General Information

Dance Critics Association

Annual Conference


August 2-4, 2013 Vancouver, BC



“Re-Defining the Field: Shifts in Critical Perception and Dance Writing”



VANCOUVER – Top dance writers George Jackson, Gigi Berardi, and Sandra Kurtz are among the moderators for the 2013 Dance Critics Association Conference.

This year’s theme is “Re-Defining the Field: Shifts in Critical Perception and Dance Writing,” and the exciting locale is Vancouver, British Columbia! 

From August 2-4th, panelists including Princess Grace Award-winning choreographer Zoe Scofield, administrative staff from the Pacific Northwest Ballet and Seattle’s On the Boards will sound off about the latest and most pressing issues in the professional dance and dance-writing worlds. 

This year’s DCA conference will be held in tandem with that of World Dance Alliance-America, whose theme is “Involve + Evolve: Dance as a Moving Question.” All panels and performances associated with the DCA and WDAA conferences will take place at the Scotiabank Dance Centre.



For more detailed descriptions of the panels and panelists, please see

Final Schedule:

*All scheduling and panelists are subject to change.


Thursday, August 1


4:00 PM Meet and Greet reception.
Location: The Commune Cafe
1002 Seymour St.
Vancouver, BC, V6B 3M6
Just blocks away from the Scotiabank Dance Centre


Friday, August 2


10:00 AM                          CONSIDER YOUR AUDIENCE

Award winning critic Gigi Berardi of Western Washington University kickstarts the DCA 2013 Conference with a discussion of the critic-audience relationship. Panelists will discuss the ways in which writers navigate this sometimes complicated relationship, and what presenting organizations are doing to engage audiences critically. Panelists include a representative from Seattle’s On the Boards and PNB Education Programs Manager Doug Fullington.



Moderated by seasoned D.C. critic George Jackson, this panel will be a self-reflective discussion about who is writing critically today. Featured panelists include several DCA board members and Sandra Kurtz of the SeattleWeekly.


1:00 PM                           LUNCH (Brownbag feedback session on previous night's WDAA performance)


2:00 PM                           SPOTLIGHT ON VANCOUVER

Sarah Todd, curator of Western Front Gallery in Vancouver, moderates this exciting panel about Vancouver as a microcosm of the larger dance world. This discussion will focus on local dance writing and criticism, as well as the impact of social media and fan-based writing on the Vancouver arts scene. Todd and panelists Alexander Ferguson, Peter Dickinson, and Deborah Meyers will discuss the limited resources for peer-reviewed or editor-reviewed local dance critique.


3:30 PM                 THE PROOF IS IN THE PROCESS

Now more than ever before, choreographers invite writers and audiences to see their creation processes. Writers discuss the creative process, and often let behind-the-scenes ideas inform their reviews of the final choreography. This creative process-centric discussion features choreographer and 2011 Princess Grace Choreography Award winner Zoe Scofield  (@zoe|juniper) among others.  


Saturday, August 3


10:00 AM                DANCE WRITING LAB SESSION

**The Dance Writing Lab Session will take the place of the "Shifting Strategies: Dance Writing for the Web vs. Print" Presentation & Class on Saturday, August 3, at 10:00 am - 12:30 pm

You are sitting down to write your review of a dance performance. You have your, hopefully readable, notes. You have your memories. You are staring at a blank screen. Dance writing and criticism can be a lonely pursuit. But it doesn't have to be.

This lab session, facilitated by DCA Co-President Robert Abrams, will give both novice and experienced dance writers a chance to read a review or other article in progress in a unique and supported environment. Other attendees will provide feedback; spirited discussion will ensue. Everyone is welcome to present their work, whether this is your first time taking up the pen or you're a seasoned writer. Similarly, everyone is welcome to provide feedback. The more perspectives in the room, the greater the chance of discovery and the greater the chance of improving our ability to write clearly for multiple audiences. The writers lab is a simple, but effective approach to improve your skills and learn from others in the field. This session is the DCA's first step towards creating an online dance writing course, as well as towards supporting local dance writers labs.

If you would like to share your writing and receive feedback in the lab, please bring approximately a page of text to the session, with, if possible, 30 printed copies. This will be most effective if your text is about one of the WDAA showcases, so that others in the session will have seen the work, but text about another show would be fine. Email Robert Abrams at if you would like to present. We will also do our best to accommodate writers who sign up to present at the session.

