Space opens to dance theatre troupe

Members of Vancouver's Out Innerspace arrive at the Vernon Performing Arts Centre for a week-long residency, concluding with Vessel.

Out Innerspace dancers are at the Vernon Performing Arts Centre the week of April 8 for a residency

Out Innerspace dancers are at the Vernon Performing Arts Centre the week of April 8 for a residency

The inner space at the Vernon and District Performing Arts Centre is about to transform when a group of Vancouver dancers arrive for a residency that includes public outreach and a performance.

Members of the dance theatre troupe Out Innerspace arrive at the centre April 8.

The dancers will not only be doing a re-working of one of their older pieces, but they will conduct three different workshops open to the public, and will culminate the week with a performance of their celebrated work, Vessel, April 13, said Erin Kennedy, artistic director at the Performing Arts Centre.

“We’re really excited to have Innerspace with us for a week to do a residency. The company had a dark period between when they had to be in Banff and Vernon, so we asked them to stay,” she said. “This is a young company from Vancouver. Some of the dancers have been here before, with the 605 Collective, but this will be their first time here as part of Out Innerspace.”

Vessel is Out Innerspace’s critically acclaimed  full-length ensemble work, which premiered at Vancouver’s  Roundhouse Community Arts and Recreation Centre for four performances Oct. 2010.

Created for five dancers, Vessel investigates the concept of inner space that inspires artistic directors Tiffany Tregarthen and David Raymond. It features a score by experimental composer Jeff Younger and lighting by renowned lighting designer James Proudfoot, and integrates Out Innerspace’s trademark contemporary movement with video projections of micro subjects as living, moving environments that reflect both internal and external space.

“There are natural patterns and complex systems within the smaller than everyday human experiences that reveal relationships between the world we know and the world within,” said Tregarthen, whose classical and contemporary palette interweaves with Raymond’s urban-infused movement vocabulary.

“It is the time and activity in these spaces that show us the ways we are most different or alike.”

Raymond and Tregarthen first worked together after meeting at the East Side Culture Crawl in Vancouver. This was followed by several years of performance and study in Europe, during which they developed their individual voices and built the partnership that became known as Out Innerspace.

In 2007, Tregarthen and Raymond returned to Vancouver and proceeded to captivate local audiences and critics alike with evocative duets.

Since forming Out Innerspace, they have been devoted to creating contemporary dance that is innovative yet accessible, to push beyond traditional aesthetics and forms with unreserved ingenuity.

“Through research and experimentation, (we) recognize the importance of challenging our preconceptions of what can be expected, experienced and expounded in contemporary dance,” said Tregarthen.

Public outreach is another integral part of their mandate.

While in Vernon, Out Innerspace will offer three diverse workshops, open to all levels of skill and ability  for ages seven and up, said Kennedy, adding this includes dance school students, instructors or anyone interested in dance, music, lighting design and costuming.

The first workshop, April 8 at 6 p.m., is on creative play that transforms everyday things like words, bodies, patterns, and nature into dialogue, dance and composition.

“This workshop costs $20 for participants, however, it includes a ticket to attend Vessel,” said Kennedy.

The second workshop, which is free, takes place April 9 at 6 p.m., and is on fashion and design for dance productions.

“It’s on costume design and the challenges and intricacies of costumes — how costumes and the dance world are integrated,” said Kennedy.

The third, also free, April 10 at 6 p.m., is on music and sound design and should help musicians and production specialists understand the intricacy of designing, selecting, and producing music geared specifically towards dance productions.

“This particular company issues soundscape in its performances. It may not be music per se, but it is a layering of sounds,” said Kennedy.

Those interested in participating in any or all of the workshops can sign up in advance by visiting the Ticket Seller box office in the centre, or call 250-549-7469.

Tickets for Out Innerspace’s performance of Vessel, April 13 at 8 p.m. are $25/adult, $22/senior, $20/student, $5 eyeGO, at the Ticket Seller. Order online at