Photo Credit: Vanessa Fortin
Simply put, our mandate is to deliver an annual contemporary dance series featuring diverse works from local, national, and international dance artists. Our vision is to be nationally recognized as the leading provider of and advocate for contemporary dance in Atlantic Canada. Our desire is to be a catalyst for a vibrant and healthy dance ecology in Nova Scotia.
At a Glance
Eye Level Gallery New Dance Series
Founding of Live Art Productions
The Passing of Diane Moore
Seth Levinson Appointed Interim Artistic Director
Paul Caskey Appointed as Artistic Director
Diane Moore Creation Award is Created
Randy Glynn Appointed as Artistic Director
Covid-19 Pandemic Hits the World
For the past four decades Live Art Dance has been recognized as Atlantic Canada’s premier presenter of contemporary dance. We present dance in an annual series format in the city of Halifax and are a respected advocate for dance both locally and nationally.
Live Art Dance (LAD) was founded by Diane Moore and was initially part of Eye Level Gallery. In 1978 Diane convinced the Eye Level Board that, in addition to gallery exhibitions, they should also be presenting “live” art. So they struck up a committee, the Live Art Dance Committee and in 1979 and 1980 that committee, with Diane as its Chair, took charge of Eye Level’s “live art” shows. It soon became apparent that the scope of those activities was beyond what Eye Level wanted to undertake and Diane and her committee were spun off into a separate organization, “Live Art Dance”. Their first year of Presentations was 1981. Diane was less interested in presenting large touring companies, which she felt didn’t require the support of an organization such as LAD, and more interested in presenting independent artists. She saw herself first and foremost as a presenter of “art”, reflected in her continued use of the name “Live Art”.
During LAD’s early years, Dalhousie University was presenting larger scale dance at the Rebecca Cohn Auditorium and the Halifax public was well served in dance on all levels – large and small. In 1994 however, the Dalhousie Arts Centre stopped producing its performing arts series and became simply a rental venue. For the next 12 years Empty Mirrors, headed by Christopher Majka, coordinated the presentation of large touring dance companies in Halifax and audiences continued to have opportunities to a see a wide variety of dance.
Sadly, Diane Moore passed away in 2003. Around 2006 Majka passed the torch to the new LAD Director, Paul Caskey. LAD thus took on the new challenge of presenting larger companies as well as smaller groups and independent choreographers in a single dance series.
On paper, Halifax was still well served as both large and small dance productions and ensembles were being presented. However, staging and selling a single series that presented smaller challenging work alongside large main stage dance presented a marketing challenge. Audiences weren’t sure what to expect at a LAD show and while that might appeal to the adventurous it didn’t make for a solid subscription base. Due to the ‘all things to all people’ nature of the series, LAD’s audience growth stalled.
Randy Glynn became Artistic Director in the fall of 2016 and was mandated by the board to “Grow the Audience”. With Board approval, his plan to accomplish that focused on splitting the LAD series into two separate series – one a main stage series focusing on larger companies both National and International and smaller second series to stage more challenging non main stage work. The new focus for the main stage series started in 2017 and LAD experienced immediate and substantial audience growth. The second series was due to launch in the fall of 2020 but, like with so many things, Covid prevented that.