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Book Launch / Our Love Affair With Dance by Karen Kurnaedy

August 9 @ 6:00 pm - 8:00 pm PDT

On Tuesday, August 9 at 6pm, join Massy ArtsMassy Books, and writer + dancer Karen Kurnaedy for the launch of her new book “Our Love Affair with Dance” (2022).

At the in-person event, the author will address how the book celebrates the lives of Vancouver’s innovative dancers and instructors, sisters Magda & Gertrud Hahn, who opened the first modern dance school in Vancouver – The Hanova School of Modern Studies in Body Sculpture and the Classical Dance.

All are welcome, especially those interested in dance and dance history and celebrating the lives of women as artists. Refreshments will be served and there will be an opportunity to purchase a book and have it signed by the author.

The event will be hosted at the Massy Arts Gallery, at 23 East Pender Street in Chinatown, Vancouver.

This event is free + open to all of our community, and registration is mandatory.

Covid Protocols: For all in-person events, attendees must provide proof of vaccination, and use of mask at all times when at the gallery. We ask that if you are showing any symptoms, that you stay home. Thank you kindly.

Click here to register for the event

Click here to purchase Our Love Affair with Dance by Karen Kurnaedy

Click here to read excerpts from the book

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Kurnaedy’s biography details the lives of dance artists Magda and Gertrud Hahn, who came to Vancouver in the late 1950s and opened the first modern dance school in the city.

Born at the turn of the 20th century, their lives had already spanned two continents in performance and mentorship. In Vancouver, the sisters started teaching their own unique style of modern dance, which was innovative and ground breaking for its time.

They soon garnered a large following of students and over the next four decades in Vancouver, the Hahn sisters influenced hundreds of lives through their teaching and example.

Along with enchanting photos of dance, this book’s focus centers on the power and spirituality of the dance told through the life stories of these creative and tenacious sisters.

This work additionally invites the reader to celebrate the sublime and nuanced inner and outer experiences achieved through dancing. In these pages you will accompany two sisters, who faced many challenges throughout their lives, but were sustained and inspired by their love of dance.

The Hanova School of Modern Studies in Body Sculpture and the Classical Dance occurred throughout the twentieth century on three continents around the world and may be largely forgotten, but a record of the Hahn sisters’ lives may be seen as one of many important personal narratives to be read in order to understand the history and formation of the modern dance we enjoy today.

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Karen Kurnaedy is a second generation Scottish settler living on the traditional, ancestral, and unceded occupied territory of the Kwikwetlem First Nation in Port Coquitlam, BC.

She is a dancer, writer, and educator. She began her dance training in the 1960s at The Hanova School of Modern Studies in Body Sculpture and the Classical Dance (the first modern dance school in Vancouver) where she was forever imbued with the spirit of Duncan, Dalcroze, Laban, Wigman, and Menaka.

Karen’s work as a writer includes publishing several essays, articles, and books about dance and dance education which include ‘A Choreographer’s Process’ and ‘Uncovering the Essence of What Animates Us Beneath the Dance’.

She received her Bachelor of Education with distinction from the University of Alberta and also earned a Master of Arts and a Doctorate in Philosophy from Simon Fraser University.

Her teaching experience includes thirty years in the Coquitlam School District, being a Faculty Associate and instructing in the Graduate Diploma program at Simon Fraser University.

Her interests lie in promoting and implementing new ideas for the dance arts, dance history, somatic movement practices, and dance education.

When not writing, Karen is well known at local musical events, especially the rockabilly scene, where she and her husband Irwan dance together, bringing energy, grace and romance to any event they attend.

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August 9
6:00 pm - 8:00 pm PDT