International Dance Day is coming up on April 29 and although we can’t present our usual live events, we’re still planning to celebrate with a virtual edition! We invited programmed and resident artists as well as Dance Centre staff to share why they love dance and what it means to them:
Dance is one of those rare art forms where the body is the instrument, the material that one uses to communicate, express and reach out. Dance saved my life. It gave me an identity, a shelter, a way to express myself artistically. It has allowed me to meet wonderful people, travel the world, and has given me a satisfying way to make a living.
– Jai Govinda, Artistic Director, Mandala Arts and Culture
I love moving my body through dance because it connects me to myself, my surroundings, community and ideas that are bigger than me. I like the evident curiosity and endlessness of dance, the constant striving to uncover what it’s about and what it can look and feel like. I love the drama and ridiculousness of dance. I also like the simplicity. Dancing to me means movement with intention, pleasure, abandon, idea, randomness… moving through both specific and undefined shapes or relationships.
– Jenna Berlyn, dance artist
Dance is everywhere, it holds me, it ripples through my nervous system, it agitates and calms me. Our bodies are always involved in a biological, beautiful and intricate dance that is functional and has purpose. We are always in movement internally and this is something that I love because it is a shared experience.
– Vanessa Goodman, Artistic Director, Action at a Distance
I love dance because it is healing for my people, myself and people of all nations. Dance means celebrating the resilience, strength and devotion of my people 7 generations before me and 7 generations ahead.
-Yvonne Chartrand, Artistic Director, V’ni Dansi
As an adult, I continue to explore the curiosity and complexities I had as a child. The impulses, emotions and discovery does not change that much really, but the ability to express and create takes many changes of direction and processing. I continuously question our social issues beginning with myself! Dance provides for me a broad creative palate to work and the fortunate freedom to do so.
– Paras Terezakis, Artistic Director, Kinesis Dance somatheatro
I love dance because a single movement has the power to communicate multiple feelings and emotions. Dance is everything and everywhere. It is the rhythm of waking up in the morning and going to bed at night. It is the change of seasons. It is the beating of a heart or the rise and fall of a rib cage. It is as complicated as a series of choreographed steps or the simple shuffle of walking down the street. I also love dance because it can be whatever you want it to be.
– Amber Funk Barton, Artistic Director, the response.
In my family, dancing was always there when there was a joy. So, for me dance is always associated with happiness. I could not imagine better way to celebrate the body, being in the physical body, and joy of being alive.
– Petra Zanki, dance artist
Dance is my way into all of my relations. Dancing means being in my fullest potential, activating all of me beyond my muscles and bones.
– Tasha Faye Evans, dance artist
There is a magic about dance that draws me to it my entire life. It is art and creativity, embodied, connected to every physical and mental part of me. The way I think about dance now is poetry in motion…or painting that is constantly being painted and is changing – and the colours are the movement and the paintbrushes are the body. Dance, to me, means a physical practice of body and mind working together to create a living, breathing art work.
– Alina Sotskova, Artistic Director, Voirelia: Dance, Philosophy and Psychology Hub
Dance is my primary language. I believe in dance and the ritual of performance as a method for personal and collective transformation.
– Anouk Froidevaux, dance artist
Dance teaches me body and mind control, gradually letting me release that control and letting it flow. Dance is a magical language and energy connection that allows everyone to forget about anything else existing in the world at the moment of dance. Dance is beautiful and it lets the beauty out of anyone who dares to try... Dance allows me to feel beautiful and strong no matter how my day went, and then it helps everyone involved in watching or dancing to feel better, healthier, more confident & inspired.
– Yulia Terekh, dance artist
I love dance because it keeps unfolding exponential possibilities for doingmovingthinking. Dance is the fundamental way I understand being and relating.
– Megan Andrews, dance artist
It fuels my imagination and curiosity about people, cultures, the world, and about myself and my relationship to these in ways that no other physical activity or ways of communication do.
– Mirna Zagar, Executive Director
I love dance because it reflects the everyday to the abstract and everything in between.
– Raquel Alvaro, Programming Coordinator
I love the way dance is able to convey all the intricacies of being human – our emotions, thoughts and ideas – through the glorious complexity and subtlety of the body.
– Heather Bray, Director of Marketing
Dance enables emotion and intelligence to exist throughout the body. Dance, to me, is a collective celebration of the present moment.
– Gemma Crowe, Development Coordinator
I love dance because it is heartfelt, unique, unlimited in scope and showcases the amazing abilities of the human body and mind. Dance means creativity, cooperation, drive and determination.
– Linda Blankstein, Associate Producer
Dance is about energy, vitality, attending to the body, and connecting, with alertness, to our bodies. Dancing can make me feel playful, creative, and energetic, poised, contained, and wise. Watching dance can also make me feel all of these things. Dance… means activation, reflection; reflection-in-action. I relate to it deeply as a multi-faceted discipline, as a way of thinking, feeling and being, as a research subject, and as an art form.
– Claire French, Member Services Coordinator
Dancing ballet allows me to express myself through movement while taking me to a place where my cares disappear. Dance means joy and personal freedom.
-Sheri Urquhart, Development Director
I love dance for the energy that the artists bring to the space. The physicality, the movement and the intellect of the dancers can be awe inspiring and motivating.
– Robin Naiman, Venue and Services Administrator
Photo credits: Alina Sotskova by Jason Kirkness, Amber Funk Barton by Chris Barton, Anouk Froidevaux by Dieter-Hartwig, Jai Govinda by Avinash Pasricha, Jenna Berlyn by Mika Manning, Petra Zanki by Benoît Pioulard, Vanessa Goodman by David Cooper, V’ni Dansi by Chris Randle, Yulia Terekh by Israel Acosta