2014 Guelph Dance Festival

In the Park

Hidden Heart Collective

Guelph, Ontario

Counterpoise 2014

Choreographed by Meghan MacNeil & Mistyna Wilcock

Counterpoise explores the on-going journey of finding and restoring precious balance. The piece investigates both the physical act of bodies balancing weight and the act of balancing all of the many aspects of the human experience, including the dynamics of balance within relationships.

Counterpoise attempts to discover a perfect physical, mental, and spiritual harmony by summarizing the elusive balance that many people strive for in everyday life.

Human Playground

Montreal, Quebec

Auto-Fiction 2009

Choreographed by Milan Gervais

Embedded into public space, Auto-Fiction features two dancers and an automobile. They walk, run, roll over, propel, and fall on this car composing a choreographic track between dance and urban acrobatics. Auto-Fiction is a descent at full speed. It explores the multiple relationships we maintain with our cars ranging from fatal accidents to travel stories, channeling from the worlds of road trip movies and traffic reports. Auto-Fiction’s poetic power evokes one’s imagination and personal responsibility.

Across Oceans

Toronto, Ontario

Untitled 2014

Choreographed by Maxine Heppner

This new work was created in the past two weeks by a community of performers specifically for Guelph’s Exhibition Park, facilitated with choreography by Maxine Heppner.

Across Oceans creates opportunities for artists and the public to explore the collaborative experience of artmaking, whether its in conventional theatres, galleries, and studios or unconventional settings such as wading pools, historic sites, formal salons, breweries, hilltops, harbours, and rice fields.

Guelph Youth Dance Company

Guelph, Ontario

In an orderly fashion 2013

Choreographed by Julia Garlisi

Mix Mix Dance Collective

Toronto, Ontario


Choreographed by Emily Law & Ashley Perez

JACK YOUR BODY investigates issues of race, gender, and class by blending genres of dance including waacking, voguing, hip hop, and house with contemporary concepts. The cast will pose, strut, waack, and jack their way through Paradise Garage, Soul Train, and more.

JACK YOUR BODY is inspired in part by the history of gender-bending inherent in waacking and voguing, two dance forms created by gay men who were also ethnic minorities in clubs in L.A. and Rikers Island. Though originally created by men, both dances fall into stereotypically-female body positions and movements. The result is an interesting fusion of gender-bending that came about through imitation of famous female movie stars and models like Marilyn Monroe or Greta Garbo while socializing with others through movement and dance.

On the Stage

Mocean Dance

Halifax, Nova Scotia

A leash for two hounds 2013

Choreographed by Lesandra Dodson

A leash for two hounds explores male/female coupling in an untraditional manner, focusing on the relationship between man and animal. An animated pursuit, it touches on survival of the fittest and plays with action/reaction patterns, illustrating shifts in power between man versus animal. The audience is rarely allowed to see the dancers’ faces, serving to narrow the focus on the nuance and subtlety of the dancers’ performance.

Sinha Danse

Montreal, Quebec

Hi5 Lo5 wifi takka takka dhim 2011

Choreographed by Roger Sinha

Hi5 Lo5 wifi takka takka dhim, a dialogue for four dancers, is a piece about intolerance, bullying, and cyber-bullying. The piece originally stemmed from the experiences of the choreographer when he arrived in Canada in 1968 as a young immigrant of colour. Much of it is autobiographical. The piece also reflects contemporary society’s obsession with smart phones and social media, so prevalent in our daily life, particularly for teenagers.

By combining contemporary dance, Indian dance, and martial arts, Roger Sinha is taking a more universal approach and going beyond his own personal experiences

Shannon Litzenberger Contemporary Dance

Toronto, Ontario

Everyday Marvels 2013

Choreographed by Shannon Litzenberger, Robert Abubo, Julia Aplin, Susie Burpee, Valerie Calam, Marie-Josée Chartier, Peter Chin & Dan Wild

Named one of the top 15 things to see at Nuit Blanche by both Toronto Life and The Globe and Mail, Shannon Litzenberger’s Everyday Marvels is an episodic performance installation based on Governor General Award-winning poet Lorna Crozier’s “The Book of Marvels – A compendium of everyday things”. Everyday Marvels brings to life the objects we too often take for granted…a flashlight, spoons, a radiator.

