2015 Guelph Dance Festival

In the Park

Frog in Hand

Mississauga, Ontario

Café Noisette 2014

Choreographed by Colleen Snell, in collaboration with the dancers

It’s 1920, and gangsters swagger into a café. Chaos ensues as servers flirt with danger, suited men pick fights, and the locals erupt into energetic dancing based on the Charleston, swing, and jive. Inspired by the speakeasy atmosphere and the Jazz Age, Café Noisette is full of surprises. The performance re-creates the tension and excitement of this era with dance, theatre, stage combat, thematic music, and period costumes.

Helen Simard

Montreal, Quebec

On the Subject of Compassion 2011

Choreographed by Helen Simard

On June 1st, 2011, iconic Canadian dancer Margie Gillis was “interviewed” on a private “news” program. The interviewer tried to belittle Ms. Gillis, and attacked her for receiving public funding to create art. As a choreographer, this interview triggered a number of questions concerning my responsibility and contribution to the world. What is the place of art in society? How can art bring people together, and open up dialogues on current events? How can we be honest, vulnerable, and compassionate in a fiercely competitive, dog-eat-dog world? On the Subject of Compassion is an attempt to answer these questions.

Toy Guns Dance Theatre

Edmonton, Alberta

Bright Lights, Cold Water (Watching Netflix at 3am Questioning Your Mortality) 2014

Choreographed by Jake Hastey

Performed by 12 multi-faceted artists, Bright Lights, Cold Water explores the complexities of relationships from growth to decline, and the moment where you start to wonder whether the person you are with is truly the one. This piece is the darkness, the light, and the game of Go Fish that was reflected on (do you have any fours…?) that fateful evening (no… go fish). “Awe-inspiring vigour and physical invention” (Edmonton Journal).

Dasein Dance Theatre

London, Ontario

Emergence 2012

Choreographed by Lacey Smith

Emergence follows four baby birds as they emerge from the warmth of their shells into the world and begin their journey of growth, interconnectivity, and adaptation. Their endearing development through the in-between inspires strength, resilience, and close bonds that prepare them for the moment leading up to their first flight.

Dance Market – Saturday

The marketplace features dance and martial arts studios, physiotherapists, movement practitioners, and much more. Teachers, performers, mentors, healers, musicians, individuals and studios, will display and demonstrate their talents, as well as providing a chance to network with newcomers and veterans of the local dance community. 

Nia with Janet Ragan
Children’s Dance with Guelph Youth Dance Training Program
Yoga with Living Yoga and Health
Locamotion Challenge with Skillz Movement Studio
Archetypal Movements for Development with Joan Agosta
Rhythms of Resistance with Amber Sherwood-Robinson
Natural Rhythms with Embodied Healing Counselling Services

Dance Market – Sunday

Come and try a variety of dance and movement forms offered by local schools and movement centres. Take the plunge into physical expression, fitness and well-being. Each workshop will be a 10 or 15-minute taste only. Please be sure to bring a water bottle, clothes you can move in, and shoes for the concrete surface. Celebrate your dance, quench your thirst for physical practice!

Nia with Janet Ragan
Children’s Dance with Guelph Youth Dance Training Program
Yoga with Living Yoga and Health
Gyrokinesis with Janet Johnson
Locamotion Challenge with Skillz Movement Studio
Archetypal Movements for Development with Joan Agosta
Pilates with Katie Ewald
Rhythms of Resistance with Amber Sherwood-Robinson
Stretch Your Boundaries (Physiotherapy) with Heather Finn

On the Stage

Margie Gillis Dance Foundation

Montreal, Quebec

Florilège 2014

Choreographed by Margie Gillis

To celebrate the 40th anniversary of her career as a choreographer and soloist, Margie Gillis has composed a veritable bouquet of choreographic works. Florilège is a journey through time that provides a brief overview of some of her most emblematic works. Without shying away from the raw or, at times, primitive and instinctive tenor that characterizes these dance poems, here Margie presents a new interpretation of her work, enriched by the veneer of maturity that comes with age and experience of the dancing body. “In 20 years I have seen no-one who comes close to her extraordinary artistry as a solo performer” (San Francisco Chronicle).

Rhonda Baker

Halifax, Nova Scotia

Nutshell 2014

Choreographed by Sharon Moore

Nutshell is a work made for Rhonda Baker that utilizes her sensuality, technical prowess, and emotional depth. We witness the tied up, unfinished ends, unrelenting emotional reverberations, and the “I wish I had said that”, phrases of the heart. Nutshell had it’s world premiere in Halifax through Live Art Dance Productions in April 2014, where the performance received accolades from audience members and press alike, “Baker stunning in season ender…”

Tony Chong Danse

Montreal, Quebec

Désillusions de l’Enchantement 2011

Choreographed by Tony Chong

La Belle au Bois Dormant (Sleeping Beauty)
This trio explores sexual awakening and transformation. By concentrating on a girl’s development into womanhood, Sleeping Beauty is about her sexual discovery and empowerment. The original story’s puritan view is discarded here as the sexually-charged seductive games between the princess and her two male suitors are heightened.

