South Surrey dance company Diskordanse to rock Saturday

SOUTH SURREY — When two notes come together that seemingly oppose one another – perhaps a note in a jarring heavy metal riff juxtaposed with one in an airy, classical concerto – it’s called discordant.

For Nela Hallwas, who goes by Nela H., the artistic director of Diskordanse Dance Company, she’s pushing the envelope by juxtaposing the beautiful with the shocking.

Is it discordant? Of course. And that’s exactly what she’s going for.

"We went under the umbrella of contemporary dance for a while, but we’re quickly moving away from that," Nela told the Now.

"It’s so not just contemporary dance, it’s more than that. There’s a lot of theatrics involved, there’s a lot of crossing of boundaries, not just in the form of movement but also how it’s presented to an audience."

Run out of her South Surrey studio, XBa Dance Co., on 152nd Street and 20th Avenue, Diskordanse is the company born out of the longtime professional dance school.

Only in its fourth season, Diskordanse employs students graduating out of the XBa program as professional dancers, and so far it’s been challenging what is typically known about the art of dance.

The Collection, set to be the dance company’s third production, is setting classical and heavy metal music to a theatrical dance performance. The concept? Well, that’s a surprise that Nela and company won’t be revealing until a fundraiser this Saturday (Nov. 22).

"It’s completely different," Nela said, coyly. "The Collection is definitely not your run-of-the-mill dance performance. It’s interactive, in a way, with the audience as well."

Saturday’s event, held at XBa DanceCo Studios, will boast live entertainment, food from Beast and Brine and wines from Tinhorn Creek Vineyards.

What Nela will talk about, however, is the music setting the performance.

"The music, I think, is crossing the boundaries. It’s incredibly educated music, it’s incredibly well-written and yet it has that raw edge and it’ll go from beautiful classically educated to this full-on screaming," she revealed, noting the company is working with esteemed pianist and composer Dasha Duquette, who "grew up listening to an unlikely mix of Rachmaninoff, Chopin, Pantera, Tool, Faith No More and Guns ‘N’ Roses."

In The Collection, Nela assures the dance portion will be just as incendiary as the music.

"It’s different, it doesn’t fit in any preconceived notion of movement. It’s shocking at times and it always guarantees a surprise," she said.

The six dancers who will be performing in the production – Nela’s daughter Amadea Hallwas, Elizabeth Tichelman, Kate Barker, Carolyn Zaruk, Jenessa Stobbs and Skye Ferguson – have as much as 20 years between them. That discordance is what makes the company, in the end, so harmonious, Nela maintained.

"With that comes the life-experience differences. You have the fresh and the new, and you have the older souls. Not necessarily bodies, but souls," she said.

To catch a sneak peek of Diskordanse’s The Collection, attend Saturday’s fundraiser at XBa DanceCo Studios. Tickets are $100 each or $350 for four, and include food, drinks and entertainment. To purchase, visit Diskordanse.ca or contact Nela at 604-220-9679.

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