Dance Victoria’s Lola Projects grabs the stage

Jung-Ah Chung, Anne Cooper, Robert Halley, Iris Wing-chi Lau, Kyung Eun Lee, and Treena Stubel premiere Lola Projects

Treena Stubel performs at the Lola Projects Sunday evening.

Treena Stubel performs at the Lola Projects Sunday evening.

Victoria Dance Days culminates with an evening performance of the Lola Projects.

The Lola Projects are named for the late Lola MacLaughlin, an important contemporary choreographer who worked with Dance Victoria producer Stephen White to devise a program that solicited proposals for new works from Victoria dance artists.

On Sunday evening, artists Jung-Ah Chung, Anne Cooper, Robert Halley, Iris Wing-chi Lau, Kyung Eun Lee, and Treena Stubel will take the stage to premiere new works forged under the guidance of the Lola Project.

“It’s an honour to be selected,” said Halley. “Unlike Vancouver, Victoria is a lot smaller outlet for professional dance artists.”

Halley has choreographed a piece called Shift Happens for the performance. “I’m a yoga teacher so I’m always about trying to feel lighter – stress free. So I thought I’d explore it in a theatrical-dance way.”

He has spent 10 years interpreting other peoples’ work and embraced the chance to express himself fully. “It was nice to be able to dabble in the creative and make my own work. It’s hard when you’re alone in the studio and you have a thousand thoughts of your own that are a source of inspiration – that’s where the joy of mentorship comes in.”

Halley and Stubel both benefited from the talent of Vancouver-based choreographer Joe Laughlin to help them prepare their works.

“We create it ourselves, but Joe Laughlin provides an outside eye,” said Stubel. “When you’re working on a solo work you’re doing things, creating and performing without having outside perspective – someone to bounce ideas off. In the time Joe was not here, Robert and I have been there for each other, watching runs, talking back and forth about them. It’s challenging to be alone, to have someone to reflect with is great – it’s a huge gift.”

The Lola Projects is presented by Dance Victoria, Feb. 5 at 7:30 p.m. at the Metro Theatre, 907 Pandora Ave. Tickets, $15, are available at the door. See a preview of Halley’s work at YouTube.com.

Did you know?

Dance Days – Dance Victoria’s annual city-wide event, Jan. 27 to Feb. 5, offers 70 free classes and demonstrations in studios all over town.