Lacing up a pair of skates and gliding across a freshly re-surfaced ice rink is a Canadian rite of passage. The distinct sound of blades carving into the ice, the flurry of toques, scarves and mitts, the rich aroma of hot chocolate wafting through the air – the essence of winter. It would be a shame to miss out.
Next week Ballet Creole’s Soulful Messiah returns for it’s thirteenth season. Choreographed by Trinidadian-born artistic director, Patrick Parson, Soulful Messiah was originally conceived to add to the holiday celebration within the city of Toronto, alongside other shows such as The Nutcracker. It was based upon a CD, Handel’s Messiah: A Soulful Celebration, which Parson first listened to over 15 years ago.
DanceWorks, Toronto’s longest presenter of independent dance, is bringing Vancouver’s own 605 Collective to our NextSteps season with DanceWorks DW203, New Animal, which runs today (November 15th) and tomorrow (November 16th). We were lucky enough to chat with three of the company’s five dancers about the piece.
With a core group of seven dancers and has a touring repertoire of 3 full length works, choreographed by award-winning choreographer/artist Malgorzata Nowacka, The Chimera Project has a history of not only creating pieces for the most prestigious contemporary dance events and national presenters, but also introducing a new generation of choreographers to the world through their annual Fresh Blood series. Now in it’s fifth year, Fresh Blood is giving up-an-coming choreographers (with five years of experience) the chance to join a list of talented alumni that includes acclaimed Ritmo Flamenco co-artistic director Anjelica Scannura — who is currently part of our NextSteps season — and 2013 Fresh Blood Paula Citron Dance Award winner Emilio Colalillo.
Anjelica Scannura, co-artistic director for Ritmo Flamenco, is making her NextSteps debut next week with her first solo full-length performance, Danzas Sagradas. But, how much do you really know about the critically-acclaimed Ritmo Flamenco, founded by artistic director Valerie Scannura and music director Roger Scannura (Anjelica’s parents) in 1995? Here is a list of eight fun facts about the company:
In 605 Collective’s latest multimedia dance piece, New Animal — choreographed by Dana Gingras — the dancers give into their primal/animal instincts — while maintaining the extreme precision the company is widely known for.
She thought she was going to retire from the stage, but — as Margie Gillis explains — “It seems like the stage didn’t have plans to retire from me”. Her work, it seems, continues to reach audiences worldwide, thus she keeps engaging with it. Indeed, after 40 years of delivering dance innovation, she’s as busy as ever. Aside from touring more than one show and recently collaborating in the creation of two books, she also teaches master classes. It was on a Toronto stop-in this week, after returning from California, that she spoke with our blog.
“My father reproduces Picasso paintings, so I have always been immersed in all things Picasso,” award-winning choreographer Anjelica Scannura told our blog. So it’s not at all surprising that her first solo full-length performance would draw inspiration from the famed Spanish painter. In particular, the timely and prophetic vision of WWII, Guernica, was her focus as she choreographed Danzas Sagradas, which runs November 15-16 as part NextSteps.
Margie Gillis is an Officer of the Order of Canada and a 2011 recipient of the Lifetime Artistic Achievement Award from the Governor General’s Performing Arts Award Foundation, an award which was bestowed upon other beloved greats over the years such as Karen Kain, Peggy Baker and Menaka Thakkar. This November, she’s bringing her collaboration piece, The Light Between to our 2013-14 Next Steps season. The piece, which brings dancers Holly Bright, Marc Daigle, Paola Styron and set designer/visual artist Randal Newman together, blends dance, sculptural and pictorial elements.