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Past Seasons


Strata of forgotten items discovered in any lost-and-found box present a certain history, be it plastic jewelry from the ‘90s, handwritten notes, or photographs. Each item tells a story of its former owner, while collectively, the mélange of abandoned objects provides a perspective of entangled histories. Such recollection – contact with the past – need not be merely object-based, but also, ephemeral, sensorial, and imaginative.
The magic of moving images such as film is also a vehicle into the past through which we revisit familiar spaces and recontextualize certain events through the lens of time. Inspired by the power of film to reignite remnants of the past, the Lights Dance Festival has curated films from around the globe to meaningfully engage with temporalities, whether they are autobiographical journeys or more conceptual experimentations with digital materials and technologies.


Our fifth annual programming will be curated around the theme of Illuminations, shedding light on the Ills and wisdoms of 2020. Illuminations welcomes submissions from dance, movement, screendance, and performance artists, especially BIPOC/queer/trans stories.


The global pandemic brought our lives to a halt, taking away opportunities, touch…familiarity, but it has also offered us a sense of renewal and a chance to recalibrate in many ways. All of us are still processing what we have gone through individually and as a global community, so we hope this year’s festival to be a moment of collective reflection – a breather, a debriefing of sorts. Illuminations is an invitation to share griefs, newfound beauty, wisdoms – whatever you gleaned this past year. We hope that our events will be a time of connection as we lean into each other’s stories told through dance.


Lights Dance is not only passionate about creating a stronger dance community in our new home – Seattle – but also a global platform for dance artists from around the world. This year, we will return to our hybrid festival format, exploring dance through live performances and the cinematic medium.


Shadows & Songs

The 4th Annual Lights Dance Festival is curated around the concept of Shadows & Songs to consider our humanity in the changing landscape of communication and technology. Due to the ongoing global pandemic, we are not able to congregate in person this year. Instead, this season’s selected films will be made available for streaming for FREE! Don’t forget to vote for your favourite film for the Audience Choice Award!


Story, choreography, and architecture take the spotlight in this program of films that explore themes, spaces, and narratives through dance. In times of isolation and uncertainty, these choreographic and spatial expressions of humanity and emotions are especially resonant. This program celebrates both Canadian and international screendance.


Playing with light and shadows, this program of dance films foregrounds experimental visuals to explore emotions, space, and time. Here, the screen dances alongside the dancers, expressing its message through its form. These five films—including a diverse selection of Canadian and international voices—plunge us into a world of contrasts and extremes.


Join us for an evening of live dance and screen dance!
This year, our third annual festival will be hosted in the historical St. George-The-Martyr, and feature an intimate viewing experience.

Our dynamic programming of screen dance from all over the world interwoven with live dance pieces featuring local dancers and choreographers is curated around the theme of Wanderers. Where is our home and what keeps stirring our want to wander? What are we all searching for? And, what can we do to help one another build a home?

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