Thursday, April 24, 2014

Travelling with Propeller

Moni about to go on her first train ride
By Linda Hoffman

On the road with the Propeller Dance Company has been an honour as well as an immense learning experience. Three words reflect the most recent trip to the inner-city of Toronto in a nutshell – the unexpected, the community, and the professionalism.

Unexpected: “Do we walk or wait?” This was the question as Renata, Moni, and Mom stood on the corner of Front and Bay streets waiting for the prescheduled Wheel Trans bus! As the minutes ticked by into over an hour, we took the plunge. Visually impaired Mom hung on to Renata and the power wheelchair tagged along behind the rolling suitcases. What a wonderful sight to see our stage manager/support worker Sion, and Bob - Dad to one of the dancers - waving at us from down the street. They had come to meet us and take our luggage!

Next on the list of unexpected was the wheelchair inaccessible “accessible room!” Again, the Propeller family came to the rescue, hauling out the furniture of the newly assigned room so the chair could gain some access. What a team!

Community: This word is used a lot, but during Propeller’s road trip to Toronto I constantly saw it in action. As one of our team members was hospitalized just prior to the road trip the community of Propeller came to the forefront. Roles were changed, people stood up to the challenge, and the impossible was accomplished. This truly is a group that pulls together as a cohesive family.

Professionalism: The Tangled Arts Festival’s Kidsfest was the event to which Propeller had been invited as one of three selected artists April 9th and 10th. In the heart of Toronto’s downtown, bus loads of kids were brought to the newly built and totally accessible Daniel Spectrum Cultural Centre’s theatre. Propeller performed magnificently. You would never know looking at the ease and beauty of the dancing on stage, the kind of craziness that went on beforehand. That is in essence being a professional.

Linda Hoffman is the mother of Propeller Dance's Performing Group member, Moni Hoffman, and accompanied the troupe on their trip earlier this month to the Tangled Arts Festival's Kids Fest in Toronto.

Sunday, November 10, 2013

Community Day (and AGM)

Propeller Dance adult training class, photo credit: Andre Marleau
Saturday, December 7, 2013
1:00pm until 4:30pm

Richelieu-Vanier Community Centre
300 Des Peres Blancs, Ottawa, Ontario

Bring your dancing groove and join the Propeller Dance community in an end-of-term celebration! Live music! Baked Goods, t-shirts and water bottles for sale!

Later that same day, Propeller Dance will hold its Annual General Meeting for members from 3:30 to 4:30 p.m. following the Community Day celebration.

Facebook Listing

Monday, November 4, 2013

Breathing Feet: An Intensive with Tara Brandel

Tara Brandel, a talented choreographer and performer did a two week intensive with Propeller Dance. Tara Brandel co-founded Croi Glan, an integrated dance company from Ireland. The experience was really fun and challenging and it helped me push myself as a dancer. We did some really interesting contact improv exercises. Contact improv is a kind of dance improvisation where dancers explore movement starting with the points where their bodies touch. It’s the sensing of the skin with another person. In contact improv, you feel the other person’s skin and you move through the sense of that skin. 

In the first exercise, we did some floor work. We did a rolling exercise where we had two people—one person does the rolling and the other person tries to stop the person who’s rolling with their hands.  When I was doing this exercise I could feel the weight of the other person stopping me. In Propeller I am used to giving weight to another dancer, but this felt different because of the new ways I was moving and because I was focusing on the sensation.  I could really feel the persons touch. I think it helped the company, and it also helped me a lot. For me, it actually made me feel like there are new ways of moving and it made me realize that these other ways of moving can help make my movement vocabulary much larger.

Tara also asked us to do an exercise that worked with memory. In this exercise we were in a circle and we did a movement and we did that movement until we were frozen. Then when we were unfrozen we repeated that motion and then added to that movement phrase, forming a chain of movements.  The accumulation exercise helps your brain and your movement become one, because you remember the movement and then you do that movement with your body.

I left the intensive feeling a lot of warmth. Sometimes the space in the dance studio is cold but as you warm up you find that when you move you become warm. In the intensive with Tara, we warmed each other through physical connection. We also connected emotionally. I felt happy and overjoyed that I made new friends who share the same passion as I do, as I really got to bond with other dancers outside of the company. I also got to deepen my relationships with the other dancers in the company.

Saturday, October 19, 2013

Exploration Exposed - Thursday October 24th, 2013 9:00 p.m.

