The Dance Centre has announced that the recipient of the inaugural Lola Award is internationally-renowned BC choreographer Crystal Pite. The $10,000 award, established in memory of the much-loved choreographer Lola MacLaughlin, was presented at a performance of the LOLA Projects – a Victoria-based initiated also named in her honour – at Scotiabank Dance Centre on March 1, MacLaughlin’s birthday.
Pite’s award will support her next period of research in 2013, which comes after three years of intensive international touring and a residency in Germany for her company, Kidd Pivot Frankfurt RM.
The Award jury, comprising professionals from the fields of dance, visual art and theatre, issued this statement: “Crystal Pite exemplifies the spirit of this award, both as a creator and as an interdisciplinary collaborator. As an artist in her own right, she creates complex artworks that weave movement, theatricality, spirituality and intellectual inquiry into art that takes the stuff and strangeness of human existence and the natural world as the basis for provocative and reverberant insights into the richness of human potential.
“She inspires the same sense of adventure in others, and in the spirit of Lola’s gift of influence, we applaud Crystal’s commitment to nurturing and developing her creativity in the company of other artists both locally and internationally. In her upcoming phase of research, she will continue to give back to a community that has supported her endeavours abroad and at home.
“Welcome home, Crystal.”
The Lola Award is designed to encourage and facilitate the work of mid-career and senior choreographers, and will be presented every two years. It is supported by the new Lola McLaughlin Endowment Fund with the Vancouver Foundation and administered by The Dance Centre. Tony Giacinti, Lola’s husband and a major contributor to the establishment of the award, says: “We hope this Award will reflect and nurture some of the essence of Lola’s spirit, artistic approach and vision, and contribute to the growth of a Vancouver aesthetic that reaches beyond our shores.
Crystal Pite Born and raised on the Canadian West Coast, choreographer and performer Crystal Pite is a former company member of Ballet British Columbia and William Forsythe's Ballett Frankfurt. Crystal’s choreographic debut was in 1990, at Ballet British Columbia. Since then, she has created works for Nederlands Dans Theater I, Cullberg Ballet, Ballett Frankfurt, The National Ballet of Canada, Les Ballets Jazz de Montréal (Resident Choreographer, 2001-2004), Cedar Lake Contemporary Ballet, Ballet British Columbia, Alberta Ballet, Ballet Jorgen, and several independent dance artists; most recently Louise Lecavalier. Crystal is Associate Choreographer of Nederlands Dans Theater and Associate Dance Artist of National Arts Centre in Ottawa. In 2002 she formed Kidd Pivot and continues to create and perform in her own work. The company tours nationally and internationally, performing such highly demanded and critically acclaimed works as The You Show, Dark Matters and Lost Action. Kidd Pivot's residency at the Künstlerhaus Mousonturm in Frankfurt has provided her the opportunity to work with her dancers and collaborators to create The You Show and The Tempest Replica, which premiered there in October 2011.
Crystal is the recipient of the Banff Centre’s Clifford E. Lee Award (1995), the Bonnie Bird North American Choreography Award (2004), and the Isadora Award (2005). Her work has received four Dora Mavor Moore Awards (2009), and a Jessie Richardson Theatre Award (2006). She is the recipient of the 2008 Governor General of Canada’s Performing Arts Award, Mentorship Program. Most recently, she was awarded the 2011 Jacob’s Pillow Dance Award.
Lola MacLaughlin, prior to a career in dance, was a student of biology and psychology, and did a stint as a singer with a German rock band. She graduated from dance studies at Simon Fraser University and continued her training in New York, Toronto and Vancouver. Seminally influenced by studies at the Freie Universitat in Berlin, the punk movement of the early 1980’s and the German Ausdruckstanz, her first works were performed by EDAM, the radical Vancouver performance collective that she co-founded in 1983. In 1989, she became artistic director of her own company, Lola Dance. The diverse body of work that she developed has been recognized through The Banff Centre's Clifford E. Lee Award and The Canada Council's Jacqueline Lemieux Prize, along with numerous commissions. As well as touring nationally, her work was seen at the Canada Dance Festival, Festival international de nouvelle danse and the 20th Danceweek Festival in Zagreb, Croatia.
The Dance Centre is BC’s resource centre for dance. It provides resources, information and support to the dance profession; runs programs supporting the choreographic development of dance artists; presents performances and events for the public; and operates Scotiabank Dance Centre, Canada’s flagship dance facility, in downtown Vancouver.