I have been one of the 100,000 lucky patrons to have experienced incredible, diverse, national and international contemporary dance over the past 20 years, right here in the city of Guelph. It has been pure joy for me to have had the opportunity to discover and witness amazing dance talent from across Canada and beyond. We are incredibly fortunate to have such awe-inspiring and impressive artistry brought to this fair city. I am truly thankful for all that Guelph Dance has given me personally not tomention the community it has built and nurtured around me that I am now a part of. It is not always easy to get to big cities to be able to experience the high caliber of dance that we are presented with each year through Guelph Dance. I applaud all the incredible hard work, foresight and shear tenacity of Catrina von Radecki and Janet Johnson in creating such an amazing and inspiring festival.
Dance is an art form that is inherently grounded, communicating and expressing through our most sensual and rooted tool, our bodies. It can be an integral and elemental way to elicit genuine feelings of connection, authenticity and true conviction. As an audience member, it can be incredibly transformative to experience dance as a collective. To communally witness pure articulation that transmits shared stories and evokes shared emotion is very empowering. In fact, I believe it can even elicit social change.
I am always astounded by the infinite delight I alone can reap from witnessing an extraordinary moment of artistry. I also believe that in our increasingly isolating world it is vital for us to make concerted efforts to partake in collective experiences. Experiencing art as a collective becomes more fulfilling and emotionally intense, fueled by the crowds unified responses of oohs and ahhs. It has the power to expand my world vision and most importantly it is capable of evoking real empathy and eliciting true connection. Good art is capable of changing perspectives, provoking meaningful query and conjuring deep feeling. These are indelible gifts that can last a life time.
This year we celebrate the 20th anniversary of the Guelph Dance Festival. This festival has always brought us diverse, provocative and surprising artistic performances. It is never predictable and it is always an opportunity to immerse ourselves in this enthralling and provocative art form. Hope you can join me!
President, Guelph Dance