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Looking back on the Festival

The shorter days and cooler air are upon us and as I sit here at my desk in my thick socks and wool sweater the festival seems far away. It’s hard to believe that only three short weeks ago we were in summer dresses and cowboy hats line-dancing in front of the Betty Oliphant theatre for dance: made in canada/fait au canada’s ninth season. It was an incredible week and went off without a hitch, receiving rave reviews from critics and audience members. So many highlights, it’s hard to name them all but let’s revisit a few, take a little jog down memory lane shall we?

Tina Fushell and Kate Franklin lead  the crowd in the all-Canadian, contemporary flavoured Dance-a-line-with-me in the courtyard of the Betty Oliphant Theatre. This is a high profile line dance: dance celebrities Peggy Baker, Sylvain Brochu, Laurence Lemieux, Denise Duric and Yvonne Ng, among others join in! Kenny Pearl looks on.

Jacob Niedzwiecki set up shop in the basement of the theatre with his interactive film project Ego Echo. Audience members became part of this piece that played with technology and perspective.

Keiko Ninomiya is awarded the Paula Citron Award for choreography for her work Kanan-Kiri. “This seductive piece was gorgeous from both a choreographic and theatrical perspective.” Paula Citron

I’m introduced to Lina Cruz, both the woman and her work, Soupe de Jour, and am blown away by the work, dancers, and all technical aspects. I also take ballet class with Lina: my first ballet class in too many years to count. Thrilling and slightly embarrassing all at once. Amazing woman. Definite highlight.

The Late-Night Series What you See is What you Get has it’s first season at 11 p.m. Friday and Saturday nights. Dancing in Sylvie Bouchard’s new work La vie was a personal highlight and we were thrilled when Paula Citron gave the piece a special mention in her Toronto Star review!

Michael Caldwell and Seth Ruggles Hiler hang out at Seth’s exhibit of original charcoal drawings. Their collaboration for Ash Unravel was stunning. Michael’s performance, also a highlight.

Me with the dance: made in canada/fait au canada team. Being part of the team working behind the scenes was an amazing learning experience and deepened my sense of pride in being a part of the event.

And of course what good is all the hard work if we can’t enjoy it over a beer or two at a party or two? And party we did, at the opening night reception, donor reception, post-shows, and finally at the Blake House for our closing night bash.

It was an amazing ride and I know we all can’t wait for the next one!

Best,
Mairéad

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