• Dance
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Never Twenty One

Showing on Jan 19-21

Playing at Scotiabank Dance Centre

A dancer in black pants stands facing away from the camera, arms gesturing. The room is darkly lit, highlighting their bare back and arms which are covered in white-painted testimonials of the families of young Black men who have been victims of gun violence.

Smaïl Kanouté / Compagnie Vivons! (France)

Smaïl Kanouté’s dance production is a lament, a tribute and a protest. It takes its name from the hashtag #Never21–a reference to Black men who have lost their lives to gun violence before reaching 21 years of age. The show pays homage to the memory of Black men in New York, Rio de Janeiro and Johannesburg who have died from shootings.

On a darkened stage, three men move with a style that applies the urban idioms of krump, popping, baile funk and passinho to contemporary dance. Each man’s body is inscribed with the words of victims’ families–words of praise, of sorrow, of grief. The dancing is effusive yet finely calibrated, with beautiful, forcefully symbolic movements. In its reference to individual lives, Never Twenty One has a heartbreaking specificity; as a political act, it has a global reach.

Production Company: Live! Co-production: Les Ateliers Médicis, Clichy-sous-Bois / Espace 1789, subsidized dance stage, Saint-Ouen / The International Choreographic Meetings of Seine-Saint-Denis / Centquatre- Paris / Théâtre de la Ville, Expanded Dance 2020, Corporate Foundation Hermès

Support: Île-de-France Regional Department of Cultural Affairs / Île-de-France Region / Department of Seine-Saint-Denis / City of Paris / Adami / Spedidam / Caisse des Dépôts Acknowledgments Théâtre de la Ville-Les Abbesses , Paris / Center national de la danse, Pantin / Mains d’oeuvres, Saint-Ouen / House of amateur artistic practices (MPAA), Paris / Artists’ initiatives in urban dances (IADU), Fondation de France, La Villette 2021

Workshop: Hip-hop Freestyle with Salomon Mpondo-Dicka

January 20, 2023 | 1-3pm
Scotiabank Dance Centre (See Map)
$15-30: early bird prices until January 9

The workshop will start from the participants’ own techniques, practices and approaches to build the foundations for your own freestyle.

Different aspects of freestyle hip-hop will be explored, through exercises and short basic choreographic phrases, both solo and in groups.

Then, participants will experiment with how fluidity, dissociation and slowness break down into several forms to feed our vocabulary.

Finally the workshop will focus on the assimilation of this new material to deliver a personal freestyle creation.

For professional and emerging dancers working in all genres – hip-hop experience is not required.

Buy Workshop Tickets

Photo: Lorenza Daverio, Feroz Sahoulamide

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Artist Bio

Smaïl Kanouté

French-Malian artist Smaïl Kanouté is based in Paris. His work spans the disciplines of dance, graphic design, choreography and cinema. Kanouté is a graduate of the École nationale supérieure des Arts Décoratifs, and has performed at the Basilica and the Institute of Islamic Cultures, among other notable venues.


Scotiabank Dance Centre

677 Davie Street, Vancouver


  • January 19: 8:00
  • January 20: 8:00
  • January 21: 8:00

Runtime: 60 mins, no intermission

Content Advisory

Strobe lights


Single Tickets: $34
Sold Out

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Deaf and hard of hearing friendly

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ASL integration on January 21st

This show is very visual and though there is some storytelling in the sound, it is still an immersive and evocative experience for Deaf patrons.

On January 21st Carlo Castillo, a Deaf artist, will be integrated into the performance to give Deaf and ASL-using patrons an experience that includes some of the storytelling in the soundscape.


Choreography Smaïl Kanouté Body painting Lorella Disez Assistant choreographer Moustapha Ziane Scenography and light design Olivier Brichet Sound design Paul Lajus Light manager Josselin Allaire Costumes Rachel Boa and Ornella Maris With Aston Bonaparte , Salomon Mpondo-Dicka and Smaïl Kanouté