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Headlines and details published by The Dance Current.

Monday, April 4, 2011

Brian Webb announces his departure from CDF

Brian Webb / Photo by Ed Ellis

>> by Naomi Brand
Brian Webb, artistic director of the Canada Dance Festival (CDF), announced in January that he will be completing his tenure in October 2011. Webb has been at the helm of the festival since 2001 where his programming has contributed to greater diversity and new audience development. Among his achievements was the conception and presentation of “Hip Hop 360” and “Dancing Through Cultures”, two of the most successful programs in the festival’s history. "CDF has opted to view Brian’s departure as an opportunity to thoughtfully review our past and plan for our future," CDF Chair Pamela Fralick told The Dance Current. With the help of an independent, external consultant, the board is seeking input from the Canadian dance community about their expectations for a renewed CDF. The results of this research will inform the creation of a new vision for the festival and a strategic plan for CDF's future. The board hopes to launch the search for a new artistic director in August. In the meantime, the 2011 festival lineup is set to be announced in the coming weeks. This year's festival will take place June 15th through 18th in Ottawa.
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Performing arts medicine conference in Toronto

>> by Brittany Duggan
The Performing Arts Medicine Association (PAMA) and the Glenn Gould School of the Royal Conservatory of Music presented "Performance Awareness from Studio to Stage" in Toronto on March 26th. The day-long conference for teachers, performers, students and health care professionals working with performing artists was held in the Conservatory Theatre at the Telus Centre for Performance and Learning and included lectures, panels, live performance demonstrations and participatory workshops. The conference featured international dance medicine specialists, expert teachers and artistic directors, and was co-hosted by Dr. Bonnie Robson, of Pivot Sports Medicine and Orthopedics, and John Chong, president elect of Musicians Clinics of Canada. Lectures covered diagnosis and treatment of common dance injuries, hearing loss in the arts, and the neurobiology of injury and illness. A panel titled "Working with Artistic Directors to Prevent Injuries in the Studio and on the Stage" was moderated by Roger Hobden, sport physician and board member for Danse-Cité and BJM Danse; the panel was concerned with teaching practices that prevent injury at all stages of training. Demonstrations and hands-on workshops catered to the crowd of predominantly dance and music community members, with tips to prevent injury and ways for teachers to identify the early onset of injuries in students. "Performance Awareness from Studio to Stage" was the inaugural regional meeting for PAMA in Toronto. PAMA is an international member organization of physicians, therapists, trainers, educators, administrators, as well as performers and students interested in improving the well being of performing artists.
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Creative Trust releases report on audience engagement

>> by Samantha Mehra
Creative Trust has released the results of its first Audience Engagement Survey Report, an initiative made possible by twenty Toronto music, dance, theatre and opera companies. The survey, which included feedback from nearly 3700 arts attendees, gave the companies the opportunity to hear directly from audiences regarding the kinds of activities that would meet their interests. Dance companies/organizations taking part in the study include Ballet Creole, CanAsian Dance Festival, Dancemakers, Fujiwara Dance Inventions, inDANCE and Kaeja d’Dance. The survey, made available online in December 2010, strongly indicated that audiences are interested in learning more about artists and the creative processes behind the performances they attend, particularly through the internet. Additionally, fifty-one per cent of respondents indicated that the main reason for attending performances was to be "inspired or uplifted." The Survey Report was developed as part of Creative Trust’s Engaging Audiences Initiative with support from the Canada Council for the Arts, Ontario Arts Council, and others.
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