Dusk Dances 2018 Artists



Julia Aplin

Choreographer, Touring


Julia Aplin has been dancing and creating dances for as long as she can remember. She has performed around the world with Dancemakers and has created dances for theatres, rivers and cyberspace. She continues to explore her fascination with the human body in motion through dance, healing and teaching.

www.juliaaplin.com / www.upwardspiral.me






Karissa Barry

Choreographer, Withrow Park and Touring


For 16 years, Karissa Barry has worked as a freelance contemporary dance artist, performing the work of choreographers and companies such as Serge Bennathan, Vanessa Goodman, EzDanza, Science Friction, Tara Cheyenne Friedenberg, JoeInk, LINK Dance, Mascall Dance, Out InnerSpace Dance Theatre, Anne Plamondon, Raven Spirit Dance, Sylvain Émard Danse, The Vancouver Opera, and Wen Wei Dance. Performing works for these companies has taken her touring to Asia, Europe, New York, South America, The U.K., and throughout Canada.

Barry has created site-specific works as well as contemporary dance for the stage. Her work has been presented at the Ballet BC mentor program, BC Buds, Brief Encounters, Cecchetti Dance Theatre, Dancing on the Edge, Dance Deck Cinq, Dusk Dances, Expanse Festival, Fluid Festival, Small Stage, la Petite Scène, Modus Operandi Training Program, Twelve Minutes Max, Small Stage Point 5, and the self-produced, full-length evening STRATEGY THREE. She has produced two dance films that have been screened internationally, most recently at MOVing IMAges in Cyprus. As an instructor for the professional community as well as students, Barry teaches ballet, contemporary, and conditioning techniques at various institutions and venues.




Cassandra Bowerman

Local choreographer, Hamilton


Cassandra Bowerman is Hamilton-born dance artist and choreographer with a passion for quirkiness and physicality. After graduating from Ryerson University’s Performance Dance program, she furthered her training in Calgary with Decidedly Jazz Danceworks in their professional training program.

Bowerman has continued to develop a unique style through the exploration of different movement genres. A fan of jazz, tap and rhythm, she thrives on anything groove based and filled with musicality. Bowerman strives to broaden the possibilities of uniting urban, jazz and contemporary dance. Recent performances include coexisDance89-Toronto, Residue - Meghann Michalsky & Matthew Hall (Project InTandem-Calgary, Good Women Dance Collective-Edmonton), Wild/Walled - Miles Gosse (Half Second Echo-Toronto Fringe Festival) and Communal Solace - Alyssa Nedich (To the Pointe Dance Project - Hamilton Fringe Frostbites Festival).

A dance educator at Hamilton Conservatory for the Arts, she can also be found teaching workshops and classes around the GTA. Bowerman is Co-Artistic Director of Hamilton’s To the Pointe Dance Project




Susie Burpee

Host, Withrow Park


Susie Burpee creates ‘fully human characters, struggling for connection’ (The Toronto Star). She was a dancer with Le Groupe Dance Lab and Dancemakers, and she has worked with many luminous Canadian choreographers, including Peter Chin, Sasha Ivanochko, Lesandra Dodson, and Tedd Robinson. Her work has received Dora Mavor Moore Awards for Outstanding Choreography and Performance, and she is a past recipient of the K.M. Hunter Artist Award for Dance.

Burpee’s work examines the intersections of creator and performer, and the collision of chance and craft. Her study abroad with master clown/theatre teacher Philippe Gaulier and her extensive work in contemporary performance allows her to traverse disciplines as a performer, creator, and teacher. A graduate of the Professional Program of the School of Contemporary Dancers/University of Winnipeg, Burpee is now guest faculty in the program. She also teaches at George Brown College, The School of Toronto Dance Theatre, and Ryerson University.

Burpee is a member of the Canadian Alliance of Dance Artists, and on the board of the Toronto Dance Community Love-In.





