Dancing & Nightlife

Moosehide – shining a light across the North

The 2018 Moosehide Gathering in Dawson City was, once again, a smashing success. The local Tr’ondëk Hwëch’in relocated to Moosehide, two miles north of Dawson City on the Yukon River, during the gold rush of 1898, to escape the insanity of thirty-thousand lousy, drunken gold-hungry stampeders. It is a refuge for Tr’ondëk Hwëch’in, and the …

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It’s a cultured Canada Day in Mayo

The Mayo Arts Festival and Canada Day celebrations are highlights during the summer. Everybody is looking forward to the celebrations, and preparations have already started.

Meet the 2018 cancan line

The 2018 Eldorado Line: Steal Your Fella Ella (left), Last Call Liz, Razzle Dazzle Rachel, Lollipop Ginger Yukon Sourdough Rendezvous season begins in February, but for some people it is a year round commitment. The women of the Yukon Sourdough Rendezvous Cancan Line are arguably the most in-demand group during Rendezvous, and their appearance bookings …

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From the North to the South

We deserve a pat on the back. That’s part of the point of From the North says Kim Winnicky, executive producer of the arts performance and show, a Canada 150 project being produced by Music Yukon. “We (in the territories) don’t often get a chance to celebrate ourselves.” Beginning this month, the show’s all-northern team …

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Good Night, Good Morning

Ann-Marie MacDonald’s award-winning comedy Goodnight Desdemona (Good Morning Juliet) has been around for almost 30 years, but Brian Fidler and Clare Preuss are convinced it will still play well to contemporary Whitehorse audiences. “I think it appeals to the core audience of the Guild that likes a good Canadian classic show, and that loves Shakespeare,” …

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Sorcery, Swans and Love

For a cosmopolitan afternoon in downtown Whitehorse, head over to The Old Fire Hall for a screening of Swan Lake, performed by the internationally acclaimed Russian ballet company Bolshoi Ballet. The film will be shown on Sunday, October 1 at 2 p.m. as part of the Yukon Arts Centre’s Performance in HD Series. In the …

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The Legacy of the Klondike Cancan

The cancan that began as an 1830s dance craze in Paris was a direct revolt against the rules imposed by men, society, press, clergy and narrow-minded citizens. From the beginning the cancan was a statement, and it became a symbolic statement through the various revolutions and movements from that point forward. As the great cancan …

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Three Days of Dance

World travel has its place, but Sharon Shorty says a lot of Yukoners need to get out and take a trip into their own territory. And, she says, if you want to start with Haines Junction, The Da Kų Nän Ts’etthet Dance Festival makes it easy. The bi-annual festival, now in its second year, takes …

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The Cancan Arrives at the Klondike Gold Rush

On November 28, 1891, the New York Sun dedicated a full page to the cancan. Titled “Eccentric Paris Dance,” the article highlights Paris cancan stars of the day who describe intricate cancan dance moves. After the two decades of being attacked in the press by misogynist newspaper editors and pious moral reformers, the Sun article …

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Less is Definitely More

Dawson City did not have burlesque in its repertoire until long-time local resident Rachel Wiegers decided to take up (or off, as the case may be) the mantle and bring it to town. Wiegers says her journey towards burlesque started when she was young and discovered her father’s girlie magazine stash. “I was too young …

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Can You Do the Cancan, Kate?

During the 1890s, the United States was a melting pot of entertainment – and vaudeville became the perfect vehicle to showcase this wealth of diversity. From New York to Victoria, B.C., vaudeville reigned supreme as the most popular entertainment in every city and many small towns. The key to vaudeville’s success was that it allowed …

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Telling Stories Through Dance

“What would I say my style is? It depends on what project I’m working on… I liked to say ‘contemporary aboriginal dancer’ for a long time, but that’s pretty broad – there are so many kinds of aboriginal dance and it’s all different… If you were writing a poem, you’d use whatever words and meters …

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The Cancan Under Arrest

Appearing nightly in vaudeville, burlesque, ballets and operas, on tiny rustic stages of the Wild West mining camps and in the frontier theatres of the Pacific Coast, by the 1870s the cancan was in North America to stay. When the cancan first became a part of the entertainment fabric, it was celebrated in newspaper reviews …

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Delightful Devilry: The Cancan Invades New York

Although the cancan made its North American debut with Offenbach’s opera Orpheus of the Underworld in 1861, it wasn’t until it appeared in the first American musical that the cancan became a true phenomenon in North America. In 1866 Henry C. Jarrett and Harry Palmer imported a large group of Parisian dancers to perform the …

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Indian Dance + Celtic Beats

On Saturday, Dec. 17, Yukoners will have a chance to immerse themselves in an uplifting show Bhangra: The Dance of the Punjab, which will feature bhangra dancing to traditional Irish and Scottish music by the Whitehorse band Crooked Folk, as well as group dances from Gurdeep’s bhangra dance class students. The evening has been organized …

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Shakin’ It Sober Style

For a lot of people, dancing and drinking go hand in hand. With a buzz, you can actually dance without worrying about what other people think. If you do something foolish you can always blame it on the booze, right? The Whitehorse – Just Dance monthly events are put on by Steve Potter as an …

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The dance craze with a kick!

