La Caravan sets the stage for creative placemaking

 In cSPACE News

Connecting creativity and community for the benefit of both is what creative placemaking is all about and a wave of Calgary’s artists and organizations are using this approach to shape the future of our city. Following a recent collaboration with cSPACE on “Spring Reveal”, a fundraising event at the King Edward, we caught up with Creative Director Maya Lewandowsky of La Caravan Dance Theatre about their work.

Dissolving barriers through their imaginative use of space and unique performances, La Caravan unites dancers, acrobats, performers, multimedia specialists and musicians to produce experiences that ride the cutting edge of creative expression. Under Maya’s leadership, La Caravan has opened up a unique dialogue with the community that has generated many opportunities for cross-disciplinary collaboration. Remarkable performances include “Theatrical Flash Mobs”, “La Soiree” and “Dance Opera.

La Caravan is defining their success through collaboration with artists at the top of their field. “The challenge of working with a group makes us better artists and brings a complex richness that evolves our art form. Finding our own autonomy within the collaborative process is more empowering,” Maya discusses with cSPACE.

Maya morphs her skills as a performer to find unconventional ways to connect La Caravan with performance spaces ranging from the traditional theatre to the streets and parks of Calgary, as well as private homes. La Caravan has cultivated unique strategies to flourish in the absence of affordable and sustainable space for their productions. To overcome the restraints of inaccessible, overbooked and unaffordable theatre and rehearsal space, Maya has learned to operate La Caravan with entrepreneurial agility.

“Having a place where we share our artistic vision with a larger audience and getting feedback increases the social intelligence of the community,” says Maya. Accessible space is just as important to La Caravan as it is to the wider arts community and Calgary needs more of it. Calgary Arts Development’s new arts strategy Living a Creative Life details ‘arts incubation’ as one of the five keys focus areas to improve the arts in Calgary. Simply put, without space to produce and exhibit their work, artists will quickly find other cities that provide a more supportive environment.

cSPACE is part of the solution, intending to create a network of affordable and sustainable arts spaces. At cSPACE’s flagship project in Marda Loop, the Studio Theatre will be Calgary’s most adaptable venue for the multi-disciplinary arts. Opening in 2016 as part of the larger creative hub and incubator, the Studio Theatre will provide vital space for performance-based arts groups like La Caravan.

To learn more about La Caravan and Maya Lewandowsky please visit:


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