David Ferguson and Miles Lowry—partners, multidisciplinary artists and founding artistic co-directors of Suddenly Dance Theatre—have for decades been leaders in Victoria’s creative community when it comes to collaborative, cross-disciplinary endeavours. No wonder, then, that Suddenly Dance would have as its recurring fundraiser a gallery show where visual artists provide work for sale that riffs on the theme “Body Language.”
The roster of contributing artists is long and luminous, and promises a show that will offer inspiration, whatever your relationship is to dance-based arts. “It’s always been a mixture…works inspired by the body or movement, largely figurative, sometimes abstract in expression,” Ferguson tells me over coffee at Bean Around The World in Chinatown. All net proceeds go to support the 27-year-old company and the artists. Visual artists are donating half, with some donating their work’s entire selling price to support Suddenly Dance and its wide range of productions.
Those productions include WITS in Motion, a Toolkit for Social Emotional Learning (an arts-based educational program for kids that will soon be released for free public access); “In a Nutshell,” a play written by Ferguson for the Belfry Theatre; and an international exchange with Dab Dance Project from South Korea.
"The Girl Show" by Mitchell Villa
The art show will be up for two weeks at the recently renovated Fortune Gallery— a gem of a space in Chinatown—and will include works by Melanie Furtado, Irma Soltonovich, Sean Sheppard, Phyllis Serota, Nicole Sleeth, along with Lowry, Ferguson, and several others.
The opening on November 21 is free to the public, and will undoubtedly have some surprises in store, along with complimentary wine and a chance to mingle with Victoria’s most creative citizens.
Accessibility is a theme for Suddenly Dance, and they’re using technology to facilitate all aspects of interaction with and support for their organization’s projects. “What’s great is that we have an online box office where we sell our own tickets, and [we’re selling the artworks] online as well,” Ferguson explains. Donations are also welcome through the website, and monthly donors are especially appreciated, he says. “Some people will give five or 20 dollars a month all year round— it just keeps us going.”
Fortune Gallery is at 537 Fisgard St. Opening reception is Thursday, November 21, 7-9pm.