Photo Credit: Holly Crooks

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Mocean Dance to tour acclaimed work Sable Island

October 2, 2017 -Mocean Dance will bring the magic of Sable Island to audiences at the Stockbridge Theatre in Derry, New Hampshire on October 28, 2017. Commissioned from iconic Canadian choreographer Serge Bennathan, the piece draws on the mystique of the famed Nova Scotia island and its herd of wild horses - drawing parallels between their resilience and the tenacity of the artists living and working on the east coast of Canada. Sable Island is physically powerful, emotionally evocative and masterfully performed by a quintet of dancers embodying the sea, wind, and relentless maritime spirit that pulses through creators in the region. The piece combines the dynamic choreography and poetry of Bennathan, with the haunting score played live on stage by composer Bertrand Chenier as well as the expressive lighting design of Stephane Menigot.

Since its premiere, Sable Island toured two prestigious Canadian festivals in 2016: Canada Dance Festival in Ottawa and Dance on the Edge in Vancouver as well as throughout Atlantic Canada with stops in Summerside, PEI and Happy Valley-Goose Bay, Labrador. After wowing audiences on the national dance scene, Mocean is now bringing the piece to the international audiences for an eastern United States tour. Sharing a work that is steeped in the spirit of the Maritimes is a joy for the company, with the original dancers on whom it was set – Jacinte Armstrong, Elise Vanderborght, Susanne Choi, Sara Coffin, and Gillian Seaward-Boone performing the on tour.

Originally from France, Serge Bennathan has significantly influenced the development of Canada’s contemporary dance genre since his arrival in 1985. Currently, Artistic Director of Vancouver based Les Productions Figlio, he was previously Artistic Director of Toronto’s Dancemakers for over a decade where his work was recognized with two Dora Awards. He was also the 2012 recipient of the prestigious Rio Tinto Alcan Performing Arts Award – Dance.

Growing from its inception in 2001, Mocean has become a catalyst for contemporary dance in the Maritimes, providing a steady source of employment for artists wishing to return to Halifax, and diverse mentorship and professional development opportunities. Now in its 16th season, Mocean has earned critical acclaim and a national reputation as one of the leading professional dance companies in Atlantic Canada. Collaborating with many of the country’s leading contemporary choreographers the company tours nationally and has conducted residencies and workshops in Canada and the United States.  Mocean Dance was the recipient of the 2016 Lieutenant Governor’s Masterworks Art Award, the first dance company to win the prize in the awards eleven-year history.  

Lora Arenburg

Photograph by Holly Crooks