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Dancing in Victoria

New book explores modern dance in the city

In the new book Small City, Big Talent: When Modern Dance Came to Town, renowned dance writer Robin J. Miller explores the major figures in dance creation and presentation in Victoria since 1978—the year modern dance came to town.

Published by Suddenly Dance Theatre in summer 2022, the book is full of wonderful, very human stories about how brilliant dance artists like Lynda Raino and Crystal Pite were shaped by their families, their training and their environment; how Big Dance, a company of larger-than-life dancers, overcame deeply held fears and prejudices to inspire the world; and how Constantine Darling lost his shirt when he brought Mikhail Baryshnikov to Victoria, but his legacy of dance presentation lives on through both Suddenly Dance Theatre and Dance Victoria.

By combining these stories (and more) with fabulous and evocative photographs contributed by friends and family, as well as professional dance photographers from around the world, Miller illuminates how this small city, perched on an island in the Pacific, was able to become a pivotal force on the provincial, national and international dance scene.

Small City, Big Talent is for sale at Munro’s, Russell, Ivy’s and Bolen Books, and online at Proceeds from the sale of the book go to Suddenly Dance Theatre’s Fountain of Youth program for dance artists under the age of 26.