November 28-29, 2014

Ballet Creole

Soulful Messiah



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“What I love about this show is that it’s not your typical Messiah. It wouldn’t be Christmas without it.”

— Lynanne Sparrow, Artistic Associate – Dance

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  • About the Presenter
  • About the Artistic Director

Bring in the holidays with Ballet Creole’s signature seasonal production, Soulful Messiah. Using the universal languages of spirituality and joy, Soulful Messiah combines tap, African-Caribbean, ballet, jazz and modern styles for a unique holiday classic, soulfully danced to Quincy Jones’ Grammy Award-winning rendition of Handel’s Messiah.

Celebrating 25 years of dance in Toronto! Founded in 1990 by Trinidadian-born dancer, choreographer, drummer and educator Patrick Parson, Ballet Creole is a professional contemporary dance company deeply rooted in traditional Caribbean and African aesthetics.

Its dancers and musicians are a collective of international artists cultivating together to create a unique Canadian dance identity. Associate choreographer Gabby Kamino (BFA in dance) has created timeless productions as part of Ballet Creole for the past 25 years.

The Ballet Creole School of Performing Arts offers classes for children, youth and adults from beginner to professional levels throughout the GTA. True to its educational mandate, Ballet Creole tours intensively, presenting educational and entertaining performances. Ballet Creole is an active contributor to the arts in its community.

Patrick Parson founded Ballet Creole in 1990, for which he is the artistic and executive director, principal choreographer and musical director of the Creole Drummatix. The company quickly gained acclaim across Canada and the United States.

Patrick regularly conducts dance/music workshops and lecture demonstrations for educators and student bodies in Boards of Education and Universities throughout Ontario. He has completed a master’s degree in dance ethnology at York University, where he is currently a professor in the Kinesiology Department.

Patrick toured internationally as a principal dancer with the Astor Johnson Repertory Dance Theatre of Trinidad. His professional dance and choreographic experience spans Caribbean, African, East Indian, and jazz and modern dance styles. Patrick acquired ballet and modern training at the Caribbean School of Dance, the Dance Academy of Trinidad and Tobago and Ryerson University. He is a graduate of the School of Toronto Dance Theatre and most recently furthered his training at Jacob’s Pillow. Patrick studied the Dunham Technique at the Katherine Dunham Center for Arts and Humanities in East St. Louis, Illinois. He was one of the last teachers to be awarded certification in the Dunham Technique before Ms. Dunham’s passing in 2006, and is the sole proponent of this technique in Canada where it is little known and practiced.

Patrick has received the Entrepreneurial Award of Merit from the African Caribbean Chamber of Commerce and the New Pioneers Award from Skills for Change. He has served as cultural adviser to the Toronto Arts Council, Metro Cultural Affairs, Ontario Arts Council, Harbourfront Centre, Laidlaw Foundation and the Arts Advantage Program at Downsview S.S. He also has served as Board Director for Kalinka Contemporary Russian Dance

Company and the Black Canadian Congress. In May 2014 he was invited to King’s College in London, England to present his work on the global impact of “Creolization.”