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International Association of Blacks in Dance Conference Jan 26-29 in Toronto

From a media release:

dance Immersion brings top dance talent from
around the world to Toronto for the
International Association of Blacks in Dance Conference & Festival
Connecting our Diasporas through Dance

The conference at a glance

TORONTO, January, 2012
- dance Immersion brings top dancers and dance companies of the African diaspora from around the world to Toronto in four dance showcases running as part of the prestigious 24th Annual International Association of Blacks in Dance (IABD) Conference & Festival in Toronto, January 26 - 29, 2012.

The IABD Conference & Festival has become the convergence of ideas and interaction for the dance community, with a focus on those who serve the black diaspora and features over 30 dance companies and artists from countries such as Australia, Canada, Cuba, Germany, Ghana, Jamaica, UK and USA, among others. Included are special guest dance instructors Sean Cheesman of So You Think You Can Dance (Canada & USA) and Garth Fagan, choreographer of The Lion King.

This four-day event brings people from around the world together around issues that are relevant to dance within the global dance ecology. The IABD Conference & Festival provides opportunities for audiences and participants to network and share in an international arena with dance professionals through dance classes, panel discussions and auditions for international companies.

At the heart of the conference and festival are four Showcase Presentations that take place at the Queen Elizabeth Theatre, Exhibition Place featuring artists and companies ranging from renowned to up-and-coming:

- Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater (New York City), a company that has performed for an estimated 23 million people in 48 states and 71 countries on six continents, as well as millions more through television broadcasts, and, in 2008, was designated a "vital American cultural ambassador to the world" by U.S. Congress.
- Cleo Parker Robinson Dance Ensemble (Denver, Colorado), an international, cross-cultural dance arts and educational institution rooted in African American traditions that has toured around the world, and provides training and education aspiring dancers as well as outreach to at-risk youth.
- Dallas Black Dance Theatre (Dallas, Texas), a diverse, multiethnic troupe of dancers and the oldest continuously operating dance company in Dallas. The company has performed modern, jazz, ethnic and spiritual works for 2.5 million arts patrons and 1.5 million children worldwide.
- Lula Washington Dance Theatre (Los Angeles), a world-class contemporary dance company that travels worldwide with contemporary modern dance works that reflect African American history and culture, with many of its dancers coming from Lula Washington's own inner city dance studio.
- Philadelphia Dance Company (Philadanco) (Philadelphia, Pennsylvania) a celebrated company with a legacy of breaking barriers and building bridges across cultural divides, while consistently putting on electrifying performances with superbly trained dancers.
- Compagnie Danse Nyata Nyata (Montreal), an enterprise of contemporary artistic expression that explores and develops the aesthetic of African dance as it relates to music, poetry and related art forms.
- Ballet Creole (Toronto), a company of dancers and drummers active in the Canadian dance scene since 1990, fusing traditional and contemporary Caribbean and African dance to create, preserve and present dance works that testify to the rich heritage of those cultures.
- Nafro Dance Productions (Winnipeg), Winnipeg's only African contemporary dance company, which has been performing exciting and thought-provoking pieces across Canada since 2002.
- National Dance Theatre Company of Jamaica (NDTC), founded in 1962 at the time of Jamaica's independence. The company blends traditional Caribbean dance drama and ritual with contemporary modern dance and ballet, examining social issues, religious themes and folklore as well as abstract dance.
- Salia ni Seydou (France/Burkina Faso) was founded in1994 and has won several prizes in festivals and competitions such as the Concours de Danse Contemporaine Africaine d'Afrique en Créations (AFAA) (1994), and the Choreographic Encounters of Africa and Indian Ocean (1998).

International Association of Blacks in Dance Conference & Festival
Connecting our Diasporas through Dance
Thursday, January 26 - Sunday, January 29, 2012
Showcase Presentations: Queen Elizabeth Theatre, 190 Princes' Boulevard, Exhibition Place
Showcase Presentation tickets: $50 ($35 Student/Senior/CADA/IABD)
Call Arts Box Office 416-504-7529 or visit


  1. Anya, it is such a pleasure every time I log to ''Art & Culture Maven''. This is truly a great Dance happening! Unfortunately I was not able to attend, but I can't wait for your review. I hope you will give us one...

  2. Thanks so much! I'm off to a showcase tonight actually and was at a panel discussion yesterday. I'll be writing something about it for Huffington Post as it happens.


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