LDF Countdown to Summer ’21

Join us virtually from June 26-30 for FREE DANCE FUN! Groove with us as we count down the last 5 days until summer vacation with 4 cool dance things to watch this summer, 3 fun workshops for all ages and levels, 2 previews of upcoming choreography projects, and 1 dance film premiere from our friends the Young Company of NLDC.

4 Cool Dance Things to Watch this Summer

Esie Mensah’s TESSEL is a national initiative conceptualized by Dora-nominated choreographer and dancemaker Esie Mensah (Shades, A Revolution of Love), featuring the stories of 14 pioneering Black artists from across Canada, exploring the complexities of diverse movement and voice as a form of resilience.​ TESSEL is available for streaming FREE in Canada only by visiting: TESSEL.FILM

“This film is intended to be a journey towards change, an archival of Canadian Black excellence, and a sliver of truth that many have not been privy to. May you watch with an open heart, mind and spirit and allow the journey of TESSEL to wash over you like water.”Esie Mensah

Kaha:wi Dance Theatre’s The Unfurling is a short film featured in “Call & Response to Spring” co-presented by Woodland Cultural Centre. Created/performed by Santee Smith; cinematography/editing by Shane Powless; music by Donald Quan featuring vocals by Semiah Smith.

“The Unfurling is a response to the offer of Ian R. Maracle. I was inspired by his use of flowers and antlers in creating an image of new/old, life/death, growth/decay. I imagined SkyWomxn’s first Spring. Her name is Iotsitsisonh or Atsi’tsiaka:ion in Kanienʼkéha which translates to “fertile flower” and “mature flower.” Santee Smith

CBC’s The Move is now in its third season. The Canadian Screen Award-nominated series THE MOVE returns with eight of Canada’s most dynamic choreographers and the incredible stories of what makes them dance. Each episode is a showcase of signature dance styles, personal stories and explorations of why these celebrated artists continue to move despite the obstacles on their path. With deeply insightful interviews and original choreography, this series not only expands our movement vocabulary, but also illuminates how dance can connect us in a way that no other artform can. 

“This show is a great way to get to know current Canadian dance artists. I especially love Season 2, which features several of my favourite choreographers.” – LDF Director Bizz Varty

The National Film Board has many dance films available, including this cool Dance and Film Playlist, which features films with ballet, modern and flamenco dance spanning six decades.

“Film and dance are both movement-based art forms, so it makes sense that they would come together in projects focusing on the specifics of one or the other… In the spirit of the NFB’s long history with dance, enjoy this selection of 9 films that explore, celebrate and interpret one of our most precious art forms.” – National Film Board of Canada

3 Workshops for All Ages & Experiences

Workshops are free and open to all ages and levels of experience. Please pre-register through this short google form so that we can send you the zoom link for each workshop.

Isabella Di Liello by Alvin Collantes

Contemporary Improv with Isabella Di Liello
Sunday June 27, 11am-12pm 
FREE on Zoom – please pre-register to receive the link

In this class, we will reconnect to our bodies through mindful improvisation and a contemporary phrase. 

Isabella Di Liello is a dancer and choreographer based in Canada. She received her formal training at Israel’s Kibbutz Contemporary Dance Company Pre-Professional MASA program in Ga’aton Israel, where she performed her own work as well as Rami Be’er & Cullberg repertoire. Most recently, Isabella was selected as a finalist to perform her solo work, Validation is for Parking, for the Solo Tanz Theatre Festival in Stuttgart, Germany and Linkage International Choreography Competition in Sofia, Bulgaria. In recent years, Isabella has participated extensively in training intensives including Gaga and Batsheva repertoire in Orsolina, Italy, New York, Israel & Los Angeles. She also received training through Modus Operandi, Ate9 and MIP2. Other credits include Choreographing/Performing in music videos & concerts for artists RALPH & W. Darling. She also toured the USA as an assistant with Intrigue Dance Intensive and shared in a number of choreographic residencies with HB. Beal Performing Arts Dance program.

Kids & Family Dance with Elizabeth Morgan
Tuesday June 29, 4pm
FREE on Zoom – please pre-register to receive the link

This class will be an introductory, family-oriented dance class. Participants will learn the basics of jazz dance with a focus on FUN!

Elizabeth Morgan is a dance teacher with 27 years of dance teaching experience. She has trained in every genre and has also had a professional career as an NFL and CFL dancer. She has been an Arts Educator for London Arts Council for the last 8 years and also owns Expressions Dance Arts Inc., as well as her related company, One Eye Entertainment.

