Dancemakers Minifest just Around the Corner!

2 weeks of enticing and curious works and events including world premiere co-pro with Luminato featuring 1,000 small and powerful robots!

June 13 to 24, 2017; various times and venues

Dancemakers previously announced the  company’s first-ever MiniFest, featuring two weeks of contemporary, enticing, well-crafted dance works and outreach events, from June 13 to 24 at three different venues.

Says Danceworks Curator Amelia Ehrhardt, “Under one umbrella for the first time since the launch of the Incubation Production House in 2014, we are delighted to present Mainstage works by all four Resident Artists involved with that program, and education and outreach events for the entire dance community.”

Two of the Mainstage presentations are in partnership: a world premiere with Luminato of acclaimed Australian choreographer Antony Hamilton’s Natural Orders, June 22-24 (with 1,000 small robots!) and the Toronto premiere with Toronto Dance Theatre of Montreal international sensation Dana Michel with her solo Yellow Towel, June 17-18. Just this past April, Dana was awarded the prestigious Silver Lion for Innovation in Dance of the 2017 Venice Biennale and Antony performed Meeting, his duet for man and machine, to great acclaim for Canadian Stage. Additionally, the MiniFest Mainstage launches on June 13 with a Double Bill of up and coming Toronto dance artists:Andrea Spaziani with her trio Rafters and Amanda Acorn’s Work-in-Progress for four dancers.

Dancemakers MiniFest Outreach activities commence with Antony Hamilton’s Morning Class from June 12-16 for professional and pre-professional dance artists. Andrea Spaziani takes audiences to Cherry Beach on June 15 for Overwhelmica, a performative lecture on “looking up”; audiences are asked to meet at Dancemakers at 8:30 pm and run, walk, bike, skate to the performance (Artscape Gibraltar Point was the original venue for this but had to move given the flooding of the Toronto Islands and the resultant restriction on public access.) Amelia Ehrhardt moderates Is It Utopic To Even Ask? A Conversation on June 19 with all four Dancemakers Resident Artists. And select secondary and post-secondary dance students and community organizations are invited to an Open Rehearsal with a Q & A of Antony Hamilton’s Natural Orders on June 20.

The full MiniFest program & Schedule at A Glance are below:

Dancemakers MiniFest Mainstage Programs

The 2017 Dancemakers MiniFest launches its public performances of works with a Double Bill at 8 pm on Tuesday, June 13 at Dancemakers Centre for Creation, with Andrea Spaziani’s Rafters, featuring collaborators and performers Alicia Grant, Julia Male and Andrea Spaziani. Rafters is a work that solidified Andrea’s residency at Dancemakers. A meditation on hyper-empathy, it offers a flood of imagery: they’re goldfish in a bowl, they’re the actual rafters coming down from the ceiling, they’re tangled kites. Open, inviting, and structured with recognizable tasks the dancers share, Rafters is as subdued as the dancers’ states and overt as their shiny gold pants.

Also on the Double Bill is Amanda Acorn’s Work-in-Progress, with collaborators and performers Rob Abubo, Lori Duncan, Bee Pallomina and Ann Trépanier. Amanda has been working explosively lately – constantly, diligently  –  and she is very prolific. A former Dancemakers company dancer, her solo multiform, that became the group workmultiform(s), and the immersive work Leisure Palace have all been shown at least once in the past year. Her creative energy to make a new work is inspiring, and working with such a stellar cast portends that this work-in-progress will be as energetic and arresting as her other works.

Double Bill featuring Andrea Spaziani’s Rafters and Amanda Acorn’s Work-in-Progress
Tuesday, June 13 at 8:00 pm
Dancemakers Centre for Creation, 9 Trinity Street, Theatre Studio 313,
Toronto’s Distillery Historic District
Tickets: $15 – general admission; $12 – arts workers/students/seniors


Montréaler Dana Michel’s seminal solo work Yellow Towel makes its Toronto première on Saturday, June 17 at 8 pm with a second performance on Sunday, June 18 at 3 pm at the Winchester Street Theatre. Presented in partnership with Toronto Dance Theatre, Yellow Towel is the work that launched her into the dizzying international touring space she now occupies. In April, she was awarded the prestigious Silver Lion for Innovation in Dance of the 2017 Venice Biennale. Québec’s Marie Chouinard, artistic director of the Venice Biennale, notes that “She is continually in the process of re-creating her current history, live, in front of us, infusing the stage with her own propensity for fluctuating identities… she reconstructs the raw and complex experience of simply being.” The award ceremony will be held on June 27 in Venice and that same evening, Michel performs the Italian premiere of Yellow Towel. With her gazing, still and mumbling body, she seems to show an aesthetic of an unwillingness to let you in, but there is a vulnerability that must be watched. Moving through tropes of black identity, Dana embodies these representations in a kind of dare to the audience: is this what you want to see of me?

Yellow Towel choreographed & performed by Dana Michel
Toronto premiere
 presented in partnership with Toronto Dance Theatre
Saturday, June 17 at 8:00 pm & Sunday, June 18 at 3:00 pm
Winchester Street Theatre
80 Winchester Street, Toronto
Tickets: $25 – general admission; $20 – arts workers/students/seniors


Co-presented with Luminato, Antony Hamilton’s Natural Orders takes the stage at Dancemakers Centre for Creation on Thursday, June 22 until Saturday, June 24 at 8 pm, with collaborators and performers Michael Caldwell, Jolyane Langlois, Sahara Morimoto and Tia Kushniruk  – plus 1,000 (!) small robots and machinery by Alisdair Macindoe(Antony’s long-time fellow Melbourne, Australia associate with whom he performed in April for Canadian Stage’s acclaimed Meeting). Antony explores machine-generated movement in this world première (after a hugely acclaimed Dancemakers’ June 2016 work-in-progress showing) as something that was not possible before machines existed, posing a curious sort of chicken-and-egg dilemma:  we cannot move in a way that we cannot conceive, can’t do the robot unless you’ve seen the robot. And really, how do we conceive of and propose any idea ever? That ideas can be proposed in movement feels impossible and somehow optimistic. Supported in part by the Australian High Commission, Ottawa.

