Winnipeg Contemporary Dancers aims to raise funds and creativity with Derring DO!

The people at last year’s Derring DO! had a blast - and you will this year, too! Supplied

Ever wanted to Bollywood dance or beatbox? How about perform live with a local folk band or create a piece of art? Now’s your chance, with the 2012 Winnipeg’s Contemporary Dancer’s (WCD) Derring DO!

“The term Derring DO! (and its unique spelling) originates from the 1300s,” states WCD’s website. “It was first a reference to ‘ye olde swordplay and the like,’ or the performance of heroic feats and brave actions.”

At this fundraising event for the dance company, which is a registered non-profit charity, guests not only have the chance to win great raffle prizes, but they also have the opportunity to bid on one-of-a-kind artistic experiences.

“As far as we know, we’re the only ones who’ve sort of ever done it,” says James Botaitis, communications director for the WCD. “It is a fairly unique thing to the WCD and to Winnipeg.

“This year we have seven artistic opportunities, including learning a short Bollywood dance number, choreographing our dancers with a percussionist, writing and performing a song with Nathan Rogers and learning the tambourine to play along with Roslyn and Allison from Oh My Darling,” Botaitis says. “Multimedia artist Freya Björg Olafson, she’s a dancer, she’s a painter, she’s a video artist, she usually goes off with a canvas and encourages you to paint something.”

Then the winning bidders get to make their painting, learn their drum bit and return after an hour to present what they’ve learned and/or created to an audience.

While Botaitis is unsure of the exact sum raised at last year’s event, he estimates around $1,500.

“We’d like to raise more, obviously, but if we can raise within the $2,000 range, that’d be great.”

He stresses that stage jitters shouldn’t keep people from coming out to the event.

“Some people have said they don’t want to come because they don’t want to go on stage, well you don’t have to participate. I would say half at most who come to the Derring DO! bother to bid on the art auction. They’re coming for the event.”

Entertainment will also be provided on the mainstage, with Mrs. Hoo-Hoo and singer-songwriter Christine Fellows keeping things rolling while the winning bidders go off for their experiences. The whole event is also ‘80s themed for some extra fun.

For more information on Derring DO! and to check out the promo videos and artistic opportunities, visit The event takes place on Saturday, Jan. 21 at the West End Cultural Centre and starts promptly at 7 p.m. Tickets are $20 and are available in advance at Ticketmaster. Cash-only at the door.

Published in Volume 66, Number 16 of The Uniter (January 18, 2012)

Related Reads