Led by artistic co-directors Lisa Gelley and Josh Martin, Company 605 is an arts organization based in Vancouver, on the unceded Indigenous territories of the Musqueam, Squamish, and Tsleil-Waututh First Nations. Producing various dance projects and performances through shared creative process, the artists place emphasis on movement invention and physically demanding works, juxtaposing raw with precision, and highlighting effort, risk and interconnection. 605 is an ongoing exchange between separate people, bodies and ideas, recognizing and celebrating the unique possibilities created in their attempt to co-exist. Valuing collaboration as an essential tool for new directions in dance, Company 605 continues to awaken a fresh and ever-evolving aesthetic, together building a highly athletic art form derived from the human experience.
With roots as a dance collective, the company was founded in 2009, and now has an expanding repertoire of diverse works and interdisciplinary collaborations. 605 has performed from coast to coast in over 30 cities across Canada, as well as in the US, Central America, Europe, Asia and Australia, presented at many notable festivals and venues such as: American Dance Festival (Durham, NC), New York City Center’s Fall for Dance Festival, Usine-C (Montréal), L’Agora de la Danse (Montréal), La Rotonde (Québec City), DanceWorks (Toronto), Live Art Dance (Halifax), The Banff Centre, On The Boards (Seattle), Yerba Buena Center for the Arts (San Francisco), Bumbershoot Festival (Seattle), Festival PRISMA (Panama), HebelHalle Heidelberg, Tempel Kulturzentrum (Karlsruhe, Germany), and Sydney Festival (Australia).
605’s co-directors have also created commissioned works for several other dance companies, including Vancouver’s acclaimed Ballet BC (Anthem, 2017), and their collaborations with filmmakers have allowed 605’s work to be shared globally, with award-winning short dance films shown at over 45 dance-on-screen festivals around the world.
Company 605 first emerged as a collective in 2006, working out of a small live/work studio (apartment #605) in East Vancouver. 605 initially formed in pursuit of ongoing peer-to-peer professional development, combining dance practices, bringing together different minds, perspectives, values and experiences to train one another, and enter into new collaborative conversations. The group’s experimentation led to small local performances, residency opportunities, and eventually, the desire to attempt larger-scale collaborative works.
605 Collective Dance Society was incorporated as not-for-profit society in March 2009. Now structured as a growing company, the artists continue to carry these values, and collective mentality, into all artistic activity. Company 605 now performs across Canada and in the US, presented at leading dance festivals and venues throughout North America. Along with their own creations, the collective is proud to commission established artists to work directly with the company, building strong partnerships to support the company’s expanding ambitions.
Board of Directors
Louise DeGagné — Director
(Wai-Yuen) Karen Lam — President
Lydia Lovison — Director
Cindy Reid — Director
Lynda Stokes — Director
Shilpa Shankar — Treasurer
Melanie Semlacher — Secretary