JazFairyJ

 

DUE TO PANDEMIC PROTOCOLS, THIS EVENT IS POSTPONED UNTIL FURTHER NOTICE.

 

#DanceForth is a National Arts Centre (NAC) Dance livestream series designed to support Canadian dance artists. Two new works by Toronto-based artists have been commissioned by dance Immersion and will be co-presented in partnership with The National Arts Centre, with the support of Harbourfront Centre. Free online access!

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the daily

This new contemporary solo by JAZ FAIRY J is an exploration of connection and visual perception across the digital realm. How are we really seeing one another from a distance? How can we feel connected while so far apart?

Jaz Fairy J is a multi-disciplinary artist and performer, choreographer, intuitive healer, mentor, and mother. She believes that art is a portal to the divine and in that she is in a constant investigation around how her work can create more space for healing. Based in Toronto, Jaz Fairy J has created over a dozen original works presented in Toronto, Montreal, North Bay, Brooklyn, 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, and Kaeja d’Dance 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 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. She changed her name from “Jasmyn Fyffe” for many reasons, but the main one is that she is a fairy/light worker/healer and she created her wings through her life’s lessons. From pain to power, she has transformed her vibration to lead her life with unconditional love using her artistic and intuitive gifts to help others find their wings and fly. 

 

Tessel Bantaba

Thursday, June 10, 2021 from 7:30 – 9:00 PM Eastern/Toronto Time

 

dance Immersion Online Bantaba & Check-In: A community gathering with Dora-nominated choreographer Esie Mensah who will discuss TESSEL, a national film initiative of unity featuring the stories and lived experiences of 14 pioneering Black artists.

Moderated by Nicole Inica Hamilton, this is an English-language event. 

Free Online Participation with Registration Below!

 

The word Bantaba is from the Mandinka people of West Africa meaning “spiritual circle” around which the community gathers for affirmation and confirmation of self purpose. In dance Immersion’s next Online Bantaba & Check-In, we will hear from choreographer, educator, and dancemaker Esie Mensah on the inspiration behind her new film, TESSEL. Esie directed and performs in TESSEL, which unites dance artists in challenging the global discourse on race with the hope that the film will serve as a catalyst, sparking further conversation and opening minds and hearts towards empathy and understanding. TESSEL is Co-Commissioned by Fall For Dance North and Harbourfront Centre and is supported by a network of Canadian presenters. www.tessel.film 

A community Q & A to discuss possible solutions going forward will follow Esie’s presentation. How do we keep these conversations going and engender greater change for Black artists?

 

About Esie Mensah

Director – Esie Mensah (she/her) is an artist whose creative footprint extends into many genres, disciplines and regions. As a dancer, choreographer, director, educator and public speaker, Mensah’s mastery of storytelling is as diverse as her experience. From working with megastars like Rihanna, Drake and Arcade Fire to historic brands like Coca-Cola, TIFF and the Toronto Raptors, this powerful woman shows no sign of slowing down. She was a featured speaker at TEDxToronto 2019, where she spoke about her experience as a dark-skinned dancer and the process of creating her Dora-nominated production Shades. Her short film, A Revolution of Love, opened Toronto History Museum’s ongoing Awakenings initiative alongside works by celebrity Chef Roger Mooking and Director X. She has led equity and inclusion work at Sheridan College, the Royal Academy of Dance, the University of Calgary and is an Artistic Advisor at The National Ballet School. She is a faculty member of George Brown College and is a mentee of acclaimed dance artist Akram Khan through Why Not Theatre’s Fellowship Program. www.esiemensah.com

This event is taking place on Thursday, June 10, 2021 from 7:30 – 9:00 PM Eastern/Toronto Time.

Pulga and Casimiro

Image: Photo of Pulga Muchochoma by David Hou; Casmiro Nhussi

 

Over the past year, we have been managing grief, pain, distance, hope, anger, and resurgence in a variety of ways. One African Diasporic method of strengthening and healing ourselves is through connecting to our ancestors.

As we begin dance Immersion’s 2021-2022 season of connection, legacy, and hope, we are working with Canadian Stage to bring you a new work by Casimiro Nhussi and Pulga Muchochoma centered around communicating with our ancestors for strength and rejuvenation.