Directed by Shannon Litzenberger, in collaboration with Susie Burpee and Marie-Josée Chartier, Everyday Marvels features thirteen short vignettes, performed by over 25 professional and community-based dancers, including an enthusiastic team of bankers from the Royal Bank of Canada’s premiere dance group – The Mobile Assets.

In the Studio

Jessica Runge

Toronto, Ontario

at once (im)possible 2014

Choreographed by Heidi Strauss, in collaboration with Jessica Runge and Brendan Wyatt

at once (im)possible is part of a collection of works commissioned by Jessica Runge. These commissions are each a different re-mix of a solo work created by Runge in 2010, called the Possibility Dance. In at once (im)possible, the original solo is transformed into a duet. The other commissioned choreographers are Susie Burpee (Toronto), Deborah Dunn (Montreal), and Susanna Hood (Montreal). The collection of works will be presented as part of Runge’s 2014/15 season.

MOonhORsE Dance Theatre

Toronto, Ontario

Beside You 2013

Choreographed by Susanna Hood

The work is based on a poem of the same name by P.K. Page and integrates voice, body, set, and sound design to bring the choreographer’s vision to life. To create the solo, Hood was inspired by Moore’s “subtle and breath-taking artistry” and by the concept of a duet, with one person absent.

Susanna Hood’s Beside You is a solo tour de force for dance icon Claudia Moore “contrasting Moore’s natural elegance – a red blouse sets off her beautifully long arms – with the fierce animal energy contained in her lithe body.” Glenn Sumi, NOW

Local Initiatives

Katie Ewald

Guelph, Ontario

Disappearing Geography 2008

Choreographed by Katie Ewald

“Architects are known as psychic geographers – they measure possible interactions between humans and space.” Sheryda Warrener, Curio

Set in an unadorned space, this is an ode to the architecture that is present in the room and to the state of being alone on stage. The dancer draws her body into the space in an effort to give agency to the architecture.

Like a tuning fork, the dancer attempts with each gesture to make these architectural acts visible. The viewer oscillates between the single body in space: how it borders that which is not her, and how the edges and surfaces contain or stand apart from her. This dance is her negotiation with solitude.

Lynette Segal and Steph Yates

Guelph, Ontario

Echo 2014

Choreographed by Lynette Segal and Steph Yates

This new work explores the two-way transmission of an unfolding event. A responsive, shifting ‘lead and follow’ is injected into patterns and sequences across this series of duets in both movement and sound.

After Omeros by Derek Walcott:
He saw with his ears.

a sixth sense,
like the moon without an hour or second hand
saw it unclench the fists
rippling with the river

of the full moon.

Adrienne Spier

Guelph, Ontario

Dance Floor 2014

Choreographed by Robert Kingsbury

In addition to these two performances, witness a collaboration between dancer/choreographer Robert Kingsbury and visual artist Adrienne Spier, in conjunction with the Guelph Dance Festival.  Spier has re-constructed a floor, which heaves and buckles, made from locally sourced discarded parquet. Kingsbury will negotiate this unpredictable, moving surface with his body. This will take place on the 2nd floor of the Boarding House, in the Arts Incubator Residency.

Tim Wilson

Halifax, Nova Scotia

To Make Ends Meet (Film Screening)

To Make Ends Meet is a short film by Halifax-based director Tim Wilson. It explores the relationship between the installation and performance work of contemporary artist Vida Simon and the local community of Tilting, Fogo Island, Newfoundland. This film is co-presented by the Festival of Moving Media, in collaboration with the Fab 5.

Youth Moves

Contemporary School of Dance

Waterloo, Ontario

in my heart 2013

Choreographed by Heather Roy-Kleihauer

in my heart lives a dance waiting to be danced and love waiting to be found. Joy and closeness are expressed in a vignette of pieces, woven with friendship and a desire to love. Many thanks to Heather Roy-Kleihauer for creating this work for our company dancers!

