If there's one thing the COVID-19 pandemic has accomplished, it's been forcing artists to get even more creative when it comes to showcasing their work.
A massive public art installation that's set to light up downtown Vancouver's skyline next week might just be one of the most creative solutions yet.
Launching on April 29 in celebration of International Dance Day, the larger-than-life work of art will see a seven-minute multimedia performance, titled REBO(U)ND, projected over eight full storeys on the east-facing wall of an English Bay tower.
The free, outdoor public presentation will be broadcast nightly from April 29 to May 8, and will be projected on a continuous loop commencing 30 minutes past sunset and ending at 10:30 p.m.
It will mark REBO(U)ND's Vancouver premiere. Created and produced by Montreal choreographer Caroline Laurin-Beaucage, Montréal Danse, Lorganisme and HUB Studio, and presented by DanceHouse, the silent work "explores the constraints of gravity by focusing on the ephemeral instant at the height of a jump, when a performer floats between momentum and falling," according to a release.
"This choreography of suspension is ultimately a celebration of strength and resilience, making its themes every bit as timely as the technology itself. Following a long year of restrictions and many lives and projects put on hold, REBO(U)ND celebrates our capacity to bounce back from adversity."
DanceHouse is a Vancouver-based organization that aims to connect local audiences and arts enthusiasts to the international dance world. Its artistic and executive director, Jim Smith, said REBO(U)ND's video loop first arrived on his radar in 2019 courtesy of a Québec dance agent.
“I was immediately struck by it, but felt this kind of large-scale, outdoor public installation was outside our wheelhouse,” he recalls. “Fast-forward to June 2020 - theatres were closed, upcoming live seasons cancelled, and we were seeking alternative ways in which to present dance and engage with our community. REBO(U)ND had found its moment.”
REBO(U)ND will be visible from several distances and spots throughout the neighbourhood, from which audiences can "engage in a meditative artistic encounter" or, alternatively, take in the performance from a park or beach while enjoying their favourite take-out from a local West End eatery—all while remaining safely distanced and outdoors.
The DanceHouse team "could not be more thrilled to have this project come to fruition,” adds Francesca Piscopo, the organization's artistic associate & community engagement coordinator.
“Our mission has always been to bring dance into new lives and new communities. I can not think of a better way to do so than to—quite literally—light up the night with the beautiful expression that is REBO(U)ND.”
- What: A multimedia performance, projected on a loop. Choreographed by Caroline Laurin-Beaucage and produced by Montréal Danse, Lorganisme & Hub Studio.
When: Nightly, from April 29 to May 8; beginning 30 minutes past sunset (8:57 p.m. on April 29, advancing to 9:10 p.m. on May 8); ending each night at 10:30 p.m.
- Where: on Denman Street, between Pendrell Strett and Morton Avenue. (Scope out optimal viewing locations on the above map!)