An award-winning Vancouver dancer will be bringing his compilation of contemporary dance pieces to Chilliwack.
Joshua Beamish will present Proximity: A Collection of Short Works at the Chilliwack Cultural Centre on Dec. 2.
Beamish achieved worldwide success as a prolific choreographer and as an exceptional performer, and Proximity offers the chance to see both aspects of his work. Taking the experience of the COVID shutdown and turning it into an experience that differed radically for most people, Proximity displays how Beamish used it to bring about a positive change.
“This program is a series of encounters between myself and a single dance artist,” Beamish said. “Our restricted state imposed a focus on intimacy. It has been refreshing to offer my full investment to one creative relationship at a time. With this project, I am returning to the stage in works by two women whom I have long admired, local emerging choreographer Kirsten Wicklund and celebrated international dancemaker Annabelle Lopez Ochoa.”
This program features two of Beamish’s own creations, a solo called Lost Touch performed by Renee Sigouin of Kidd Pivot, and Proximity performed by both Sigouin and Beamish.
“With the duet Proximity, originally commissioned by Fall For Dance North in Toronto, I am also performing the first work I have created for myself in five years,” he said. “All four works touch on journeys through solitude, restriction, and contemplation, harnessing a reflection of our collective present, in service of investigation and growth.”
The program will also include two additional solos, one choreographed by Ballet BC’s Kirsten Wicklund, and another by acclaimed international choreographer Annabelle Lopez Oschoa, both of which Beamish will perform. Each piece is tied to the other in its use of light, sound, movement, and videography.
Each performance within Proximity holds a piece of Beamish in it, while also connecting with the other artists. It is a triumph in creating an exceptional program that thrives on the beauty of human connections, and how creating together can uplift people.
“I am conversing with a concept called ‘falling upward’ which Richard Rohr, a Franciscan priest and founder of the Center for Action and Contemplation, describes as the moment you’re hit with some kind of failure or illness, embarrassment, or pain that makes you reevaluate your priorities and life philosophies,” Beamish said. “You transition from the first half of life — which is all about building your identity and setting goals and finding answers — to the second half of life: embracing your darker sides, getting comfortable with ambiguity, and pursuing a simplicity where there is meaning in the mundane. We return, in other words, to the person we already are, but whom we don’t know.”
Proximity: A Collection of Short Works by dancer Joshua Beamish coming to the Chilliwack Cultural Centre on Dec. 2 at 7:30 p.m. Tickets are $29, and can be purchased at the Centre Box Office, online at chilliwackculturalcentre.ca, or by calling 604-391-SHOW(7469).