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.
Sylvie Bouchard is originally from Montréal where she began her training before moving to Toronto in 1983 to study at the School of Toronto Dance Theatre. She subsequently joined Toronto Dance Theatre in 1985 and performed nationally and internationally with them for five years in works by Peter Randazzo, Trich Beatty, David Earle and Christopher House. Bouchard has also performed with Fujiwara Dance Inventions, Kaeja d'Dance, Winnipeg Contemporary Dancers and Dancemakers and has worked for many choreographers including Tedd Robinson, Denise Fujiwara, Susie Burpee, Roger Sinha, Peggy Baker, Serge Bennathan, Marie-Josée Chartier, Gerry Trentham, Santee smith and Sashar Zarif.
In 1997, Bouchard formed the company CORPUS with artistic partner David Danzon. Until 2008, she co-created and performed in eight works through CORPUS, touring nationally and internationally in theatres, outdoor venues and in schools. She also co-choreographed and starred in the popular children’s TV Series Four-Square on Treehouse TV. In 1993, Sylvie Bouchard created Dusk Dances. Dusk Dances grew under the artistic direction of Bouchard and David Danzon and through CORPUS, until Bouchard became sole Festival Director in 2008.
In 2009, Bouchard formed BoucharDanse, a company that house her creation and production projects. Through BoucharDanse, she created La vie for Mairéad Filgate (Dance: made in Canada/fait au Canada & Dusk Dances); choreographed and performed in L’Implorante, created in collaboration with Théâtre la Tangente (Glendon College & Harbourfront Centre); created L’éternel voyage (Harbourfront Centre); created Cycle romantique (Glendon College); created L’envol and Petits rêves for Canadian Contemporary Dance Theatre (Harbourfront Centre); performed in Histoire d’amour, choreographed by Julia Aplin, Susie Burpee, Louis-Martin Charest, Denise Fujiwara and Louis-Laberge Côté (Harbourfront Centre).
Bouchard also performed femme assise, a solo created by Marie-Josée Chartier (Older & Reckless); was part of the cast of Apocalypsis, a Luminato Production directed by Lemi Bonifasio, (Bluma Appel Theatre); was part of the cast of Eunoia and Moving Parts, both choreographed by Denise Fujiwara (Harbourfront Centre); performed in Tedd Robinson’s Disconcertante and Susie Burpee’s This Time Past (presented by Cloud 9); and performed in Gerry Trentham’s Art of Peace (Fort York). Sylvie Bouchard is the recipient of the 2009 K.M. Hunter Artist Award for dance.
Cassandra is a dance artist, educator and choreographer with a passion for quirkiness and physicality. Holding a bachelor of fine arts from Ryerson University’s Performance Dance program, she furthered her professional training in Calgary with Decidedly Jazz Danceworks. Cassandra has continued to develop a unique style through the exploration of different movement genres. She has worked with Aeris Korper, The Parahumans, Rock Bottom Movement, Half Second Echo, Project InTandem, Peggy Baker Dance Projects and others. Bowerman has choreographed for Hamilton Arts Week, Dusk Dances Hamilton, Hamilton and Toronto Fringe Festivals, David Foster’s Miracle Foundation Gala and Swim Good Now’s Lonely Acres music video. Cassandra is Co-Artistic Director of To the Pointe Dance Project. She strives to create good, accessible, theatre through dance; to evoke a physical and emotional response from audience members and to share stories through movement.
Local choreographer, Repentigny
Born in Berthierville, Marie-Michelle graduated from the Cégep de Drummondville and the Contemporary Dance Professional Program at The School of Dance (Ottawa). Since then, she has appeared as a performer for Tara Luz Danse and Ottawa Dance Directive, in addition to collaborating with various independent choreographers (Meagan O'Shea, Jocelyn Todd, Cathy Kyle-Fenton and Audrée Papineau). Her experience has also allowed her to work as a choreographic guide and rehearsal director for various events and festivals and as a teacher in several schools in Quebec and Ontario.
In 2015, Marie-Michelle became a Fillactive Ambassador as a result of her desire to encourage young girls to adopt a healthy lifestyle. She has also been a certified Yoga Tune Up® instructor since November 2017. More recently, her community involvement and desire to promote dance in her native region have led her to work as a dance development manager for the Hector-Charland Theater. Today, Marie-Michelle stays current and continues to develop her versatility as a dancer by participating in a range of training sessions and workshops. The performer’s work is fuelled by new encounters and exchanges, as well as her constant search for fresh physical and artistic challenges.
