A THOUSAND WORDS - Alex Waterhouse-Hayward's blog on pictures, plants, politics and whatever else is on his mind.




 

Dances For A Small Stage Taps Jim Hibbard
Monday, February 10, 2014





One of my fave dance performances every year is Movent’s Dances for a Small Stage which is celebrating its 30th incarnation from February 13 to February 15 (at the Ukrainian Centre, 154 East 10th Avenue). In charge of it all is Julie-anne Saroyan and ably assisted and co-curated by that delightful Arts Umbrella alumnus, Karissa Barry. For more info here

The setup formula is a small and intimate venue where you can watch dance and drink to your heart’s delight. But if you are going to go through the 10 different performances, as your attorney I suggest you imbibe with restraint as the end of the evening you do not want to miss Noam Gagnon with James Fagan Tait & Patti Allen. 

Since I cannot tell you how good some of the other acts will be (you must trust the Saroyan/Barry curations) I can inform you that you do not want to miss that other Arts Umbrella alumnus, Lina Fitzner who will be joined by Corbin Murdoch.

At today’s rehearsal I did see Kirsten Wicklund’s act in which she re-makes the idea of working within the limitations of a small stage by partially dancing on a minute raised box.

But I will be up front by telling you that the real reason I went to today’s rehearsal was to see Jim Hibbard.


Hibbard in his career as a dancer has appeared in five Elvis films (choreographed one of them) and has danced in such films as Hello Dolly, Gypsy and Finnian’s Rainbow.

In his youth, Hibbard was inspired by watching Gene Kelly in movies and decided to be a dancer. Little did he know that he would end up dancing with Kelly and with Astaire, too.

I knew none of these facts when I first met Hibbard at the CBC in 1976. I was the stills photographer.  He was the choreographer and leader of a jazz dancing group that performed for the many musical variety shows that were produced by the CBC in the mid to late 70s and early 80s. In fact one of the young women of his group happened to be the daughter of our Vancouver Police Chief. Another, Valery Easton is now the choreographer of most of the musicals of the Arts Club Theatre Company.

I did not know of Hibbard’s career in film. All I knew was that he was a very good dancer, a warm person with a beautiful radio voice  and who gave me the best advice I ever received from anybody on how to photograph dance.

Shoot dancers from the floor, nice and low. If you can dig a hole into the floor, all the better. 


 It was my surprise to find out that the 70-year-old dancer was not choreographing some young dancer. No. He was the act. Hibbard dances, with his tap dance shoes, to Van Morrison’s Moondance.

I was perplexed that during his lively performance he had a red wash cloth in his left hand.

I enquired as both John Murphy (he is the Emcee) and I were curious.

It seems that during the making of Hello Dolly, Hibbard found himself sweating a lot (“I sweat when I watch someone move,” he told us) he was approached by Louis Armstrong who told him, “I recommend you use a hanky like I do.”

And so he did.









Jim Hibbard, far right



     

Previous Posts
First Paragraphs & Autobiographical Novels

Swirls At Arts Umbrella Dance Company

Warmth & Urbanity At La Bodega

So Many Venues, So Little Time - Why Bother?

Super Bowl Angst

The Luv-a-Fair & A White Dog

Peter A. Lusztig - May 12, 1930 - January 26, 2014...

That Priviliged Position

The Next Big Portrait

Post 2983



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9/25/16 - 10/2/16

10/2/16 - 10/9/16

10/9/16 - 10/16/16

10/16/16 - 10/23/16

10/23/16 - 10/30/16

10/30/16 - 11/6/16

11/6/16 - 11/13/16

11/13/16 - 11/20/16

11/20/16 - 11/27/16

11/27/16 - 12/4/16

12/4/16 - 12/11/16

12/11/16 - 12/18/16

12/18/16 - 12/25/16

12/25/16 - 1/1/17

1/1/17 - 1/8/17

1/8/17 - 1/15/17

1/15/17 - 1/22/17

1/22/17 - 1/29/17

1/29/17 - 2/5/17

2/5/17 - 2/12/17

2/12/17 - 2/19/17

2/19/17 - 2/26/17

2/26/17 - 3/5/17

3/5/17 - 3/12/17

3/12/17 - 3/19/17

3/19/17 - 3/26/17

3/26/17 - 4/2/17

4/2/17 - 4/9/17

4/9/17 - 4/16/17

4/16/17 - 4/23/17

4/23/17 - 4/30/17