A free performance of Kittiwake Dance Theatre member Hannah Drover’s piece, New Day, is happening on International Dance Day, Saturday April 29th at The Village Shopping Centre at 1:00pm.
Drover is a grade twelve student at Holy Heart High School who has been a member of Kittiwake Dance Theatre since she was seven years old. This is her final season with the company because she is moving to Toronto to study ballet at George Brown College in the fall.
Drover already dances every day, squeezing her practice in after school. She’s looking forward to being able to devote six to seven hours a day to dancing and hopes to become a professional ballerina when she completes her studies.
“I started dancing when I was three, so I’ve basically been dancing my whole life and I’ve been choreographing in formal and informal capacities for a long time too,” Drover said. “I love the process and the creativity involved in it, I find a sense of freedom in enjoying movement, that’s really what I love about it. “
New Day is her first piece of choreography to be recognized as a repertoire. After it’s International Dance Day debut it will be performed at Kittiwake’s upcoming Spring Showcase.
“The piece is about the difference between conformity and individuality, it’s about finding a balance between expressing yourself and contributing to a group as a part of a whole,” Drover said.
The piece will be performed by a group of 11 young women who are junior company members at Kittiwake. Drover and the dancers have been rehearsing the performance every Sunday since January. She originally choreographed the piece to be danced at the LSPU Hall, so they have been working on adapting it for a public space.
“There’s a lot of entrances and exits in the piece but in a space like the mall, there isn’t any backstage area. So the dancers aren’t able to have the same sort of breaks between sections, backstage they can take a breath and be people again but when there’s no backstage the piece has to continue even if they’re not actively dancing,” Drover explained.
Drover has been learning dances and attending dance flash mobs on International Dance Day for years so she is thrilled that a performance of New Day will be a part of this year’s celebrations.
“It was a bit of a surprise when my dance teacher told me we’d be able to do this and I’m really excited about it. It’s the biggest opportunity I’ve had to participate in International Dance Day.” Drover said.
The International Dance Committee of the UNESCO International Theatre Institute initiated International Dance Day in 1982. It marks the birthday of Jean-Georges Noverre, a choreographer known for contributing to significant reforms to ballet production. Many dancers see the day as an opportunity to make dance more accessible to the general public.
“International Dance Day is really about sharing dance with everyone and I think this is a really exciting opportunity to get people interested in dance and to get people to see and participate in the art form, I’m really happy to be a part of it,” Drover said.