This is the final performance in the MagDance series that’s been going on at the MacKenzie Art Gallery as part of New Dance Horizons’ residency there.
Overall, I think it’s been a pretty successful experiment. There’s been some great dance performances, and you couldn’t ask for an artier ambience.
Which brings me to the domed stadium that a sizeable segment of people in Regina and the rest of the province were hoping to see built in the city. A couple of months ago I got into a discussion about the $431 million retractable roofed behemoth with two friends. Both Rider season ticket holders, and ardent sports fans in general..
That such a facility would be well-used during Rider games I have no doubt. But that’s 11 dates max. What about the rest of the year?
Concerts, monster truck shows, trade shows and conventions have all been proposed as possible additional uses to generate revenue to keep the stadium afloat. High school football is another possible use. It was even mentioned in the consultant’s report, and my friends cited it to me during our discussion.
In the U.S., high school football is big. They play their games on Friday night, then the NCAA and NFL play their games on Saturday and Sunday. But in Regina, high school football is not well-supported. Games might draw 200-300 tops.
Which brings me back to MagDance. At the opening performance in mid January risers were set up in the hardwood gallery with seating for maybe 150. Those quickly filled up, and as people kept streaming in the gallery pulled out additional chairs and set them along the edge of the dance floor to the right of the bleachers. Maybe 250 people ended up watching the show.
That’s similar in size to a typical high school football crowd. A crowd that, if dome boosters had had their way, would watch games in the comfort of a luxe cadillac of a stadium. Meanwhile, arts groups struggle to accommodate the growing demand for their programming and services in cramped, decrepit and make-shift conditions. Anybody else struck by the incongruity? That wasn’t an isolated incident either. At the March 18 performance of Heaven that I attended the crowd exceeded the seating capacity of the bleachers and additional chairs had to be set up along the sides of the dance floor.
Sound out the title to this performance: In-fer-til Spring — Infertile Spring. That’s a big clue as to what its about. It’s on tonight and Friday night at the MacKenzie Gallery at 8 p.m. Tickets are $25 adults, $18 Seniors, $22 Friends of MacKenzie Gallery or New Dance Horizons.