Natural Orders choreographed by Antony Hamilton with robots and machinery by Alisdair Macindoe; collaborators and dancers: Michael Caldwell, Jolyane Langlois, Sahara Marimoto, Tia Kushniruk
World première co-presented with Luminato
Thursday, June 22 through Saturday, June 24 at 8:00 pm
Dancemakers Centre for Creation
9 Trinity Street, Theatre Studio 313, Toronto’s Distillery Historic District
Tickets: $25 – general admission; $20 – arts workers/students/seniors

Dancemakers MiniFest Outreach Programs

Dancemakers MiniFest Outreach activities commence with Antony Hamilton’s Morning Class, running from Monday, June 12 to Friday, June 16, from 10 am to 12 Noon, at Dancemakers Centre for Creation. Geared for professional and pre-professional dance artists, this 5-day morning technique workshop explores the elements within Antony’s creative process.

Morning Class with Antony Hamilton for professional and pre-professional dance artists
Monday, June 12 to Friday, June 16 from 10 am to 12 Noon
Dancemakers Centre for Creation
9 Trinity Street, Theatre Studio 313, Toronto’s Distillery Historic District
$70 for all 5 days; $15 daily drop-in


Andrea Spaziani’s Overwhelmica on Thursday, June 15 at 9:00 pm takes audiences to Cherry Beach  – auidiences will meet at Dancemakers at 8:30 pm and run, walk, bike, skate to the performance. Overwhelmica is a performative lecture on “looking up” as a choreographic gesture of expansion. By looking up, we rediscover the night sky, and grapple with existence against the scale of the observable galaxy, and its dark pockets. This lecture knows nothing about astronomy, and dodges astrology. It is about seeing beyond the capacity to look. Audiences will dance into blind spots under the massive sky. Overwhelmica was originally made for Archaeology of the Frivolous, to be presented May 4 to 15, Chihuahuan Desert, Marfa, Texas.

Overwhelmica, a performative lecture on the choreographic gesture of “looking up” by Andrea Spaziani
Thursday, June 15 at 9:00 pm
Cherry Beach – Audiences will meet at Dancemakers Centre for Creation at 8:30 pm to run, walk, bike, or skate to the performance!
9 Trinity Street, Theatre Studio 313, Toronto’s Distillery Historic District
Free programming


Next comes Is It Utopic To Even Ask? A Conversation on Monday, June 19 at 7 pm at Dancemakers Centre for Creation, moderated by Dancemakers Curator Amelia Ehrhardt, with Amanda Acorn, Antony Hamilton, Dana Michel and Andrea Spaziani. Dancemakers’ Resident Artists come together to share their experience of working in the unique IPH format, and what it’s like to work as an artist weaving in and out of this program model and other institutional resident artist models. How can organizations such as Dancemakers best serve the artistic process? What changes about work when it is self-facilitated vs. when it is organizationally driven? How can artists and institutions work together to imagine this kind of utopia?

Is It Utopic To Even Ask? A Conversation moderated by Dancemakers’ Curator Amelia Ehrhardt; collaborators:  Amanda Acorn, Antony Hamilton, Dana Michel & Andrea Spaziani    
Monday, June 19, 7:00 pm
Dancemakers Centre for Creation
9 Trinity Street, Theatre Studio 313, Toronto’s Distillery Historic District
Free programming


For secondary and post-secondary dance students, an Open Rehearsal will be held with a Q & A of Antony Hamilton’s Natural Orders on Tuesday, June 20 at Dancemakers Centre for Creation, at 2 pm. The students will be the first audiences to witness the final work, and the collaborative energy between Antony Hamilton’s sophisticated choreography, his long-time ally Alisdair Macindoe and his obsessive machine-making, and the unsurpassed dancers Meryem Alaoui, Michael Caldwell and Jolyane Langloisin, as Hamilton states, this “hyper-real theatrical situation.”

Open Rehearsal/ Q & A with high school & post-secondary dance students
Tuesday, June 20 at 2 pm
Dancemakers Centre for Creation
9 Trinity Street, Theatre Studio 313, Toronto’s Distillery Historic District
Tickets: $5 per student; teachers complimentary

Tickets & Information (prices include HST):  

Regular Ticket Packages – Double Bill, Yellow Towel & Natural Orders
Until June 12, 2017 – 10% discount
$44.20  & $58.50
Available on line at dancemakers.org

Single Tickets:  On sale as of May 15, from $12 to $25
 Available on line at dancemakers.org

Morning Class:  $70 for the week; Available online at dancemakers.org
$15 drop-in at the door

Free events:  Conversation & Overwhelmica. Just show up

Open Rehearsal for dance students:  $5 per student; teachers complimentary
Call 416-367-1800 to reserve

Dancemakers 2017 MiniFest is supported by BMO Financial Group. Dancemakers MiniFest Media Sponsor: The Dance Current.

About Dancemakers

Dancemakers makes its home at its Centre for Creation in Toronto’s Historic Distillery District. Curator Amelia Ehrhardt ensures that the Centre is a robust creative space that houses its Incubation Production House, a multi-year and fully resourced Resident Artist initiative. It also hold classes and workshops and its own presentations and events at the Centre, now one of Toronto’s finest affordable studio rental spaces.