Wednesday, 26 February 2014

Tara Luz Danse Returns to Guelph for CSA Nooner

Tara Luz Danse will be performing in Guelph next week as Guelph Dance and the Central Student Association (CSA) partner to present another CSA Nooner at the University of Guelph's University Centre Courtyard. Join us for this free performance-workshop combination at 12pm on Wednesday, March 5th.

Anik Bouvrette, celebrated choreographer, talks here about the excitement of returning to Guelph as part of the company's first-ever tour of Ontario.

Anik: We have performed En studio avec nous in the studio where we rehearse as a public event for our community, and this has been a huge success. We have been the resident dance company at the Shenkman Arts Centre in Orleans, Ottawa since its opening in 2009, and have been working at building an audience for dance in that part of town.

En studio avec nous includes excerpts of our professional work in a more informal context, as well as an element of participation, to get the audience moving. A frequent comment from the audience is now that they've seen us work and moved with us, they will not look at dance the same way. We love that we are able to demystify dance and break down some of the barriers that keep people from participating.

Tara Luz Danse performing Les billes. Photo by Jeremy Mimnagh.
Anik: Our tour includes three other stops - Sudbury, Oshawa, and Kingston - all in partnership with multidisciplinary Francophone presenters. So Guelph will be a bit more familiar territory for us. We are excited to see how the event works in a university setting, where people are passing by. Will they stop and get involved? I hope so!

Tara Luz Danse performing Les billes at the 2011 Guelph Dance Festival. Photo by James MacDonald.
Anik: Guelph has a special place in my heart. I have so much respect for all that Catrina and Janet have done in Guelph, as they built an audience for dance from the ground up. There is so much leadership coming from Guelph, and I am grateful for Catrina and Janet's advice on creating a demand for dance in a region outside of a larger dance centre, as I am trying to do now.

When I was teaching at Guelph Dance's March Break Camp last year, I could tell that the parents were an informed audience. They were attentive and thoughtful. I thought to myself, that is 15 years of work and it has paid off! There is something about Guelph, a vibe, an awareness. I am always happy to come back there.
Anik Bouvrette with Guelph Dance Co-Artistic Director, Janet Johnson, and musician Adam Bowman. On the right, Anik and her assistant Amelia working with the Dance Focus Group at the 2013 March Break Camp.
Join us on March 5th at noon in the University Centre Courtyard, where you'll feast your eyes on excerpts from two pieces by Tara Luz Danse and be inspired to get in on the action with Anik and her dancers!

Wednesday, 19 February 2014

Meet Our March Break Camp Instructors!

Our Arts Explosion March Break and Summer Camps are a fun-filled, pressure-free exploration of the arts. Renowned local and national artists encourage children from 4-13 in all art forms. This March Break Camp is perfect for the child who loves to create: they'll sing in a glee club, dance up a storm, make art, and learn some hip hop moves! Book with the River Run Centre now to have them join this fabulous roster of local artists from March 10-14, 2014! 

For this week's blog, we caught up with our instructors about why they are excited to teach at our camp - some for the first time, and some for the dozenth time! 

Special Guest Artist Jasmin McGraw
Jasmin will work with the Dance Focus on Technique and Repertory in the mornings, and the Red and Blue  Groups in the afternoons.
Jasmin: What I am most excited for this March Break Camp is the amount of bubbling positive energy that will be in one room. Also, I am anxious to meet so many new faces and to see everyone moving to beautiful live music. I am ready to be inspired and thaw my winter blues!

Since being introduced to ballet at a young age, Jasmin McGraw has developed a great passion for dance. She is most drawn to the modest power and simplicity of contemporary dance. Jasmin has been a member of HNM Dance Co. since 2000. She moved to Toronto in 2002 to begin her studies at the School of Toronto Dance Theatre. After graduation she danced for José Navas in Montréal’s Springboard Danse Professional Project. Next was a year at Codarts’ Rotterdam Dance Academy in the Netherlands. This experience sparked the need to travel and the following year she was in Panama teaching dance workshops to the contemporary dance students at the University of Panama.

