June 14, 2017: Mimi Beck, Dance Curator of acclaimed presenter DanceWorks announces the 2017-18 season featuring eight Toronto-based artists/companies and one Indigenous company from Vancouver. From Flamenco, Kathak, Indigenous and Hip-Hop, world premieres and re-mounts from our storied past, it will be a season of surprises and surreal experiences.
Highlights of the DanceWorks Mainstage series at Harbourfront Centre include six world premieres, a special 40th anniversary mixed bill presentation, and the Mainstage debut of Dancers of Damelahamid, a Vancouver-based Indigenous dance company directed by Margaret Grenier of the Gitxsan Nation. Also in their first Mainstage outing are Toronto’s effervescent Hanna Kiel/Human Body Expression and Gadfly, the shapeshifting brainchild of Apolonia Velasquez and Ofilio Portillo. The season’s array of dance offerings includes Urban, Kathak, Flamenco, Indigenous and Contemporary Western forms.
Themes of enlightenment and transcendence are woven throughout the season. In both abstract and narrative work, artists tap into dreams and memories that influence their current reality. High on the creative radar are considerations of light, duality and making ethical choices.
DanceWorks began at the Music Gallery in 1977. True its early roots, the 40th anniversary edition will feature music, dance and performance by five seasoned choreographers, all of whom were presented in previous seasons. Holly Small, Learie McNicolls, Joanna de Souza/Esmeralda Enrique and Denise Fujiwara will bring current creations, and some past favourites!
Oct. 19-21, 2017: Dreamwalker Dance – *Dual Light @ Harbourfront Centre Theatre
Dual Light is a collection of discrete visual poems featuring eight exceptional artists, Brendan Wyatt, Yuichiro Inoue, Kristy Kennedy, Joshua Van Tassel, Simon Rossiter, Cheryl Lalonde, AJ Morra and Andrea Nann, meditating on togetherness and causality in shifting environments of light, sound, story and memory. It is a moving ‘concept album’ so to speak, unfolding layers of consciousness to reveal the presence of past and future in every moment. Dual Light is conceived and directed by Nann with dramaturgy by Sarah Chase.
Nov. 16-18, 2017: 40th Anniversary – various @ Harbourfront Centre Theatre
A stellar performance of unique works, both remounts and premieres, reflecting DanceWorks’ inspired presentations over the last 40 years. Featured artists include Esmeralda Enrique & Joanna de Souza (Amalgam), Holly Small (Cheap Sunglasses), Learie McNicolls (The Night Journey and Dancing With The Ghost), and Denise Fujiwara (Songs That Move Us).
Feb.9-10, 2018: Dancers of Damelahamid – Flicker @ Harbourfront Centre Theatre
Flicker is a 75 minute multi-media dance piece performed by Dancers of Damelahamid, a Vancouver-based professional Indigenous dance company of the Gitxsan Nation, directed by choreographer and performer Margaret Grenier. The Gitxsan, “people of the river of mists”, are part of the coastal group of cultures with a rich history of masked dance. Through dramatic dance, captivating narrative, intricately carved masks and elaborate regalia, the Dancers of Damelahamid bridge the ancient with a living tradition. Demonstrating how we can access our true potential without limitations, Flicker guides audiences through a journey to acquire our ancestral gifts, strengthening our capacity to create change.
March 15-17, 2018: Hanna Kiel – Chasing the Path @ Fleck Dance Theatre
Chasing the Path is a 60-minute quartet that investigates the beauty and pain of memory. Choreographer Hanna Kiel taps into her personal experience of loss, asking how we move into the present moment while still feeling pain from the past. Dancers Luke Garwood, Kelly Shaw, Ryan Lee and David Norsworthy bring their own life journeys into the process. They embody how memories shape us, and unfold in our daily lives, often in unexpected ways.
When recalled intellectually, memories can play like a film – frozen, speeded up, replayed or recreated. Memory is also embedded in the body. An external event may activate a hidden memory, triggering a surprise physical or emotional response. Chasing the Path seeks to connect experience, memory and life choices that make us who we are today.
May 3-5: Gadfly – UNBXBL 2 @ Harbourfront Centre Theatre
Gadfly, Toronto’s urban dance phenomenon, performs UNBXBL 2, choreographed by Apolonia Velasquez and Ofilio Sinbadinho. The program is a mixed bill featuring two of the company’s most requested works and two world premieres, highlighting Gadfly’s signature movement style rooted in urban dance and captivating artistry.