Additionally, attendees will receive some helpful guides to dance writing prepared by DCA members such as Elizabeth Zimmer and Deborah Jowitt.



1:00 PM                           LUNCH (Brownbag feedback session on previous night's WDAA performance)


2:00 PM                           ACTION PANEL: THE DCA AND HIGHER EDUCATION

This brainstorming session allows Conference attendees a chance to weigh in about the status of the DCA. Faculty from the University of Washington, Cornish College of the Arts, and Simon Fraser will provide feedback on how to make the DCA more relevant with a young population of writers, and how to get the organization involved in universities nationwide.



Having a successful brand is paramount in today’s web-interfaced world, and marketing that brand can make or break an organization. This branding panel highlights organizations that have had successful rebranding initiatives in recent years. Moderated by Sandra Kurtz, (SeattleWeekly), panelists will include Tonya Lockyer, Executive Director of Velocity Dance Center in Seattle, and Ashani Mfuko, a Dancerpreneur, Social Media Strategist, and Online Branding Specialist (@AshaniMfuko).


The DCA conference will be held in conjunction with the WDA-A’s annual conference, which runs from July 29-August 4th. The WDA-A has organized performances in the evenings on Tuesday, July 30 through Saturday, August 3. All performances will be held at the Scotiabank Dance Centre theaters at 6:00 PM each evening. For a list of performers see here:


Please Note: The conference takes place in Canada and a valid Passport is required to return to the United States.


For more information contact:

Mariko Nagashima



2013 DCA Conference

- The Fine Print -




Registration rates are:

Members -

$125 full conference pre-registration until June 24; $150 full conference registration after June 24 or on-site; $100 single day pre-registration until June 24; $115 single day registration after June 24 or on-site.


Members of affiliate organizations (DanceNYC, DHS, ADG, DFA, SDHS, CORD, WDA) –

$150 full conference pre-registration until June 24; $170 full conference registration after June 24 or on-site; $110 single day pre-registration until June 24; $130 single day registration after June 24 or on-site.


Non-members –

$175 full conference pre-registration until June 24; $195 full conference registration after June 24 or on-site; $105 single day pre-registration until June24; $125 single day registration after June 24 or on-site.


Registration may be completed by mail with the attached form and paid by check or money order, or by going online at:


Additionally, if you would like to attend the WDA-A sessions as well as the DCA portion of the conference, you may register for both by paying the DCA registration fee plus $100. More information about the WDA-A’s panel topics and workshops is available here:



Conference location:


Conference sessions will be held at the Scotiabank Dance Centre in the heart of downtown Vancouver at, 677 Davie Street, Vancouver BC V6B 2G6, Canada. Established in 1986 as a resource centre for a broad membership of dance professionals and the public in British Columbia, The Dance Centre is now a multifaceted organization offering a range of activities unparalleled in Canadian dance.


Conference Hotel:


The DCA has arranged conference rates at the Holiday Inn Hotel and Suites Vancouver Downtown, just blocks away from The Dance Centre.


The Holiday Inn Hotel and Suites, 1110 Howe St, Vancouver, BC V6Z 1R2, is offering a conference discount rate of $169 a night forAugust 1-4. This rate is in Canadian funds. Currently $1 US is equal to $1.01 Canadian currency. Rooms are standard double rooms. Deadline for reservations under this rate is July 3. When making reservations, use Group Code “DCA” or the “Dance Critics Association Group” on or before July 3, 2013, to receive the discounted rate. Call (212) 246-1300 for reservations. Reservations can be made in several ways:


Local Phone: (604) 623–6866

Hotel Toll Free: 1-800-663-9151 (Canada & US)

IHG Toll Free: 1-800-HOLIDAY (international)

Fax: (604) 684–4736


e-Booking Link: Holiday Inn Vancouver Downtown


Other hotels in the immediate vicinity are:

Ramada Inn & Suites Downtown Vancouver 

1221 Granville St, Vancouver, BC V6Z 1M6

(604) 685-1111


Best Western Plus Chateau Granville 

1100 Granville St, Vancouver, BC V6Z 2B6

(604) 669-7070


Granville Grand Hotel 

1212 Granville St, Vancouver, BC V6Z 1M4

(604) 687-8294



For other, lower priced options, try, or Sublets in the area are also available via sites such as, and





For More Information Contact:

Mariko Nagashima

DCA Conference Coordinator