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BC Movement Arts Society brings urban and rural to the North Island for a night of contemporary dance

An evening of solos and duet featuring the explosive talents of bright young female artists
Rebecca Argolick and Livona Ellis will be performing on the North Island in June. Photo contributed

The BC Movement Arts Society (BCMAS), based in Sointula on Malcolm Island, British Columbia, located within the unceded Kwakwaka’wakw territories of the ‘Namgis, Kwakiutl, and Mamalilikala Nations produces the North Island Contemporary Dance Series featuring Canadian and international dance artists.

Bringing urban and rural together, BCMAS is one of the few professional dance organizations based in, and serving, rural and remote communities in Canada. This inaugural year features acclaimed dance artists from British Columbia, New York, England and Finland.

Their next production is FORTRESS + 4 SOLOS – an evening of solos and duet featuring the explosive talents of bright young female artists, BC-based Livona Ellis and NYC-based Rebecca Margolick, in an evening of solos and their first collaboration, a duet titled Fortress.

Ellis performs her pensive solo Unmoved, a deeply felt response to the idea of overcoming the limitations we place on ourselves. Margolick’s solo Bunker hums with energy, drawing on themes of memory and the shared history of previous generations of women. The program also includes two solos revived last season specially for them: Peter Bingham’s 1997 Woman Walking (away), danced by Ellis with exquisite simplicity and focus; and Allen Kaeja’s Trace Elements (2000) powerfully performed by Margolick, a passionate call to learn from the mistakes of our past.

“We are overjoyed to be able to showcase and share with the North Island such superb and versatile dancer/choreographers as Livona Ellis and Rebecca Margolick in our annual international dance series serving this remote, yet magnificent, region of British Columbia. Showcasing their exceptional artistry and technique as solo artists, this show as well has provided the opportunity for Livona and Rebecca (who trained together as children at Vancouver’s Arts Umbrella) to collaborate on a new duet entitled FORTRESS. This dynamic and compelling new duet was created during a BCMAS multi-week fully funded creation residency in Sointula,” says BCMAS’ Artistic & Executive Director, Mary-Louise Albert.

Ellis was born in Vancouver on the unceded Coast Salish Territories. She completed her training at Arts Umbrella under the direction of Artemis Gordon. In 2010 she received her Dance Diploma and began dancing with Ballet BC.

Throughout her eight years with the company she has been fortunate to perform works by world renowned artists such as Crystal Pite, Sharon Eyal, Lesley Telford, Johan Inger, William Forsythe, and many others.

Independently, she has collaborated with Jennifer McLeish-Lewis for the EDAM Spring Series and Rachel Meyer and Jennifer Mascall for Dancing on the Edge Festival 2019.

Ellis has performed in international venues such as Sadler’s Wells, Movimentos Festival Wolfsburg, Jacob’s Pillow Dance Festival, Fall for Dance NYC, and International Dance Festival Birmingham UK. She has created works for Dances for a Small Stage, Dance Deck Trois, Public Salon 2019, Contemporary Art Gallery Gala 2018, and Arts Umbrella Season Finale. In 2017 she received the Vancouver Mayor’s Arts Award for Emerging Artist.

This past year Ellis staged Medhi Walerski’s “Prelude” on Staatsoper Hannover in Germany and was a guest artist with Konzert Theater Bern in Switzerland.

Ellis rejoined Ballet BC for their 2020/21/22/23 seasons and is currently on faculty at Arts Umbrella. She is a 2022 resident artist at Left of Main and will continue her choreographic research towards developing a new solo work.

Margolic is a Canadian dancer and choreographer based in New York. Her multi-disciplinary and solo works have been presented in France, Costa Rica, Singapore, Poland, Bulgaria, Israel, Mexico, Germany, and multiple cities across the U.S and Canada. She was named one of Top 25 to Watch in 2021 from Dance Magazine. Her currently touring solo Bunker + Vault won the Jury Prize for “best indoor choreographic work” at the 2019 Festival Quartiers Danse in Montreal.

She received the 2020 New Directions Choreography Lab Fellowship at the Ailey School under the mentorship of Gus Solomons Jr. and was a Dance Artist in Residence at The Banff Centre for the Arts in December 2019. She was also a 2020/2021 artist in residence at the Dance Deck in Vancouver Canada.

In 2020, Margolic received the Conney Conference Fellowship to study the archives of the Clara de Hirsch Home for Working Girls at 92nd St Y and presented her research at the 2020 Conney Conference. She was a 2017 GPS Fund Movement Research Artist in Residence at Derida Dance Center in Sofia Bulgaria, and a 2015/16 LABA Fellow at the 14th St Y in NYC.

She has been commissioned to create works for Ballet BC’s Performance Project; the Ailey/Fordham BFA Program; Michiyaya Dance, DancePORT Derida, Bulargia; University of Costa Rica; and Frabique des Arts, Carcassonne France.

She is currently rehearsal director and dancer with Chuck Wilt’s UNA Productions, and was a dancer with Sidra Bell Dance New York from 2012-2016. Freelancing, she has worked with a number of artists including Kayla Farrish, Allen Kaeja, Patricia Norowol, Jerome Bel (The Show Must Go On), Derrick Belcham, Emily Terndrup, Maya Orchin, Shay Kuebler, and Barak Marshall, among others.

Margolic graduated from NYU Tisch School of the Arts with a BFA in Dance, and prior to that trained at Arts Umbrella in Vancouver.

Rebecca is a proud member of Dance Artists National Collective a collective of freelance dancers organizing for safe, equitable and sustainable working conditions in the United States.

FORTRESS + 4 SOLOS will be performed on the North Island in June at the following venues:

- Tuesday June 7 at 7:30 p.m. at the Tidemark Theatre in Campbell River.

- Thursday June 9 at 7 p.m. at ‘Namgis Lawrence Ambers Memorial Rec. Centre in Alert Bay.

- Friday June 10 at 7:30 p.m. at the Gate House Theatre in Port McNeill.

- Saturday June 11 at 7:30 p.m. at the Athletic Hall in Sointula.

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