Iconic Calgary dance company featured at national virtual dance festival

DJD's newest piece suspending disbelief is part of the National Arts Centre's #danceforth virtual dance festival screening online this week. Above Sabrina Comanescu. Photo by Trudie Lee.

There's been pandemic poetry, pandemic pop tunes and now, one of Calgary's best-loved arts organizations is presenting pandemic dance at a national dance festival.

Decidedly Jazz Danceworks are part of the National Art Centre's #DanceForth, a virtual dance festival that showcases dance talent across the country.

DJD fans can watch their latest piece, suspending disbelief, simply by going to the website of the National Arts Centre until Sept. 12.

Choreographed by DJD artistic director Kimberley Cooper, suspending disbelief was hatched in December, 2020.

"Each piece has a long story about how it started, how it changed, how the music was composed, how the objects came into it, how it evolved as restrictions changed, and how it came to be what it is now; it has been an extremely convoluted process," Cooper writes, in the program notes.

"From the beginning I’ve been thinking of suspending disbelief as a book of short stories, the creation process of each piece is a whole different book unto itself."

Additionally, she says, she choreographed for the camera.

"It continues to evolve, we are currently making a dance for the camera version, taking it off the stage and putting it in different landscapes, exploring ways to look at it like you can’t in a theatre, so really, the journey continues, stay tuned for that version," Cooper writes.

Suspending disbelief is being co-presented by Calgary's Springboard Dance, the producers of the Fluid Festival, which is also co-presenting a second piece created by a former Calgarian, Rosanna Terriaciano, called PLACE/is a city written on this body?