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Optical illusions and cinematic elements

Bygones kicks off Dance Days

  • Dec. 28, 2022 10:40 a.m.

Dance Victoria presents the multimedia work Bygones, by Vancouver-based contemporary dance company Out Innerspace Dance Theatre, on January 13 at the McPherson Playhouse.

Kicking off Greater Victoria’s 10-day Dance Days festival, Bygones immerses audiences in a haunting, supernatural world of pseudo-things, keeping audiences on the edge of their seats. A teacup scoots around a table all on its own; dancers appear mid-air, falling; an umbrella stalks a dancer around the stage… inanimate objects seem to have a will of their own.

The plotless 70-minute work creates visual magic as objects, dancers and scenes seem to exist on the margins of form and formlessness. Bygones uses projected light to create “walls” that bodies pass through, contorting and falling through space.

Out Innerspace’s founders David Raymond and Tiffany Tregarthen collaborated with dancers Renée Sigouin, Elya Grant and David Harvey to create the choreography.

The work’s title is inspired by the phrase “let bygones be bygones.” According to Tregarthen, the work explores “how allowing things to be, however terrible or unwanted they might be in the moment, can be a thing to celebrate.” Bygones reflects a time of rapid change, of ever-shifting boundaries, and of conflict and hope. It considers how we are shaped by what we have overcome, and how something challenging can lead to something beautiful.

Inspired by the lighting design in old films by Andrei Tarkovsky and Béla Tarr, Raymond and Tregarthen asked lighting designer James Proudfoot to add more complexity to the illumination and shifting darkness. They also engaged multimedia sculptor Lyle Reimer (better known to his 150,000 Instagram followers as Lyle XOX) to create a mixed-media mask, gloves and other costume elements—right before the Vancouverite hit celebrity status in New York City’s fashion scene.

Out Innerspace has dedicated over 10 years to creating abstract, visceral, challenging work. Raymond and Tregarthen have seen their performance careers soar as standout talents in Kidd Pivot, the company behind Crystal Pite’s international sensations Betroffenheit and Revisor. They run a successful pre-professional dance training school called Modus Operandi, all while creating ambitiously cinematic-feeling works that have toured internationally with companies like Ballet BC, Nederlands Dans Theater 2, Hessisches Staatsballett (Germany) and LUCODA Collective (Luxembourg).

Dance Victoria is a co-commissioner of Bygones through the Chrystal Dance Fund. The work premiered at Bulgaria’s One Dance Week festival, followed by performances in Germany, Quebec and Vancouver. The January 13 show will be its premiere in Victoria.

Bygones takes place at McPherson Playhouse on Friday, January 13 at 7:30 pm.

Please note that the show contains strobe lighting, sudden sound effects and haze.

Tickets start at $43, with “Pay Your Age” tickets available for patrons 12 to 29 years old, and can be purchased by phone at 250-386-6121 or 1-888-717-6121 (toll free), in person at the McPherson Box Office, or online at