dance Immersion’s new Legacy Series is a movement.
It is a movement toward cultural reconnection, reclamation, and expanded artistic development for African Diasporic youth and adults in Canada.
The Legacy Series examines the past, present and future of African Diasporic dance forms through celebratory educational events.
It is dance Immersion’s largest program encompassing all three of our programming platforms – education, incubation, and presentation.
Each annual movement includes:
- A Symposium highlighting the African Diasporic history, development, and present-day culture of each art form
- The incubation of new dance work with emerging artists, and
- The presentation of the new work for a large audience.
2021-2022 – LEGACY SERIES: TAP DANCE
Our first iteration – Legacy Series: Tap Dance – connected the local Black community to Tap Dance and its historical significance to Black culture. Led by Lisa La Touche and Travis Knights, attendees received a practical, theoretical, and metaphysical introduction to the original American street dance – Tap. Attendees were challenged by learning the intricate and groove-based physicality of Tap, as well as the distinction between the Black cultural expression of the dance and the many appropriated forms that became popular at different periods in Turtle Island’s history. Along with invited guest artists, live music in the classroom, a jam session and a social ball, this event enhanced the understanding and appreciation of the scope of Blackness through Tap Dance culture.
Renowned faculty members included: Bril Barrett (Chicago), Brinae Ali (Baltimore), Danny Nielsen (Vancouver), Mafa Makhubalo (Toronto), and Natasha Powell (Toronto). Musicians Michael Shand, Jonathan Chapman, Amhed Mitchel, Anthony D’Alessandro, Jennifer Lo, and Kwasi Dunyo collaborated with the faculty to provide live music education and performance throughout the event.
The Tap Dance Symposium took place at Hart House, University of Toronto, from December 3-5, 2021. We are grateful for their partnership and support in making this event happen.
The Artistic Directors will incubate new work over the spring of 2022, and it will be presented at the Legacy Series: Tap Dance Concert in June 2022 in High Park as part of the Canadian Stage Dream in High Park.
The Legacy Series would not be possible without the support of TD Bank Group.
Image of the inaugural Legacy Series by Laurie Townshend.