Dasein Dance School

London, Ontario

Abandon 2013

Choreographed by Louis Labergé-Côte

Abandon is a non-narrative abstract work created in close collaboration with the dancers in a very short amount of time. Several physical ideas and images were explored through improvisations, games, and choreographic tasks. Before we knew it, a dark, cold, poetic, and mysterious world came to life. We hope you enjoy the journey…

Guelph Youth Dance Company

Guelph, Ontario

High Tide 2012

Choreographed by Jordana Deveau

Created on and for young dancers, High Tide takes the viewer on a dizzying physical and emotional journey that explores the notion of home, the theme of loss, and the power of community. High Tide was created to honour the strength, perseverance, courage, and memory of the choreographer’s grandmother, Edith Galdy, whose style, stories, and photographs provide her with endless inspiration. Special thanks to the original cast, the 2012 Grade 10 class at Alexander Mackenzie High School, whose contributions were essential to the creation of the work.

Creative Children’s Dance Centre Inc.

Toronto, Ontario

Pour 2002

Choreographed by Mairead Filgate

A portrait of an imaginary rain storm comes to life. Greatly inspired by the contrasting music of Rene Aubrey, Tom Waits, and Johann Sebastian Bach, this physical and dynamic group work moves from heavy weightedness to the ethereal, while the dancers are caught in a mysterious inner landscape of reverie.

no. 369 Collective

Orangeville, Ontario

Go Slowly 2014

Choreographed by Kerri-Ann Hutton

Go Slowly was inspired by the Hans Christian Andersen story “Little Match Girl”. In a time of desperation and neglect, a young girl slips from this life into the next. Unsure of where to go, souls/spirits of other children help to guide and support her, showing her the way to peaceful refuge through the light, and encouraging her to “go slowly” on her way.

Renaissance School of the Arts Dance Company

Waterloo, Ontario

Mad World 2013

Choreographed by Deanne Bingleman

Unable to exist without a constant gadget connection, where age has no boundaries, we are propelling through this world of digital moments captured but never actually experienced, taking human interaction out of the equation for relationships. After a visit to the packed food court of a mall, where all was silent except for the sounds of fryers and hundreds of texting hands, the choreographer felt compelled to bring it to life through dance in hopes of reawakening the “human interaction” in us again.

Carousel Dance Company

Waterloo, Ontario

Hi, my name is 2013

Choreographed by Lauren Runions

Guest choreographer, Lauren Runions, was inspired by the dancers when she created Hi, my name is. During their first rehearsal together, the dancers introduced themselves with ‘hi, my name is…” followed by a history of their dancing. The piece is about meeting someone for the first time and getting to know them. A special thank you to Lauren for coming to Waterloo to create this work.

Perpetual Motion Youth Company, Swansea School of Dance, and YMI Dancing

Cambridge and Toronto, ON

BliP 2014

Choreographed by Julia Aplin

BLiP is a about biodiversity, evolution, and the interconnectedness of all things. The work is a collaboration between YMI Dancing, Swansea School of Dance, and Perpetual Motion Youth Company. BLiP is about creating connections, appreciating differences, and understanding how all living things need each other. Quirky costumes designed by Appleberry Ink abstractly represent different species. The music of Hans Reichel, featuring the unusual daxophone instrument, accompanies the dancers as they create moments of unity and express their individual creativity. A “blip” is “something that is small that does not last a long time”. This piece celebrates the profound importance of each blip of life in our world.


JACK YOUR BODY Fusion Class with Mix Mix Dance Collective

Mix Mix Dance Collective is outrageous, fierce, and thoughtful in their investigation of diversity in movement, music and art practice. In this class, the ladies of JACK YOUR BODY will blend some of the different dance styles featured in the show, including waacking, vogueing, house, and hip hop. Taught by Ashley Perez and Emily Law.

The artists of Mix Mix Dance Collective have been training, performing, teaching, and competing in various street dance forms for more than 10 years. They are now ready to share their love of these underrepresented dance forms with a wider audience.

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