Riverdale residents Molly Johnson and Robbie Grunwald are lending their dance and musical talents to the 22nd annual edition of Dusk Dances at Withrow Park.
Johnson, a freelance contemporary dancer, is one of the festival’s core performers.
She has performed in Dusk Dances for 10 consecutive summers.
“It’s an amazing event to be a part of. I’ve had the opportunity to work with several talented dance artists over the years,” said Johnson, who has lived near Pape and Danforth avenues for two years.
“Dancing in Withrow Park is always an amazing experience. It’s quite an experience to dance for that many people.”
For Dusk Dances’ Toronto stop, she’s performing in a piece titled Waves choreographed by Michael Caldwell.
This new work, which features three dancers and a live musician, aims to tell the story of three lonely characters searching for connection and understanding.
“It’s about four people who come together in a space and try to find a way to connect in the environment they’re in,” said Johnson, who also contributed to the creative process for this piece.
“There are waves of energy that pass between all of the performers.”
Originally from Cape Breton Island, Nova Scotia, Johnson is a freelance contemporary dancer who has called Toronto home since 2001.
Johnson, who started dancing when she was about eight years old, is a graduate of the School of Toronto Dance Theatre.
Grunwald is part of Dusk Dances’ pre-show entertainment.
Along with west-end resident Joshua Van Tassel, he makes up the musical group DoubleTooth, which is providing live accompaniment to NIA class by Martha Randall.
Grunwald, who comes from a family of musicians and plays the piano and keyboard as well as writes songs and music scores, has a doctorate in theoretical chemistry. His career in music got its first big break right around the same time he was submitting his university dissertation.
“I’ve been really, really, really lucky,” said Grunwald, a North York native who has lived near Broadview Avenue and Dundas Street East for two years.
DoubleTooth is the creative outlet for Grunwald and Van Tassel, who plays drums/percussion as well as produces music.
“It is an opportunity for us to do what we want to do instead of people telling us what to do. We wanted to make music that was groovy and that lends itself to dancing,” Grunwald said of his Afrobeat-inspired group, which was established in 2012 and has performed at numerous concerts and events.
DoubleTooth released its first album, Volume 1, in 2013. A second album, aptly titled Volume 2 is presently in the works.