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Guelph Dance

Artist Bios

Artists from Quebec and Ontario will converge in Guelph for our 21st Annual Festival, learn more about them here!

In the Park

CORPUS Dance Projects (Toronto)

Co-founded by Sylvie Bouchard and artistic director David Danzon, CORPUS is known for its precise and surrealist humour that combines movement with theatrical imagery. Choreographer, Carolin Lindner graduated from Theakademie Berlin with a degree in Theatre Pedagogics. She works for theatre, visual and social arts projects. She has led theatre educational projects for youth and has worked as an artistic director and programmer for international theatre festivals in Germany, initiated an annual European youth camp in Germany and led theatre workshops in schools and retirement homes.

Friday Creeations (Ottawa-Temagami First Nation)

Incorporated in 2018, Friday Creeations is a film and stage production company that blends traditional and contemporary dance elements, led by award-winning choreographer-performer Christine Friday. Part of the vision for Friday Creeations is the establishment of a community-supported Cultural Creation Centre for artistic learning, creation, and performance in Christine’s home community of Temagami First Nation/Bear Island, and on her family’s traditional land at Friday’s Point. The vision of the Cultural Creation Centre (CCC) is to link artistic creation with land-based activity. The CCC will be connected with an outfitters’ company. Artists will be able to immerse themselves in an authentic cultural experience, including options such as guided day canoe trips, hikes, and camping excursions that allow for remote or semi-remote connection with the traditional lands of the Algonquin Anishinaabe people. Artists and institutions are seeking a more community engaged relationship and the CCC will provide this connection and inspiration. Programming will include artistic creation, education, residencies, school outreach involving both on- and off-reserve school boards, touring, and performances. Choreographer Christine Friday is a proficient resilient Indigenous storyteller. She began her career with In the Land of Spirits in 1992 and has maintained a professional dance career for over 25 years, choreographing, solo work, commissioned work, youth creations and full scale productions. She is deeply connected to the cultural wellness of her people and works hard to maintain cultural traditions and gifts of her Anishnaabe people. She recently won the 2018 KM Hunter Award for dance through the Ontario Arts Council, this award is given to those who demonstrate an original artistic voice while encouraging the artist to propel to the next level. Her intention is to awaken people within themselves, creating a shift change in the world by reflecting reality and the human experience.

Lazylegz (Montreal)

Luca “Lazylegz” Patuelli born in Montreal, raised in Bethesda, Maryland. Graduated with a Bachelor in Business and Major in Marketing at Concordia University. Luca has been dancing from the age of 15. He has created a unique dance style using the strength of his arms and his crutches as an extension of his arms which has garnered him international recognition. Competing and performing in over 30-countries around the world. Luca is the founder of ILL-Abilities™ Crew an international dance crew comprised of differently-abled bboys (breakdancers) recently nominated for an Olivier Award for outstanding achievement in dance. Luca is also recognized as the Canadian Ambassador for Dance and received a Meritorious Service Medal from the Governor General of Canada for his dance outreach programs for differently-abled youth. Luca is husband to Melissa Emblin and father to 3-year-old Aura Isabella.

Pauline Berndsen Danse (Montreal)

Pauline Berndsen Danse was created in 2018 by Pauline Gervais. Based in Montreal, the company presented its works “Kreatur”, “Hypnos” and “Temps Avenir” at Festival Quartiers Danses ( Montreal), Festival Vue sur la relève ( Montreal) and Festival Plateforme Danse (Bastia). This emerging company presents its own signature of movement, which is caracterized by the eclectic mariage of fluidity, articulation and sharpness. Through contemporary dance, Pauline Berndsen Dance creates journeys through new worlds and atmospheres. As a graduate of Quebec’s École supérieure de ballet du Québec, Pauline Gervais is a dancer and choreographer from Montreal. She has been dancing with Ballet Ouest de Montréal for many years on the productions « The Nutcracker » and « Ella ». She also starred in multiple videoclips produced by Romeo et Fils , such as Maxyme by Caravane and Iris by J.U.D. She is currently working on a new project with Johanne Madore.

