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photo Julia Carr

Dancestreams brings together talented and focused dancers from diverse communities and training backgrounds to explore contemporary dance in an enriched environment.

Audition 2022-23

A non-competitive performance-based company, Dancestreams shares the results of the creative process with students and audiences, many of whom may not have regular access to contemporary dance.

The Company offers Vancouver Island youth dancers exposure to the works of professional choreographers, and shares this creativity through performances across the region.

Committed pre-professional dancers age 12 – 19 are chosen by audition each year.

  • Rehearsals are for 6 hours and run on Sundays from September to May.
  • Rehearsals are often held in the Qualicum area, but the location rotates.
  • Performances happen throughout the region in the spring.
  • For example, in 2020-21 Company dancers were from Campbell River, Courtenay, Tofino, Qualicum Beach, Parksville, Gabriola Island, Duncan and Victoria.

Dancestreams is not a dance school; does not take part in competitions or adjudicated festivals; and does not replace regular training in home studios.

The commissioned choreography for Dancestreams connects young dancers with the country's top choreographers, both established and emerging. These opportunities to liaise with, and learn from, working professionals has been the catalyst for many Company alumni to carry on to professional careers.

The Company has an extensive and varied repertoire that’s been shared with audiences throughout Vancouver Island, as well as the Lower Mainland, Kootenays, Maritimes, China, Belgium, Germany and Los Angeles.

past choreographers include: Daina Ashbee, Gioconda Barbuto, Idan Cohen, Constance Cooke, Julianne Chapple, Donald Sales, Serge Bennathan, Margarida Macieira, Wen Wei Wang, Caroline Liffmann, Eloi Homier, Julia Taffe, Joe Laughlin, Bengt Jorgen, Amber Funk Barton, Karissa Barry, Alison Denham, Cori Caulfield, Louis-Martin Charest, James Gnam, Maiko Miyauchi, Lisa Gelley Martin, Judith Garay, Judith Marcuse, Sarah Williams, Ruth Cansfield, Jacinte Armstrong, Gwen Noah, Tiffany Tregarthen, Siobhan Sloane-Seale, Tamar Tabori, Alysa Pires

Each year Dancestreams offers a variety of public presentations: Spring Tour, Dance Odyssey, school shows and community events.

For many small communities, we present one of the rare opportunities to engage with contemporary dance.

Our school programming has inspired many children who previously have had no exposure to dance. For children and youth who experience a Dancestreams school show or public performance, they witness their peers' hard work and dedication to an art form.

The artistic staff ensure the highest performance standards and promote healthy lifestyles, maturity, teamwork and work ethic.

Julia Carr, Artistic Director was born and currently resides on the ancestral and unceded Indigenous territories of the ʷməθkʷəy̓əm (Musqueam), sḵwx̱wú7mesh (Squamish), and sel̓íl̓witulh (Tsleil-Waututh) First Nations in so-called Vancouver. Julia braids together a livelihood as a dancer, collaborative interdisciplinary creator, educator, arts administrator and emerging photographer.

As a dancer with Aeriosa Dance Society since 2009, Carr wields specialized skills that allow her to dance suspended at heights and on vertical surfaces. She's also been jigging with V’ni Dansi & The Louis Riel Métis Dancers since 2010. In 2008, Julia co-founded the interdisciplinary Body Narratives Collective and became Assistant Artistic Director of Dancestreams. Julia also helps BC schoolteachers use dance to explore curriculum subjects through Vancouver Biennale, Artstarts, and Dance Centre initiatives pairing artists with classrooms. She became general manager at EDAM (Experimental Dance And Music) in 2018, and a Mom in 2015.

Carr was appointed Artistic Director of Dancestreams for the 2020-2021 season, pivoting this Vancouver-Island based pre-professional group for dedicated young dancers towards outdoor site-specific work in light of the COVID-19 pandemic. Julia’s photography practice encompasses alternative and historical processes as well as digital techniques, and often integrates with her movement practice.

Born and raised in Parksville BC, Rebecca McLane, Assistant Artistic Director trained at the Parksville Ballet School under the direction of Linda Klassen. After 15 years, Rebecca’s love of dance took her to London England where she studied all dance styles at Laine Theatre Arts. Returning to Canada, Rebecca graduated from the Contemporary Division of the School Of Dance in Ottawa where she worked with Canadian dance luminaries such as Brian Webb, Peter Boneham, Massimo Agostinelli, Sarah Bild, Serge Bennathan, Yvonne Coutts, Sylvie Desrosiers, Tedd Robinson, Cathy Kyle Fenton and Meagan O’ Shea. After graduation she created her first professional piece while being mentored by Peter Boneham. After performing professionally in the Ottawa, Montreal and Toronto area, it was time to move on.

Traveling to Melbourne Australia, Rebecca preformed in Adelaide’s Fringe festival, a collaboration of music, art and dance, all improvised. To add to Rebecca’s diploma in Contemporary dance, she went on to complete a 500hr Yoga Teacher Training at the Australian Yoga Academy. It was During Rebecca’s time in Australia, when she was teaching and creating competitive dances, as well as teaching barre and yoga, that it was time to broaden her knowledge and add to her teaching experience. Heading back to Canada, Rebecca stopped in India to complete a 200hr Vinyasa yoga teacher training.

Returning home to Vancouver Island to raise a family, Rebecca has guest choreographed and taught all over the island. Her choreography has been recognized for many awards and Rebecca has helped dancers achieve their goals to go onto post secondary dance training to England, Montreal and Vancouver. Rebecca is very honored to be apart of Dancestreams and hopes to share her love and passion of the art form with the company and surrounding communities.

Dancestreams educates young dancers about opportunities for professional post-secondary training and careers in the arts. Company dancers learn about the creative process while working in studio with guest choreographers ranging from emerging to established professionals. They learn professional performance standards by working in a wide-variety of venues. An extraordinary number of Island dancers have gone on to professional careers following their time in the Company.

Dancers from communities throughout the central Island region are welcome to attend Dancestreams master classes with guest teachers.

The Company has been fortunate to welcome such professionals as: Serge Bennathan, Kenny Pearl, Peggy Baker, Marc Boivin, Julia Sasso, Tiffany Tregarthen, Heather Laura Gray, Monica Proenca and many others.

Celebrating 35 years!

2020-21   2021-22

Vancouver Island Youth Dance Theatre Assn has been offering dance arts programs for Island teens since September 1985 and has been incorporated as a non-profit society since April 1986.

Dancestreams was awarded a 2005 Creation Residency at the Banff Centre for the Arts, the only pre-professional youth company to receive the honour at that time, and was named Top 40 Under 40 for Vancouver Island in 2006.

The Company has been fortunate to work with some of Canada’s most outstanding choreographers and teachers, and program participants have gone on to train and dance professionally at renowned institutions and companies throughout the world.