In her book “DANCING” Lilly Grove describes the invention of the chahut which evolved into the cancan.   “About 1830, a stage dancer called Mazarie played the part of a monkey in the Theatre de la Porte St. Martin.  He invented for the occasion a figure dance which he called ‘chahut,’ which surpassed in its …

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Tantalizing Varietease Returns

Varietease VI: A Burlesque Carnival is the Yukon’s very own burlesque variety show. Varietease runs every second year. This is an on-year, Oct. 25 to 29 at the Yukon Arts Centre. This year’s theme is a repeat of the 2009 carnival and promises to be bigger and more creative than ever with six acts, the Varietease …

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CFYT Talent Night

Have you always wanted to get on stage and strut your stuff?  If so, then CFYT Talent Night is for you.  Taking place on September 30 at Diamond Tooth Gerties Gambling Hall in Dawson City, Talent Night welcomes all types of performers on stage. In partnership with the Klondike Visitors Association (KVA), this event is …

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The Laundress and the Kick

Although women of Paris played an integral role in the French Revolution, once the dust settled they were given a stern message by the new men in power: Stay home, tend to the children and leave the important business of governing to us. By 1825, the post-revolution preoccupation of keeping women in their place was …

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On Gertie’s Closing Night, Expect the unexpected

On Saturday, Sept. 24, patrons of Diamond Tooth Gertie’s Gambling Hall in Dawson City are in for a treat as Gertie and her gals put on the final show of the season. Throughout the summer, the casino offers three different stage shows each evening at 8:30 p.m., 10 p.m. and midnight. Each show is different …

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The legacy of the Follies

The Frantic Follies Vaudeville Revue is the longest running independent theatre company in North America. Or, at least, that’s Grant Simpson’s speculation. He’s also got an application in to the Guiness World Book of Records to affirm that the it’s the longest running vaudeville show. In the world. Simpson is into longevity. The Whitehorse show …

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How Foster Care Shapes Lives

Amelia Merhar knows what it’s like to be a foster child, to go from home to home, and to be without a home at all. She wonders how that movement affects young people today, so she’s asking them to tell us, through art. Merhar, also known as Yukon’s singing, ukulele-playing Big Mama Lele, has just …

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A Celebration of Tradition and Culture

From July 28 to 31 the Tr’ondëk Hwëch’in First Nation will welcome everyone to their traditional territory. The First Nation is hosting the 13th biennial Moosehide Gathering, taking place at Moosehide Village, which is located 3 km downriver from Dawson City by boat, or 4.5 km by forest trail. Entry and camping is free. During …

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Spotlight on Kids at Vaudeville Camp

School’s out for the summer, which means that summer camp is IN! An exciting new day camp is taking centre-stage this year in Whitehorse – specifically, it is taking the stage at the Frantic Follies Theatre, home to the Frantic Follies vaudeville revue. For almost 50 years, Frantic Follies has been delighting Whitehorse audiences with …

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CypherFest

For the sixth year in a row, Breakdancing Yukon Society (BYS) is inviting professional and aspiring dancers from across Canada for a weekend of performances, dance battles and workshops. This year they are bringing up two renowned dance groups to the Yukon for the festival: OURO Collective and Tentacle Tribe. OURO is a dance collective …

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An International Celebration of Talent

The Folk Society of Whitehorse has been hosting the famous Yukon-Alaska Coffee House for  more than 25 years. This event features two coffee house evenings, back-to-back, in Skagway and Whitehorse. The Yukon evening of talent, which takes place on Saturday, will also serve as the finale to a series of Whitehorse coffee houses that happen …

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What’s on at Rendezvous

It’s that time of year again, when it’s totally normal to see girls walking around in period costume, when men compete in beauty pageants, when that guy with the really long beard who comes into the restaurant you work at starts talking about the medal he hopes to win.   And this year is no …

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An Evening of Romance

Bring family, friends, or even a date, because the All-City Band Society is hosting the 16th annual Dessert and Dance. The evening will start off with some sensational tunes provided by All-City Jazz Band, with the lights dim and the jazzy sounds of saxophones alongside the trumpets and trombones, controlled by the beat and rhythm …

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The Must-See Guide to the Pivot Theatre Festival

By La Compagnie L’Immédiat/Camille Boitel Jan. 27-29, 8 p.m., Yukon Arts Centre Co-presented with the Yukon Arts Centre, this European classic comes all the way from Paris, France. Perhaps more exciting than the distance travelled, or the point of origin, is that its Yukon debut will also be its North American premiere. Yukon audiences will be …