Choreographer & performer, touring
This Montreal artist articulates her craft through languages specifically created for each of her works that results as a dynamic contemporary illustration derived from the traditions of Haiti, Central and West Africa. She successfully draws a connection between individual memories of the present and the collective memory of the past. Her flagship work BOW’T, drawing interest both locally and abroad (Burkina Faso, Brazil, Martinique, Haiti), adds to the seven works of her repertoire and to her international collaborations. In 2016, Rhodnie launched the BOW’T TRAIL, an international choreographic project and documentary, which led her to take part of the Francophone Cultural Programing of the Olympic Games of Rio de Janeiro (2016). Through her socially engaged and politically refined works, she will soon give birth to two new pieces: Dusk society, (2017) and MWON’D (2018). Charismaticspeaker and business woman (founder of the cultural mediation consulting cie: DÊZAM), she has been invited to many universities and by the UNESCO.
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.
Yuichiro Inoue has danced with the Toronto Dance Theatre for the last thirteen years. Born in Japan where he received his initial training in ballet at the age of 11, Yuichiro moved to Germany at the age of 15 where he studied full time on scholarship at the John Cranko Ballet School in Stuttgart, Germany. He spent five years performing with Staatstheater Braunschweig and additional two years with Badisches Staatstheater Karlsruhe before moving to Saarländisches Staatstheater in Saarbruecken and danced in Germany, France, Italy, Switzerland, the Netherlands, Austria, Croatia, China, Ukraine, USA and Japan. Mr. Inoue is a RAD certified teacher. In addition to teaching at Canada’s National Ballet School, Pia Bouman School for Ballet and Creative Movement, the Canadian School of Ballet, the Quinte Ballet School, Kobe Jogakuin University Japan, and numerous schools and dance companies throughout Japan, Yuichiro teaches both ballet and contemporary classes for Toronto Dance Theatre. As a choreographer, his works have included commissions for an award-winning short film, festivals and international competitions.
Choreographer, Withrow Park & touring
2018 Dora winner Hanna Kiel is from Seoul, South Korea, and moved to Vancouver in 1996. She has presented her work at 12 Minutes Max, Plan B Singles and solos Festival, Dancing on the Edge Festival and Pulse at the Scotiabank Dance Centre in Vancouver. In 2007, she collaborated with Yoko Ono as a dancer and choreographer at the Centre A. Moving to Toronto in 2008, Hanna has continued choreographing for Rosedale Heights School of the Arts, Conteur Dance Academy, George Brown Dance, Ryerson Dances, School of Toronto Dance Theatre, Kenny Pearl’s Emerging Artist Intensive, IGNITE, ProArteDanza, Ballet Jörgen, Alias Dance Project, The National Ballet of Canada, Canadian Contemporary Dance Theatre, Toronto Dance Theatre and Decidedly Jazz Danceworks in Calgary.
In 2012 she won Northwest Dance Project’s ‘Pretty Creatives’ international choreographic competition. She was an E-choreographer in 2015 for Springboard Danse Montréal and one of the choreographers at Osez 2018 in Québec City. Hanna is the artistic director of Human Body Expression and one of the founders of “The Garage” dance development and exchange collective group.
(Simcoe Contemporary Dancers)
Local choreographer, Barrie
Chrissy King grew up in Upstate New York on the shores of Lake Ontario, and has danced for as long as she can remember. She began her serious training at Lisa’s Centre of Dance Artistry where she fostered her love for dance and hard work ethic. Chrissy attended The College at Brockport, State University of New York earning her Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in Modern Dance under the direction of Bill Evans and Maura Keefe. Chrissy is thrilled to continue working with and growing Simcoe Contemporary Dancers and looks forward to continuing showcasing amazing work in the greater Simcoe area.
Emily Law is a contemporary dancer, street dancer, and emerging choreographer. She graduated from The School of Toronto Dance Theatre and The Etobicoke School of the Arts. She has trained and competed in house dancing and waacking. Emily is a founding member of Mix Mix Dance Collective, the Toronto house dance crew Warehouse Jacks and Parks N’ Wreck. Emily has had the pleasure of working with companies and artists such as: Kaha:wi Dance Theatre, The Dietrich Group, The Chimera Project and Alias Dance Project. Her choreographic work has been showcased on companies and in festivals such as: Toronto Dance Theatre, The Next Stage Theatre Festival, Toronto Fringe Festival, CanAsian Dance Festival, The Reel Asian Film Festival, Guelph Dance & Fall For Dance North. She has been nominated for two Dora Mavor Moore awards, a Gemini & the 2017 Premier’s award. Also, she recently represented Canada in the hip hop category at Jeux de la Francophone with Mix Mix Dance Collective in Abidjan.
