Fall for Dance North Hits Toronto With Seven Weeks Of Live And Digital Dance Programming Sept 11 - Oct 29 2021

From a media release:

Fall For Dance North 
Live + Digital Dance Programming
September 11 to October 29 2021

In its Seventh Annual Fall Festival, FFDN presents largest line-up in seven-year history, with seven weeks of original programming featuring international and Canadian dancemakers

TORONTO, ON – Toronto’s premier international dance festival Fall for Dance North (FFDN) is thrilled to announce its seventh edition from Sept. 11-Oct. 29, 2021. FFDN will present its largest festival line-up to date, showcasing a hybrid mix of electrifying in-person performances and original digital content for its local and global audience, including the world premiere of 10 festival commissions.

Caleb Teicher & Co in More Forever (Photo by Robert Altman)
Caleb Teicher & Co in More Forever (Photo by Robert Altman)

The innovative program will feature a collection of real-time, livestream performances from Toronto and films shot on location in India, Cuba and London, UK; the launch of a new outdoor performance series, Heirloom – performed in Toronto’s surrounding communities; the premiere of an interactive, jazz-themed photo and augmented reality exhibit at Union Station – curated by FFDN Artists-in-Residence Natasha Powell (Toronto) and Kimberley Cooper (Calgary); and a short documentary that follows the development of a new creation during a two-week, isolated residency in Orillia with Powell and 11 students from The School of Performance Dance program at Ryerson University.*

“This year's hybrid edition of FFDN brings us one step closer to our vision for a new festival format fit for our changing and increasingly virtual world,” says Ilter Ibrahimof, FFDN Artistic Director. “We are thrilled to partner with acclaimed filmmakers to elevate the quality of our digital dance presentation with striking original content produced specifically by FFDN for a worldwide audience. With our continued presentation partnership with Union Station and our new outdoor performance series Heirloom, we are excited to bring safe and sustainable in-person dance experiences to life.

“I would be remiss if I failed to acknowledge and thank our incredible audience, supporters, board and team for their tireless support and efforts throughout the challenges of the last 18 months. I am very proud to say that, through our collective efforts, FFDN has not only weathered the storm but has emerged revitalized and ready to continue our work bringing the best of Canadian and international dance to as wide an audience as possible, in more places than ever and with a continued focus on accessibility.”

*The name of the university is currently under review by the Standing Strong (Mash Koh Wee Kah Pooh Win) Task Force.

This year’s festival presents a strikingly diverse series of works from some of today’s finest international and Toronto-based dance artists. Premiering on October 13, the 2021 Signature Program features a hotly anticipated, globally-inspired three-part performance film directed by acclaimed Indo-Canadian filmmaker Vikram Dasgupta. The program captures the world premiere of Bloom from Canadian choreographer Aszure Barton performed by Cuba’s Malpaso Dance Company, filmed in Havana; and My Mother’s Son by South African choreographer Mthuthuzeli November (Ballet Black) performed with his brother and one of The National Ballet of Canada’s newest principal dancers, Siphe November, in their first-ever duet, filmed at the Battersea Arts Centre in London, UK; as well as a transcendent performance by the Nrityagram Dance Ensemble, filmed in Bangalore in the dynamic dance community, Nrityagram Dance Village, where dance is a way of life.

Additional livestream presentation highlights include 

  • an Ontario premiere of the full-length work +(dix) from Côté Danse, choreographed by Guillaume Côté, live streamed from Harbourfront Centre Theatre on Sept. 23
  • a double bill presentation directed by William Yong, featuring world premieres by Toronto choreographer Sara Porter and Dancemakers resident artist Danah Rosales, live streamed from The Citadel: Ross Centre for Dance on Oct. 7
  • and a Canadian premiere of More Forever from U.S. collaborative duo, tap and jazz dancer Caleb Teicher and contemporary pianist and composer Conrad Tao, live streamed from Harbourfront Centre Theatre on Oct. 26.
Mthuthuzeli & Siphe November in My Mother's Son (Photo by Sky Weiss)
Mthuthuzeli & Siphe November in My Mother's Son (Photo by Sky Weiss)

