Dance Magazine Work

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

The Red Wall: How Social Media is Changing Commercial Dance in Canada

Excerpt from January/ February 2019 Issue of The Dance Current Magazine: There is a certain magic to the last ten minutes of a dance class. The choreography has been taught and embodied. The stress of learning more choreography is finally removed. The adrenaline of the dancer is pumping, as they are ready to perform and give everything they have for the final minutes of class. Class videos capture these last few minutes, embodying this energy and captivating new viewers to join in on this thrill.

Happily Ever After

The National Ballet of Canada’s The Sleeping Beauty The Sleeping Beauty has been performed by The National Ballet of Canada in 1972, 1987, 2006 and excitingly now in 2015. Having been performed over so many years, the ballet still has potential to capture the imaginations of audiences of all ages. Inspired by the tale La Belle au Bois Dormant, written by Charles Perrault in 1679, Tchaikovsky created his longest ballet score, The Sleeping Beauty, in 1889. A year later, the first ballet producti

Genée International Ballet Competition

The Genée International Ballet Competition, one of the world’s most prestigious ballet competitions, will return home to London this year from September 16-19, 2015. First held in 1931, the competition invites talented young dancers trained in the Royal Academy of Dance (RAD) syllabus from around the world to compete. This year, in an effort to increase opportunities for competitors, the RAD has introduced the Darcey Bussell Genée Bursaries to help competitors across the world in need of financi

Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland Review

But Who Is Jack? With 146 bodies involved both on- and offstage in The National Ballet of Canada’s (NBoC) Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland, the production is certainly quite magnificent in size and creation. Running from March 14 to 29, it is full of striking costumes, lively sets, humorous props and entrancing projections, yet I couldn’t help but feel that there were one too many performers on stage. Choreographed by Christopher Wheeldon in 2011 as a co-production of the NBoC and The Royal B

Madness Ensues at the Ballet

According to many, Vaslav Nijinsky was the greatest male dancer of the twentieth century. Maybe even the best to ever live. Despite the tragic end of his career (due to schizophrenia) at the early age of twenty-nine, the mad genius dancer and choreographer led a passionate life full of sex, love and dance, which is showcased brilliantly in John Neumeier’s ballet Nijinsky. Performed by The National Ballet of Canada at the Four Seasons Centre from November 22-30, the ballet provides a glimpse into

The Future of Dance’s Past

Photographs, diaries, letters, programs, touring itineraries and a ton of fantastic memorabilia, amounting to more than 50,000 items’ worth of American Ballet Theatre history, were recently donated to the Library of Congress in Washington, D.C. Until then, the company, entering its seventy-fifth season, lacked the proper means of conservation. Administrators at American Ballet Theatre had been considering how to conserve the valuable documents that outline the company’s history for a number of

Canada’s Past and Present at Jacob’s Pillow

Apart from trying my hardest not to end my sentences with “eh” or being teased gently for saying “washroom” instead of “bathroom,” I have had an amazing time interning at Jacob’s Pillow Dance Festival in the beautiful Berkshire Hills in Becket, Mass. I am in residence at the festival for the full ten weeks, and work as one of two archives and engagement interns. Being the only Canadian intern here this summer, and working in the extensive archives at the Pillow, I feel it is my duty to report on

Is Toronto Ready for Hip Hop Theatre?

What happens when you ask a group of street dancers to dance like peanut butter? While Victoria “VicVersa” Mackenzie shouts “smooth or crunchy?”, Lee “Lethal” Pham lays down and starts munching on the most amazing imaginary sandwich he has eaten in his life. The rest of the cast surround him, all creating their own incredibly physical and peanut butter-inspired movement. The group creates childlike fun onstage, inviting the audience to join in on this journey of defining hip hop theatre. Open A

Academic Publications

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

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?

The Rize of Krump in Canadian Dance

This major research paper follows a three-month ethnographic study of Canada’s krump dance communities in Montreal, Toronto, and Calgary. Krump is an aggressive hip-hop dance style, created in South Central, Los Angeles in the early 2000s. I trace the growth of krump across Canada following the release of the documentary film Rize (2005). I argue Canadian krumpers are currently trying to build a national identity, distinct from the United States, in order to gain respect from the international krump community. Despite this shared overall goal, each Canadian community differs greatly, owing to their diverging histories and interpretations of krump culture as conceptualized by co-creator Ceasare “Tight Eyez” Willis.