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The Perfect Party Playlist

Whether you’re throwing a small dinner party, holiday event or New Year’s eve rager, your playlist can make or break the event. You’ve spent the time and energy on the perfect decorations, food, and outfit – don’t underestimate your playlist. Music sets the tone for a party, creates an ambiance, and can be the deciding …

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A Northern Cabaret

Craving a dose of good old fashioned Vaudeville fun? Yukoners looking for something new and adult to do this holiday season have the opportunity to find it at Furlesque: A Northern Cabaret. The variety show will feature, among other things, belly dancing, old-style song and dance numbers, burlesque, gymnastics, actors, musicians and comedians. Each evening …

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Running the Show

Props, actors, lighting, sound, marketing; these are some of the small but numerous little details which turn a “piece” into a “show.” These things need hands to make them happen and cost money – sometimes a lot of money. Many of the shows put on in the Yukon are created by home-grown production company run …

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A Buffet of Freaky Treats

Halloween parties for the mature crowd can’t simply offer a feast of candy and chips. We have issues such as cholesterol, blood pressure and the adult palate to keep in mind. Luckily, there are many healthy party snacks that can be served. Here are some ideas. For a sophisticated-but-creepy appetizer try black caviar. Grab some …

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The future is now

The Yukon Rendezvous Society is throwing a Halloween dance party again this year, and the theme is Back to the Future Part II. The trippy concept is that in 1989, when Back to the Future Part II came out, our man Marty (Michael J. Fox) time-travelled to the future and landed in 2015. And now …

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Dancing for Doggies

On Oct 31st Whitehorse residents will have a chance to work up a sweat to some sweet electronica tunes at the second annual Masq dance party. There will be a full bar, photo booth, catering, music and a costume contest with prizes from Air North, Earl’s and Yukon Brewing. The event is a fundraiser for …

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Dancing To All The Sounds

On Friday, October 23, the Yukon Arts Centre will be presenting a multimedia experience that weaves together dance, video, music and costume. It’s called Eunoia and is based on Canadian poet Christian Bök’s book of the same name. Denise Fujiwara, of Toronto-based Fujiwara Dance Inventions and a veteran of the Canadian contemporary dance scene, heard …

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Dancing in Denmark

Destiny Clennett, 13, was one of eight students from Northern Lights School of Dance (NLSD) to attend the 13th World Congress of Dance and the Child International (daCi) in Copenhagen, Denmark in July. I was five when I started dancing, and ballet was my first dance class. It was fun and exciting. When I was …

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Street Party

Nadine Landry describes Louisiana’s Cajun culture as a ‘holy trinity’ of food, music and dancing. “People invite you over to dinner, so there is food, and that’s hugely important in Cajun culture. And it takes so long for the food to get ready, you start playing tunes, and then people start dancing,” she says. “So …

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Girls Rock Camp

The closest I’ve come to being in a band was brought about through my love of the Spice Girls. When I was eleven, my friends and I entered a big impersonation contest at the mall, practicing our dance moves and lip-syncing for weeks beforehand. As we grew older and our tastes evolved, we began visiting …

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Dawson’s Community Dance

Tiss Clark, a local artist and music teacher, is the organizer of the Community Jigging Square Dance Project in Dawson City. She decided to start the project after hearing an elder in Fort MacPherson recount dance history in the North. “Dances used to be for meeting, talking, and socializing with the community,” says Clark. “There’s …

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Strippers Who Live In Cabins

When I first meet Tina, during this year’s Rendezvous, she introduces herself as Misha. After waiting for one Jarvis Street Saloon manager to talk to another Jarvis Street Saloon manager, who relays messages from the front of the bar where I am, to the back of the bar, where Tina is, I’m finally lead around …

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The Nutcracker Comes to Dawson

The Nutcracker is coming to Dawson City just in time for the holidays. The Northern Lights School of Dance in Whitehorse is staging the traditional ballet on Saturday, December 6, at Diamond Tooth Gerties. Of the five years that the production has been coming to Dawson, the last three have brought a twist to the …

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Andrea Simpson-Fowler has a Passion for Dance — and for Building Communities

There’s a moment near the end of the TEDx talk Andrea Simpson-Fowler gave in Whitehorse last year that explains in a nutshell what her life’s work is all about. “Kids can become extraordinary people with unique skills, while learning how to build, how to share, how to create, how to engage, how to manage and …

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Harnessing Your Chi

The ancient martial arts and those who master them are often praised for their speed, power, and feats of incredible strength. Most people will likely think of Kung Fu or Karate, and conjure images of Bruce Lee’s famous one-inch punch sending men tumbling to the ground, or Jet Li utilizing a spinning crescent kick to …

