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Working Intersections in Dance and Theatre

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Pia Bouman School for Ballet and Creative Movement

6 Noble Street

Toronto, ON M6K 2C6

Canada

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Join panelists Allison Cummings, Aria Evans, Tina Fushell, and Virgilia Griffith for this exciting panel discussion, moderated by Esie Mensah.

When CADA-ON Board Member Esie Mensah talks about working in theatre as a dance artist, she speaks from experience. Having worked as a movement coach on several large-scale productions – 1837: The Farmers’ Revolt at the Shaw Festival, Venus' Daughter at Obsidian Theatre, and Ma Rainey's Black Bottom at Soulpepper – Mensah has gained keen insights into the opportunities available to dancers in the theatre sector, the artistic possibilities dance artists can explore there, and the professional advantages of working across disciplines.

Of course, the distinction between dance and theatre is not felt everywhere; disciplinary boundaries are often culturally specific, shifting and blurring across times and traditions. The interaction between the disciplines is an enduring one, and dance artists continue to find greater aesthetic agency, artistic freedom, and leadership roles in the theatrical milieu. Theatre critic Matt Trueman notes that the 2017 Royal Court production of Simon Stephens’s play Nuclear War was directed by choreographer Imogen Knight: a rare enough appointment on London's West End. What's more, the playwright even gave Knight the go-ahead to “swap words for gesture where possible.”

Closer to home, many plays recently shown in Toronto theatres have incorporated choreography, and employed dance artists, in exciting ways. Saga Collectif’s Black Boys (2016) deployed a rich gestural vocabulary, rooting the piece's multi-valent exploration of identity and performance in the body and its interactions. Matthew MacKenzie’s Bears (2018), surrounded a ranging experiential account of journey and transformation with a many-bodied choreographic terrain.

This panel assembles numerous artists and practitioners from across the fields of dance and theatre to discuss the shifting relationship between the disciplines, and to examine the possibilities – aesthetic, economic, and conceptual – that working in theatre might offer dance artists.

The panel will take place from 6:30 pm-8:30 pm, followed by time to meet and converse.

The venue is wheelchair accessible and ASL interpretation will be provided. There will be snacks!

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Pia Bouman School for Ballet and Creative Movement

6 Noble Street

Toronto, ON M6K 2C6

Canada

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