Nova Dance Collective (NDC) was formed in 2011 by Zorya Arrow, Rachelle Bourget, Alexandra Garrido, Janelle Hacault, Sarah Helmer, Alexandra Scarola and Kelsey Todd as third year students in the Senior Professional Program of the School of Contemporary Dancers (SCD.)Their first presentation titled FRESH, was a self-produced show of original works for the 2011 Winnipeg Fringe Festival. Encouraged by positive reviews and community feedback, the collective continued to perform in various capacities throughout the city during their last year of training.
And Other Stories, the collectives second fringe show represented the groups transformation from ambitious students to a group of emerging professional artists with a distinct and powerful vision. The production marked a shift in Nova's mandate, intention and mission. As another mixed repertory show comprised of seven short stand alone pieces, And Other Stories gave each individual member of Nova the chance to further explore her unique choreographic voice. This revealed that the next step for the collective would be to delve into a deeper exploration of the creative process with longer works and an ongoing season outside of the Fringe circuit.
In August 2014, the collective commissioned Toronto based choreographer Riley Sims (Social Growl Dance) to create an original half-length work on them, titled Judy and the Reckless. The collective was able to bring Sims to Winnipeg for three weeks of intense creation and after his departure they facilitated rehearsals with Johanna Riley as Rehearsal Director. January 2014 was spent in creation for Zorya Arrow’s work Not Potatoes, which premiered alongside “Judy and the Reckless” at the Rachel Browne Theatre.
Most recently NDC has worked with local creator Ming Hon in collaboration with RAW/Almond on a her new work titled Happy at The SAD. The collective was also fortunate enough to receive funding from the Manitoba Arts Council which allowed them to go back into the studio to continue working on Zorya’s piece Not Potatoes, this time with D-Anne Kuby as Rehearsal Director. They were also able to bring Riley Sims back to Winnipeg to remount and rework Judy and the Reckless. Both of these works were presented together at The Rachel Browne Theatre to full houses.