Performing Dance Arts, (www. PerformingDanceArts.ca), Toronto’s leading dance studio providing professional dance lessons for kids of all ages, is weighing in on New York-flavoured International Dance series showing in Toronto.
Toronto Dance Theatre has a short, but established history of introducing dance from across the world to the local scene. For the fourth instalment of the series, choreographers Joanna Kotze and Jeanine Durning from New York were invited to show off their talent. Kotze recently won a Bessie Award in 2013 for Outstanding Emerging Choreographer. Durning comes from a post modern dance tradition and shares many similarities to Kotze as far as how they use movement and structure. (Source: Schabas, M., “International series brings essence of New York to Toronto Dance Theatre,” The Globe and Mail web site, February 12, 2016; http://www.theglobeandmail.com/arts/theatre-and-performance/international-series-brings-essence-of-new-york-to-toronto-dance-theatre/article28742981/.)
“Having two incredible international choreographers create this calibre of work for a Toronto audience is a treat,” says Ashley Daychak, creative director at Performing Dance Arts. “This international dance series shows us just how far-reaching dance really is, and how it impacts other cultures from around the world compared to how it impacts us here in Toronto.”
Kotze choreography is unique because it is partly intrusive for the audience. Her work mixes cohesive sequences with abrupt exits creating a five-person dance piece that holds the audience for the duration of the work. Durning is even more scattered in her choreography. The sporadic use of props, such as umbrellas and inflatable balls, adds to the organized chaos of her work which, like Kotze’s, also uses five dancers.
“Kotze and Durning’s pieces are reflective of what’s happening in the New York dance scene. They’re a flavour of culture that’s similar to, but still so different from ours, and it shows beautifully in their work,” Daychak concludes.
Performing Dance Arts has many top-level choreographers on its staff. These choreographers are renowned in their own right and accomplished both nationally and internationally. Performing Dance Arts operates out of a dance studio in the Woodbridge area and serves all of the York Region and the Greater Toronto area with its aim to help young dancers—casual and professional alike—achieve their dreams.