Fall for Dance North 2021 Festival Highlights



Featuring performances by by Lua Shayenne Dance Company (Peterborough); Arzoo Dance Theatre (Hamilton); Sandy Silva & Rick Haworth (Niagara); and Caleb Teicher & Nic Gareiss (Peterborough, Hamilton & Niagara)

  • Sept. 11: 1pm @ Millennium Park (130 King St., Peterborough) and 6pm @ Isabel Morris Park (20 Concession St., Lakefield, ON) Co-presented with Public Energy Performing Arts
  • Sept. 16: 6pm @ Bayfront Park (200 Harbour Front Dr., Hamilton, ON) Co-presented with Hamilton Conservatory for the Arts Dance Theatre
  • Sept. 18: 1pm and 5pm @ Henry of Pelham Family Estate Winery (1469 Pelham Rd., St. Catharines, ON) Co-presented with FirstOntario Performing Arts Centre

Lua Shayenne (Toronto) creates work that radiates joy and a profound sense of connection to the moment. Driven by her commitments to social good and spiritual progress, Shayenne integrates dancing, live drumming, singing and storytelling from African and African diasporic traditions in her work.

As Artistic Director of Arzoo Dance Theatre and an exponent of the elegant Kathak style of Indian dance, Deepti Gupta (Toronto) creates new works that transcend geographical and cultural boundaries. She relentlessly experiments with a variety of theatrical interests, regularly collaborating with musicians, designers, and new media artists.

Sandy Silva (Montreal) engages the percussive dance practices of Hungary, Appalachia, Cape Breton and Andalusia, and the idioms of circus, contemporary dance and theatre. She and guitarist Rick Haworth combine the nuance of emotion and the flash of technique in palpable form.

In their collaboration as a duo, acclaimed solo artists Caleb Teicher and Nic Gareiss (USA) weave nonchalance and informality with virtuosic technique in a physically witty dialogue of movement and sound. They draw on tap dance, jazz, swing, Lindy Hop, Appalachian clogging and Irish step dance.

Malpaso Dance Company (Photo by Todd Rosenberg)
Malpaso Dance Company (Photo by Todd Rosenberg)


Côté Danse: + (dix) by Guillaume Côté; livestream directed by Vikram Dasgupta

  • Sept. 23, Harbourfront Centre Theatre

This new full-length work by Guillaume Côté connects to the myth of Odysseus, about journeying far but always desiring to return home. The piece explores the notion of the “inner compass” and the idea that “home” may be a state of mind. Five performers from the newly formed collective Côté Danse share a minimalist stage setting amplified by the surging and sculptural sounds of American experimental band Son Lux.

Night Shift

  • Sept. 29-Oct. 2, The Citadel: Ross Centre for Dance - Livestream directed by Barbara Willis Sweete
  • Mestiza by Olga Barrios (Sept. 29)
  • New Work (Double Bill) by Kean Buffalo and River Waterhen (Sept. 30)
  • Grandmother’s Drum by Sashar Zarif (Oct. 1)
  • SpiritYouAll by BaKari Ifasegun Lindsay (Oct. 2)

Night Shift offers a powerful examination of resonant current issues over four livestream evenings featuring Toronto-based artists. Curated by Indigenous dance artists Penny Couchie, Christine Friday and Tekaronhiáhkhwa Santee Smith, this highly anticipated late-night dance series is directed once again by Oscar-nominated filmmaker Barbara Willis Sweete. Pre- and post-show conversations are hosted by Citadel + Compagnie’s artistic director, Laurence Lemieux. Co-presented with Citadel + Compagnie

Double Bill: Sara Porter / Danah Rosales and House of Siriano

  • Oct. 7, The Citadel: Ross Centre for Dance - Film and Livestream directed by William Yong

