The 605 Collective Dance Society (605) is a Vancouver-based dance company dedicated to producing new dance work through a shared creative process. As part of a new generation of creators inspired by the exchange between urban and contemporary dance, 605 places emphasis on movement innovation and physically demanding works, valuing collaboration as an essential tool for new directions in dance. With the group’s extreme versatility, the collective creates by using one another as the canvas for their ideas and visions, and invites guest choreographers to make new work with the company. Through constant collaboration with all involved artists and performers, 605 continues to push into new territories and awaken a fresh and exciting aesthetic.
The collective first emerged in 2006, working and training out of a small live/work studio (apartment #605) in East Vancouver. It was initially formed in pursuit of ongoing peer-to-peer professional development, combining dance practices, bringing together different minds, perspectives, values and experiences to train one another, and enter into new collaborative conversations. The group’s experimentation led to many small local performances, residency opportunities, and eventually, the desire to attempt larger-scale collaborative works. The company’s first full-length work, AUDIBLE premiered in July 2009 at Dancing On The Edge Festival, directly followed by Canada Dance Festival, and as has toured every year since for over 50 performances and counting. The piece has toured ten cities throughout British Columbia, in the Yukon, and across 6 other provinces in Canada at such notable venues as Usine-C (Montreal), La Rotonde (Quebec City), Live Art Dance (Halifax), The Cultch and The Banff Centre. AUDIBLE first broke 605 into the US, performing at On The Boards Northwest New Works Festival (Seattle), Bumbershoot Festival (Seattle), and Yerba Buena Center for the Arts’ Left Coast Leaning Festival (San Francisco).
The company’s second work, Inheritor Album, premiered in June 2012 through the Canada Dance Festival at The National Arts Centre’s Theatre Hall in Ottawa, with additional presentations at by Festival de Danse Encore (Trois Rivieres), Dancing on the Edge Festival (Vancouver Playhouse), and Brian Webb Dance Company’s Season (Edmonton). 605’s integration of different genres has connected them to a broad spectrum of audiences in a large variety of settings, including site-specific work. Their athletic, fast-paced and playful movement has attracted hip-hop fans, families with children, classical dance lovers and the wider contemporary arts community. Along with their own creations, 605 Collective is proud to commission established artists to work directly with the company, and has built strong partnerships to support the company’s expanding ambitions.
605 Collective Dance Society was incorporated as not-for-profit society in March 2009, founded by artistic co-directors Lisa Gelley, Shay Kuebler, and Josh Martin. Shay Kuebler transitioned to Resident Collaborator late 2012, continuing his role in current repertoire and projects, with regular involvement in the company’s artistic activity. The company is managed by New Works (New Performance Works Society), an organization founded in 1993 and currently under the helm of Joyce Rosario. 605 continues to be steered by Josh Martin and Lisa Gelley, and diverse Board of Directors who offer their constant guidance and experience to assist with the expanding goals of the artists and staff.