Connect T.O. A proactive approach to attracting profile and performances for contemporary dance
by Michael Wheeler
Today marks the beginning of the four-day dance programming forum Connect T.O. Essentially, four established dance artists have come together to remount significant works that they have created during a time when a number of domestic and international presenters are in town.
A recent article in The Globe and Mail by Paula Citron explains exactly why presenters and touring are so key in the dance world, and also draws a direct line between the 2008 cuts made to the arts by the Harper government and this festival’s impetus to find new ways to interest programmers who may be interested in presenting original works of contemporary Canadian dance.
I come in to this whole quite impressive, self -initiated, never-been-done-before festival as facilitator of the Panel Discussion occurring on Saturday morning at 11am at Hub 14.
Yes. I am facilitating a panel discussion on independent dance. Certainly my background is heavily invested in theatre, but this discussion asks questions around ways to rethink, define and discover strategies for the development and dissemination of contemporary dancework.
Collaborative creative strategies is a topic we touch on a lot in this space (see the post below), and one I am fairly obsessed with in the context of independent theatre. Maybe (gasp) there are also exciting ways for theatre and dance to partner? Who knows? It will be an interesting discussion. As I said to organizer/choreographer/dancer Heidi Strauss, “If nothing else I have zero knowledge of the decades of grudges and biases that build up in a small artistic community.” So hopefully I am joining the discussion with fresh eyes. There will also be food.
The panelists include:
Ame Henderson/public recordings, Meagan O’Shea/Stand-Up Dance, Laurie Uprichard/Dublin Dance Festival (Ireland), Jessa Agilo-Copeland/Arts Consultant – agilo arts, Mimi Beck/DanceWorks, and Myles Warren/dance officer, Ontario Arts Council.
Hope to see you at the panel – or at one of the three Queen W. venues Connect T.O. is taking over with original artist driven performance starting today.