Dufferin Grove resident Andrea Nann was 12 years old before she realized dance was her true passion.
At the time, she was studying violin at the Vancouver Academy of Music, enrolled in an “intensive” program six days a week – after school and on Saturdays.
“I would sneak into the basement during breaks and watch (instructor Soonee Lee’s) ballet class through a small rectangular window,” Nann recalled. “I begged my parents to let me add one ballet class per week to my schedule. Within two years, I had completely transitioned from studying music to studying dance.”
The Vancouver native moved to Toronto in 1985 to pursue a Fine Arts Honours degree at York University before settling in the Dufferin and Bloor West streets neighbourhood in 1992, where she and her husband are raising their children.
“We love it here,” Nann told The Villager.
Nann’s latest project is a starring role in the Peggy Baker Dance Projects’ Stereophonic, a mixed bill of five multi-dimentional contemporary dance works choreographed by veteran dance artist Baker, premiering Feb. 27.
Nann is a member of Baker’s company. Since 2003, Nann has danced in many of Baker’s group works both in Toronto and on tour, including Piano Quartet, Coalesce and in her site specific work, Night Garden, as part of the National Ballet School/Nuit Blanche 2012.
Stereophonic is a full evening production that features four solo works and the premiere of a new quartet, explained Nann.
“I have been given the special honour of performing one of the solo works,” she said. “In a Landscape was created in 1995 by a piece of music of the same title, composed by John Cage. The music is a rare meditative, melodic composition by Cage, who is better known for his pointillist, abstract, discordant compositions.”
Nann says she isn’t partial to any one type of dance.
“To me, dance is a sublime language and I experience all forms of movement as dialects of communication. Some dance genres encourage personal expression and interpretation while others demand uniformity,” said the artistic director of Dreamwalker Dance Company. “Every person’s dance is unique and when they come into relationships with others, that experience is unique yet again. The greatest dance artists are able to share their connection to humanity through any genre, any situation.”
Stereophonic runs until Sunday, March 3 at the Betty Oliphant Theatre, 404 Jarvis St. Performances are Wednesday to Saturday at 8:30 p.m. with a Sunday matinee at 4 p.m. For tickets call the box office at 1-888-838-3006 or online at www.peggybakerdance.com