Unscripted. Unstaged. Barb Clausen.Unscripted. Unstaged. is an interview series from Laura Murray Public Relations that speaks with fascinating artists, advocates, administrators, and other individuals who keep the Canadian artistic community visible, viable, and vibrant. This week we spoke with dance producer Barb Clausen, who oversees Community Engagement at DanceHouse; a Vancouver performance series that brings the world’s hottest contemporary dance artists to Vancouver. Highlights of her rich history in Canadian dance include being one of the founders and the first Executive Director of Vancouver’s Scotiabank Dance Centre, serving as a Dance Officer at the Canada Council for the Arts, and being founder and producer for both New Works and DanceHouse – two of Vancouver’s most respected dance institutions.
Q: If we ran into you at a party, what are three things you would be excited to share about yourself?
I am a besotted new grandmother, I have always worked in dance but actually don’t dance myself, and yes, I’d love another G & T, thanks!
Q: If we checked your nightstand, what books would we find you reading right now?
Graham Swift’s Last Orders, Oryx and Crake by Margaret Atwood and Starting Strength by Mark Rippetoe. This last one is a terrific treatise on a sane approach to weight training, which I am trying to follow.
Q: If we checked your computer, what favourite sites would be bookmarked?
DanceHouse, CanDance, Netflix, The New York Times, and The Tyee.
Q: How did you come to do what you do – was there a defining moment you can tell us about?
I took modern dance every day for two years as my PE elective in high school, which I believe demystified the form and made it easy for me to move into the field, once it became clear that I would not be an elementary school teacher or a stay-at-home mom.
Taking Santa Aloi’s class when she was auditioned for her position at SFU (then training with her) was truly a defining moment, as was seeing three works by Pina Bausch in Toronto in the 80’s. That made it obvious to me that presenting dance was an admirable profession.
Q: When it comes to marketing, is there a particular campaign or a poster, advertisement, or promotion that made a significant impact or that stands out in your mind?
I loved the “Hi I’m a Mac/I’m a PC” series.
Q: Lastly, what inspires you?
Great films, colour in the garden, the spontaneity, energy and honesty of young children, great meals with great friends.