From our Artistic Director:
Welcome to a new school year, and to our new e-newsletter! We’ve been busy since September, with a terrific new group of dancers entering the program in first year. We are now gearing up for our December performances, IMPULSE 2011 – please join us. And do check out our newly re-designed website – we hope you like it!
Patricia Fraser, Artistic Director
News & Events
The School of Toronto Dance Theatre presents an ambitious main-stage performance of ensemble works, showcasing dancers from all three years of the Professional Training Program.
IMPULSE 2011 is your chance to see tomorrow’s contemporary dancers today!
WHEN: December 1, 2, 3, and 8, 9, 10, 2011. All performances start at 8:00 pm. Doors open at 7:30 pm.
WHERE: The Winchester Street Theatre, 80 Winchester Street, Toronto
TICKETS: $19 General Admission, $15 Students/Seniors/CADA Members (All prices include HST)
For more information or to purchase tickets in advance, please click here, call 416-967-6887, or email email@example.com
Faculty profile - Marc Boivin
The School is thrilled to welcome Marc Boivin as our guest artist and choreographer this month. A generous and prolific dancer whose career has spanned nearly 25 years, Boivin has worked and performed in Quebec, Canada, and abroad.
Parallel with his work as a dancer, Boivin has pursued a very active teaching career since 1987, when he joined the faculty at one of our sister schools, LADMMI, l’école de danse contemporaine in Montreal. His approach to pedagogy is infused with the same passion that he brings to interpretation, and he is regularly called upon to teach and choreograph. As a teacher Boivin strives to draw each student’s attention to defining work tools and being available to the creative process from a technical and artistic perspective.
About creation, Boivin writes “The choices that lead to the creation of a work are meaningful. They possess a dynamic state that precedes the definition of things and that challenges awareness: ‘It makes me think of… It is as if… It refers to…’ Abstraction is a way to get to the vital essence of perception and to give it a new and sensible form, to embody it.”
While Boivin has evolved as a performer, giving shape and meaning to the languages of different choreographers, he has also developed a marked interest in creation. His fascination with human beings has nourished his desire to explore a choreographic vision and voice of his own. Boivin begins working with our second year students on November 14th to create a new work that will premiere at IMPULSE 2011 on December 1st.
In addition to his work as a dancer, teacher, and choreographer, Boivin is very much involved in the contemporary dance milieu, and he has played an influential role in its advocacy on the larger art scene. He has been President of Fondation Jean-Pierre Perreault since 2005, and was a member of the Conseil des arts de Montréal from 2006 to 2010. The members of the Regroupement québécois de la danse (RQD) general assembly elected Boivin as their President during the 26th annual meeting in October 2010.
The School is delighted to welcome back such an accomplished and esteemed member of the dance community. Boivin’s residency will be a highlight of the 2011/12 academic year.
To read more about Marc Boivin and his work, please visit www.marcboivin.ca
Student profile - Helen Cox
Helen Cox, a third-year student from Calgary, Alberta, heard about the School from one of her teachers at a summer intensive at the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater in New York. The following year, she applied to the School and participated in the February audition. After the audition, Helen knew she wanted to be a student in the Professional Training Program.
Over the past two and a half years, she has volunteered in a variety of capacities using her design background to help with student fundraising and decorating the space for the School’s annual Gala Fundraiser. She also helped spearhead a successful fundraising campaign, after a fire at a local high-rise building in St. Jamestown left many residents temporarily homeless.
At the School, Helen is learning how to fulfill all aspects of being a professional contemporary dancer. Different teachers have helped her develop the variety of skills she knows she’ll need to succeed. Rosemary James, rehearsal director and Graham faculty member, has elicited from her a physicality Helen did not know she possessed, while working with Julia Aplin to remount Serge Bennathan’s work Sable/Sand taught her how to be completely present in rehearsal and performance, and how to move in a calm and grounded manner.
Helen was very excited to be a part of the cast of students that performed Sable/Sand at the Abilities Arts Festival in The Neat Strange Music of Ahmed Hassan, an inspiring event at the Betty Oliphant Theatre, which honoured the life and musical genius of Hassan. Performing on a larger stage was a new experience for Helen, and it was a quote from Hassan that she used as motivation – “you can only perform who you are in that moment.”
With the final term of her studies at the School starting in January, Helen is looking forward to the Choreographic Workshop in February, and the third-year show of solo, duo, and small ensemble works in March. She is confident that at the end of the school year, she will have the knowledge, skills, and experience to take on the challenges of a career as a professional dancer.
Alumni Profile - Pulga Muchochoma
Pulga Muchochoma was born in Quelimane, Mozambique and it was fate that led him to a life in dance. Inspired by seeing the traditional African dance company, Montes Namuli, perform before a soccer match, Pulga immediately joined the company and began his training.
In 2006 the innovative theatre company, Shakespeare Link Canada, collaborated on an exciting project with Montes Namuli and hosted the company in Toronto in performances at the International AIDS Conference. On stage and in workshops Pulga was immediately identified as a gifted dancer with incredible potential, and he showed a keen interest in contemporary dance. In a leap of faith when Montes Namuli returned to Mozambique, Pulga stayed in Toronto to enroll in the School.
His progress through three years of training was nothing short of astounding. Pulga received assistance from the School’s bursary program, excelled in his training, and is now a company member with Toronto Dance Theatre.
In Pulga’s words:
I never realized that dance would have turned my life, and my family's, around the way it did.
When I left Africa for Canada, I never knew that I would attend a dance school and one day follow my dream. Thankfully, I was sponsored and realized that my dream was coming true. At the School, I didn't only learn about dance, but also learned to speak English. By being in an environment where the body was our language, I could communicate freely with my classmates. I am so thankful for those guys! The School kept us working hard and well organized and now all of the hard work is paying off. I am incredibly grateful for the people who have supported the School and am now happy to be contributing as a donor myself.
Pulga is one of three alumni featured in this year’s Annual Giving campaign. Consider supporting our scholarship and bursaries program so we can continue to welcome students like Pulga to the School and help them transform their lives.
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