Noam Gagnon wants to create powerful experiences

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Contemporary dance and indie music come together in the upcoming benefit for The Cultch’s Ignite! Mentorship Program, a program where aspiring young artists have a chance to work on their craft and be mentored by some of the leading artists in this city.

Noam Gagnon wants to create powerful experiencesAmong the performances at the Side by Side fundraiser is gay Vancouver dance artist Noam Gagnon.  A mentor in the Ignite! program himself for three years, Gagnon will perform his solo dance Paint the Land, accompanied by live music from local indie band GroundTruthing, featuring vocalist Faye Mallett.

“It is an intimate portrait of a broken man with a simplicity and rawness to it that is both elegant and emotionally charged,” explains Gagnon, whose own love for his craft comes from creating what he calls “powerful experiences”.

First performed at a Vancouver Art Gallery Fuse evening in 2012, the journey to create Paint the Land took three years after a chance meeting between him and Mallett.

“When I met Faye three years ago it was one of those unexplainable connections,” recalls Gagnon.  “We both liked each other right off and we connected, despite not knowing about each other’s work.”

With their busy schedules keeping them apart, they were finally able to connect to work together on Paint the Land, a new world for Gagnon due to the use of live music; something he says took getting used to.

“I’m used to working with pre-recorded music,” admits Gagnon, “but there are some additional raw elements that are added by dancing to live music.”

Describing Mallett’s voice as ethereal, Gagnon finds the music for the show poetic and life-affirming as it talks about the complexity of desires.

Having been a mentor with the Ignite! program in previous years, Gagnon returns once again but this time for a fundraiser that he says will help give opportunities to the next generation of young artists.

“Vancouver is still a small town and at that age you don’t get to see a lot,” explains Gagnon.  “It is important for a program like Ignite! to exist as it gives these young artists an opportunity to be exposed to artists who have worked in the field.  It helps ready them for the challenges they are going to face as artists themselves.”

No doubt Gagnon also hopes to instill in them a desire to create their own powerful experiences.

Side by Side – A Fundraiser for the IGNITE! Mentorship Program
Wednesday, 13 February 2013 at 8pm
The Cultch, 1895 Venables Street, Vancouver

An exciting performance where contemporary dance slams up against Vancouver indie music as a benefit for the IGNITE! Mentorship Program.  The Cultch’s IGNITE! Mentorship Program gives aspiring young artists a chance to work on their craft and be mentored by some of the leading artists in this city.  Visit for tickets and information.

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