Roland and Romaine - Then and Now

In​ ​1951,​ ​Betty​ ​Romaine​ ​Nicholson​ ​was​ ​the​ ​first​ ​North​ ​American​ ​woman​ ​to​ ​win​ ​a​ ​gold medal​ ​in​ ​an​ ​international​ ​ballroom​ ​competition.​ ​She​ ​went​ ​on​ ​to​ ​teach​ ​at​ ​Toronto's​ ​Arthur Murray's​ ​dance​ ​school​ ​where​ ​she​ ​met​ ​Roland​ ​Kirouac.​ ​Together,​ ​they​ ​created​ ​a​ ​legacy across​ ​Canada​ ​and​ ​toured​ ​internationally​ ​with​ ​both​ ​ballroom​ ​dance​ ​and​ ​commercial​ ​jazz choreography​ ​featured​ ​on​ ​television,​ ​films​ ​and​ ​large​ ​live​ ​performances,​ ​such​ ​as​ ​the​ ​Canadian musical​ ​Television​ ​show,​ ​​The​ ​Pig​ ​and​ ​Whistle​.​ ​In​ ​Toronto​ ​in​ ​1960,​ ​they​ ​opened​ ​up​ ​their​ ​first dance​ ​studio...

The Dungeon Sessions: An Ethnographic Look at Krump in Toronto

It’s the national basketball league’s 2015 final between the Cleveland Cavaliers and the Golden State Warriors. The game is tied at the end of the fourth period. As the game goes into overtime, the crowd is captivated and on the edge of their seats. The players are full of adrenalin, ready to try their hardest to take the win. Five minutes later… the final buzzer rings! It is the end of the game, taken by a close two points by the Cleveland Cavaliers. LeBron James, Cleveland’s all-time leading scorer and multi-year MVP, screams! He whips the ball to the ground with all of his might. He throws all of his energy through his arms, into his fists, across face and down into his feet.

The multiple legitimacies of Tentacle Tribe, a dance company

According to Hugues Bazin (2002), hip hop dancers working in theatrical settings have a "double legitimacy" as they gain acceptance in two contexts with different expectations, criteria and values. In this case study, we researched how an emerging dance company negotiates artistic identities in the entertainment, street dance and theatrical art worlds, finding acceptance across competing discourses. Tentacle Tribe, a dance company comprised of Emmanuelle Lê Phan and Elon Höglund...

Dance and Theatre Reviews

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

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

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

Review: The Roaring 20’s (Lunacy Cabaret)

A silly, yet snarky, and a little bit dirty, night of flappers, hula hoop artist, pantomime performers and much, much more, The Lunacy Cabaret presented The Roaring 20’s to a lively crowd at the Opera House on January 18th. The Lunacy Cabaret presents professional circus artists, clowns and comedians in a night where they can cut loose from constraints of stuffy corporate gigs and show what they want to a spirited crowd of friends and fans. The show starts with a land acknowledgment that calls

Winter of 88 (Nowadays Theatre) 2020 Next Stage Review

With the Iranian plane crash in the headlines and tense US-Iran relations in the news, I knew it was going to be a tough night with a timely work. Winter of 88, presented by Nowadays Theatre and part of the Next Stage 2020 festival, follows the faces and families behind the eight-year war between Iran and Iraq from 1980 to 1988. Winter of 88 follows the traumatic and long-lasting effects on the director and writer, Mohammad Yaghoubi, and his experiences during the Iran-Iraq war. The story follo

Review: A Christmas Carol (Soulpepper)

Tried and true remount of family-friendly version of A Christmas Carol in its 13th year The holiday classic, A Christmas Carol, is back at Soulpepper in its thirteenth season. Scrooge, the loveless and stingy character, played by Joseph Ziegler for the past eleven seasons of its run, gives even more meaning to my favourite holiday insult: “Bah humbug!” The play is showing at Toronto’s Distillery District, which has been overtaken by the city’s most popular Christmas market and huge lines surro

Review: The Nutcracker (Toronto International Ballet Theatre)

The Nutcracker arrives in Toronto for the Holiday Season! It’s Nutcracker time! Performed every holiday season without fail it is the world’s most popular ballet, with many different adaptations (or lack thereof) about the magical toy. Toronto International Ballet Theatre was back with stars of the Bolshoi Ballet, Anastasia Stashkevich and Vyacheslav Lopatin, at Meridian Hall. Presenting a traditional take on the ballet, this performance features over fifty dancers of all ages, dazzling costum
Load More Articles