Pulga Muchochoma was born in Quelimane, Mozambique. His dance career and training began in Quelimane with Montes Namuli Dance Company. In 2006 he came to Toronto with the company for the International AIDS Conference. With Montes Namuli / Shakespeare Link Canada, he performed in several shows in Toronto and Mozambique. Muchochoma then stayed in Toronto to study at The School of Toronto Dance Theatre, and since 2009, Pulga has been working with Toronto Dance Theatre under Artistic Director Christopher House. While with TDT, he has had the pleasure to work and collaborate with local and international choreographers such as Christopher House, Ame Anderson, Veronica Tennant, Susie Burpee, Peter Chin, Tawiah Ben McCart, Patricia Beaty, Thomas Hauert, Heidi Strauss, Estelle Clareton, Deborah Dunn, Deborah Hay, Simone Orlando, Josh Beamish, Alban Richard, Jean-Paul Kelly, Alicia Grant and Jeanine Durning.
(Mix Mix Dance Collective)
Choreographer & performer, Withrow Park
Ashley Perez "Colours" is a dancer, choreographer and entrepreneur making waves in the Canadian dance scene. Training in funk styles and hip-hop, she later specialized in voguing, waacking and house with mentors Archie Burnett (New York), Caleaf Sellers (New York), Jojo Zolina (Vancouver) and Kaiti Dangerkat (Calgary/New York).
Ashley is the Co-artistic director or Mix Mix Dance Collective with whom she has co-created two full length works and recently represented Canada at 2017, Jeux de la Francophonie in Abidjan. With Mix Mix, she was a resident artist at York Woods Library and presented a new work at Fall For Dance North in October.
Ashley was a resident choreographer and performer with the artist collective House of Dangerkat. Developing works that allowed her to travel and perform in places such as New York, London & Paris.
Her most recent teaching enterprise has been Class with Colours, to share the essence of Waacking - the glam, sass, and punk - with people of all backgrounds. These workshops have popped up at spaces such as Sketch Studio (Artscape Youngplace), Lululemon Attic, and Parks N’ Wreck 2016/17.
Meredith Thompson is a Toronto-based dance artist, dance maker and arts educator originally from Huntsville, Ontario. She has performed throughout Canada and beyond with BoucharDanse, Dancetheatre David Earle, the Danny Grossman Dance Company, Mairéad Filgate, Tina Fushell, Kaha:wi Dance Theatre, Barbara Lindenberg, and Yvonne Ng, among others. A core artist with Dusk Dances, Meredith has also been performing, touring, and creating for this popular outdoor, site-specific dance festival for over a decade.
As a maker/creator, Meredith works both independently and collaboratively, and past projects have been presented at a number of festivals and events across Canada, most recently SummerWorks, Halifax Fringe, Nuit Blanche North, and the Sunrise Festival in Inuvik, NWT. Meredith has also worked extensively as a teaching artist with the Toronto District School Board, and is the Director of the Young Apprentice Program at Canadian Contemporary Dance Theatre. Meredith is a graduate of York University’s Department of Fine Arts and Faculty of Education.
Shelby Thoms (Simcoe Contemporary Dancers)
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.
Born in Changchun, China, Naishi Wang began his dance training at Jilin College of Art and Beijing Dance Academy. In 2004, Naishi joined Toronto Dance Theater for 9 years. Naishi collaborated and co-choreographed with Berlin-based Tanz-Theater artist Christoph Winkler in Crossing Half of China to Sleep With You, and Tale of the Dragon and Lion. From 2009 to 2010 he was commissioned by SXM studio in Beijing, China, to create concept-based contemporary dance works Split and Avatar’s Tree. In 2018, at a showing in Kinetic Studio (Halifax), he premiered his solo Taking Breath, also shown in Toronto, presented by Citadel + Compagnie, followed by a German premiere at Monsun Theater, Hamburg, Germany. In 2019, Naishi is creating a new work on Toronto/Halifax based company Nostos Collective.