Annual dance festival returns to Withrow Park
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Jul 28, 2012  |  Vote 0    0

Annual dance festival returns to Withrow Park

East York Mirror

Dusk Dances is back for its 13th season at Withrow Park and its got a few new moves in the works.

Audiences will have the chance to see five choreographed works of dance set among the trees of the Riverdale Park, but there will be a new host and two new performance elements.

“This year we’re adding a couple of elements to the performances: projection, so there’s one piece that will have projection, and lighting,” said Sylvie Bouchard, the festival director. “I always try to keep the event magical.”

Bouchard said the projection “ups the magic factor” for the final piece.

The festival runs from July 31 to Aug. 5 with this year’s program featuring five new and remounted works. The 10-minute pieces are inspired by the park’s natural environment.

Choreographer Bageshree Vaze (Toronto) presents a new kathak solo performed to live music called Twilight dealing with the themes of rebirth and spirituality.

The 605 Collective from Vancouver presents a excerpt from Audible featuring four performers who combine hip-hop and breakdancing in a rambunctious routine.

“They do their moves incredibly well,” Bouchard said. “It’s very physical.”

Toronto’s Lua Shayenne presents a traditional African dance featuring four female dancers and live drumming.

“This piece will pay homage to her childhood memories of growing up in Africa,” Bouchard said.

Julia Aplin has created a new duet for dancers Robert Glumbek and Yvonne Ng, who have danced together several times. The Tiger Princess Dance Projects piece involves a long red plastic tarp laid under the trees that the performers use.

The final piece is by Zata Omm Dance Projects with Crepuscular, performed by Gregory Charles and Steven Smith. The new work is inspired by our fear of nightfall and darkness and features the projection.

Withrow Park has become the Toronto home base for the annual dance festival.

“When we came to Withrow it was a very good fit for the festival. The audience has really embraced the festival so it feels like home,” Bouchard said. “The park is also really beautiful.”

The performances begin at 7 p.m. with the opening band and the dances starting at 7:30 p.m.

Dan Watson takes over hosting duties, guiding the audience from piece to piece.

“I’m looking forward to introducing him to the Withrow Park audience,” Bouchard said.

Admission is pay-what-you-can with a suggested donation of $10. Visit for details.

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