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Dancers react to climate change in new Coquitlam show

Titled IMPACT, the theatrical show by Kylah Powell’s CollabArt Creations company features 10 contemporary dancers moving to the four elements: water, fire, earth and air.

Everyone needs to do more to save Mother Earth.

That’s the basis of Port Coquitlam choreographer Kylah Powell’s new dance performance, which runs at the Evergreen Cultural Centre in Coquitlam on May 27 and 28.

Titled IMPACT, the theatrical show by Powell’s CollabArt Creations company features 10 contemporary dancers moving to the four elements: water, fire, earth and air.

And Powell has amassed jarring props to correspond to the environmental themes:

  • Water = plastics floating in the ocean
  • Fire = creatures trapped in a wildfire
  • Earth = a pile of fast fashion and take-out boxes
  • Air = gas masks

"We’re intertwining the four elements with dance and looking at their impact, especially in terms of climate change and what’s happening to our planet," she told the Tri-City News today (May 11).

"It’s a reminder that we all have to do better. Including me. We can all try a little harder to reduce and reuse."

As well, Powell will show separate dance pieces — under the theme of nature and beauty — and a couple of short films:

  • Just A Swipe is a 12-minute movie about social media Powell produced during the COVID-19 pandemic with her dance students
  • Imaginarium: Ghost Antler is a dance flick by Alina Sotskova (Voirelia) about our relationship with nature and facing vulnerability

The dance show ends with a group number by Sarah U, a recent graduate from the Simon Fraser University (SFU) dance program.

Called Flock, her piece "embodies everyone coming together to make a difference," Powell said.

A bachelor of fine arts graduate from the University of Missouri-Kansas City, Powell started CollabArt Creations in 2005 with Sarah Sutherland, with the aim to make contemporary dance accessible.

Currently, Powell teaches at five venues including Coquitlam’s Place des Arts and Rise 21 in Port Coquitlam.

For tickets to IMPACT, call the Evergreen Cultural Centre (1205 Pinetree Way) at 604-927-6555 or visit