Mile Zero Dance presents its first dance festival, The Magpie Collection
By Katrina Turchin | July 14, 2022
A new festival is debuting in Edmonton with workshops, panel discussions, performances and a unique interactive dance adventure.
“After two to three years of online hybrid digital presentations, and then a whole season of site-specific work, I wanted to have a physical place where dancers could gather and celebrate the art form,” says Gerry Morita, artistic director of Mile Zero Dance. “We wanted to have something that was just a very uplifting atmosphere with a lot of different artists and to give dancers a way to support each other, as well.”
The Magpie Collection: A Dance Festival kicks off on July 16 with six days of workshops where dancers of all levels and backgrounds can learn a variety of new skills from beginner ballet and contemporary modern to Métis jigging and Bhangra. The workshops are held at the University of Alberta Fine Arts Building in room number 3-117. Don’t miss the free Performance in Digital Zoom panel discussions during the week on July 19 and 20 at 7 p.m.
If you’d rather watch dance then perform it, then you’ll want to see the shows on July 22 and 23. Each night features a doubleheader, so you can stay for both shows or pick one. Each show features multiple dancers and was curated to highlight a mix of styles. All performances take place in the Campus Saint-Jean Auditorium (8406 Rue Marie-Anne Gaboury).
“Each show is going to give you an overview of dance,” says Morita. “It’s different artists who are not necessarily used to presenting together, going for this shake-up-the-mix variety of programming where you’re always going to see something unexpected.”
The festival ends on July 24 with a unique bicycle tour dance extravaganza, coordinated with the Edmonton Bicycle Commuters. The route is 5.5 kilometres through the river valley with six performance stops and a workshop.
“I feel like after so much time watching things online, it’s really great for the audience to have a chance to be physically active,” says Morita. “This is an experiment on how to activate the audience, so that the dancer is not the only one working hard.”