Mary-Louise Albert is now in her 11th year as the Artistic & Managing Director of the Norman Rothstein Theatre and the international performing arts festival Chutzpah!. She is a former professional dancer and has worked locally, nationally and internationally as a solo dance artist and as a company member with the Judith Marcuse Dance Company, Anna Wyman Dance Theatre, Karen Jamieson Dance Company as well as apprenticing with Les Grands Ballet Canadiens.
She has performed work by choreographers Mark Morris, Crystal Pite, Lar Lubabvitch, Robert North, Serge Bennathan, Allen Kaeja, Judith Marcuse, Grant Strate, Peter Bingham, Tedd Robbinson, Judith Garay and Christopher House, to name a few. Her teaching background includes ten years at Arts Umbrella, Sessional positions at Simon Fraser University School for the Contemporary Arts, Harbour Dance Centre, Goh Ballet as well as adjudicating for dance festivals throughout Western Canada.
She is the recipient of Canada Council and BC Arts Council production and professional development grants and won the Eric Bruhn Memorial Award from the Dancer’s Transition Resource Centre to attend the British Columbia Institute of Technology’s (BCIT) School of Business.
Mary-Louise is a graduate of Capilano University’s Advanced Arts and Entertainment Management Program, and graduated from BCIT with a Post Diploma of Technology in Business Administration where upon graduation she received the BCIT School of Business Dean’s Award. She is the recipient of the 2011 Canada Council for the Arts John Hobday Award in Arts Management – one of two awarded nationally. She is an appointed member of the City of Vancouver’s new Arts and Culture Policy Council, is a Board of Director of ArtsBC and is on a Program Advisory committee for the BCIT School of Business. Mary-Louise lives in Burnaby and Sointula BC and has two grown children.
The annual Chutzpah! Festival is an international multi-disciplinary performing arts festival now in its 15th year. Chutzpah! supports emerging/mid-career and established professional artists in work that addresses mainstream and cross-cultural themes and over the past 10 years has grown into a national and internationally recognized performing arts festival that is enjoyed by the community at large. Chutzaph! presents a wide range of artistic styles (music: jazz, world music, chamber; dance: contemporary with a wide technical and esthetic range of styles; comedy: comedic storytelling and stand up; theatre: supporting touring Canadian remounted and new work often in partnership with local theatre organizations). Presenting and supporting the creation of new work is an important aspect of the programming. Continuing with our current model of presenting a three to four week festival in February/March is a sustainable model, however with the success of the festival, the past two years has demonstrated the need to increase our programming with Chutzpah!PLUS dance and music presentations (pre-or post-festival events throughout the year), as well as multi-week dance and theatre creation residencies in the NRT and rural BC.
Examples of international dance and music programming include: Kibbutz Contemporary Dance Compamy, BODYTRAFFIC, Batsheva Dance Company, Aszure Barton & Artists, Ate9 Dance Company, Nederlands Danse, ImPerfect Dancers, Leslie Telford, Sidra Bell Dance New York, Gallim Dance, Yossi Berg and Oded Graff, Maria Kong, Idan Sharabi & Dancers, Yemen Blues, Daniel Kahn and the Painted Bird, Idan Raichel Project, Les Yeux Noirs, Itamar Borokov Quartet, Balkan Beat Box, Sway Machinery, Zvuloon Dub System, Ester Rada, Klezmerata Fiorentina, Dudu Tassa
The majority of our dance programming takes place in the Norman Rothstein Theatre (NRT) a fully equipped 318 seat performing arts venue with a proscenium deep stage and ample wing space, complete professional sound and lighting system, motorized front projection screen and commercial projectors and more. The majority of the festival’s music programming takes place in downtown clubs and music venues.