Peter Chin

Choreographer, Withrow Park


Peter Chin, Artistic Director of interdisciplinary dance company Tribal Crackling Wind, has been called a “renaissance man” based on his work as a dancer/choreographer, composer/musician, writer, designer and director. Chin was born in Kingston Jamaica, and is based in Toronto and Phnom Penh. Besides his work in Canada, he has also conducted extensive research and creative activity in Asia, Cambodia and Indonesia in particular. Chin’s performance works have been presented across Canada at major dance and music festivals, as well as in Japan, Indonesia, Malaysia, Cambodia, Thailand, Taiwan, India, Singapore, Holland, Jamaica, Mexico, Columbia and the United States.

Chin is the recipient of numerous awards including five Dora Mavor Moore Awards for dance, as well as the Muriel Sherrin Award for International Achievement in dance, a Gemini award for his performance in the film Streetcar, among others.





Dans son salon

Local company, Terrebonne


Dans son salon was officially founded in early 2013, becoming a company in 2016. Its official members are Marijoe Foucher, Karenne Gravel, Emmalie Ruest, Liane Thériault, and Benjamin Prescott La Rue. Emmalie and Karenne met in their dance studies at Université du Québec à Montreal, three years prior to the official creation of the collective. Soon after their graduation, the duet chose to work together in the creation of a dance pieces in which they would perform as themselves. They found a collaborative practice fed by their common artistic interests developed over their studies. In August 2013, new members joined the collective and started working on screendance projects





Opening Band Musician, Withrow Park


Brendan Davis began playing acoustic bass in high school and was instantly taken by jazz upon first hearing. At university he studied with Oscar Peterson, Dave Holland, George Russell, Pat LaBarbera, George Garzone, and Lorne Lofsky, to name a few. Since graduating from the New England Conservatory with a Masters Degree in Jazz Performance Brendan has played mostly in and around the Toronto area becoming one of the more in-demand bassists in the city. He has worked with such local icons as Bernie Senensky, Terry Clarke, Norman Marshall Villeneuve, Reg Schwager and Perry White. He is a regular member of the Laura Hubert Group, the Peter Hill Quintet, and leads his own group, Boom for Rent, playing many of the local clubs and festivals.




MairÉad Filgate

Local choreographer, Barrie


Mairéad Filgate is a Toronto-based dance artist and graduate of the School of Toronto Dance Theatre and the Etobicoke School of the Arts. She has performed extensively throughout Canada, Europe, and Asia, with the Danny Grossman Dance Company, Yvonne Ng/tiger princess dance projects, Bill Coleman, Ame Henderson/Public Recordings, Dusk Dances, Sylvie Bouchard/ BoucharDanse, Marie-Josée Chartier/Chartier Danse, Gabby Kamino, Laurie Raymond, and Kaeja d’Dance, among others. As a choreographer Mairéad creates both independently and collaboratively. In 2016, she and her collaborators of Throwdown Collective were honored to receive a Dora Mavor Moore Award for Outstanding Choreography for their stage work Various Concert. Mairéad recently received her Bachelor of Arts in Women & Gender Studies and Sociology from the University of Toronto and serves as the Chair for the Board of Directors of the Canadian Alliance of Dance Artists.




Tina Fushell

Choreographer/Performer, Withrow Park


Born and raised in St. John’s, NL, dancer, teacher, producer and choreographer, Tina Fushell, lives and works in Toronto where she has been based since 1999.  As a performer, she has collaborated and originated roles in the works of numerous choreographers including Susie Burpee, Valerie Calam, Jesse Dell, Kate Franklin, Luke Garwood, Ame Henderson, Brendan Jensen, Sebastian Mena, Matjash Mrozewski, Darryl Tracy, among others. Her work has been presented across the country, including performances in Porch View Dances, Guelph Contemporary Dance Festival, Festival of New Dance, dance:made in Canada, Nuit Blanche and SummerWorks.

