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Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Canada celebrates its first National Dance Week

Alison Denham and Billy Marchenski in AdamEve/Man-Woman / Photo by Steven Lemay

by Samantha Mehra
On April 22nd, Canada began a celebration of its first National Dance Week, an initiative made possible by the Canadian Dance Assembly (CDA). The inaugural initiative aimed to engage communities by giving increased presence to Canada’s diverse dance scene through a series of events throughout the week. Highlights included a family-friendly Bollywood-inspired presentation by Canada’s National Ballet School at the Distillery District in Toronto; Les Grands Ballets Canadiens de Montréal performed Au nom de la rose / In the Name of the Rose, a sixty-person flash mob at Montréal's Square Victoria-métro station. Dance NL used social media to post a video series of local celebrities promoting dance.

On April 29th, National Dance Week ended with the UNESCO-sponsored International Dance Day, an event celebrated annually since 1982. Events took place across the country such as the Winnipeg performances of Winnipeg’s Contemporary Dancers, the Royal Winnipeg Ballet, The Aboriginal School of Dance and the Young Lungs Dance Collective. For the fourth year in a row, the event received a proclamation from the Government of Manitoba. In Vancouver, the Scotiabank Dance Centre hosted a day of studio showings by local artists including Raven Spirit Dance, Modus Operandi, the Contingency Plan Collective, Kinesis Dance and Mandala Arts and Culture, as well as workshops and classes in flamenco, Pow-Wow and bharatanatyam. The celebration ended with a double-bill featuring ADAMEVE/Man-Woman (Part 1) by Vancouver’s Alvin Tolentino of Co.ERASGA and COCOONDANCE’s Another You, a work by Rafaele Giovanola of Bonn, Germany.
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Monday, May 28, 2012

Youth dance conference brings Ontario dancers together

Mariano Abarca / Photo: Lauren Van Gijn & Bobbie Dhindsa
>> by Jaimée Horn
With the goal of educating students and teachers alike about the value, scope and diversity of dance in Ontario, the Pulse Ontario Youth Dance Conference provides equal opportunities for all levels of dance students to benefit from the experiential learning and discovery that dance can provide in non-competitive environments. This year’s conference, held at York University from May 10th through 13th, had close to 200 participants who were enthusiastic to take in the workshops, evening performances and social events. Keynote speaker Mariano Abarca, recognized internationally as having put Canada on the map for hip hop dance, received a warm and enthusiastic welcome from the dancers in the auditorium on Friday evening. His meaningful message directed to the youth and educators was to stay curious and creative. “Experience everything. Learn as much as you can and then build on that foundation. Be original. Ask questions. You are the scientists of this art form.” The conference, whose vision is to bring together dance students, teachers and dance professionals from across Ontario, manifested for the first time in May 2006. The conference is dedicated to providing students affordable opportunities to experience the art form, and develop their literacy and understanding of dance.
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Saturday, May 5, 2012

Celebrating Canada as a dance nation

>> by Jaimée Horn
On April 19th the Canadian Dance Assembly launched the I love dance / J’aime la danse campaign. The event was held at Canada’s National Ballet School with approximately sixty people present. Among the attendees were Guillaume Côté, a principal dancer at The National Ballet of Canada, and City of Toronto Councillor Josh Matlow, who had the joint honour of unveiling the much anticipated dance manifesto. Celebrating the values of dance, the manifesto expresses the core messages of the campaign and encourages support for dance as an art form integral to our Canadian identity. The campaign was a kick-off to National Dance Week, which promoted dance activities across the country culminating in International Dance Day on April 29th. For information about the I love dance/J’aime la danse campaign, visit www.ilovedancecanada.ca.
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