 

Coming this August 19 – 22, 2021, MUKUTHÔ is a world premiere dance work by Casimiro Nhussi and Pulga Muchochoma that will be presented as part of Canadian Stage Dream in High Park in Toronto.

dance Immersion and Canadian Stage are Curatorial & Presenting Partners for this co-commissioned work

Access: Tickets go on sale beginning Thursday, June 24 at 9:00 am Eastern Time at this link: Mukutho Tickets

 

ABOUT THE WORK

MUKUTHÔ is a new collaborative dance work by Casimiro Nhussi and Pulga Muchochoma. This world premiere work is based on a Mozambican ritual from the Chuabo tribe that is performed by elders to communicate with ancestors for guidance, forgiveness, and reconnection to the living. This ritual also serves to welcome new family members, connect different generations within families, and as the method of passing knowledge from elders to younger generations through dance, song, and music. Customarily, people will sit around a circle while the elder pours white corn flour into a white fabric on the floor; they then lead a prayer while everyone around the circle answers with a traditional word followed by a double clap. Both Casimiro and Pulga are from Mozambique, and the goals for this work are for the artists to find connections to the ancestors and to reconnect to our past. MUKUTHÔ takes audience members on a journey of experiencing this ritual through a performance of dance, song, and live music.

From the Artists: In African traditions, there is always a belief that we are connected to our ancestors. We believe that our ancestors are the ones that guide us, the ones who pave the path for us to walk through, the ones who turn on the light in the days of darkness, the ones that connect us with Mother Nature and teach us to love one another. Therefore, for Africans, it does not matter what part of the world we are living in, we are always connected and communicating with our ancestors and with Mother Nature. At this moment, we need to communicate with our spirits, our ancestors, and to Mother Nature. At this moment, we need to regain our strength and rejuvenate our souls. At this moment, we need to communicate with whatever we believe so that we can get up and continue with our journey.

 

ABOUT THE ARTISTS

Casimiro Nhussi is a professional African dancer, choreographer, dance instructor and musician based in Winnipeg. Born in Mozambique, Africa, he has been a dance and music professional since 1982. Starting his career as dancer, Casimiro became the Artistic Director of the Mozambique National Song and Dance Company. Currently, Casimiro is the Artistic Director of Winnipeg’s only African contemporary dance company; NAfro Dance Productions. Since coming to Canada in 1997, Casimiro has produced and choreographed over 20 evening-length dance works and is the Artistic Director of Winnipeg’s Moving Inspiration Dance Festival. He is a four-time nominee for the Western Canadian Music Awards for his albums “Koko” (2019), “Ximbombo” (2017), “Gweka” (2013) and “Makonde” (2010), and a finalist for the Mozambican Music Award “Ngoma RM 2017”. More on Casimiro: www.cnhussi.com

Pulga Muchochoma was born in Quelimane, Mozambique. His dance training and career began in Quelimane with Montes Namuli Dance Company. In August of 2006, he came to Toronto with the company for the International AIDS Conference. After performing in several productions in Toronto and Mozambique, Pulga remained in Toronto to study at The School of Toronto Dance Theatre. He then became a long-serving company dancer with Toronto Dance Theatre. In his time with TDT, he had the pleasure of collaborating with renowned choreographers including Artistic Director Christopher House, Veronica Tennant, Tawiah Ben McCarthy, Patricia Beaty, Thomas Hauert, and more. In 2015, he founded Pulga Dance and African Dance and Fitness with Pulga, and currently choreographs and performs as an independent dance artist. More on Pulga: www.pulgadance.com

Casimiro and Pulga will be joined on stage by musician Kobèna Acquaah-Harrison. Kobèna Aquaa-Harrison is an award-winning producer, multi-instrumentalist, and composer originally from Ghana. He is widely recognized as a performer, producer and creative force in radio, TV, film, dance, and theatre. Through this work, as well as his service as President/Artistic Director of AfroFest, Kobe’s has contributed immensely to Canadian culture. His all-star band, Djungle Bouti Orchestra, has featured an astonishing “who’s who” in Canadian talent. Traditional African instruments, MIDI-guitars and a digital kitchen sink are his tools as a soloist or when working with Andrew Craig, Zap Mama, Divine Brown, Deborah Cox, Alicia Keys, Bass Is Base, Jackie Richardson, Wunmi and Kelly Lee Evans among others. More on Kobe: www.facebook.com/paapakobe

 

ACCESS THE PERFORMANCE

MUKUTHÔ will premiere live at the High Park Amphitheatre in Toronto as part of Canadian Stage Dream in High Park August 19 – 22, 2021.

Tickets go on sale beginning Thursday, June 24 at 9:00 am Eastern Time at this link: Mukutho Tickets

We hope you can join us for this beautiful kick-off to our 2021-2022 season!