Fire and Ice opens festival

Music and dance go together, right? But what if a sculptural piece and a light projection are added to the mix? You've got Fire and Ice, an artistic collaboration to dazzle an audience at a main stage event at the Raven's Cry Theatre. It's part of the ninth annual Sechelt Arts Festival, in partnership with the Sunshine Coast Arts Council.

Fire and Ice is the opening night cross-genre presentation on Friday, Oct. 12 at 8 p.m., and it showcases local artists Robert Studer with his giant sculptures, ice artist Gordon Halloran, along with the hot Brazilian sounds of Celso Machado. Accompanying them is the contemporary hip hop and jazz ensemble Three - Vancouver dance artists Ashley Whitehead, Lisa Rose Metz and Dianne Doan with cameo performances from some of the Coast's own advanced dancers.

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"It's a unique night of performance," said Studer, who was asked to be part of the collaboration by Nancy Cottingham-Powell, coordinator of the festival, and the Sunshine Coast Dance Society's Diana Robertson.

"I took on the fire element of the show," Studer explained, "and will be doing light projections." There is also a physical element, a two-metre sphere made from reclaimed materials and a blackened object not unlike a carbon molecule. Once the piece was constructed, Studer drove it to the dancers' rehearsal space so they could build their movement around it.

The Big Screen Day Dream, also part of the show, is a co-production event featuring videos of Coastal visuals by local filmmakers including Bjorn Enga and a live performance of original songs by Steve Weave, Nir Blu, Jeff Doran and Patrick Havaasto.

Ten years ago, Singing the Bones, an original film by Caitlin Hicks and Gordon Halloran, hit the Raven's Cry with a gala opening - evening gowns, chauffeured limousine and all. The film, a story about three women and their journey towards one birth, was taken from an original play by Hicks, and she performs many of the parts to Halloran's sumptuous cinematography. The film is reprised on Saturday, Oct. 13, at the Raven's Cry starting with a pre-show party at 6:30 and film at 8 p.m.

The following week, on Sunday, Oct. 20, also at 8 p.m., audiences will be entertained with The Haunt of a Woman and Rhythmical Reflections, a showcase that combines the quirky lyrics and incredible groove of Mimosa, a French and Brazilian-influenced jazz quintet from Vancouver, with a sultry choreographed dance by contemporary Coast dancers Brittany Robertson and Pan Willson. A visual projection of locally sourced photography arranged by Tamar Kozlov will form the backdrop.

Rhythmical Reflections is the juxtaposition of acoustic string hot jazz and spontaneous images of light, colour and mark, featuring the wildly popular Vancouver-based band Van Django, with Coast-raised Budge Schachte. International artist Todd Clark will interpret their live performance by painting a visual canvas of their sounds.

Tickets for the showcases can be purchased at Sechelt Visitors' Centre, Strait Music, Gaia's Fair Trade or at the door if available. They are: $20 adults, $15 seniors, $10 students.

In partnership with the Sechelt Arts Festival, the District of Sechelt's Arts, Culture and Heritage Advisory Committee will present thesecond annual juried art show from Oct. 12 to 21 at the Seaside Centre, showcasing local artists and leading to the acquisition of art for the district. The purchase award winner will be announced at the opening reception at 6 p.m. on Oct. 11. This year's juror is Robin Mayor, past president of Emily Carr University of Art + Design. The juried art show is on display, along with the heritage collection, from Oct. 12 to 21, from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., except for Friday, Oct. 19, when it will be open from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. Admission is free.

For information on all Sechelt Arts Festival activities, see: or phone the information line at 604-740-8476.

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