#DanceForth is a National Arts Centre (NAC) Dance recorded performance series designed to support Canadian dance artists. Two new works by artists Travis Knights and Jaz Fairy J have been commissioned by dance Immersion and are co-presented in partnership with The NAC, with the support of Harbourfront Centre. Free online on demand access!
Check out this link to access these new works (and more) from Tuesday, September 7 to Sunday, September 12, 2021. The recordings can be accessed by the public on-demand, at no cost, and as many times as you like through this link: WATCH DANCEFORTH
1. BEYOND SHOWBIZ: TAP DANCE, THE EMBODIED SPIRIT OF BLACK IMPROVISATIONAL MUSIC
A new work by TRAVIS KNIGHTS (tap dance), with Juno Award-Winning DIVINE BROWN (vocals), MICHAEL SHAND (musical direction and keyboards), AMHED MITCHEL (drums), and ROSS MACINTYRE (bass).
Beyond Showbiz is how we explore and push beyond our boundaries; it’s how we connect to one another and our ancestors. Join us as we celebrate the past in the present and forge ahead toward an intentionally expansive future.
Costume Design for Travis Knights: Don Fabian
Lighting Design and Production Management: Sharon DiGenova
Camera and Recording Direction: Eddie Kastrau
Special Thanks: Tap floor provided by Randolph College for the Performing Arts
Travis Knights: www.travisknights.com
Born in Montreal, Canada, Travis was introduced to the rich oral tradition of Tap by his teacher Ethel Bruneau at age 10. He went on to travel the world spreading his love of rhythm across 4 continents, touring with Tap Dogs, Tapestry Dance Company, and the self-produced Tap Love Tour. In 2019 Travis finished a two-year community development residency at the Tranzac Club in Toronto hosting the Jazz United Jam, a weekly jazz jam session aimed at reconnecting live musicians with dancers. He is the 2020 recipient of the Jaqueline Lemieux Prize for outstanding contribution to dance in Canada. In 2021, Travis debuted Ephemeral Artifacts, an outdoor installation at Theatre Passe Muraille in Toronto. He currently lives in Brampton, Ontario and hosts The Tap Love Tour Podcast, available on spotify, soundcloud and apple podcasts, (make sure to subscribe) featuring interviews of a myriad of inspiring tap dance artists.
Viewable On Demand from September 7 – 12, 2021: WATCH BEYOND SHOWBIZ
Run Time: 55 minutes
2. THE DAILY by Jaz Fairy J
Notes from Jaz: This past year and a half of the pandemic has shifted me on many levels. My daily practice of life shifted to a much slower pace that offers more space for being, listening, playing, responding and rest; a deep shift in priorities. Listening to my body and intuition is an intentional part of my daily practice of life now more than ever before; I see it as sacred, and my divine right. As a womxn of African-Caribbean decent “My healing and wellness is a radical act against the colonial capitalist patriarchy” (Dr. Rosales Meza)
The pause/stillness of the pandemic and the depth of unknown surrounding it, shifted me to be more in tune with my intuition. I nourished my intuitive spirit by creating more intention around connecting to spirit practices that brought me closer to Creator, Divine Mother, calling my ancestors, angels, spirit guides, spending more time in nature, working with Moon Cycles, working with bird medicine (sparrows and hummingbird specifically), sacred rest practice, free flow music and dance creation, sharing stories, meditation, exploring character work and returning home to myself.
The Daily is a raw collection of these experiences and practices shared through: voice notes & vocal journals, video clips, live music and sound, movement, nature & bird sounds, picture collage, sculpture, zoom room clip, story sharing and games. This material was collected and created with an emergent spontaneous intuitive flow of energy; which is simply working with what is naturally emerging, as material. Not planning or fixing, just sensing and following. My collaborators and I used this as a model for the way we worked and played in this phase of ‘The Daily’ for this stage/pre-recorded live stream version of it. This is a planted seed and exploration. Less of a premiere and more of a ‘sharing of ideas through various mediums’.
Beauties, wear something comfortable, bring a snack and have a pillow or blanket nearby. Sound may be better experienced through earphones.