Propeller Dance, one of Canada’s leading integrated dance companies, invites you to an evening where creative explorations are exposed in contemporary dance made with invited choreographer Tara Brandel of Ireland’s Croi Glan Integrated Dance Company.

Join us for a showing of creative research results from two intensive in-studio weeks with the Propeller Dance Company and invited guest dancers Frank Hull (Toronto) and Jenn Abrams (Ottawa).

The evening includes a showing of Tara Brandel’s Gawky and Awkward, a very personal solo, revealing the things we struggle with and a dancer's creative journey through dyslexia.

Gawky or elegant: All are welcome.

Thursday October 24th, 2013
9:00 p.m.  
Churchill Seniors Centre
345 Richmond Road  
Pay-what-you-can ($15 suggested)
Tickets available at the door only. 

The Propeller Dance Company, photo credit: Rachel Gray

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Classes for all ages! If you breathe, you can dance!

Register now for the Fall session of Propeller Dance Classes

New! A Seniors Class in the Glebe
Monday Seniors (50+ a pilot project)
September 16 to November 11, 2013  (No class on Thanksgiving, October 14)
9:15 - 10:45 a.m.
8-week session at Abbotsford House
950 Bank Street, Ottawa
Instructor: Liz Winkelaar  Musician: Mark Rehder
To Register: Phone 613-230-5730

Monday Adult Class [Currently Full]
September 16 to December 2, 2013 (No class on Thanksgiving, October 14)
11-week session at Richelieu-Vanier Community Centre
300, ave des Pères Blancs, Ottawa (Vanier) ON
Instructor: Renata Soutter Musician: Mark Rehder

Wednesday Adult Class [Currently Full]
September 18 to December 4, 2013
6:30-8:00 p.m.
12-week session at Centennial Public School gymnasium
376 Gloucester Street (Slater / Bay in Centretown).
Instructor: Shara Weaver Musician: Mike Essoudry

Saturday Children's Classes
September 21 to November 30, 2013 (Except Thanksgiving Weekend, October 12)
Children aged 4 to 7 - 9:30-10:30 a.m
Children aged 8 to 12 - 11:00 am-12 noon

10-week session at Churchill Alternative School
345 Ravenhill Avenue, (Westboro) Ottawa
Instructor: Shara Weaver  Musician: Jason Sonier

New! Children's Classes in the East End
Sunday Children's Classes
October 20 to December 1, 2013
Children aged 4 to 7 - 9:30-10:30 a.m
Children aged 8 to 12 - 11:00 am-12 noon

7-week session at Orleans Young Players Theatre School, Shenkman Arts Centre
245 Centrum Boulevard, Ottawa
Instructor: Julie Anne Ryan  Musician: Mike Essoudry
$10 for one class / $70 for the session

Sunday Youth Class (13+)
September 29 to December 1, 2013 (Except Thanksgiving Weekend, October 13)
2:30 to 4pm
9-week session at a not yet determined location
Instructor: Amelia Griffin  Musician: Angel Araos

Fees are due at the first class of the session.

No person will be turned away for financial reasons. Subsidies are available, and class fees are on a sliding scale.

Our classes use a dance improvisation method that is open to all people. Participants use their own natural movements in exercises that emphasize independent choices. We introduce concepts such as warm up’s, pathways, spacing, rhythm and movement phrasing.

Register today:

Saturday, July 6, 2013

Propeller Dance will be at Dusk Dances - July 11-14

Rehearsing in Strathcona Park
If you've been to Dusk Dances before, all you need to know is it happens this year from Thursday, July 11 to Sunday, July 14 with the music starting at 7pm and the dancing starting at 7:30pm.

If you haven't been to Dusk Dances, you also need to know that it is in Strathcona Park and you will be very happy with yourself if you go.

This year will be especially wonderful because it starts with a piece from Propeller Dance!

Bring something to sit on that is easy to carry because you'll be moving through the park for each of the 5 dance pieces.

Dusk Dances Official Site
Facebook Page

Sunday, May 26, 2013

Silent Auction Whimsical Found Object Functional Art

If you are wealthy, you may be able to place the highest bid on one of these pieces of whimsical found object functional art.

They are made by a gifted local artist.

For these pieces he used rocks from the Bay of Fundy, wire coat hangers from a bin at Ottawa's City Centre and burned out light bulbs from his own house.