2017 Guelph Dance Festival

In the Park


Toronto, Ontario

FACING Home: Love & Redemption (excerpts) 2015

Choreographed by Christopher Walker & Kevin A. Ormsby

FACING Home: Love & Redemption draws from the influences of reggae music, dancehall and Jamaican culture. Set to covers of Bob Marley’s music and the piece explores its global influence connection to larger social issues around stigma, misogyny, homophobia and hope.

Lisa Odjig

Toronto, Ontario

Hoop Dance 2017

Choreographed by Lisa Odjig

Lisa Odjig, two time world champion hoop dancer, performs the North American Native Hoop Dance, a storytelling and celebration dance where she spins and twirls through 17 hoops.

OURO Collective

Vancouver, British Columbia

PACE 2015-16

Choreographed by OURO Collective (Cristina Bucci, Rina Pellein, Dean Placzek, Maiko Miyauchi, Mark Siller, Antonio Somera)

Working within the themes of human connection/disconnection, and living in a dense urban environment, PACE is OURO Collective’s second creation. PACE is a unique hybrid of breaking, waacking, hip hop, popping and contemporary dance which explores each collective member’s personal relationship with anxiety, competition, suppression, and isolation.

Young Company of Halifax Dance & Guelph Youth Dance Company

Halifax, NS & Guelph, ON

Together We Rise: Adaptation of 15  for 15 2016

Choreographed by From Halifax: Jacinte Armstrong, Rhonda Baker, Cory Bowles. Susanne Chui, Sara Coffin. Rebecca Lazier from New York City, Sharon Moore from Toronto, and Lesandra Dodson from Fredericton.

15 for 15, originally created for Mocean Dance,  is composed of 15 one-minute works created by 15 choreographers set on 15 dancers. Brian Riley’s original music animates the production. Mocean polled the Halifax arts community to come up with single words to describe Atlantic Canada’s dance scene. With descriptors that include “resilient”, “savage”, and “blooming”, each short work reflects one of the high-octane adjectives and offers an engaging sample of each creator’s individual aesthetic. Together We Rise is an adaptation of the original 15 for 15 piece, created for the large-scale collaboration of some 40 young artists from both Halifax Dance’s The Young Company and the Guelph Youth Dance Company.

Sifu Robin Young

Guelph, Ontario

Fut Shan Lion Dance 2017

Choreographed by Sifu Robin Young

Sifu Young will lead the audience from dance to dance throughout the parks with the Southern Chinese “Fut Shan” Lion Dance. Traditionally, the lion dance is performed at festivals, Chinese New Year, business openings and weddings. It is a colourful, dynamic cultural tradition that is meant to bestow luck and fortune on all those in attendance. The dancers mimic mythical lion behaviours and emotions through physicality, manipulation of the facial expression of the lion and traditional music. They capture ferocity, curiosity, playfulness and fear in the telling of short stories of the lion’s adventures.

Dance Market

After the In the Park performances, get moving with local practitioners:

Georgia Simms, IMAGEO artworks
Janet Ragan, Nia Guelph
Yvonne Weiss, Talam57, Bharatanatyam
Janet Johnson, Gyrokinesis®
Jayelle Lindsay and Lisa GillOrme, Living Yoga & Health
Katie Ewald, Kinetic Pilates and Rehabilitation
Janet Lemon Williams, Dance Therapy
Sarah Jane Burton, Park’n Dance
Lindsay Gunn-Ouellette, Friends of the Floor
Monique ten Kortenaar, The Mitzvah Technique

On the Stage

Suzette Sherman

Guelph, Ontario

Three Musical Reflections & Falling into Footsteps 2017

Choreographed by Suzette Sherman

Three Musical Reflections: “Music summons stories from our lives” (David Earle). For me these beautiful pieces suggest the following. To Be Open speaks to the ever possible uncertainty in relationships. Thread Through Time is an offering to the power and beauty of enduring friendship. As It Is moves from disillusion to renewal. The music for Three Musical Reflections is from acclaimed Canadian musicians Gregory Hoskins (Guelph), Emilyn Stam (Toronto) and the late Oliver Schroer. I am thrilled to have Gregory and Emilyn joining us to perform in the festival.

Falling into Footsteps: The seed of this dance came one winter day while walking an icy trail slipping in and out of frozen footprints left by previous travellers. I am intrigued by paths, shared and yet unique and different, in our life journeys. Original music was created for Falling Into Footsteps by Adam Bowman, an esteemed local musician and friend. Our close collaboration helped me realize this piece.

Dreamwalker Dance Company

Toronto, Ontario

A Crazy Kind of Hope 2013

Choreographed by Sarah Chase and Andrea Nann

A Crazy Kind of Hopeis an intimate solo performance combining beautifully articulate, hypnotic movement patterns with stories of hope and heartbreak. The piece is made in the unique dance-storytelling form of choreographer Sarah Chase who devises movement patterns to provoke private memories and personal stories from the exquisite and eloquent dancer, co-creator/performer, Andrea Nann. In the piece, Nann introduces a few simple numbered patterns of movement gestures. These patterns begin to intersect and harmonize, creating a heightened poetic landscape, where Andrea’s own spoken stories unfold into realms of water, flowers, surf, loss, and love.

