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Press Release 2017

Press Release 2017


dance: made in canada / fait au canada Festival presents contemporary artists from across Canada

August 17 – 20, 2017 Betty Oliphant Theatre

Tickets on Sale June 1

Toronto, ON (March 2, 2017) – Festival Artistic Director Yvonne Ng, Co-Festival Directors Janelle Rainville and Jeff Morris, alongside guest curators Danièle Desnoyers and Marc Parent, are pleased to announce the programming for the 2017 dance: made in canada/fait au canada Festival (d:mic/fac), running August 17 – 20. Presented by princess productions, over two dozen artists will be seen at the Betty Oliphant Theatre in Toronto in three different programs: Mainstage What You See Is What You Get (WYSIWYG) and Arts Encounters.

Tickets go on sale June 1 for the fourth edition of this lauded biennial festival of Canadian contemporary dance works (which launched in 2011, starting as a series in 2001) and will be available on the d:mic/fac website at

The d:mic/fac Festival MainStage Series consists of three different series totalling nine unique Canadian dance works, including three world premieres, by an exceptional list of contemporary artists:

Parent Series

  • Ebnflōh Dance Company (Montreal) performs Complexe R (TORONTO PREMIERE), choreographed by Artistic Director Alexandra Landé. In a society where we are constantly trying to surpass our personal limits we must ask ourselves if our collective conscience is taking a dive. Can we resist the excesses of modern life or will they end up permanently scarring our mental health? This question that Complexe R asks, in a work for a quintet of street dancers, alludes to the “reptilian brain” (Rcomplex), responsible for species typical instinctual behaviours involved in aggression, dominance, territoriality and ritual displays. This work explores the complexities, limits and obsessions of everyday life. Landé’s ongoing quest to decompartmentalize and to reorder dance hierarchies has resulted in choreographies greatly influenced by urban street dance – particularly by Hip Hop.
  • Mocean Dance (Halifax) performs Live from the Flash Pan (TORONTO PREMIERE), a solo commissioned by the company from independent choreographer Cory Bowles. Live From the Flash Pan is entertaining – and challenging. Mocean dancer Rhonda Baker captures the angst of a disillusioned bar singer in this theatrical, provocative piece that is both character study and statement. She is wild, sensual, and on the edge of collapse.
  • Vanessa Goodman/Action at a Distance (Vancouver) performs her solo Container (TORONTO PREMIERE) a direct reference to her body as a container of identity and an inherited cultural past. But there is also a more literal meaning where the container represents an actual lack of freedom. How the mind and body copes with incarceration, especially in unjust cases, is fascinating to examine. What parts of one’s self can be retained under these circumstances? When everything else has been taken from a person, is the thing that keeps us human something as simple as a memory of our past?

Marc Parent: “I was surprised and flattered by the invitation to curate a program in the 2017 d:mic/fac Festival. I have been lighting dance since the ’80s and I’ve had front row seats to the creation process. Over time, through exchanges with numerous artists and encounters with a diversity of artistic proposals, I’ve become a more literate viewer, both as an insider and an outsider. It is with this combined perspective of audience and designer, following my instinct and my heart – as I do in lighting design – that I guided my selection of these works.

Vanessa Goodman (Action at a Distance) has a singular physicality. Corey Bowles and Rhonda Baker (Mocean Dance) directly address the audience with a rock n’ roll vibe, charging us through their work. Ebnflōh Dance Company weaves street and contemporary dance together with freshness and energy. From solo to solo to group piece, from Vancouver to Halifax to Montréal, follow your instincts, follow your heart.”

