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Photo: Peter Stipcevich
About the company:
Ballet Creole is at the forefront of contemporary Afro-Caribbean dance and has been labelled as the forerunner of blacks in dance in Canada. Established in August 1990, by Trinidadian-born dancer, choreographer, drummer and educator, Patrick Parson (master's degree in Dance Ethnology, BFA in Dance), he combines traditional Caribbean and African aesthetics with the Katherine Dunham modern technique, and has resulted in a technically strong and versatile professional dance company unlike any other in Canada. Ballet Creole's long-standing associate choreographer Gabby Kamino has produced timeless works with the company and other collaborative choreographers include Danny Grossman and Milton Myers. The company is celebrating its 23rd year as part of Toronto's dance community.
Patrick Parson is the artistic director and principal choreographer for Ballet Creole and the musical director for Creole Drummatix. He is a professor at York University in the Kinesiology Department and earned his master's degree in Dance Ethnology at York University. He toured internationally as principal dancer with the Astor Johnson Repertory Dance Theatre of Trinidad. His professional dance and choreographic experience spans Caribbean, African, East Indian, 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 Toronto Dance Theatre (TDT), and obtained his Dunham teachers certificate at the Katherine Dunham Centre for Arts and Humanities (Illinois).
November 30 December 2, 2012Dance
This performance is a Ballet Creole signature piece, which breathes the universal language of spirituality and pure happiness that we all yearn to share, especially during the holidays.
Soulful Messiah infuses tap, African-Caribbean, ballet, jazz and modern dance into a unique celebration of life through dance and music. Soulfully danced to Quincy Jones' Grammy Award-winning R&B rendition of Handel's Messiah, this universal holiday tradition will leave you singing, "Hallelujah!"
Enriched by the uplifting voices of Aretha Franklin, The Boys Choir of Harlem, Stevie Wonder and Gladys Knight, there is no question why this holiday production is celebrating its 11th year anniversary in Toronto. Guest performer David Cox (formerly of STOMP), returns to tap his way through this emotionally driven dance accompanied by the Ballet Creole professional dance company. Illuminated by the talents of lighting director, Brad Trenaman, each piece signifies humanity's core emotions.
"This R&B take on Handel's classic Messiah is one of our favourite holiday traditions."
— Toronto Life
"Soulful Messiah should be on everyone's holiday wish list."
— Paula Citron, Classical 96.3