A number of dance artists/practitioners on this island (and smaller islands) have expressed interest over the past while in forming a peer network, to connect, collaborate, learn and share ideas and resources about collaborative community dance.
The idea has come up to create a listserv, as well as to have get-togethers (in-person, online or by phone) connecting people who facilitate community dance initiatives on Vancouver Island and nearby islands in the homelands of the Coast and Straits Salish, K’ómoks, Kwakwa̱ka̱ʼwakw, and Nuu-chah-nulth peoples.
‘Community dance’ refers to participatory dance activities that, for example, are based in communities, engage groups in creating dance/movement together, and create opportunities to dance that honour people who may experience marginalization in mainstream and alternative dance. Community dance may involve any style or form of dance. The focus for the network is on initiatives with main goals such as inclusive dance, community building, cultural expression, collaborative creative process, and communal healing. (The focus is not on classes where the main goal is individual therapy, fitness, or teaching pre-determined choreography, although artists/practitioners may also be involved in these aspects.)
Would you like to be part of the islands network? If so, please contact Joanne, confirming that you would like to be involved and are okay with your email address being added to the network’s listserv and online collaborative documents. You can unsubscribe anytime. (Or if you do not use email the group can try to find a member who can be phone buddies with you to provide updates.)
The first islands network meeting will be in January 2018, with the date to be determined by what works for the most people on the listserv. Once the network meets, the group will come up with its name and decide what we would like the listserv to be for. The network is autonomous, and is grateful for support from Made in BC- Dance on Tour towards getting the network started.
Draft shared values of people who have brainstormed about the islands network thus far include:
-learning ways of acknowledging and respecting First Nations sovereignty, Indigenous resurgence, and consensual relationship-building with local communities over time;
-learning about various practices of accessibility, decolonizing, anti-racism, social justice, consent, inclusivity, group decision-making, being culturally mindful and trauma-informed; and
-centering folks who experience multiple barriers to dance spaces, leadership positions, facilitation, and training.
*(These are draft ideas; the group will brainstorm, edit and decide on things once we all meet together.)