d’News December Issue

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Canadian Presence on the International Stage

The International Association of Blacks in Dance (IABD) Conference & Festival performances offers an opportunity for us to enjoy the countries, artists and choreographers performing at a national and international level. There are 4 international performances planned that highlight not only the Canadian talent but the international performers that embodied the conference theme “Connecting Our Diasporas Through Dance”. The conference is about providing experiences that will broaden, deepen and develop artistic perspectives for all involved. We too have a presence on the interna¬ tional stage. Garfield Lemonius (Dallas Black Dance Theatre), Kristen Foote (Jose Limon Company), Kevin A. Ormsby (Garth Fagan Dance), Sean Cheesman, Tanisha Scott, Ingrid Abbott (Tavaziva / Lion King) and others have all had successful international dance careers. Basking in the glow of that presence is Rachel McLaren who will represent Alvin Ailey for the conference & festival. See the profile of one such dancer here.
Here is a list of some of the world class companies performing at the conference:
Alvin Ailey American Dance Theatre (New York), Ballet Creole (Toronto), Germaul Barnes (New York), Compagnie Danse NYATA NYATA (Montreal) Cleo Parker Robinson Dance Company (Denver), State Of Emergency Productions (UK), Danza Corpus (Cuba),Dallas Black Dance Theatre (Dallas), KasheDance (Toronto), Ghislaine Dote (Montreal), Jasmyn Fyffe Dance (Toronto), PHILADANCO (Philadelphia), Zelma Badu Agazunu (Canada/USA), Lula Washington Dance Theatre (Los Angeles), Michele Moss (Calgary), Muntu Dance Theatre of Chicago (Chicago), Robert Solomon (Germany), NAfro Dance Productions (Winnipeg), bwsene Inmotion Australia (Australia), National Dance Theatre Company of Jamaica (Jamaica), Shawn Byfield (Toronto), UNLV (Las Vegas)

One month to the 24th Annual International Association of Blacks in Dance (IABD) Conference and Festival Save the date: Jan 26th-29th2012

Registration and Tickets available here: http://www.artsboxoffice.ca
For further information please visit http://www.danceimmersion.ca

Leaping with Passion

Rachel McLaren grew up in Winnipeg where she started dancing at age five. Her inspira¬ tions in dance came from watching ballroom and gymnastics and she later went on to train in Royal Winnipeg
Ballet School. She later auditioned for Alvin Ailey School where she started at 17 and joined Ailey II two years later. In 2008, she is the first Canadian to be in Alvin Ailey American Dance Theatre. Rachel is a true testament to home grown talent. Congratulations Rachel and see you at the conference!

Engaging Communities

FELA-RIFIC: dance Immersion’s Program Director / Curator, Vivine Scarlet and Conference & Festival Outreach Coordinator, Kevin A. Ormsby were thrilled to be among the audience at the Opening Night of “FELA” winner of three TONY awards. The experi¬ ence was as inspiring as the music, choreography and FELA himself. They also had the opportunity to speak with the cast of the production in the post performance reception organized by BAND (Black Artists Network in Dialogue).

Our mission remains and is solidified by the work we do in providing opportunities for I dancers of the African Diaspora. Our workshop series with Germaul Barnes was a sucI cess and the in-Studio presentation featuring the work in progress created by Mr. Barnes | on the Jasmyn Fyffe Dance will be premiered at the IABD Conference and Festival’s Canadian Showcase. Work and rehearsal also continues with collaborators from across the world and Canadian dance artists to also be presented at the conference. Germaul Barnes (New York), Robert Solomon (Germany) and Chris Walker (USA / Jamaica) are three collaborators working with Canadian artists. Three uniquely different voices from the Diaspora connected by the IABD Conference & Festival. Part of our outreach and engagement strategy d’MOVES saw its last workshop for the year with classes by Debbie Wilson (Horton technique) and Kay Ann Ward (Dancehall / Hip Hop) on Novem¬ her 24th. A SPECIAL THANKS GOES OUT TO BALLET CREOLE for their work in donating the space for the workshops. We are doing a feasibility study in continuing the program after the conference.

TRI BUTE (A moving history of Canadian Blacks in Dance)

In this season’s Showcase Presentation, dance Immersion presents a celebration of Canadian Blacks in dance who have contributed to the Canadian and global dance ecology, dance Immer¬ sion pays homage to Len Gibson, Jeni Legon, Dindi Lidge, Zab Maboungou, Paul Pettiford, Kevin Pugh, and Jean Sheen through a production highlighting the history, artistry and contri¬ butions presented through the medium of dance, film and spoken word. There will be a presen¬ tation by Companie Danse Nyata Nyata, remounts by Canadian dance companies; Ronald Tay¬ lor Dance, Caribbean Dance Theatre, Learie McNicolls and Danny Grossman. TRIBUTE shares with its audiences a flowing poetic performance that leaves you with insight into the journey these artists have taken and the artists they have touched.
TRIBUTE (A moving history of Canadian Blacks in Dance) Feb 23rd- 25th 2012 at the Fleck Dance Theatre, Harbourfront Centre.
Continuously honouring artists who paved the way on whose shoulders our artistry stands!
Tickets available here: http://www.harbourfrontcentre.com/whatson/today.cfm?id=3277

ANNOUNCEMENTS

 – Cassandra Belafonte the Program Manager of dance Immersion attended the CanDance AGM held in Calgary, Alberta from October 20-23, 2011 at the EPCOR Centre for the Performing Arts. Held in partnership with The Fluid Movement Arts Festival, Canadian Dance Assembly, and Alberta Dance Alliance; the meeting allowed all presenters to meet, connect, and network about upcoming events and projects. She will be engaging in more initiatives across country in her tenure as Program Manager of dance Immersion.

– We are pleased to announce that we have created an Arts Educators package for the conference and will also be distributing a Diasporic Dance Study Guide with activities specific to Diasporic dance forms. If interested contact outreach@danceimmersion.ca.

– The conference features Panels, a Tribute Luncheon and Dinner. The Luncheon pays homage to the Artistic, academic and philanthropic work of Professor Ralston Milton “Rex” Nettleford (Jamaica) and the dinner will honour Canada’s Blacks in Dance. Keynote address given by Zab Maboungou (Canada). She has been a stalwart of black dance in Canada and has served in many capacities in artistic and academic endeavors.

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