Viewable On Demand from September 7 – 12, 2021 Here: WATCH THE DAILY
Run Time: 65 minutes
A few more notes from Jaz:
I am working on a collective daily gratitude list. Gratitude has become an integral part of my daily life and sharing enhanced the energetic ripple effect. This is a way of gathering and collective healing. Contents of this list may appear in material that is being played with for ‘The Daily’ either on social media or in another iteration. If you decide you want to contribute to the list, your name will remain anonymous. To share, email firstname.lastname@example.org and in the subject: Gratitude
Daily Voice Notes Email Group
The week of Aug 17 I will begin sending daily voice notes out to this group. Daily voice notes and vocal journals have become a staple in my daily experience of life. I am interested in sharing that with whoever is interested in listening. To join the list email email@example.com and in the subject line: Daily Voice Notes
Jaz Fairy J -performer, creator, director and guide
Johnny Spence – collaboration through music & sound exploration/creation, and conversation
Francesca Chudnoff – collaboration through photo/video/image support and conversation
Bellefleur Carnival – Headpiece creation
Meesh – Costume Consultation ; Costume Concept – Jaz Fairy J
Marie Lambin – Cloud Sculpture mentorship and consultation; Cloud Creation – Marie Lambin & Jaz Fairy J
Nehnika – Make Up Artist – (follow @nehnika on IG)
@weaknessforsweetbeauty – Jaz’s Hairstylist
Music & Sound
Opening Rhythms: Jim Junior
Love most powerful: Jaz Fairy J
Live Sound Bath improvisation: Jaz Fairy J & Johnny
No Sun, No Sparrows: Jaz Fairy J
(Snack break music)
Spreading all over & Just a Little Love we Need: Jerry Harris
Perky Purse Prompts: Written and performed by: Jaz Fairy J & Johnny
Ending Jam music: Jaz Fairy J & Johnny
Creative advisors, outside ears and artistic development support – Angie Cheng, Kate Nankervis, Rodney Diverlus
Jim O’Brien Jr – music creation, outside eye/ear, loving partner
Lighting Design and Production Management: Sharon DiGenova
Camera Direction: Eddie Kastrau
Backdrop Video Info
Video 1: Hanlans point (Sept 3, 2020), Vocal Journal (April 12, 2021)
Video 2: Altar building and dancing at home (June 23, 2021)
Photo Collage: Francesca Chudnoff, Vocal Journal (June 27, 2021)
Video 3: Excerpt from Open healing Circle (My Stories Our Heailng), April 2021)
Video 4: Selfie Video on Jaz phone, Feb 20, 2021
Video 5: Humber Early Morning Birds, May 2021
Video 6: Ice dancing on a frozen pond, Feb 2021
Video 7: Summer Solstice forest dancing
Video 8: Summer Solstice forest dancing and Vocal Journal recorded at Cherry Beach watching dancers in process Sept 2020 with TDT
I did some thanks you’s in my live show however I was entranced by the dance just moments before, so I naturally forgot a few folks. So, here I am grateful to write it out here. I am thankful to the Creator/Divine Mother for her many blessings in my life daily. Thank you Universe, Planets and Energies for continuing to move as you do. To my ancestors for the gifts they have given me and for the way they have paved for me. Thank you, Timea Wharton-Suri and dance Immersion, for curating my work, advocating for and creating opportunities for Black artists: Your unending artist support is invaluable. To my collaborators and outside advisors, I thank you so much for being open to the emergent spontaneous flow with me and sharing your bountiful wisdoms with me. To the love of my life Jim O’Brien Junior, thank you for your everyday support in my life and work. To Pacha Mama, her birds, waters, and soils I listened to and connected with and have been inspired by, thank you. Big up Railpath Arts Center for your stunning rehearsal space and storage support. Special thanks to all those who attended and supported my healing circle. moon ceremonies or any other events that grew out of the pandemic. Also thanks to my Dad Jim Gibbons and Nicole Inica Hamilton for sharing chats and laughs in the circle. And to my parents, who support me through all of my artistic and life endeavours. Thank you.
About Jaz Fairy J: https://www.facebook.com/jazfairyj
Jaz Fairy J is an interdisciplinary artist working with choreography, movement direction, movement meditation, sound healing, performance art, collective gathering and collective games, intuitive/ancestral creative healing practice. She believes that art and creation are a portal to the divine and in that, she is in a continuous investigation around how her work can create more space for healing.
Based in Toronto, Jaz Fairy J has created over 20 original dance works presented in Toronto, Montreal, North Bay, Brooklyn NY, Pittsburgh, Seattle, Berlin, Birmingham UK and Sinop, Turkey. Choreographic commissions include Cahoots Theatre, Toronto Dance Theatre, Soulpepper Theatre, The School of Toronto Dance Theatre, Cawthra Park Secondary School, Obsidian Theatre to name a few. Jaz worked on Fox Production’s Rocky Horror Picture Show under the direction of Kenny Ortega in 2016 and in 2017 she was featured on CBC’s HERstory in Black honoring 150 Black Canadian women making a significant contribution in Canada. Her solo what do you see? was presented by Summerworks 2017, receiving an honorable mention for the Jon Kaplan Spotlight Award.
Her most recent film collaboration “In my Bones” produced and supported by Black Women Film will premiere Sept 2021.
Jaz is one of the Facilitators for the 20-month Wildseed Center Black Art Fellowship and she has also been working as an outside eye/dramaturg since 2017, for fellow interdisciplinary artists working in dance, theatre, music, performance art, voice and sound creation.
In addition to her career as a dancer, choreographer, and mentor, she continues to expand herself and in Nov 2020, she launched her skincare brand ‘Rub of Luv’ for which she creates all of the products from luxury natural healing ingredients. Much of her work during the pandemic has been focused on accessing the healing we have inside of ourselves. She has been doing this through facilitating story sharing and creating spaces to gather, share and listen, ancestral spirit practices, sound bath meditations, movement meditation, playing and having fun.