Late Night

Wild Rabbit Dance Projects (Toronto)

Wild Rabbit Dance Projects is an umbrella that supports the creation and performance of collaborative works under the artistic direction of Jane-Alison McKinney. The works have been presented nationally at platforms such as Chinook Series, The Saint John Contemporary Dance Festival, Summerworks Performance Festival, and Citadel + Compagnie. Wild Rabbit is interested in bold work that makes it possible to reflect on what is happening in the everyday, while playing with altered time and reality, as a means to generate change. wildrabbitdance.co. Originally from New Brunswick, Jane-Alison McKinney is a dancer, choreographer, teacher, and artistic director. A graduate of The School of Toronto Dance Theatre, she has performed the works of a variety of contemporary dance artists in Canada and Internationally. In 2016, she was awarded a Metcalf Foundation Internship Grant in Artistic Direction with adelheid under the mentorship of Heidi Strauss, where she has also worked as a dancer, emerging choreographer, and producer. Jane-Alison’s choreography has been supported nationally by a variety of festivals and residencies. She is also co-director of the performance collectives Bare Nerve and Temporary Collective. Upcoming is a tour of her solo work “There she was” in Canada, and a new creation with collaborator Emma Kerson launching at Shawbrook Residency in Ireland in June, 2019.

In the Studio

Canadian dancer Rowen McBride-Pilon is a passionate contemporary and ballet trained dancer. At the age of 21, Rowen is completing her second year in the dance program at York University in Toronto, Ontario. She has trained in RAD ballet and various forms of modern technique. From 2012-2017, Rowen performed with the Guelph Youth Dance Company in which she had the opportunity to work with a variety of renowned choreographers. Through the GYDC Rowen performed nationally and internationally, including a China tour in 2016. Upon graduation Rowen hopes to continue to work and train as a performer, choreographer and teacher.

Catherine Bellefleure and Marie-Maxime  Ross met in the first year of their program at École de danse Contemporaine de Montréal. They danced together in many creations by guest choreographers at their school. They share the same interests and approach of the movement and after the withdrawal of one of the dancers, they decided to work together. From there on they created Foolish Fish for the Breaking Ground Mentorship Program. It’s the first time that they had to create a fifteen minutes piece in view to present it to the Guelph Dance Festival.

Honoured and thrilled to once again create and perform for the Guelph Dance Festival, Lynette Segal continues to explore expression through the articulation and precision of the agile, strong body. Solo improvisation, Contact Improvisation and yoga are instrumental in informing this physical play in her choreographic creations and teaching. This summer Lynette will be a resident dancer at Leviathan, an enchanting studio on rustic Lasqueti Island, BC, working with Benno Voorham and Mark Young.

On the Stage

Fujiwara Dance Inventions (Toronto)

Fujiwara Dance Inventions is a repertory dance company devoted to the creation, production, and touring of dance works and concerts. It conducts activities for the professional development of the Company and the dance community, and promotes an appreciation for the art of dance to the general public. Choreographer Denise Fujiwara began a series of careers starting in childhood as a gymnast. She became a Canadian Champion in Rhythmic Gymnastics and competed internationally for Canada. Upon completing an Honours B.F.A. in Dance at York University, she co founded T.I.D.E. (Toronto Independent Dance Enterprise), a now-defunct but still notorious company that danced across Canada for 10 years. Her six solo dance concerts garnered praise and toured to festivals across Canada, and to the U.S.A., South America, Europe and Asia. In 2015 she was a soloist in the Luminato Festival’s Apocalypsis under Lemi Ponifasio. She is a recipient of the Toronto Arts Foundation’s Muriel Sherrin Award for international achievement in dance. She is thrilled that EUNOIA, based on Christian Bök’s masterpiece, a work that delighted and bewildered us over five years of creation, continues its adventure touring the country.

