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Small City, Big Talent

When modern dance came to town:

Highlights of dance in the City of Victoria, British Columbia,

from 1978 to 2021

by Robin J. Miller


Published by Suddenly Dance Theatre

8.5" x 11"

288 pages

ISBN 9781778189906


In Small City, Big Talent, Robin J. Miller chronicles high points in Victoria’s dance history — in the studio, on stage and on film — over a span of 43 years.


The book begins in 1978, when two local dance legends Lynda Raino and Constantine Darling bumped into each other on Government Street. They had danced together in Montreal years before, but neither knew the other was here. Together, they brought the excitement (and controversy) of contemporary dance to this previously ballet-bound city. This led to the establishment of the major training centres of Lynda Raino Dance and the Victoria Arts Collaborative; the advent of world-wide sensation Big Dance; and the commissioning of 'A Conversation', a piece co-created by Lynda Raino and one of the best choreographers in the world today, Crystal Pite, who, as you will learn in the book, considers her life and training in Victoria to be the foundation of her success.


The book also reveals two other big-city-size successes. Constantine Darling's productions of major dance shows (including Mikhail Baryshnikov’s White Oak Project) gave way to the Victoria Dance Series, now known as Dance Victoria. Lynda Raino's artistry connected Suddenly Dance Theatre's co-founders David Ferguson, Miles Lowry, and Lori Hamar — leading to 30 years of dance creation.


Proceeds from “Small City, Big Talent" will go to Suddenly Dance Theatre’s Fountain of Youth Program which aims to support dance artists under age 26 for building new and diverse choreographic voices.

Small City, Big Talent by Robin J. Miller

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