“Space Within Us”, co-choreographed by the three members of our collective, Yuichiro Inoue, Pulga Muchochoma, and Naishi Wang. The piece raises questions of immigrant experiences and identity, the varied forms of racism we face as a Black man and as Asian men, perceptions of leaving dominant cultures in our countries of origin to become “othered” in Toronto, and what “other” means. We are looking to challenge ideas of what it is to be an immigrant, the space we inhabit, as well as the varied and diverse experiences we face as African, Japanese, Chinese, and Canadian people.
Performers: Irvin Chow, Yuichiro Inoue and Pulga Muchochoma
Music: Sarah Shugarman
3+ Dance Collective is a Toronto-based contemporary dance company founded in 2018 by Yuichiro Inoue, Pulga Muchochoma, and Naishi Wang. We were born in Japan, Mozambique, and China respectively, and our artistic influences and backgrounds include cultural dance forms, Western contemporary dance, and a fusion of classical ballet and traditional folk dances. We met and worked together for nine years as dancers at the Toronto Dance Theatre under artistic director, Christopher House. It was there that we bonded over shared experiences as immigrants, as newcomers to Toronto, as contemporary dancers with backgrounds in traditional dances from our countries of origin.
Our work is unique within the Toronto, and indeed Canadian, dance ecology, as we bring together three very disparate approaches to movement and choreography. Our work expresses and celebrates who we are—as individuals, as diverse artists of colour; as international artists in Canada—and explores the intersections of our differences while maintaining equity in our process. Naishi has received international attention for his micro-movement approach which focuses on sensations, desires and ethics to lead the body into authentic somatic experiences. Pulga is renowned within the Toronto dance community, and brings his knowledge of traditional Mozambican dance and ritual sound to his contemporary practice. Yuichiro brings over twenty years of international performance experience in classical ballet and contemporary dance. As individuals, we are deeply collaborative and have been nominated for multiple Dora Mavor Moore Awards for performances in various ensembles.
Special Thanks to Marie-Josée Chartier for being an amazing artistic adviser towards this piece and Sarah Shugarman for her amazing music composition. Also big thanks to Naishi Wang the co-founder of our collective and co-choreographer of this work for his contribution.
Photo by David Wong