Most recently Fushell joined the TO Love-In as Co-Artistic Director, is one of 25 dancers working with Christopher House and Anne Troake as part of the NL Dance Project, and is a Metcalf Foundation Performing Arts Intern in curation, working with Laura Nanni at SummerWorks. An active producer, Fushell was Co-Artistic Director of Ambitious Enterprises (AE) with Kate Franklin from 2002 to 2012; together they produced the At the Wrecking Ball series providing opportunities for emerging choreographic talents. In the last few years, Fushell curated a work-in-progress series called For Show and is co-curator for PS: We are All Here. When not creating and performing in dance works, Fushell invests in the next generation of dancers through her work at George Brown College.




Nina Gilmour

host, Touring


This is Gilmour’s third summer hosting Dusk Dances and she’s thrilled to be back. She recently collaborated with Theatre Smith-Gilmour on their premiere of Les Misérables where she played Fantine & Cosette. She played the lead in Valerie Buhagiar’s feature It’s Hard To Be Human, which premiered in March at Cinequest in San José. She was nominated for a Dora Mavor Moore Award for her ensemble work in Fixt Point’s The Tale of a T-shirt in 2014and for As I Lay Dying (Take Me Back to Jefferson) in 2015.

Her background in physical theatre and improvisation stems from her training with Philippe Gaulier at his prestigious school in Paris and theatre performance at Humber College.





Dance Workshop, Withrow Park


Joy of Dance Centre is located at Broadview and Danforth.  Established since 2006, Joy of Dance has become a key part of the Riverdale community.

Offering dance instruction in almost every style for those aged 3 – 93.  Joy of Dance Centre is committed to offering the very best in a warm and welcoming environment. They provide students with a place and space to grow: uniquely, individually, expressively, technically, passionately and with excellence. They have classes and private lessons from Ballroom to Hip Hop, Contemporary to Ballet.

Joy of Dance vision is dance, just dance. They want you to learn the therapeutic, life affirming and spirit enhancing benefits of dance. When life gives you lemons, dance. When you want to just go home and cry, dance. When you are celebrating life’s miracles, dance.

Dance wherever you are. No electronics, no outside distractions, no boss, partner or family to take time away from you spending time with yourself. Everyone needs to dance to survive the world today. Let Joy of Dance be that home for you







Jareth Li

Festival Lighting Designer, Withrow Park


Jareth is a lighting designer based in Toronto, and happy to be back for another season in Withrow with Dusk Dances. Select lighting designs include: Black Boys (Buddies In Bad Times + Canada Tour); Prairie Nurse (Factory); Risky Phil (YPT); Punk Rock, Lemons..., The Glass Menagerie (The Howland Company); Chautauqua (Pearle Harbour Presents); Crazy For You (Port Hope Capitol Theatre); Mourning Dove (Sudbury Theatre Centre).

He has also spent six seasons as an assistant lighting designer at the Stratford Festival, and five seasons at the Canadian Opera Company. Jareth has also had the opportunity to tour across North America with companies such as Menaka Thakkar Dance and Just For Laughs. Jareth is a member of the Associated Designers of Canada.




Alyssa Nedich

Local choreographer, Hamilton


Daring to follow her artistic dreams, Alyssa Nedich has been working as a choreographer, movement director, and artist educator for eight years. Nedich has developed a versatile portfolio with experience in classrooms, competitions, theatres, and on movie sets. She can be seen on stages and screens across Canada, as well as sitting on the other side creating, curating, and developing new work.

Her experience has allowed her to travel across Canada to share her movement and creativity with other dancers. Nedich specializes in contemporary, jazz, and musical theatre as well as training others to find their own unique movement qualities through improvisation.

Nedich is the founder of To the Pointe Dance Project, a dance collective created to celebrate dance and the pure joy that comes from movement. Her work with To the Pointe Dance Project has been featured in artistic events and showcases including Dusk Dances (Communal Solace, 2017), Frostbites Festival (Communal Solace, 2017 and Deva, 2016) and iNtegrated Parts (Psyche, 2018). Nedich is thrilled to be joining ‘Together in Dance’ to premiere a new work at Dusk Dances Hamilton in 2018.





