Wine and dance to be winning combination at the Grange

DANCE-Arwyn Carpenter performs a piece choreographed by Carol Anderson (Submitted Photo).



With autumn soon underway, the public is invited to PAIRINGS-Dances in the Garden at the Grange, an outdoor dance event on September 26 at the Grange Winery.

Big Hearts Dance artists Carol Anderson and Arwyn Carpenter are collaborating with Grange sommelier Marlise Ponzo to create a unique trio of dances replete with wine pairings.

Co-organizer Arwyn Carpenter took a few moments to speak with the Gazette about this upcoming event.

PAIRINGS, as she stated, is organized by herself, Carol Anderson, another dancer and choreographer. Together, they call themselves Big Heart Dance.

Carol has presented her work twice at the Oeno Sculpture Garden and is in love with the idea of outdoor performance. We were already working on this idea before Covid, feeling that performance dance on a stage can sometimes feel stuffy and inaccessible,” Carpenter explained.

Set against the idyllic Grange backdrop, the event promises to be a welcome respite from the bustle of summer.

We want people to enjoy dance in easeful, social settings, and also for people to appreciate the range of artistic possibilities when dance is presented in the natural world,” said Carpenter, explaining the impetus behind the event and setting.

Furthermore, added Carpenter, with this time of year being harvest season, it was the perfect opportunity to host an event at a vineyard.

Fall is a beautiful time in the County, and in this strange time of isolation, PAIRINGS offers a chance to gather with others for a safely-distanced, live performance in the lovely Grange garden,” she stated.

When asked how they came up with the wine pairings, Carpenter explained that Grange Sommelier Marlise Ponzo watched the dances several times during rehearsal and chose wines to reflect the nature of each piece.

One is more playful, one is more earthy, one has complex divergences, and she made the matches accordingly,” stated Carpenter. “Hearing her speak about her choices is absolute poetry and is going to be an important part of the event. Marlise will talk about her choices in between the dances and explain what to look for in both the wines and the dances.”

Rolling into winter, Carpenter noted there will be several opportunities to dance. She will be teaching a dance class for adults at the Baxter Arts Centre on October 24 and then the IceBox Festival in February, which will offer a chance for people to dance outside in the winter.

For next summer, Carpenter said there are plans in the works for a County Dance Festival of staged works with companies from French and English Canada, as well as Indigenous Contemporary dance.

We are eager to see more performance dance in the County where there is already such vital work happening in visual, musical and theatrical arts. We want to bring dance along,” she effused.

The wine pairing kit is available for $15 plus tax and payment can be made via debit or credit. There will also be a food truck on site offering gourmet sausages.

Should the weather not cooperate, a rain date has been set for October 3.

PAIRINGS will offer a 35 minutes running time beginning at 5:30 p.m., with Covid precautions and contact tracing in effect.

Cost is free and cash donations are accepted on-site. Pre-registration is required through Eventbrite (limited to 40 tickets):