Desnoyers Series

  • Compagnie ODD/Yvonne Coutts (Ottawa) brings The Eventual DeExpression of RGS2 (TORONTO PREMIERE), a reflection on the nature of gene expression and environmental influences. The duet, choreographed by Compagnie ODD Artistic Director Yvonne Coutts, integrates images imprinted from the psyche. A lone female dancer, Kay Kenney, walks an uncertain path while being provoked by a musician (Jesse Stewart on percussion). Trust and balance surface.
  • Alias Dance Project (Toronto) performs the way we are (WORLD PREMIERE), choreographed and directed by Artistic Director Lauren Cook and company member Francesca Chudnoff for an ensemble of five dancers. Is the way we are a true representation of who we are, or are we simply playing different roles in different environments, chameleons to our surroundings? Our behaviour has been forcefully shaped by institutionalized learning, commercialism, classism and other factors since the day we were able to digest information. Cook and Chudnoff take it back to the way we were, “when our personalities were uninhibited, raw, excited, self-serving and truthfully connected.”
  • Sasha Kleinplatz’s (Montreal) Chorus II (TORONTO PREMIERE) delivers a very personal work and lifts the veil on the vulnerability of the male body. Rooted in the swaying movements practiced by Jewish men during prayer, Chorus II transforms an ancient ritual into a cathartic series of gestures, the cornerstone of a gripping piece of choreography. A spiritual quest and connection to a higher form of energy, Chorus II is a metaphor for surpassing oneself. Laden with nostalgia and sadness, this ensemble work for six men demonstrates great physicality. Athletic bodies, vigorous gestures and brisk percussion move the show along with frenzied energy. Chorus II had sold out runs at the Cinquieme Salle Danse Danse series in 2014, and at the MAI in 2012.
  • Danièle Desnoyers: “What do Alias Dance Projects, Yvonne Coutts and Sasha Kleinplatz have in common? At first sight – nothing much. But if we consider them more closely, we realize that they are each deeply embedded in their respective communities. These artists are makers, teachers, event instigators, designers of shared spaces and more. They embody pathways moving beyond choreography and into the world. Their work is sensitive to the present and deeply personal. Each proposal is carried with aplomb by a committed artistic team with different generations of some of the most active performers in Canada. They are inspiring!”

Morrison/Ng Series

  • Marie-Josée Chartier (Toronto) choreographs a large ensemble of 14 dancers in Crépuscule (TORONTO PREMIERE). This visually arresting work is inspired by the music of Canada’s Linda Smith, where images of large birds and other creatures in quiet processions are interrupted by sharp quick bursts of movements. The work begins with an overture of breath from the performers in rhythmic patterns. Just as birds come to swarm together at dusk, so do we come together to connect, find warmth and solidarity.
  • Hanna Kiel/Human Body Expression (Toronto) creates an ensemble work for seven dancers: Welcome to our home (WORLD PREMIERE). This non-narrative work focuses on the complications of family and the drama it can’t help but create. “Growing up in a large family surrounded by many older relatives and cousins, we had so many birthday parties, anniversaries and family holidays. Every time we gathered, we experienced family gossip, the awkward tension between relatives and the same old complaints. Always resulting in arguments, tears and We hate and love each other all at the same time.” 
  • Naomi Brand (Vancouver) performs her solo Messages to an Audience (WORLD PREMIERE). This work grew out of her questioning the abstract language of contemporary dance and a desire to address the vast gulf between performer and viewer. It very simply and specifically addresses a fundamental intent of performance. “This solo challenges me to both examine and address my feelings about the act of performing. It is derived from experimenting with images and occurrences that reference the real time connection between the active and passive roles that make the theatre event.”

Yvonne Ng: “Each of these three works speak to me about community. In Marie-Josée’s work, flocks of dancers turn in an instant; each dancer in constant communication with everyone on stage. Hanna’s new creation is inspired by family which is the basic element of community. The individual is constantly trying to find balance between their obligation to self and to the family. Naomi, a single dancer on a bare stage teaches us that we, the audience, are in community with the performers. We have different roles to play, but we are all one community defined by choice, proximity and a shared experience. From a large group work with a flock of dancers, to the family where the tension of the individual is what propels it forward, and finally a solo dancer on a bare stage connecting directly with the audience.                                                                                   

Lottery-drawn Late Night Series – What You See Is What You Get (WYSIWYG)

d:mic/fac Festival’s WYSIWYG features Angela Blumberg (Toronto), Blue Ceiling dance/Lucy Rupert (Toronto), Anne-Flore de Rochambeau (Montreal), Good Women Dance Collective (Edmonton) and Jasmyn Fyffe Dance as part of its late-night programme.