Opening Band Musician, Withrow Park


Sophia Perlman is singer, musician, songwriter, arts facilitator, choral conductor, music director and educator. She is known primarily for her work as a jazz, blues and improvising musician. She has toured Canada as a bandleader, as co-leader of the band PerlHaze, and can be heard on numerous recordings as both a collaborator and featured guest. When not performing, she finds a wide range of work rooted in her belief that music is everyone’s birthright, and that anyone can sing.




Carmen Romero

Withrow Park and Touring


Carmen Romero is the Artistic Director of Compañía Carmen Romero and the School of Flamenco Dance, recognized on the national and international flamenco scene as an artist whose body of work is sophisticated, steeped in tradition, and emotion yet full of inquisitive risk. Romero is recognized amongst her peers as an artist whose skill and physical power is dominating and unrelenting. Having been featured in every flamenco festival in Canada, she is known as an artist that has fostered deep creative relationships and has sewn the flamenco quilt across Canada’s flamenco communities.

Her work Luna Llena, performed in the Certamen de Coreografia de Danza y Flamenco at the prestigious Teatro de Cervantes in Madrid, placed 7th in the world with her all-Canadian cast. As well, Romero is the only Canadian artist to have competed in the world-renowned Flamenco Festival du Nimes, France. She recently presented her work May I Join You? in the Encuentro de las Castanuealas Festival in Girona, Spain. Romero has coached Latin pop star Shakira in her Sale el Sol tour, bridging pop music and flamenco and breaking down the walls by collaborating genres. Romero is a recipient of a Chalmers Award, as well as a Dora nomination for Best Choreography and Muriel Sherrin Award for International Achievement in Dance, affirming her deep investment in her artistic work, her audience and her place on the local and international stage.





Simcoe Contemporary Dancers

Local company, Barrie


Simcoe Contemporary Dancers (SCD) is a not-for-profit professional company in Simcoe County that exists to encourage and showcase the development of local professional contemporary dance. SCD are pioneers in this community as the region’s first performance-based not-for-profit dance organization, founded in 2009.

SCD offers a variety of training opportunities in the community with local and visiting artists, as well as youth apprenticeships, and platforms for local choreographers to create new works. They produce a number of shows and events within Barrie, each offering different opportunities to engage with dance. These include workshops in libraries, studios, schools and community centres, Dusk Dances Barrie, biannual productions Five Points Theatre and Celebration of Dance.

SCD offers free admission performances and workshops annually at Carnegie Days and Winterfest in partnership with the MacLaren Art Centre. Through these performances, workshops and more, SCD continues to facilitated numerous opportunities to collaborate as a community in a non-competitive atmosphere – providing a platform to be expressive, creatively engaged and challenged. In 2017, SCD was honoured with a City of Barrie Arts Award for Contribution to the Community.





Josh Taylor

Local choreographer, Hamilton


Josh Taylor is a dancer, choreographer and artist-educator specializing in hip-hop, urban dance, Latin and ballroom. Starting out as a self-taught hip-hop dancer, Taylor went on to study the funk styles of popping, boogaloo and locking while completing his CDTA training as a ballroom and Latin dance instructor.

As Artistic Director of Defining Movement Dance Company, Taylor instructs throughout the Hamilton region and the GTA, creating choreography for music videos, theatre companies, and special events such as the Hamilton Art Awards, the AGH CIBC World Film Festival, the PanAm Games and Supercrawl. Taylor has performed as a part of ensemble showcases at the Roots En Roots Festival, Frostbites Fringe Festival, and as a soloist at the COBRA Inaugural Launch, INtegrated pARTS and the Kultrun World Music Festival.

