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photo Julia Carr

Dancestreams brings together talented and focused dancers from diverse communities and training backgrounds to explore contemporary dance in an enriched environment.

Audition 2023-24

A non-competitive performance-based company, Dancestreams shares the results of the creative process with students and audiences, many of whom may not have regular access to contemporary dance.

The Company offers Vancouver Island youth dancers exposure to the works of professional choreographers, and shares this creativity through performances across the region.

Committed pre-professional dancers age 12 – 19 are chosen by audition each year.

  • Rehearsals are 11am-4:45pm and traditionally on Sundays from September to May. Season 2023/24 begins with an overnight retreat Sept 23rd - 24th. Considering a shortened season culminating in Feb 2024 and/or gathering on Saturdays instead of Sundays if this suits the group better.
  • Rehearsals are often held in the Qualicum area, but the location rotates.
  • Performances traditionally happen throughout the region in the spring.
  • In 2020-21, for example, Company dancers were from Campbell River, Courtenay, Tofino, Qualicum Beach, Parksville, Gabriola Island, Duncan and Victoria.
  • Dancestreams rehearsals are rigorous, so dancers need to do at least 4.5hrs of physical conditioning dance class training during the week in their home community.

Dancestreams is not a dance school; does not take part in competitions or adjudicated festivals; and does not replace training in home studios.

The commissioned choreography for Dancestreams connects young dancers with the country's top choreographers, both established and emerging. These opportunities to liaise with, and learn from, working professionals has been the catalyst for many Company alumni to carry on to professional careers.

The Company has an extensive and varied repertoire that’s been shared with audiences throughout Vancouver Island, as well as the Lower Mainland, Kootenays, Maritimes, China, Belgium, Germany and Los Angeles.

past choreographers include: Daina Ashbee, Gioconda Barbuto, Cori Caulfield, Idan Cohen, Constance Cooke, Julianne Chapple, Ralph Escamillan/Fakeknot, Donald Sales, Serge Bennathan, Margarida Macieira, Rebecca McLean, Wen Wei Wang, Caroline Liffmann, Eloi Homier, Julia Taffe, Joe Laughlin, Bengt Jorgen, Amber Funk Barton, Karissa Barry, Julia Carr, Alison Denham, Louis-Martin Charest, James Gnam, Maiko Miyauchi, Lisa Gelley Martin, Judith Garay, Judith Marcuse, Sarah Williams, Ruth Cansfield, Jacinte Armstrong, Gwen Noah, Tiffany Tregarthen, Siobhan Sloane-Seale, Tamar Tabori, Alysa Pires

Each year Dancestreams offers a variety of public presentations: Spring Tour, Dance Odyssey, school shows and community events.

For many small communities, we present one of the rare opportunities to engage with contemporary dance.

Our school programming has inspired many children who previously have had no exposure to dance. For children and youth who experience a Dancestreams school show or public performance, they witness their peers' hard work and dedication to an art form.

The artistic staff ensure the highest performance standards and promote healthy lifestyles, maturity, teamwork and work ethic.

Julia Carr, Artistic Director was born and currently resides on the ancestral and unceded Indigenous territories of the ʷməθkʷəy̓əm (Musqueam), sḵwx̱wú7mesh (Squamish), and sel̓íl̓witulh (Tsleil-Waututh) First Nations in so-called Vancouver. Our Artistic Director is a dancer, collaborative interdisciplinary creator, educator, and photographer. Carr completed Arts Umbrella's intensive training program, trained with Ballet BC, received an MA in Contemporary Dance from the University of Limerick (Ireland), and has dance professionally since 2005: for independent choreographers and companies Aeriosa, Raven Spirit, and V'ni Dansi. In 2008, Julia became Assistant Artistic Director of Dancestreams and co-founded the interdisciplinary Body Narratives Collective integrating her dance and photography practices into creative expressions. Julia also helps classroom teachers use dance to explore curriculum subjects thanks to Vancouver Biennale Big Ideas, ArStarts, and Dance Centre Power of Dance initiatives.

Katherine Vincent, Assistant Artistic Director is a dancer, choreographer, and teacher based in the Comox Valley, the unceded traditional territory of K'ómoks First Nation. Katherine grew up dancing in Toronto, Ontario and received many awards, training, and performance opportunities. Upon graduating high school, Katherine moved to Vancouver, BC where she pursued her Bachelor of Fine Arts degree at Simon Fraser University School for Contemporary Arts, studying contemporary, modern, and ballet dance styles. During her time at SFU Katherine was an avid member of the Dance Student Union and trained and performed works by renowned choreographers and teachers such as Judith Garay (Martha Graham), Megan Walker Straight (Merce Cunningham), Rob Kitsos, Emmalena Fredriksson, Daisy Thompson, Wen Wei Wang, Crystal Pite, Peter Bingham and Sarah Chase. At SFU, Katherine apprenticed with Vancouver based company Radical System Art and produced the show Ascension in collaboration with the SFU music, theatre production and visual arts students.

After her time at SFU, Katherine had the opportunity to dance, train and work in Canada and abroad. Katherine has performed works by choreographers based in Vancouver, Brussels and Berlin and her own choreographic works have been performed and presented in Vancouver, Amsterdam, Brussels and London UK. Katherine has trained internationally with David Zambrano (Brussels), Company 605 (Vancouver), Helen Walkley (Vancouver), Toronto Dance Theatre, EDAM Dance (Vancouver), Billie Hanne (Berlin) and in Fighting Monkey Practice (Amsterdam).

In 2021, Katherine completed an MA in Dance Movement Psychotherapy at the University of Roehampton in London UK. Currently Katherine is a Canadian Certified Counsellor with the CCPA primarily working with children and youth in the Comox Valley, is on faculty at Vireo School of Performing Arts (Courtenay, BC) and is a guest teacher and choreographer at other dance studios. Katherine's current artistic practice is focused on collaborative, improvisational and community engaged dance as well as dance and movement as a therapeutic practice. Katherine is thrilled to be a part of Dancestreams for the 2023/2024 season.

Dancestreams educates young dancers about opportunities for professional post-secondary training and careers in the arts. Company dancers learn about the creative process while working in studio with guest choreographers ranging from emerging to established professionals. They learn professional performance standards by working in a wide-variety of venues. An extraordinary number of Island dancers have gone on to professional careers following their time in the Company.

Dancers from communities throughout the central Island region are welcome to attend Dancestreams master classes with guest teachers.

The Company has been fortunate to welcome such professionals as: Serge Bennathan, Kenny Pearl, Peggy Baker, Marc Boivin, Julia Sasso, Tiffany Tregarthen, Heather Laura Gray, Monica Proenca and many others.

Celebrating more than 35 years!

2020-21   2021-22   2022-23

Vancouver Island Youth Dance Theatre Assn has been offering dance arts programs for Island teens since September 1985 and has been incorporated as a non-profit society since April 1986.

Dancestreams was awarded a 2005 Creation Residency at the Banff Centre for the Arts, the only pre-professional youth company to receive the honour at that time, and was named Top 40 Under 40 for Vancouver Island in 2006.

The Company has been fortunate to work with some of Canada’s most outstanding choreographers and teachers, and program participants have gone on to train and dance professionally at renowned institutions and companies throughout the world.