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Announcement, Industry Listing.

Toronto Dance Showcase is a 3-year initiative lead by Dusk Dances and endorsed by Choreographers’ Network – Toronto. The initiative aims to raise international awareness of the vibrant and diverse Dance Scene in Toronto and to create a Dance Showcase for Toronto dance artists in YEAR 3.

In YEAR 1 (2019-20), Toronto Dance Showcase has been funded by The Department of Canadian Heritage and the Ontario Arts Council and will send 10 Toronto dance artists / presenters to one international platform where they can meet national and international presenters. We received 36
applications to participate in YEAR 1. The selection committee selected 16 artists and we receive funds to support 10 participants.

One component that was looked at when selecting the 10 final participants was their experience with presenting in the context of events or festivals - besides the presentation of their own work. It was important for this initiative to succeed that a number of participants have a substantial amount of presenting experience in order to engage as both presenter and artist, opening presenting possibilities for international artists in Toronto and for Toronto artists abroad.

YEAR 1 participants (in alphabetical order):

  1. Peggy Baker - Peggy Baker Dance Projects
  2. Sylvie Bouchard - Dusk Dances and BoucharDanse
  3. Susie Burpee
  4. Denise Fujiwara - Fujiwara Dance Inventions and CanAsian Dance
  5. Karen and Allen Kaeja - Kaeja d’Dance and Porch View Dances
  6. Andrea Nann - Dreamwalker Dance Company
  7. Yvonne Ng - tiger princess dance projects and dance: made in canada Festival
  8. Heidi Strauss - adelheid
  9. Throwdown Collective - Zhenya Cerneacov, Mairéad Filgate and Brodie Stevenson
  10. Gerry Trentham - pounds per square inch

We are very fortunate to be working with Judy Harquail, Director of Programs at Ontario Presents, who is assisting each artist in the selection of an international platform most suited for their work and presenting goals. Ms. Harquail will also support each participant in their preparation before the platform. The focus for the 10 participants of YEAR 1 will be four-fold:

  • To begin conversations and build relationships with national and international presenters
  • To begin conversations and build relationships with international artists
  • To locate their work (as artists and as presenters) within the international scene
  • To represent Toronto as a vibrant and diverse artistic and presenting dance community

The decision-making process for YEAR 1 of Toronto Dance Showcase was multi-layered, and the procedure was as follows:

The Choreographers’ Network - Toronto working group for this project (Denise Fujiwara, Gerry Trentham, Kevin Ormsby, Jane-Alison McKinney and Sylvie Bouchard) asked Independent arts managers Christine Moynihan and presenter Robert Kerr to choose three selection committee members. Christine Moynihan and Robert Kerr selected:

Seika Boye
Seika Boye is a scholar, writer, educator and artist whose practices revolve around dance and movement. She is a Lecturer at the Centre for Drama, Theatre and Performance Studies, University of the Toronto, where she teaches practical and lecture courses.

Timea Wharton-Suri
Timea Wharton-Suri is an arts and entertainment professional with twenty years' experience directing dance productions, cultural programs, and arts education projects that are accessible to a broad range of communities. She is a programmer and producer of dance, multi-arts and literary events; an arts management consultant; and an advisor to arts organizations.

Jim Smith
Jim Smith co-founded Eponymous, an arts management and production agency. Under the aegis of Eponymous, Jim is currently associated with Company 605, Compagnie Vision Selective, Kidd Pivot, Les Productions Figlio, Wen Wei Dance, and Vancouver New Music. He also represents Veda Hille, Crystal Pite and Wen Wei Wang. In 2007 Jim co-founded and is the current Artistic and Executive Director of DanceHouse, a subscription series of large-scale dance presentations at the Vancouver Playhouse.

The selection committee reviewed the applications and made recommendations, and the final selection of the 16 artists was made by Jim Smith. Jim Smith knows well the international scene, given his position at Eponymous. The committee was inspired by the thoughtfulness of all the applications and by the commitment to dance in Toronto. They look forward to the learning being shared through the YEAR 1
participants.

The 16 selected artists were further assessed, looking at their presenting experience. 10 final participants were chosen considering where they ranked in the artist’s selection as well as their presenting experience.

At the end of YEAR 1, a roundtable, open to the Toronto dance community at large, on the subject of national and international touring, will take place with the YEAR 1 participants. During this roundtable, learning will be shared with the community at large. This roundtable will be organized through Choreographers’ Network – Toronto and will allow Toronto artists to receive information from the YEAR 1 participants and ask them questions about their experience through this initiative.

Our vision is still in progress. We were able to only fund 10 artists / presenters this year, and it was important for the initiative’s success that the chosen participants have a strong artistic, touring and presenting profile in order to manoeuvre around the international scene successfully. Our desire is to build a solid project that, with time, will be able to support a larger number of Toronto dance artists and presenters.

If you have questions regarding Toronto Dance Showcase, please contact Sylvie Bouchard at: sylvie@duskdances.ca.

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