Youth Moves

Dasein Dance (Toronto)

Dasein Dance Theatre was founded in 2011 by Lacey Smith, and began as a creative platform to research and present work in London, Ontario. Now a co-directorship shared by Lacey Smith and Miko Sobreira we have expanded our vision and reach, removing ‘Theatre’ from our name to include all of our activities under one identity. Now, at Dasein Dance, we are proud to unite the creative work we do with our professional and young companies with our training programs and workshops in Southern Ontario. Together these branches create a sustainable artistic environment that is developed on the foundation of a collective creative structure. www.daseindance.co. Choreographer Lacey Smith completed a BFA (Hons.) in Performance Dance at Ryerson University. She has received Dance Ontario’s Creative Partnership commission and was a finalist in Les Grands Ballets Canadiens de Montreal’s First National Choreographic Competition. Lacey premiered her first full evening work I.Me.You.We. pictures of my heart in 2015. Lacey has interpreted works by distinguished choreographers Denise Fujiwara, Robert Desrosiers, D.A. Hoskins, Andrea Nann, Gerry Trentham and Jody Oberfelder and is a Dora Mavor Moore recipient. Lacey has also been producing full-evening dance productions since 2007 and is a passionate teacher and mentor for young dancers.

Roundtable Discussion

Christine Friday is a proficient resilient Indigenous storyteller. She began her career with In the Land of Spirits in 1992 and has maintained a professional dance career for over 25 years, choreographing, solo work, commissioned work, youth creations and full scale productions. She is deeply connected to the cultural wellness of her people and works hard to maintain cultural traditions and gifts of her Anishnaabe people. She recently launched her company: Friday Creeations a film and stage Production Company, allowing her to transition her skills into filmmaking to broaden her audience while fulfilling her potential. She recently won the 2018 KM Hunter Award for dance through the Ontario Arts Council, this award is given to those who demonstrate an original artistic voice while encouraging the artist to propel to the next level. Her intention is to awaken people within themselves, creating a shift change in the world by reflecting reality and the human experience.

Denise Fujiwara began a series of careers starting in childhood as a gymnast. She became a Canadian Champion in Rhythmic Gymnastics and competed internationally for Canada. Upon completing an Honours B.F.A. in Dance at York University, she co founded T.I.D.E. (Toronto Independent Dance Enterprise), a now-defunct but still notorious company that danced across Canada for 10 years. Her six solo dance concerts garnered praise and toured to festivals across Canada, and to the U.S.A., South America, Europe and Asia. In 2015 she was a soloist in the Luminato Festival’s Apocalypsis under Lemi Ponifasio. She is a recipient of the Toronto Arts Foundation’s Muriel Sherrin Award for international achievement in dance. She is thrilled that EUNOIA, based on Christian Bök’s masterpiece, a work that delighted and bewildered us over five years of creation, continues its adventure touring the country.

Lynette Segal (please see In the Studio above)

Lacey Smith completed a BFA (Hons.) in Performance Dance at Ryerson University. She has received Dance Ontario’s Creative Partnership commission and was a finalist in Les Grands Ballets Canadiens de Montreal’s First National Choreographic Competition. Lacey premiered her first full evening work I.Me.You.We. pictures of my heart in 2015.

Workshops

Lina Cruz. Montreal choreographer Lina Cruz founded her company, Fila 13 Productions, in 2003 and has presented her work in festivals and events at local, national and international levels. Cruz has a background in ballet as much as modern/contemporary styles and takes interest in martial arts and various forms of stage expression. She has created works for independent artists as well as companies, institutions and various schools of professional dance training. Cruz is also often involved in theatre and opera projects. She is a two-time Dora Mavor Moore Award recipient for Outstanding Original Choreography (2012 and 2017) and received a second place award in the 1998 international choreographic competition of the St-Sauveur Arts Festival (Quebec).

Christine Friday (please see Roundtable Discussion above)

Suzette Sherman. Born in Chicago, Suzette trained with Stone-Camryn School of Ballet, and later in New York City. She apprenticed with Winnipeg Contemporary Dancers and performed with Saskatchewan Dance Theatre before joining Toronto Dance Theatre where she toured worldwide for nineteen years. A principal dancer with Dancetheatre David Earle and a teacher throughout her career, Suzette continues to work closely with David Earle, teaching his technique and repertoire. In 2017 she was artist in residence for the Guelph Dance Festival. From the collaboration begun at the Festival, Suzette and Michele Green created Passionate Heart, Women’s Stories through Dance, currently being performed throughout Southern Ontario.

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City of Guelph Ontario Arts Council Canada Council for the Arts Canadian Heritage Canada