Jasmin has been practicing as a Registered Massage Therapist since 2010. Balancing Artistry and Healing as a member of both Dancetheatre David Earle and Speed River Physiotherapy, she feels blessed to allow each world to feed and inform the other. 

Lynette Segal
Lynette will work with the Orange Group on building their skills in Creative Movement.
Lynette: I'm excited to continue to work with wee ones again at this upcoming camp - it's an absolute delight! By exploring how their bodies move, the forms they can make and feelings evoked in-so-doing, we set compassion, coordination and confidence in motion.

Lynette Segal has studied at the Banff Centre, Concordia and York Universities, The School of the Toronto Dance Theatre, and with teachers from Les Ateliers de Dance Moderne de Montreal, and performed independently in Calgary, Halifax, Montreal, Toronto and Guelph and with Decidedly Jazz Danceworks and Dancer's Studio West (Calgary). More recently, she has focused on improvisational dance performance, working collaboratively with Ben Grossman, Susanna Hood, Karen Kaeja, Janet Johnson, Susan Lee, Lisa Nelson, the late Oliver Schroer, Catrina Von Radecki, Rebecca Todd, and Miranda Tufnell. Her study in somatic movement systems includes Mitzvah, Feldenkrais and Alexander techniques, and Body-Mind Centering. In the spring of 2009, she co-founded Fall on Your Feet, a movement collective based in Guelph focusing on teaching and performing movement improvisation. Other workshops and classes include experiential anatomy and creative movement for children, youth and adults.

Shannon Kingsbury

Shannon will lead the Orange Group through Songs and Storytelling, and run a Glee Club with the Red and Blue Groups.

Shannon: After summer camp, a grandmother told me that her grandchild had come home on Thursday in awe of hearing a harp (really, it was a rickety old harp I was playing! but apparently still beautiful to this child's eye/ear). Every time the child described the harp to her family, she started to cry. When her parents asked her why she was crying, her response was something like this: "When I think about the harp, its like its happening all over again. And its so beautiful". I look forward to collecting more stories about the ways that the arts touch the lives of our campers. 

Shannon Kingsbury is a singer, harpist, composer, and educator. Shannon has taught with many outstanding arts organizations including: Kingsbury Music, Guelph Dance Arts Explosion Camp, Creativity Greenhouse, Season Singers, Musikgarten of Guelph and Waterside Arts. Shannon holds certificates in Early Childhood Music, Orff, Voice, Music Theory and Kodaly.

Little campers will love using their voices, bodies, small instruments, and props in creative music play. The energetic music session will be followed by an enchanting visit to the "magic dressing room" for stories. Older campers will get energized by singing in their very own glee club-style group!

Carolyn Hebert
Carolyn will help campers in the Red, Blue, and Dance Focus Groups find their own unique hip hop style.
Carolyn: I look forward to exploring the individual personalities of each camper through hip hop! The many genres of hip hop that we will experiment with will encourage very different ways of moving. Each dancer will be able to find his and her own swagger, and will learn how they can incorporate their own style into all forms of movement.

Currently pursuing a Masters of Dance from York University with a focus on dance history and education, Carolyn Hebert has been teaching tap, jazz, ballet, contemporary and hip hop for almost a decade. She graduated from Eastwood Collegiate Institute's Integrated Arts Program, majoring in Dance and Drama. Carolyn has since attained a Bachelor of Arts in History from the University of Ottawa while teaching and choreographing for several dance schools within the Ottawa-Gatineau region. Carolyn has been featured in music videos for Keshia Chante and My Favourite Tragedy, and has performed with Dance Dance Canada, Casino Productions, the Canadian Musical Odyssey, the Guelph Little Theatre, and ECI's Kinesis Dance Company.

Janet Morton

Janet will work with Orange, Red, Blue, and Dance Focus Groups to turn the Canada Company Hall space into an art gallery.