Le Petit Chaperon Rouge (Little Red Riding Hood), Excerpt
This hauntingly hypnotic duet questions the role and intention of its two protagonists. Is Little Red Riding Hood the victim or is she really the provocateur who is testing her sexual powers on the predator wolf? Is Little Red Riding Hood’s budding sexuality, curiosities, and seductive power leading this dance?

Julia Garlisi

Guelph, Ontario

Piece for the Year 1981 2015

Choreographed by Julia Garlisi

The choreography of Piece for the Year 1981 uses the haunting piano composition of Lauri Vainmaa to communicate a narrative of challenge and uncertainty. This solo dance is a journey to find and accept personal authenticity. Though physical and technical by nature, the piece has a strong narrative understory, with images of strength and defeat that define the dancer throughout the choreography. We are so pleased to present such a talented local artist on our mainstage!

Tentacle Tribe

Montreal, Quebec

Nobody Likes a Pixelated Squid 2014

Choreographed by Emmanuelle Lê Phan & Elon Höglund

In a delectable fusion of music and movement, Tentacle Tribe invents a geometry of harmonious urban contemporary dance that they call “conceptual hip-hop” or “deconstructed street dance” that is inspired by the fluid movements of diverse land and sea creatures. The duo first presented Nobody Likes a Pixelated Squid at Stockholm’s Dansens Hus and to sold-out houses at the Canadian premiere at Place-Des-Arts. Now a not-to-be-missed event here in Guelph!

Jody Oberfelder Projects

New York City, USA

The Brain Piece 2015

Choreographed by Jody Oberfelder

The Brain Piece is a choreographed experience that bridges art and science. Examining perception and proprioception – how neurons that wire together fire together – Jody Oberfelder Projects allows audiences to shine a light on their own thinking process, inspiring connections within the thinking body. Science and art lead us to connect with and experience the world. The Brain Piece gives audiences agency to engage in the ‘dance of neurons’ going on in ones head all the time. This is a culmination of a residency with local artists, so come see some familiar faces!

Katie Ewald

Guelph, Ontario

ReCalibrate 2015

Choreographed by Jasmin McGraw, Simon Portigal, and Lynette Segal with Janet Morton

“How can we make the audience a partner in adventure instead of a consumer?” – Frie Leysen

Katie Ewald asked dance-makers Jasmin McGraw, Simon Portigal, and Lynette Segal to re-imagine and re-construct a recent work that they have each performed in an intimate setting and to adapt it to the context of the formal atmosphere of Stage B. She has given the artists the directive to expand their work from the initial idea into something bigger, and they have accepted the challenge. What connects all of the works is their strong conceptual basis, and the fact that none of the pieces use ‘music,’ but rather sound design or text. What it will be is still unknown, but it’s sure to be compelling.

In the Studio 

Portal Dance Project

Guelph, Ontario

The Hands of the Beautiful Swimmers 1997

Choreographed by Janet Johnson

The Hands of the Beautiful Swimmers involves three diverse performers in collaboration with the exquisite poetry of Kingston poet/writer Steven Heighton. The timeless text and provocative dance suggests a loss but also perhaps a sharp and poignant moment in time. This ghostly dance is inspired by the notion of power and forgiveness found in the act of surrendering: through memory, love, decay, and renewal.


Dancing from the Inside Out with Margie Gillis

This workshop supports participants to discover the wisdom of their bodies as well as to connect with the curiosity and awe that initiates and inspires movement.

With gentle mediation we open to the exploration of the body in motion to deepen our understanding of health, communication, and the development of creativity. With supported curiosity, the participants are sensitized to the links between their thoughts, emotions, and body. The emphasis is placed on the natural kinetic process, and on how our “inner landscape” is naturally expressed in the muscles through movement. By listening to the body’s intelligence, we will begin to dance from the inside out.

Conceptual Hip Hop with Tentacle Tribe

Elon & Emmanuelle, founders of Tentacle Tribe, have through years of experience as professional dancers (Cirque du Soleil, Rubberbandance, B-boyIZM, Cirque Eloize) developed a unique approach to dance by fusing diverse movement philosophies from a wide variety of techniques.

In this workshop, we will draw concepts from different street styles such as Popping and Breaking from a contemporary viewpoint to expand our vocabulary with an eye to an increased level of body awareness and movement consciousness. Through geometrical shapes we will explore the capacity for the human body to inhabit multiple planes of space. Protective gear such as knee pads, shoes, and hat recommended. Dance without boundaries!

Scroll to Top