DanceWorks kicks off the new year with a CoWorks presentation of Dance Ontario’s DanceWeekend’18.
Founded in 1976 to support the advancement of the discipline, Dance Ontario is a dynamic cross-section of the dance sector with a membership that reflects the province’s diversity through internationally renowned companies, emerging collectives, teachers, studios, choreographers, dancers, and production specialists.
Since 1992, Dance Ontario’s DanceWeekend has showcased over 7500 incredible artists working in over 30 dance forms. The Dance Ontario Creative Partnerships Program has commissioned over 40 original works, supporting both emerging and established choreographers.
Here, we talk to Amy Hampton, DanceWeekend’18 programmer, and learn more about the upcoming show running January 19-21, 2018 at the Fleck Dance Theatre.
Can you tell us about the DanceWeekend planning process? When and where do you begin?
The planning process for DanceWeekend begins pretty much as soon as the previous year has wrapped! It is a long process as we are working with 25 member companies and artists. We aim to offer audiences a showcase of the richness of the dance community in Toronto and beyond, and to offer artists an opportunity to reach out to new audiences and help grow a sense of community. Through the Dance Ontario Creative Partnerships Program we commission new works from two choreographers each year, and 2018 will feature premieres by Riley Sims and Shameka Blake.
DanceWeekend celebrates a 25th anniversary this season. Can you briefly share some of the special happenings planned to mark the occasion?
We are thrilled to celebrate 25 years and in addition to our mainstage performances, we have added some training and promotional opportunities. Dance Ontario will be offering free workshops open to the public – no dance experience required! We will have Powwow Bootcamp with Kaha:wi Dance Theatre, Ancient Echoes in Contemporary Bodies with Sashar Zarif Dance Theatre and Urban Dance with Gadfly. The workshops will run each day before the mainstage programming.
For the professional dance community, we will be sponsoring GMD classes January 16, 17 and 18, 2018 with Darryl Tracy. Classes will be only $6 for that week and I expect they will be packed.
For our members who are not located in Toronto, we will be promoting members’ events taking place during the week of January 15th to highlight how vibrant the dance community is right across the province.
Thank you, Amy.
Dance Ontario’s DanceWeekend’18 runs January 19 at 7pm, and January 20 – 21 at 1pm, at the Fleck Dance Theatre. Admission is by donation ($10.00 daily minimum), with in/out privileges. More information is available here, on the Dance Ontario website.