Smithers-raised dancer Thoenn Glover will be returning home at the end of October, for a touring performance of The White Spider, a modern dance piece by choreographer Jennifer Mascall, as well as an aerial dance workshop.
The White Spider is inspired by Henrich Harrer’s book of the same name, about the history of climbing on the north face of Eiger Mountain. The performance mixes dance, mountaineering moves, sculpture and music, as five dancers climb, rappel, glide and fly around the stage. The Bulkley Valley Concert Association is co-presenting the event along with Made In B.C. Dance on Tour, and local dance outreach coordinator Miriam Colvin is thrilled to present such an innovative work in Smithers.
“Why I’m so excited about presenting this in Smithers is that that’s what we do here, and that’s why we live here,” she said.
She said the dance piece should appeal not only to modern dance fans, but anyone with an appreciation for the outdoors, mountaineering and rock climbing. Colvin is also personally looking forward to Glover’s performance. Glover is now a professional dancer based in Vancouver, but she got her start in Smithers with Creative Roots and Colvin’s Myriad Dance Productions.
“Like so many of us in Smithers she loves the outdoors, and so for me it’s very exciting to see her in this piece that uses rock climbing, because she already has that sort of skill set and athleticism,” said Colvin.
Along with the performance, Glover and Mascall will be running a basic aerial dance class the night before the performance. Held on the climbing wall at the Bulkley Valley Pool and Recreation Centre, the class will allow dancers aged 13 and up to explore the sensation of low-height aerial and rope work.
“It’s at a low height, but you get to change your relationship with gravity,” said Colvin.
And unlike many dance workshops, specific dance experience isn’t a prerequisite for anyone interested in learning to move creatively in the air.
“It opens a door to a whole other way of moving, a whole other scope of possibilities, so that’s why you don’t have to have any dance or climbing experience. It’ll be very exploratory and fun,” she said.
The White Spider will take place at the Della Herman Theatre on Friday, October 28, at 7:30 p.m. Mascall will be holding a pre-show talk in the lobby at 7 p.m. The dance class will run from 6 to 8 p.m. on Thursday, October 27 at the B.V. Pool. The cost is $15, and the class is limited to 20 people. Email Miriam Colvin at firstname.lastname@example.org to register.