A recipient of the John C. Holland, Jackie Washington Award for Arts Excellence, Taylor is also an instructor with Xklusiv Dance Productions, Royal Conservatory of Music’s Learning Through the Arts, member of the HCADT and part of The Hamilton 7 Storytelling Collective.




Allison Toffan

Choreographer/Performer, Withrow Park


Proudly based in Toronto for over a decade, Allison Toffan has been busy stirring up momentum in the Canadian tap dance community. Her mentors include world-renowned tap dance artists Heather Cornell, Brenda Bufalino, and Max Pollak. Career highlights include: Eight (8) years as a principle dancer with Turn on The Tap (Paula Skimin), featured tap dancer at the 2010 Olympic Opening Ceremonies, Warehouse 13 Series Finale (Jeff Dimitriou), Festival Dance Encore (Tasha Lawson), TD Canada Trust Toronto Jazz Festival, TapCity’s Tap Internationals (Lisa La Touche, NYC), Montreal Tap Festival’s Rhythm Lives! - with living legend Arthur Duncan, and establishing the Toronto Rhythm Initiative - a platform Toffan created to voice the artistry of Toronto’s tap dancers in collaboration with live music.

Over the past few years Toffan’s work was featured in Toronto’s Body Percussion Festival, she performed in Lisa’s La Touche’s world premiere of Hold On, has been on two multi-city US tours with The StepCrew, is a contributing artist with Anandam Dancetheatre, tap danced on the soundtrack of the critically acclaimed video game Cuphead, and created The Big Band Tap Revue in collaboration with Toronto Jazz Orchestra’s Artistic Director Josh Grossman and co-producer Soraya Peerbaye, directed by Emmy Award winner and tap dance icon Ted Louis Levy.

Toffan was thrilled to bring the vision of the Toronto International Tap Dance Festival to fruition in June 2017, produced in partnership with Harbourfront Centre. The inaugural festival marked the official launch of Toffan’s production company: Toffan Rhythm Projects, bridging the goals, mandates, and facilitation of her professional body of work rooted in collaboration, creation, curation, and community.





Shelby Thoms

Local choreographer, Barrie


Shelby Thoms holds a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Dance from Ryerson University.She is proud to have worked with and performed under a number of notable choreographers and teachers, including Allen Kaeja, William Yong, Nadia Potts, Karen Duplisea, and Vicki St. Denys, Susan Kendal and Mairéad Filgate. Shelby has continued her training and development attending summer programs at Toronto Dance Theatre and École de Danse Contemporaine de Montréal.

This is her 6th season as a company member and guest teacher/choreographer of Simcoe Contemporary Dancers. She has furthered her training as a dancer abroad at Impulstanz International Dance festival in Vienna Austria working with teachers and dancers from all over the globe. She is also a certified yoga instructor.




William Yong

Choreographer, Touring


William Yong is currently the artistic director of Zata Omm Dance Projects. He was trained and received his master’s degree at the London Contemporary Dance School in London, UK. Yong’s professional dance and theatre career spans more than twenty-four years since starting with Random Dance in 1994. He has performed in 75 cities within 15 countries. He presented his first choreography in a production in Freiburg, Germany in 1993 and has now created over seventy-six dance and theatre works worldwide.

As a dancer/performer, past companies include Wayne McGregor’s Random Dance and Matthew Bourne’s Adventures In Motion Pictures in the UK and Toronto Dance Theatre, CORPUS, Peggy Baker Dance Projects, Lina Cruz/Fila 13 in Canada, among many others.

Yong and his works have received five Dora Mavor Moore Award nominations. Yong was also nominated for the Young Centre Performing Arts Multidisciplinary Dance Artist Award and is a three-time finalist for K.M. Hunter Artists Award. Yong received the 2013 “I love dance/J’aime la danse” Award for Innovation presented by the Canadian Dance Assembly. For Yong’s theatre directorial debut Comfort in 2016, he was nominated for MyTheatre Award’s ‘Outstanding Direction’ by My Entertainment World.







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