Fall For Dance North (FFDN), Toronto’s Premier International Dance Festival, proudly presents an eclectic and acclaimed line-up of world-class companies and artists as part of its highly anticipated 2018 festival from Oct. 2 to 6, 2018 at festival co-presenter Sony Centre for the Performing Arts and, FFDN’s newest venue, Ryerson Theatre, in partnership with Ryerson School of Performance.
Each evening, kaleidoscopic programming will take audiences on a journey, showcasing works from four companies who represent diversity in geography, from Toronto’s own Red Sky Performance to the Netherlands’ Introdans; diversity in style, from the polished precision of The National Ballet of Canada to the uninhibited street dance of Soweto Skeleton Movers; coupled with diversity in generation, from rising star Emma Portner to living legend Jiří Kylián.
Founded on the value that dance is one of humanity’s most universal art forms, Fall For Dance North manifests this belief and ensures accessibility by offering all festival tickets for only $15. The full festival line-up can be found online at www.ffdnorth.com.
The Scene caught up with Alysa Pires who is showcasing MAMBO (our cover photo) at the Ryerson Theatre. A Ryerson graduate, this east coast premiere and a homecoming is a testament to the artistry FFDN is able to bring to the city.
How would you describe FFDN? And what do you want people walk away from this show with?
FFDN is a world class dance festival. With its low ticket prices and diverse repertoire, FFDN makes dance accessible to Toronto audiences. Whether you are new to dance or an aficionado, FFDN truly has something for everyone. My hope is that, after the festival, audiences are encouraged to see more dance in Toronto throughout the year. Though FFDN is bringing in incredible artists from around the globe, Toronto is ripe with talent and exciting work being presented across the city.
Using Latin Swing and Jazz standards by greats like Dean Martin, Rosemary Clooney, Sarah Vaughan, Perry Como, and more, MAMBO celebrates the joy of life.
Where do you draw your inspiration from for your dances? What inspired you to create MAMBO?
Regardless of what I set out to, the work I make inevitably reflects what is going on in my life or what I am thinking about in that moment. I was preparing for my first creation with Ballet Kelowna at the end of 2017 and wanted to start the new year off with something joyful. It had been a year of unrest, violence, divisive politics, and natural disasters across the globe. The world felt as dark and cold as the Winter weather. I wanted to create a small escape, for myself as much as the audience, and so I made MAMBO: a warm, fuzzy, joyful escape.
It’s amazing to see the amount of Canadian talent within the global dance scene. What do you think
makes Canadian talent stand out?
Canada is home to some of the greatest dance training institutions on the planet. People come from all over to train at schools that we are fortunate to have in our backyard. There are Canadians dancing in top companies across the world. While it is so exciting to see Canadians working and creating internationally, it is imperative that we also support the artists working locally. With arts funding in constant jeopardy, we risk losing this incredible talent and the brilliant work that they make.