Caribbean Folk Dance with Nick Gordon
Wednesday June 30, 5-6pm
FREE on Zoom – please pre-register to receive the link

Nick Gordon is excited to introduce and teach the basic techniques and fundamentals of Caribbean Folk Dance-Bele. While the movements are simple and easy to follow, there is a strong emphasis on energy and expression and accentuation with the music and drums. This is a fun, new and exciting workshop for all ages and experience levels to enjoy.

Nick Gordon is a professional Dancer and Choreographer born in the beautiful twin island Republic of Trinidad and Tobago, currently residing in the Forest City of London ON. He specializes in teaching Caribbean Folk Dance, Musical Theatre and Contemporary and has incorporated dance and aerobics in his exercise program as a Dance Fitness Instructor. He holds: Bachelor’s of Fine Arts Degree in Dance from the University of Trinidad and Tobago, Performing Arts Certificate from Sheridan College and Practitioners Certificate in Theatre Arts from the University of The West Indies. His credits include: Producer, Choreographer and Actor in productions such as Phantom of The Opera, Les Miserables and West Side Story all staged in Queen’s Hall, Trinidad, Producer, Artistic Director and Choreographer of  Broadway dance excerpts for his non-profit organization called the Grant-a-Wish Foundation Santa Claus Parade held in Trinidad. Recently, Nick was chosen to portray Caribbean Folk Dance and Musical Theatre Dance for the London Arts Council’s AECE program and since then, has gotten involved in many arts related projects throughout London.
Nick looks forward to continue offering his talents to the Canadian landscape and hopes to inspire and bring joy through his work.

2 Previews of Upcoming Choreography Projects

PDA Commission of Augmented Spaces (working title)

The LDF has commissioned Public Displays of Art to create an interactive virtual choreography project. They have just begun on Phase Two of their creation, and wanted to share these highlights from Phase One. The videos are now available on our Facebook and Instagram channels!

Public Displays of Art (PDA) is a multidisciplinary artist collective that was formed in January, 2017. The core members of PDA use movement and visual arts, working within an improvisational framework, to engage and immerse the public in performance and the creative process. Using non-traditional performance venues (like galleries, museums, libraries, parks, markets, etc.), PDA brings the arts and performance to the public in an engaging and unique way. PDA is collaborative, developing each event with other local improvisational artists, including musicians, sound artists, poets, and visual artists. To further engage with the community, PDA members offer movement and arts classes that are open to the public. Each member of PDA carries a diverse background in the arts, including embodied movement practices, movement therapy, yoga, Pilates, improvisation, Butoh, Axis syllabus, photography, and more. PDA hopes to encourage the community to participate in and immerse themselves in the arts by actively providing opportunities across the city that are open to the public.

Erin Clark & Bizz Varty’s new and as-yet-untitled work

LDF Director and choreographer Bizz Varty has teamed up with multimedia artist Erin Clark to create a love letter to mother nature.

Elizabeth Bizz” Varty is a dance artist, educator, and arts manager from London, Ontario. She trained in ballet and modern dance at York University, and has created dance performances for dancers of all ages and abilities. Her choreography has been presented in venues across the province, including Peterborough’s emergency festival and Toronto’s Bazaar dance festival. Bizz has been teaching dance and movement for more than 20 years and has worked with several major dance schools and organizations including Ontario School of Ballet, Canadian Contemporary Dance Theatre, the Dance Teachers Alliance of Canada, and Dance Ontario. She founded the Centre of Movement Arts in 2017, a non-profit that supports dance and movement in the forest city and presents the annual London Dance Festival. She is the mother of two young boys who share her love of movement and keep her on her toes. 

Dancer and multimedia artist Erin Clark choreographed and performed as part of the Aerial dance comedy duo Flaming Mermaid Broken Star. She is a world champion and record holder as a parapole athlete. She has performed as an aerial dancer (silks, corde lisse, and pole) in NYC, Canada and Europe. Erin is the author of the NYTimes recommended memoir If You Really Love Me, Throw Me Off the Mountain and co-author of the upcoming Breakup Artist.

1 Dance Film Premiere

NLDC’s YoCo by Kristyn Photography

We’re thrilled to present a world premiere of a new dance film performed by North London Dance Centre’s Young Company, and choreographed by Megan Alfano.

Hear No Evil.
Speak No Evil.
See No Evil.

To do what is right requires us to stand up for kindness, love and acceptance. In other words you will hear evil being said but you won’t put up with it and will speak up against it. You will see evil being done but you won’t support it or encourage it. Speak no evil is the most mindful….because this one is in your control.

Be good.
Do good.
Radiate kindness.

Megan Alfano – Choreographer & Editor
Featuring dancers from the Young Company of North London Dance Centre: Tristan Brousseau, Ari Burgess, Iliana Doris, Lyla Hajar, Nicole Jamieson, MacKenzie Mercer, Ainsley Morgan, Isabella Russell, Jenna Russell, Cali Soumalias.