Kaeja d’Dance presents JUST DANCE J/F (Jane/Finch) a Community Dance Celebration at the Oakdale Community Centre – 350 Grandravine Drive, Toronto
Friday, August 24 @ 7pm
Saturday August 25 @ 2pm & 7pm
Sunday August 26 @ 2pm
Each performance on Saturday and Sunday is followed by a celebratory Flock Landing. ADMISSION IS FREE.
More Info: www.kaeja.org or call 416-516-6030
After the great success of Porch View Dances where over fifteen hundred residents and Torontonians alike took to the streets of Seaton Village, moving from porch to porch to watch the stories of a neighbourhood unfold, Kaeja d’Dance presents the second instalment of its Urban Landscape Performance Initiative (ULPI): JUST DANCE J/F (Jane Finch). Conceived by Karen Kaeja and directed by the husband and wife team of Karen and Allen Kaeja, JUST DANCE J/F runs August 24-26 at the Oakdale Community Centre in north Toronto.
The main event runs Saturday August 25 & Sunday August 26. On those days, the dance works, choreographed by professionals, feature non-dancer residents from the community and are about real people, in real time, in real environments, telling their stories through dance. Each presentation culminates in a celebratory, all-inclusive Flock Landing - a group collaboration of individuals where members of the audience are invited to become active participants.
The resident participants are working with choreographers Robert Abubo (Dancemakers), Troy Feldman (currently the Heart of Joey in Mirvish’s War Horse), Allen Kaeja, Mariano, Andrea Nann (Dreamwalker Dance Company Artistic Director) and Lua Shayenne (Lua Shayenne & Co.).
On Friday, August 24, there is a community-based Dance Celebration to kick off JUST DANCE J/F where everyone in the community is invited to present short, 2 – 3 minutes works. Expect all ages and all styles.
Five community groups from the Jane/Finch area encompassing youth, new immigrants and lively seniors perform on the grounds of the Oakdale Community Centre as part of JUST DANCE J/F.
As part of these initiatives, Kaeja d’Dance offered free community dance classes leading up to JUST DANCE J/F in the Jane/Finch neighbourhood.
Capturing the legacy for future generations, JUST DANCE J/F also provides opportunities for up to 20 youth to learn how to reinterpret movement through the medium of dance on film, culminating in the production of short films.
Kaeja d’Dance has created a multitude of audience-inclusive site-specific works with professional and non-professional performers across Canada and abroad. Established in 1991, Toronto’s Kaeja d’Dance is renowned for creating exceptional award-winning contemporary dance performances, site-specific works with extreme numbers of dancers, acclaimed screen dance and in-demand education and outreach programs. At the heart of Kaeja are husand/wife Co-Artistic Directors, Karen and Allen Kaeja. They break ground, take risks and bring together exquisite dancers and collaborators to create extraordinary experiences both on and off the stage in local and international communities.
Porch View Dances and JUST DANCE J/F (Jane/Finch) are generously supported by the Ontario Trillium Foundation, Hal Jackman Foundation, Carolyn Sifton Foundation, L & J Siegel Family Fund, Havergal College and TD Bank Group. Porch View Dances is produced in partnership with St. Alban’s Boys’ and Girls’ Club. Kaeja d’Dance thanks their family of private donors for their continued support as well as the Ontario Arts Council, Toronto Arts Council and the Canada Council for the Arts.
“Another example is a new initiative from the Kaeja d’Dance company called Porch View Dances. They made a similar foray into the real in the neighbourhood around Christie and Bloor a couple weeks ago, successfully claiming public space away from cars and impersonal transit to introduce non- professional, home-based dancers who did more to make this a livable city than any property tax freeze in the last fifty years.”
- Terence Dick, akimbo.ca
Robert Abubo (Jane/Finch) begin his fifth season with Michael Trent’s Dancemakers in September. Abubo worked with Le Groupe Dance Lab from 1994 to 2006, under artistic director Peter Boneham. As an independent dancer, choreographer and monitor he has worked with Tedd Robinson, Louise Lecavalier, Sylvain Emard, Lynda Gaudreau, Shannon Cooney, Bill James, Luc Dunberry, Winnipeg’s Contemporary Dancers, Heidi Strauss and Kate Hilliard. Abubo’s own choreographic works have been presented by the Canada Dance Festival, Tangente and Dancer’s Studio West.
Troy Feldman (Jane/Finch) is a dancer, actor, parkour artist, acrobat and stuntman. His style of freestyle movement combines breakdancing, free running, acrobatics, contemporary and house dancing. As a creator, Troy co-choreographed and performed in Emoticonics. He was also commissioned to choreograph new work for Alias Dance Projects combining breakdancing, house dance, contemporary and all-terrain movement. Troy is currently in the Toronto production of Mirvish Productions’ War Horse.
Gemini nominated Director and award-winning choreographer, Allen Kaeja (Jane/Finch & Seaton Village) entered the field of dance after 9 years of wrestling and Judo. He has created over 100 dance pieces since 1982 and choreographed for 26 films, most recently co-directing/choreographing Oxygen with Oscar-wining special effects master, Colin Chilvers. Allen is Co-Artistic Director of Kaeja d’Dance with Karen Kaeja and co-founder of the CanAsian International Dance Festival. His works have been presented in festivals around the world. Allen is currently on faculty at STDT & Ryerson and has commissions in Mexico, USA and across Canada. Allen is currently the featured international guest choreographer for the Reality Contemporary Dance Series “Operprima” in Mexico.
Mariano Abarca is an extraordinary instructor, enthralling performer and an accomplished choreographer. Mariano’s passion for dance was cultivated at an early age when he was exposed to salsa, meringue and cumbia. His appreciation of dance inspired him to study alternative styles – hip hop, b-boying, popping and locking. As a teacher and choreographer, Mariano has been working in Toronto for more than a decade. His incredible musicality and performance skills, his knowledge of the history and growth of hip-hop in Canada, and his willingness to share all that he knows with his students, make him a rarity in the world of hip-hop. Remarkably, he had the exceptional honour of performing for the Prince of Wales.
Karen Kaeja (Seaton Village) is a 2009 Dora performance nominee. She is included in three Canadian and Who’s Who Encyclopedia’s, won several awards/nominations and is noted in NOW magazine as “one of the country’s best dance artists.” Her career as a performer, teacher and creator spans ten countries and exceeds 17 internationally award winning dance films at 400 festivals. Karen is Co-Artistic Director of Kaeja d’Dance with Allen Kaeja.
Andrea Nann (Jane/Finch) has a 24-year career as a professional dance artist living and working in Toronto. She was a full-time member of the Danny Grossman Dance Company for fifteen years from 1988-2003 where she created, performed, taught and toured major roles from the works of Mr. Grossman and guest choreographers. She is currently Artistic Director of Dreamwalker Dance Company. Nann has received three Dora Mavor Moore Award nominations for Outstanding Performance and one DDMA nomination for Outstanding Choreography.
Actor, dancer, choreographer, Lua Shayenne (Jane/Finch) frequently travels to Mali, Senegal, Guinea and Ghana to research and learn traditional African dance. She’s a member of Toronto Playback Theatre and founded her own dance company, Lua Shayenne & Co.. She has worked with Chester Whitmore/MixedBlood Productions, Kevin Ormsby, De-Napoli Clarke, Eleo Pomare, Erika Batdorf, Rhoma Spencer, Weyni Mengesha and more. She performed and choreographed at Dance ON weekend, Dusk Dances, as guest artist of OMO Dance Company and more.