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A Surprise Double Proposal on Canada's Bruce Trail

The best time to sign up for an adventure is a bottle of red wine deep into watching the International Banff Film Festival on a cozy couch, right? While viewing the incredible feats of ultra-distance athletes and extreme climbers, my partner Sadie turned to me and said she had always dreamed of running the entire Bruce Trail. I grew up hiking the path with my father but had never thought of hiking the entire thing until that moment. I simply said, “Let's do it!”

Fearless Physicality: Athleticism in Toronto’s professional wrestling scene

Grown men in tights that aren’t ballerinos?! Must be the century-old art form of professional wrestling! Its blend of dramatic storytelling and raw athleticism has a unique way of keeping audiences on the edge of their seat. Most of us associate professional wrestling with its 1980s camp, the golden age of Hulk Hogan and André the Giant. But this underground subculture is still going strong, as today’s professional wrestlers mix different performance techniques into their matches. Professional

An Unexpected (But Surprisingly Appropriate) Career Transition: From Dancer to Pro Wrestler

Although the dance world has its fair share of divas, there is a different type of diva that's coming out of the dance studio. "Diva" is the coined term for a female professional wrestler in the World Wrestling Entertainment organization. More than a few dancers—as well as gymnasts and cheerleaders—have taken their training and applied it to successful careers in this comical yet physically grueling art form.

Not A Trend - Krump in Canada

“This is not a trend. I repeat: this is not a trend,” says Lil C in the documentary film Rize, which follows the creation of krump, an urban dance style developed by a group of teenagers in Los Angeles. Lil C was correct. Since krump’s start in the early 2000s, this athletic art form, with its strong sense of culture and community, has grown to gain an international following. Ceasare "Tight Eyez" Willis and Jo'Artis "Mijo" Ratti, widely considered the co-founders of krump, both started dancing through a style termed clowning, in which they performed hip hop moves with their faces painted like circus clowns, and entertained at children’s parties, and public events.

Chronological Order

Review: Grin / Minors, Movement, and the Gathering of Data (The Theatre Centre and Battersea Arts Centre)

Grin is a dance film directed and choreographed by Mele Broomes and features two dancers/collaborators, Kemono L.Riot and Divine Tasinda. It focuses on black love and subverting the hyper-sexualized gaze on African and Caribbean dance. The piece slowly builds over forty-five minutes from slight body pulses, tableaus and gestures to grooves, full-body swings and synchronized dance sequences by the duo. There is even some krump and hip hop vocabulary from Kemono L.Riot.

Snapshot Travel Reviews from London, England and Edinburgh, Scotland

Seder, presented by the Southbank Centre, was a one-night-only performance (Wednesday, April 20, 2022, at 7.45 pm). The performance follows Adam Kammerling’s stories of family rituals and survival stories, primarily focused on his grandfather, Walter Kammerling. Walter was a KinderTransport evacuee ( this was an organized rescue effort of Jewish children from Nazi-controlled territories during the nine months before the outbreak of the Second World War). Adam Kammerling is an award-winning slam

Travel Review: Elements of Freestyle (ISH Dance Collective / Sadler Wells) in London, England

A skateboard ramp lines the entire back of the stage. Throughout the performance, the set is moved multiple times, each time feeling like a level up in a video game primed for more and more action from these fantastic performers. The artists begin the show by running up and down the ramp in a canon formation. They perform freezes and tricks to an eclectic soundtrack of hip-hop beats, live on-stage music of cellist Annie Tangberg and violinist Vera van der Bie, and recorded interviews of the perf

Virtual Review: TOKA (Theatre Passe Muraille with lemonTree creations)

In addition, the staging is incredibly smooth. Performers use the entire space and brilliantly utilize levels created by the raked stage and singular on-stage staircase to build a different world. The smooth movement of the camera aids this. As a virtual theatre piece, the cinematography and editing by Kejd Kuqo are done in a way to make you feel like you have the best seat in the house. At times, audiences can see the stage in its entirety, at others, there are close-ups of the performers in in

A Surprise Double Proposal on Canada's Bruce Trail

The best time to sign up for an adventure is a bottle of red wine deep into watching the International Banff Film Festival on a cozy couch, right? While viewing the incredible feats of ultra-distance athletes and extreme climbers, my partner Sadie turned to me and said she had always dreamed of running the entire Bruce Trail. I grew up hiking the path with my father but had never thought of hiking the entire thing until that moment. I simply said, “Let's do it!”

FUTURE FANDOMS ft. The New Labour of Digital Platforms on Superfans

No longer are the days when a superfan can get by in the physical world. Now, superfans buy NFTs of their favourite musician's merchandise or songs, buy virtual land next to their favourite artists in the metaverse, or even get plastic surgery to look more like their idols. Now you can buy donuts, wings, hamburgers or chicken nuggets, all based on your favourite artists' preference. Is it not available in your region? Then you can purchase the used packaging from others online for a hefty fee.

