|Janet in her own piece, Chrysalis|
I felt an almost immediate connection to Guelph, but was missing my former dance community!! How to have it all? How to bring the best of the T.O. dance scene to my newfound home, this place with which I was most excited to share my passion….?
|Janet in David Earle’s Tango Dreams|
By some odd fluke of happenstance, I found myself meeting Catrina who too had moved from a very vibrant dance scene in Montreal (and Europe). There began our earnest, slightly naïve, but highly passionate attempt to bring fantastic dance artists (many of whom in the beginning were my friends and peers from T.O.) to little river-lined Guelph. I was super excited to give dance artists gigs, as well as to feed Guelphites some great morsels of artistic expression through the body and through this great medium of commonality!
|Catrina and Janet, 2001|
In the beginning we had a fantastic group of volunteers (mostly those in the community we had started to teach, to win over) and we would all meet with babies in hand in someone’s kitchen, sipping coffee and dreaming big. It was super motivating to see how much our volunteers, like us, were seeking rich artistic experiences to sweep up on the shores of Guelph. Everyone wanted to support a community that presented such artistic endeavors…. We all wanted to help foster a city for our kids, our souls, our shared sense of the need for artistic interaction and proactive expression.
We seemed to grasp immediately that if we wanted this wee festival to survive, we would need to grasp hands with other organizations, with more people, and with the greater community if possible. This element has undeniably been one of the most satisfying as well as wise moves the GCDF has made. With great support and collaboration, the GCDF has been able to take leaps, spin slowly, lunge deep……….
We really do have all that now right here in Guelph. Guelph is home to Dancetheatre David Earle, a world-renowned Order of Canada and Premier’s Awards of Excellence in the Arts recipient. Professional dancers can train with them and perform with their company. Guelph is home to Fall on Your Feet, a relatively new collective of professional dancers who all call Guelph their home and who invite the community at large to join in on their movement research and discoveries.
We are incredibly excited to continue with the dreaming and the planning and to see where this might take us over the next 10, 20 years. What are your thoughts? Do you want to be involved?