Janet: I'm excited to get back into the amazing space at the River Run Centre and watch how it is transformed through the course of the week from a big, new and strange space to a place the campers feel is their own.
Janet Morton is an award-winning artist who has exhibited across Canada and internationally. For more than 15 years, Janet has been teaching art to all ages, from preschool to post-secondary. The visual arts sessions at our Arts Explosion Camp are creative, tactile explorations of various materials, techniques, and themes. A camper attending the entire week can expect to work on 2-D and 3-D projects and contribute to a collective transformation of the River Run Centre's Canada Company Hall.

We still have spaces left in our 2014 March Break Camp, but they are filling up fast! Visit the River Run Centre Box Office or call them at 519-763-3000 to book your child's spot today! Visit our website for more information on programming and prices.

Thursday, 13 February 2014

Celebrating the Success of the Fab 5 Cabaret

The Fab 5 Festivals are thrilled with the success of our first cabaret project. We are proud of the fact that the programming offered a diversity that showcased the talent, humour, and generosity of our community. We all benefit from collaboration across disciplines, which leads to new possibilities as we celebrate the arts. 

For this week's blog, we caught up with Marie Zimmerman, the Executive Director of the Hillside Festival, about this great way of opening Hillside Inside 2014.

  From my perspective, the event went supremely well. Each Festival organization has copious talent at its disposal and each representative is a creative planner par excellence. The artists we pulled together for the evening were remarkable, and their pieces were by turns soul-searching, quirky, strange, beautiful, and heart-swelling. It was a night of contrasts: in music alone, we had Tony Dekker’s quiet meditations on life, GUH’s playful and unpredictable meanderings, and Maestro Fresh Wes’s flamboyant affirmations. In film, we had Georges Méliès’ bizarre sci-fi fantasy from 1912. In dance, we had Kelly Steadman’s feisty celebration of impetuosity and Janet Johnson’s courageous exploration of the dark-light continuum. So, you were never bored. And you never knew what to expect.

Tony Dekker performing songs from Prayer of the Woods. Photo by Peter Grimaldi.
GUH, composed of Guelph and Toronto musicians, providing a soundtrack to the George Méliès 1912 film, Conquest of the Pole. Photo by Peter Grimaldi.
     Marie: I can't pick out a few highlights, because each piece was a highlight—honestly.  My love for each of these Festivals and their arts and my respect for their curating made the Fab 5 cabaret not only a dream come truewhich sounds sappy, I knowbut also an awe-inspiring event. Here we had in one room on one night the energy of people who really have something to say: people who have visions of humanity and a sense of purpose that they cannot help but communicate. Their visions were expressed in beautiful and complex pieces of art that kickstarted our imaginations. 

The Guelph Youth Apprentice II Company performing You Can by Janet Johnson in the lobby of the River Run Centre at the intermission.
Solana Del Bel Belluz, Rowen McBride, Brooke Powell, Corinna Shelley, and Ari Zimmerman performing in Young Lions by Kelly Steadman. Photo by Oliver Mercure.
Marie: People can expect to see us at each other’s Festivals. We received Ontario Trillium Foundation funding to develop our co-presentation partnership, so we need experience doing it in order to hone the partnership. Audiences have a lot to look forward to in the coming years!

      Make no mistake: it’s not easy pulling five Festivals together on a single show. It’s a little like asking five conductors to direct an orchestra where each of the musicians has been picked by a different festival.  It can be a sonic Hallelujah but it can also deteriorate into everyone yelling, “do I play NOW?” “What’s the tempo?“  “Can we have a metronome at first?”  The fact that we were so successful is a credit to our ability to step up, get out of the way, or leap when it counts. And it’s lucky we like each other! I look forward to all that will come out of this amazing collaboration.
Katie Ewald, Robert Kingsbury, and Lynette Segal performing in This Side of Light by Janet Johnson and Portal Dance Project. Photo by Oliver Mercure.
Maestro Fresh Wes Williams with his book, Stick to Your Vision (McClelland, 2010). Photo by Oliver Mercure.
Like what you saw?
As part of the Fab 5's new co-presentation model, we can curate a cabaret style show for your event! Contact for more information.

We would like to thank the Ontario Trillium Foundation for all of their support of this Fab 5 co-production.