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Fred Astaire, meet the street dancers

It’s Boys in the Hood and “Singin’ in the Rain” combined with what Nicolette Little describes as a “Sinatra-y feeling.” Little is an instructor for the Northern Lights School of Dance where she’s teaching her students a fusion of jazz, hip hop and street dance. Her Jazz & Street Dance class is percolating with isolations …

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Thine Art

Sonnet 1 The grace of she who moves like silken water, her feet the slaves to wild demanding beats. The master of motion and most pleasant to watch, her dance to leap to fly with sky she meets. A twist, a flick, a painter is painting quick, with red, with black, with orange a colour …

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In the ‘language’ of belly dancing, Raqs rocks

It’s not I Dream of Jeannie—not even close. “The North American image of I Dream of Jeannie is so ‘Hollywood’,” Nita Collins chuckles, but acknowledges that, yes, belly dancing is sensual. “I Dream of Jeannie is a combination of Turkish and Eastern and Hollywood.” But, she says, it did help introduce the whole concept and …

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Dancing around the issue

I don’t like to dance and I don’t know why. For many years, I just assumed it was because I’m a guy. To dance, you must feel the music; you must express yourself. I don’t like to dance and I don’t know why. For many years, I just assumed it was because I’m a guy. …

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Leaping Feats Celebrates 10 Years

Andrea Simpson Fowler’s pride, passion and excitement beam throughout our half-hour interview. Even though we are speaking over the phone, the long-time managing director of Leaping Feats Creative Danceworks (LFCD) exudes a contagious enthusiasm as she lists the accomplishments of the Yukon Dance Program that is now 10 years old. There is Rodney Morgan, an …

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Dancing Under an Umbrella

Jude Wong had an elegant epiphany last October. Perhaps the constant query she’d heard from fellow dance artists, “Why should I have to leave in order to create?” was her measured tempo on this specific fall day as she danced her way across the studio floor. Or perhaps the desperate exchanges Wong had heard, expressing …

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Yukon Dancers Are Here to Stay

Jude Wong and I sit facing each other, sipping our coffees. She is nibbling on toast, and I am picking at a muffin – two food staples of dancers. We are talking about SYIDA (Society of Yukon Independent Dance Artists). Yes, this has been a feature of several articles in recent issues, but I am …

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Decidedly Jazz Dance Workshops

The working life of a dancer is not all showbiz and stage time. Countless hours are also devoted to rehearsals, choreography, classes and workshops. Workshops are a welcomed spinoff of any touring dance show. It is here that local dancers can break the fourth wall and engage in the communal art form of dance with …

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Dance Gathering

“A dance gathering?” you ask. Yes, that is exactly what it is: people gathering together to dance. I attended the Yukon’s first dance gathering on Oct. 17 – not as a participant, but as an observer. Jessica Hickman held this first dance gathering in the upstairs studio at the Alpine Bakery. Hickman, originally from Calgary, …

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The return of jazz dance

Kimberley Cooper retraced the rise and descent of North American jazz dance: It is primarily a folk dance mixed by African slaves and the Europeans who enslaved them. But it died out with the Second World War, bebop and the taxation of dance halls. “It was kind of lost in the world, and that’s sad,” …

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Dancer Has Found Her Home

The’s a dancer, she’s a teacher, she’s a choreographer, actor, singer and performance artist. She is dancing all over this town. At the age of 24, Jessica Hickman has a wealth of skills and knowledge to share and teach in our northern community. Originally from Calgary, where she began her dance training, Hickman has trained …

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Breaking Out

Two days after Ju Hyun Seo got married last November, he flew to the Yukon to teach breakdancing for a month at Leaping Feats Creative Danceworks. When artist director Andrea Simpson-Fowler asked if he’d be interested in something longer term, he was quick to accept. “Andrea said, ‘Are you sure you want to move here?’ …

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Confessions of a Newbie Kicker

For anyone under the impression that Rendezvous week makes cancan dancers magically appear as if from thin air like so many green fairies to light up the stages of venues across the city – I’m here to tell you you’re mistaken. Being a cancan dancer is hard work. Really hard work. Four-hour-reheasals hard work that takes …

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A Fresh Footing for NLSD

Change and innovation are the order of the day as the Northern Lights School of Dance (NLSD) begins is 2012-13 season. Not only does the school have a new artistic director and a new mandate, there is even a brand-new entity for emerging artists, called Young Ballet of the Yukon (YBY). Artistic Director Julio Hong …

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Journeying Through Dance

This week, Dawson City welcomes back Raven Spirit Dance, which has enjoyed a well-established presence in town for several years. Choreographer Michelle Olson is somewhat of a part-time Dawsonite herself and member of the Tr’ondëk Hwëch’in First Nation. She has previously created two pieces that were performed at the Dänojà Zho Cultural Centre. This summer …

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