Having been run for just under four decades, the University of Calgary's Dance Montage is Calgary's longest running dance show. Originally created to feature dances created by students in the faculty of kinesiology, it has grown over the years to feature university students, grad students and community members.
The show's creation begins in May. Choreographers' applications are sent in and a selection committee goes over the proposals and selects a wide variety of choreographers.
"Then, one early Sunday morning in the beginning of September, from nine-o'clock in the morning to eight-o'clock at night, we audition hundreds of dancers," says co-artistic director Kyrsten Blair.
"Sometimes we have over 70 people auditioning for just one dance!" adds Dawn Dymond, another of the show's co-artistic directors.
Though many might be skeptical of the show's appeal to non-dance fanatics, Blair ensures there is something to appeal to everyone.
"Each year [Dance Montage] it is different," Blair says. "[Every year] the collection of choreographers is a new group of people, bringing in fresh ideas and new blood. It is a wide spectrum of dance arts across the community. We have everything from classical ballet, to folkloric, to tap and body percussion. Each piece offers something exciting."
New this year is the inclusion of the MoMo Mixed Ability Dance Theatre.
"We have never had a mixed ability company perform," Blair explains. "MoMo incorporates dancers of all ability. [Their] choreography is within an improvised structure so each night will be different. There are pieces that are purely entertaining, pieces that are highly percussive and rhythmic [to] get your inner musician woken up and pieces that we can relate to because our heart understands what is being communicated through movement. People [will] be performing with grace, artistry and athleticism."