Arts Encounters Series

Curated by Yvonne Ng, this programming animates the festival venue from August 17-20. Featured artists will create an array of interdisciplinary work that responds to the festival’s MainStage programming. Artists include: Susan Kendal (Barrie), Luke Garwood (Toronto) creates Exquisite Corpse, a digital dance work where content and choreography is built dynamically by a community of people and Cara Spooner (Toronto) creates a community dance piece. Dancefilms, curated by Kathleen Smith, will be featured throughout the festival.

Additional programming, schedule and ticketing information will be available June 1 on the dance: made in canada/fait au canada website at

Festival Curators

A leading figure in Quebec contemporary dance, Danièle Desnoyers has made her mark with an art in which dance, the visual arts and music converge. Since 1989, Danièle Desnoyers has created some fifteen works for her company, Le Carré des Lombes. Her works have received the support of numerous partners, including Agora de la danse, Danse Danse, Festival TransAmériques and the Musée d’art contemporain de Montreal, National Arts Centre and Canada Dance Festival in Ottawa, Rencontres chorégraphiques internationales Seine-Saint-Denis and Théâtre National de Chaillot in Paris, Baryshnikov Arts Center in New York, Cultuurcentrum Brugge in Belgium. She joined the dance faculty at Université du Québec à Montréal in 2012.

For over twenty-five years, Marc Parent has been a lighting designer. Initially specialized in contemporary dance, he has worked with dozens of choreographers, both on Québec and international stages (Danièle Desnoyers, Jocelyne Montpetit, José Navas, Daniel Léveillé, Lucie Grégoire, etc.). He has also worked frequently for the theatre with various directors including Denis Marleau, Martin Faucher and François Girard. He has also been lighting designer for different international choreographers of contemporary ballet such as Kader Belarbi (La bête et la belle), Mauro Bigonzetti (Les quatre saisons), Didy Veldman (TooT/Le petit prince) and Stijn Cellis (Noces/Cendrillon/Le sacre du printemps). Marc Parent has received two nominations for a Masque de conception d’éclairages by l’Académie québécoise du théâtre (a lighting design prize) and a 2013 Dora Mavor Moore Award for Outstanding Lighting Design for Stereophonic, presented by Toronto’s Peggy Baker Dance Projects. He is designer in residence for Les Grands Ballets Canadiens de Montréal.

Yvonne Ng is a dancer, choreographer, presenter, arts educator and founding artistic director of princess productions since 1995 which supports the work of two divisions: tiger princess dance projects (1995) for Yvonne Ng’s activities as a performer, choreographer, teacher and producer; and dance: made in canada / fait au canada (2001), a presenting division that produces a biennial festival of contemporary Canadian dance works. Ng is a certified Open Source Forms (Stephanie Skura/U.S.A.), C-I Training™ and Ashtanga Yoga teacher. She is a recipient of the 2016 Jacqueline Lemieux Prize, Soulpepper Community Arts Award, K.M. Hunter Artist Award, New Pioneers Arts Award, Chalmers Arts Fellowship and a Dora Award for Outstanding Performance (Ensemble). In 2007, she received the Ontario Premier’s Award for Excellence in the Arts – New Talent Award.

dance: made in canada / fait au canada Festival

presented by princess productions

August 17 – 20, 2017

at Toronto’s Betty Oliphant Theatre, 404 Jarvis St, Toronto, ON M4Y 2G6

Tickets on Sale June 1 at

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Media contact: Dianne Weinrib – DW Communications          / 416-703-5479

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