Belinda McGuire

Toronto, Ontario

Anthem for the Living 2011

Choreographed by Sharon B. Moore

Stirring, mysterious and tremendously physical, Moore’s Anthem for the Living unleashes deep layers of McGuire through textured and magnetic movement, which synthesizes dance, theatre and circus.

In the Studio

Throwdown Collective

Toronto, Ontario

Various Concert 2015

Choreographed by Throwdown Collective (Zhenya Cerneacov, Mairéad Filgate, Brodie Stevenson)

Various Concert sculpts space and time in a constantly shifting dynamic of action and reaction. With the anticipation of connection, tension builds as recognizable structures fade in and out of visibility and the three performers gradually find points of intersection. What slowly emerges is a highly attuned dance of unsettled interdependency.

Throwdown Collective

Toronto, Ontario

Ylem (3 Eggs Ago) 2017

Choreographed by Lina Cruz

Ylem (3 Eggs Ago) displays magical realism in a work created for Throwdown Collective by Montreal choreographer Lina Cruz: “In a marble sphere, as white as milk, dwells a cosmic egg, fragile as silk: ‘You can make an omelette from an egg but you can’t make an egg from an omelette…’ ”

Youth Moves

Carousel Dance Company

Waterloo, Ontario

Frenetic Cooling 2016

Choreographed by Allen Kaeja, in collaboration with the dancers

Breaking the barriers of partnering with unpredictability and momentum, Frenetic Cooling propels the architecture of the human body in a physical crossing of borders combining the spirits of these powerful individuals into a united force.  Just like molecules in an ever changing environment, the dancers react and share energy that propels them to a new level.

Contemporary School of Dance – CSA Dance Company

Waterloo, Ontario

Requiem for the Forgotten  2017

Choreographed by Natasha L. Mansell

Through youth to adulthood, we navigate the constant evolution of our personality and shedding of previous ideals, encountering new experiences that stimulate a better understanding of our self. Dancers used instinctual somatic reflections to explore this individual growth over time, creating a holistic physical expression of the intensive emotions that change can instigate – disconnection, isolation, the sense of losing oneself – and the strength we have to move along the path of honouring the identity we create.

Dasein Dance School Young Company

London, Ontario

In A Moment 2017

Choreographed by Lacey Smith

“Such a delicious melody has just come into my head, if I but had a sheet of music paper with me.” Thankfully someone quickly drew a few music lines on the back of a bill of fare and Franz Schubert’s immortal Serenade was born. It was written upon the inspiration of the moment in 1826, after simply reading a poem. Endeavouring to create the movement in the same conditions, this dance is based on the beauty and grace of each note and the spirit of creating In a Moment.

EnPointe Development Inc. Young Company

St. Thomas, Ontario

Through Time ( 2016

Choreographed by Brandy Coghlin

Through Time was choreographed during a three-week summer ballet program held in London, Ontario during August 2016. The piece illustrates an evolution of movement and growth. The dancers performing have dedicated themselves thoughtfully to its expression.

Swansea School of Dance

Toronto, Ontario

The Forgotten Vowel 2012

Choreographed by Lucy Rupert

Made in collaboration with the dancers, the work looks to mistakes, fidgeting and memory blanks to build a bit of quirkiness to the situation. With each new cast it takes a new shape. Like the forgotten vowel “y” — sometimes it’s a vowel, sometimes a consonant.

YMI Dancing

Toronto, Ontario

Dream 2013

Choreographed by Mairéad Filgate

Dream explores the elusive world of dreams and was created by Mairéad Fligate along with the dancers of YMI. Both choreographer and dancers used inspiration from their own dreams to develop material for the piece. It is this investment and passion of the dancers that makes the piece come alive.

Young Company of Halifax Dance

Halifax, Nova Scotia

A new piece inspired by Hair: The Musical 2017

Choreographed by Mary Lou Martin

Hair: The Musical was created at a time of great civil unrest in the United States. There were struggles and profound change in the anti-war movement, women’s liberation, gay rights, and freedom of speech. The parallels of these changes, questions, and changes to what is happening in our present day society is undeniable. Though the original musical was created in the late 60’s, we are still struggling with these important and vital questions of basic human rights and liberties today. Creating this piece allows us to face these topics in a way that will resonate and challenge a new generation of artists.


Masterclasses with Suzette Sherman

Suzette Sherman’s technique classes, in the language of David Earle, are appropriate for intermediate and up dancers. Suzette is our Artist in Residence this year, and we are able to offer these workshops at a reduced rate with the generous support of the Canada Council.

OURO Approach Workshop for Teens

All five members of OURO Collective teach this workshop which begins with each member leading participants in their specific dance style (hip hop, breaking, waacking and contemporary). In the second part of the workshop members of the collective will introduce students to the various choreographic concepts used in the creation of their work.

Hoop Dance Workshop with Lisa Odjig

Learn and have fun with two-time world hoop dance champion Lisa Odjig, who teaches this workshop immediately following her ‘In the Park’ performance on Sunday. The Hoop Dance is a story telling dance where the hoops create formations, designs and symbols of nature. It’s traditionally known as a healing dance and a celebration of life dance. Come dance with the circle of life and create fun designs. Catch the spirit!

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