORYHOUSE choreographed by Sarah Slipper

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Memoryhouse photo taken by Blaine Truitt Covert

The second part of the show features Franco Nieto and Andrea Parson, both winners of the Princess Grace Award, respectively 2012 and 2010. This award is one of the highest individual recognitions for dancers and for a single small company to have two winners in three years is phenomenal!

MemoryHouse is a passion drama that features Parson in an apron strewing flour on the stage, and the pair grappling sweetly, erotically and then violently in movement that literally climbs through windows to continue outside the space. Slipper’s twisting lifts are stunners, and the frisson between Parson and Nieto reveals they can act as well as dance.
On top of that, the musical background by Max Richter and Yann Tiersen is fantastic.
Yann Tiersen is a French musician who worked on a lot of film music such as Amelie and Goodbye Lenin.

This Time Tomorrow choreographed by Danielle Agami

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This Time Tomorrow photo taken by Blaine Truitt Covert

The final piece of the night features the full company of dancers and explores the delightfully unique. A practitioner of the Israeli Gaga technique, choreographer Danielle Agami works to disconnect the mind from the body to create organic movement that pushes the limits of “normal”!

This delightfully absurd piece features music from indie rock bands such as Puerto Muerto. Be prepared to see it all: collision, grinding, jiving, wiggling, and even maybe an orange or two.

The Best of Now by Northwest Dance Project runs at The Cultch from March 6- 8 at the Historic Theatre. Tickets are from $18 and can be purchased online, or by calling the box office at 604.251.1363.