Derogatory Dancing: Heteronormative Inscriptions on Female Hip-Hop Dancers in Breaking and Commercial Spheres

Message requests through Instagram raise the hairs on the back of my neck. As professional commercial dancers, we are told to keep our social media accounts public based on their use as a virtual resume and for the potential to receive dance jobs through the platform. These are not dance world myths. Many friends have received massive contracts from major companies like Sports Chek and

Insomniac (Blue Glass Theatre) 2021 Toronto Fringe Review | Mooney on Theatre

Late-night overthinking and intrusive thoughts… Google rabbit holes of illnesses you do not have… Insomniac, produced by Blue Glass Theatre, playing on-demand at the 2021 Virtual Toronto Fringe Festival, follows one woman’s late-night rants about her trouble sleeping and the contrasting and often unhelpful sleep aid advice found on the internet, like don’t look at your phone but use this sleep app! Or, make a cup of herbal tea, but avoid any bright lights at night… How is one to do so when pouri

Venus & Adonis (Theatre Oculus) 2021 Toronto Fringe Review | Mooney on Theatre

Venus & Adonis, produced by Theatre Oculus, is playing on-demand at the 2021 Toronto Fringe Festival. The 25-minute dance work is based on Shakespeare’s poem of the same title. Venus, the goddess of love, attempts to seduce Adonis, yet her love is unrequited, as in the original story he would rather go hunting. The company asks: What happens when the goddess of love is scorned in her own realm? The sounds of birds chirping and the sight of white dresses flowing in a light summer breeze opens th

Dance of Torn Papers (Nowadays Theatre) 2021 Toronto Fringe Review | Mooney on Theatre

Dance of Torn Papers, produced by Nowadays Theatre, is a 360˚ experience of two short works by playwright and director Mohammad Yaghoubi, playing on-demand at the virtual 2021 Toronto Fringe Festival. The double bill is a combined 30 minutes, with two different video options of watching in either English or Farsi, or with subtitles of each language for either video. The 360˚ VR experience gives audiences the ability to be in the room, to choose where they want to look with the direction of the

Asylum (New Story Productions) 2021 Toronto Fringe Review | Mooney on Theatre

Asylum, produced by New Story Productions, is playing on-demand at the virtual 2021 Toronto Fringe Festival. The punchy theatre-dance work is only seven minutes in length. It follows Amir (played by Armon Ghaeinizadeh) in his process of applying for asylum in Canada. Amir first left Iran precariously on a school visa to join a dance program in Canada. This piece focuses on the middle ground of first leaving Iran and the possibility of being forced to go back to a culture that has a long and comp

IASPM Canada 2021 Conference Blog: Deanne Kearney

An accidental unmute during a presentation, static from someone's headphones, incoming email dings… So much has been written on the visual aspects of zoom creating different levels of intimacy and zoom fatigue, such as the exhausting act of performing your body language to a screen that is always on. Yet, what are the sounds of zoom that change our perceptions of the intimacies and insecurities of our spaces? Does it change our scholarship and relationships? How is this being reflected in the music industry during these trying times?

Review: US/THEM (BRONKS Theatre Company / Mirvish)

US/THEM tells the tragic story of the 2004 Beslan school siege from the point of view of the children inside. Not through the naive and innocent portrayal we most often see, but through the inquisitive, creative and detail-oriented child-like personalities that we all know and love. As the program states: “Children understand everything.” US/THEM first premiered in Belgium in 2014 and has been performed all over the world in multiple languages. The English version is brought to Toronto by the B

Review: Jungle Book (Young People’s Theatre)

Jungle Book – an adaptation of Rudyard Kipling’s classic works written & directed by Craig Francis & Rick Miller is on stage at Young People’s Theatre until March 21. It is an immersive theatre experience perfect for children and families. The mainstage theatre transforms into a multi-dimensional living storybook, teaching all about the importance of relationships, wildlife and the consequences of colonialism. This performance is recommended for ages five and up and is inviting school trips fro

Review: Radical Vitality, Solos and Duets (Compagnie Marie Chouinard / Canadian Stage / TO Live)

Absolutely absurd yet strangely serene, Radical Vitality is a reimagined collection of Canadian choreographic legend Marie Chouinard‘s work. Presented in part by Canadian Stage and TO Live at the Bluma Appel Theatre, the performance showcases over forty years of short solos and duets from the daring choreographer. I’ve been talking about Marie Chouinard’s infamous work, Petite danse sans nom, for over a decade. Although I had never seen it till tonight, it may be one of the best examples of t

Review: 8 minutes 17 seconds (Blue Ceiling dance)

What would you do if you only had 8 minutes 17 seconds? Blue Ceiling dance poses this question in its science-infused dance work presented in the Franco Boni Theatre in The Theatre Centre. It is the exact amount of time it takes for light to travel from the sun to the earth. It is how much time we would have if the sun were to die. Conceived and co-choreographed by Lucy Rupert, the evening consists of twelve performers using dance to explore a range of emotions and responses to this time constr
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