North York Mirror
The grounds of Oakdale Community Centre will be animated with dance this weekend, as those with and without dance experience tell their stories through a variety of styles.
The Just Dance J/F (Jane Finch) was created and carried through by Allen and Karen Kaeja of Kaeja d’Dance. The weekend performances, two years in the making, are meant to engage residents in artistic movement.
“We designed to bring in a whole whack of people and to bring in professional choreographers to create works with them to draw out who they are as individuals and as a community,” said Allen.
On Friday, Aug. 24, dancers of any age and any style from across the city will come together at the community centre to perform three-minute pieces. On Saturday and Sunday will be actual animation of the grounds. Professional choreographers commissioned by the Kaejas, worked with five groups of community members, to create five- to eight-minute performances in a variety of styles such as contemporary, urban and African.
“Andrea Nann has worked with a group of seniors, so they range from 50 to 85 and it’s a beautiful work. She draws on their life experiences, their stories, to create a movement piece,” said Allen.
Open to the public at no cost, attendees will be escorted by a guide to the various acts. After each performance, the audience is invited to a “flock landing” where they will be invited to dance with the artists.
The Kaejas worked with the residents of the Jane and Finch community to put together the weekend, which compliments their previous work, The Porch Dances, held in Seaton Village.
“The point behind the project primarily is that we are all dancers, we all move, we all have stories to tell. We can all express ourselves whether it’s large grand movements or a small gesture with just our hands, our wrists,” said Allen.
Just Dance J/F runs Friday, Aug. 24 from 7 to 9 p.m., Saturday, Aug. 25 at 2 and 7 p.m., and Sunday, Aug. 26 at 2 p.m. Oakdale Community Centre is at 350 Grandravine Dr.
For more information, visit www.kaeja.org or call 416-516-6030.