DJD’s new show showcases the brain and the body; troupe accepts prestigious invitation

By Michele Jarvie - Calgary Herald
2 min read | April 28, 2023

Known for its daring choreography that pushes boundaries, DJD’s latest show is multi-faceted with 11 dancers and a four-piece band.

Nervous Systems, which runs from April 27 to May 14 at the DJD Dance Centre, is described as a “whirlwind exploration of the wonders of our bodies, the speed of our senses and the miracle of the human brain.”

“In creating this new show, we have been playing with ideas that explore the marvels of the brain and the body. It is a physical, groovy, whimsical piece that doesn’t take itself too seriously,” says DJD artistic director Kimberley Cooper who created and choreographed the piece.

The show features dancers Shahrzad Ahmadi, Thys Armstrong, Scott Augustine, Cassandra Bowerman, Sabrina Naz Comănescu, Mara Liao Esnard, Catherine Hayward, Kaja Irwin, Natasha Korney, Simeon Peters and Shemar Hebert (apprentice). Musicians include Carsten Rubeling (composer, musical director, trombone, keyboard), Daniel Nava (bass), Luis ‘El Pana’ Tovar (drums and percussion), and André Wickenheiser (trumpet). Costumes are by Angela Dale, with lighting by Brian MacNeil.

To learn more or to purchase tickets, visit  or call 403-245-3533.

Sabrina Comanescu performs during a photo call for Decidely Jazz Danceworks’ Nervous System in Calgary on Wednesday, April 26, 2023. Jim Wells/Postmedia Jim Wells/Postmedia
DJD’s show from last year – Family of Jazz – is still making waves and the dance troupe has been invited to perform it at an international dance festival in Massachusetts this summer.Jacob’s Pillow Dance Festival is the longest-running international dance festival and DJD is the only Canadian dance company to be invited to its 91st season this summer.“To be invited to perform at Jacob’s Pillow is an honour and an opportunity to share our work with other international artists, dance leaders, dance presenters, and audiences,” said Cooper.

DJD will take its nine dancers plus the six-piece Rubim de Toledo Ensemble for a weeklong engagement from Aug. 9-13.

“We believe the presentation of DJD will be an asset to Jacob’s Pillow,” says Pamela Tatge, artistic and executive director of Jacob’s Pillow. “They are one of the few North American dance companies dedicated to jazz and will serve an important role in representing this social dance form with a rich history in its North American evolution. We are eager to welcome their dedicated cultivation of this dance form to our historic dance festival to further elevate the genre of jazz in the international dance ecology.”