VIDEO: Denise Fujiwara’s Love Learn Listen

Can we be courageously open and curious, and then respond rather than react to what scares us?  Can we be aware, creative, sensible and radical, within the reality of each moment? Love Learn Listen is a dance film that romps through a part of Tkaronto, shot in a lull between pandemic waves.  It features a new song, a round that invites you to sing along.
 
Choreographer Denise Fujiwara shares:
 
“DanceWorks invited us to make a short film, a wonderful opportunity! In a pandemic, it was a logistical adventure for a small dance organization. We expected the protocols to lift by summer and I planned for nine dancers and lots of singers. Unfortunately, studios stayed locked down, we rescheduled and regrouped three times, switched to outdoor rehearsals, searched for legal shooting locations and prayed for good weather. Adina Herling and I fretted about distancing, washrooms, permits, budget, kept adding rain dates and changing the plan, until, the final week in August. We shot the film guerilla-style and in extreme heat under the threat of thunderstorms. The marvelous performers and crew were a dream to work with – dancers Sylvie Bouchard, Jen Hum, Lucy Rupert, Brodie Stevenson, Gerry Trentham, Mayumi Lashbrook, Michael Mortley, Natasha Poon Wu, Yui Ugai, singer Natalia Gracious, filmmaker Phil Kim, and Production Manager Laura Cournoyea”.
 
 

This year, marks Denise Fujiwara’s 43rd year as a dance artist. A singular voice on the Canadian dance scene; a sought-after choreographer, dancer, teacher, and impresario.

She began her interesting career in childhood, as a gymnast when she competed internationally for the Canadian Rhythmic Gymnastics team. Upon completing an Honours B.F.A. in Dance at York University, she became one of the founders of T.I.D.E. (Toronto Independent Dance Enterprise). Here she was instrumental in the creation of a diverse body of work for the now-defunct, but still notorious, company that danced across Canada for 10 years.

In 1991 she formed her own company, Fujiwara Dance Inventions, to house the development of her solo projects. To date, her six solo dance concerts, Spontaneous Combustion, Vanishing Acts, Sumida River, Elle Laments, Brief Incarnations, and Komachi have garnered praise across Canada and have toured to festivals in the United States, South America, Europe, and Asia.

In addition to her career as a dance artist, Ms. Fujiwara works in film and television. Walls, a CBC Television documentary about her life and work by celebrated filmmaker Jeremy Podeswa, won the 1995 Gemini Award for Best Performing Arts Program. In 1997 she co-founded CanAsian Dance where she is the Artistic Director. Her work with CanAsian promotes the work and development of dance artists from Toronto and across Canada.

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    We acknowledge the Toronto/Tkaronto as One Dish One Spoon Indigenous territory. We honour the ancestral caretakers of this land: the Haudenosaunee Confederacy, the Wendat and most recently the Mississaugas of the Credit First Nation who have a Treaty relationship with Canada. We are grateful to have the opportunity to work in their community, on this territory. We pay our respects to their Elders past, present and future.