dance Immersion presents a Movement In Time a celebration of Canada's 150th anniversary, highlighting the many voices of Canada’s rich dance legacy from the African Diaspora. This presentation celebrates a diverse roaster of artists revealing expressions that will resonate and inspire dance from within the fabric of Canada and its rich artistic community.
An explosive collection of work by seven Toronto companies– Ballet Creole, COBA, Esie Mensah Creations, Holla Jazz, KasheDance, Lua Shayenne Dance Company, and Shameka Blake – will grace the stage with works that include Jazz, Contemporary, African, and more.
Audiences will celebrate Canada's 150th by embarking on a total dance experience reflecting the many expressions of Canadian artists.
Choreographer/dancer Esie Mensah, named one of 100 Black Women to Watch in Canada in 2017, will be premiering a new work called I JUST WANT TO BE BEAUTIFUL which addresses shadeism in the Black community. A child of racism, shadeism is an an intra-racial form of discrimination based on the degree of skin tone rather than categories such as Black or White. Engrained since colonialism and slavery, shadeism divides the Black community. I JUST WANT TO BE BEAUTIFUL (part of a larger multi-media project called Shades of Blackness) focuses on skin bleaching; a world-wide epidemic that began so people could receive more access and better opportunity from having lighter skin.
Choreographer Shameka Blake (Artists in Motion) will present ASHES, a journey from the shores of Africa to the Americas recalling the legacy of her ancestors and their determination to rise to the status of human beings. and includes Readings from the Slave Narratives. Bridging cultural and societal gaps by bringing different styles of dance under the same roof, Shameka is committed to shedding light on current events and social injustice; educating and challenging her audiences to think critically; and empowering them to leave each show as fellow agents of social change.
KasheDance, under choreographer Kevin Ormsby, will be presenting BARAKA. Inspired by the award-wining documentary Boys of Baraka which followed a group of African-American at-risk boys from Baltimore attending an experimental boarding school in rural Kenya. (From the film: 61 percent of Baltimore's African-American boys fail to graduate from high school; 50 percent of them go straight on to jail. Behind these figures lies the grimmer realities of streets ruled by drug dealers, families fractured by addiction and prison and a public school system seemingly surrendered to uncontrolable chaos.) For KasheDance, BARAKA (meaning Blessings in Swahili) is an opportunity to reveal the Diasporic traditions that have survived over time, the ‘blessings’ the Transatlantic Slave trade has brought to the Western Hemisphere now rooted in Western culture. “I am an artist foremost who happens to be of African heritage…black is not what I am, it was a definition subscribed to me. If there is a tenant of truth in this statement, what would it be?” asks Ormsby.
Holla Jazz, under choreographer Natasha Powell, will be premiering NEKST, an investigation of African-American social dance practices - family social gatherings, basement parties, backyard barbeques - intersected with jazz, hip hop, and house to reinvigorate the idea of freedom and unity that bring meaning and hope to diverse Black communities.
Regular: $35 / 25
Student/Senior/CADA/Arts Industry: $20
Groups 10+: $18
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