This double bill features Toronto-based artists Sara Porter and Danah Rosales in a juxtaposition of works that finds shared ground in theatricality, spectacle and Queer identity – directed for film and livestream by William Yong. Rosales, a.k.a. Maldita Siriano 007, Mother of the Kiki House of Siriano’s Toronto Chapter, presents The Grand March of the House of Siriano, a new contemporary group work based on the traditional ballroom custom of the grand march, which happens at the start of a house ball and introduces the house and its members to the community. And Porter presents a new filmed version of her acclaimed solo Getting to know your Fruit, woven from movement, memoir and wit. Co-presented with DanceWorks. Additional support for The Grand March of the House of Siriano by Dancemakers 2021 Signature Program

Performance Film

My Mother’s Son by Mthuthuzeli November danced with Siphe November; Bloom by Aszure Barton for Malpaso Dance Company; Lalita Lavanga by Surupa Sen for Nrityagram Dance. Ensemble performed with Pavithra Reddy. Directed by Vikram Dasgupta 

  • Oct. 14, Three-part performance film, shot in London, UK, Cuba & India

Travel through the filmmaking of award-winning director Vikram Dasgupta. South African brothers Siphesihle and Mthuthuzeli November dance an ocean apart. Their long-awaited new work unites these siblings in performance for the first time since their childhood in Zolani. Malpaso Dance Company welcomes the return of renowned Canadian choreographer Aszure Barton to Cuba for a second new creation. Returning to the festival, this time from afar, Nrityagram Dance Ensemble shares an effervescent performance by the company’s artistic director, Surupa Sen and Pavithra Reddy.

Caleb Teicher & Co: More Forever 

by Caleb Teicher (choreographer) and Conrad Tao (composer); directed by Barbara Willis Sweete

  • Oct. 20, The Fleck Dance Theatre

In this subtle and textured percussive dance and music work, the gifts of choreographer / performer Caleb Teicher and composer / musician Conrad Tao (U.S.) unite in a powerful cascade. Tao’s score, which he plays live on an amplified grand piano and electronics, merges completely with Teicher’s sonic movement vocabulary, performed by Teicher and six of their company dancers. Co-presented with Harbourfront Centre.

Nrityagram Dance Village: Surupa Sen, Pavithra Reddy in Nrityagram  Lalita Lavanga, Choreographed by Surupa Sen (Photo by Narendra Dangiya)
Nrityagram Dance Village: Surupa Sen, Pavithra Reddy in Nrityagram  Lalita Lavanga, Choreographed by Surupa Sen (Photo by Narendra Dangiya)


Mambo – Season Two

Co-hosted by FFDN’s artistic director Ilter Ibrahimof and Turn Out Radio’s producer Nicole Inica Hamilton, Mambo – Season Two takes you behind the scenes of the festival’s seventh season and beyond. Each episode offers unique perspectives on festival works and insights into the creative process. Over six special episodes, join Ilter and Nicole – on a film set, at a studio, on the road – for candid conversations that are sure to enhance your festival experience.

her body as words 

  • by Peggy Baker Dance Projects
  • Film Appears Nightly Sept. 15-17 & Sept 19-30 at Yonge-Dundas Square

her body as words, a new work by Toronto-based choreographer Peggy Baker, fragments and explodes notions of female identity as expressed by nine Canadian dance artists, through film by Jeremy Mimnagh (Toronto). Sensing, sensate and sensual, these bodies of light and sound signal to the world from an installation on screens at Yonge-Dundas Square. Dancing the complexities of their lived identities, these artists offer gestural renderings touching on themes of race, gender expression, sexual orientation, sexual appetite, pregnancy, miscarriage, motherhood, disability, physical labour and aging.

her body as words is part of ArtworxTO: Toronto's Year of Public Art 2021–2022, a year-long celebration of Toronto’s exceptional public art collection and the creative community behind it.

Visit artworxTO.ca for full details.

Away to Create

  • Short documentary film by Jeremy Mimnagh
  • Premieres Sept. 17 at ffdnorth.com

FFDN’s artist-in-residence Natasha Powell – artistic director of Holla Jazz (Toronto) – creates a new work with 11 students from The School of Performance Dance Program at Ryerson University* in a two-week isolated residency. The resulting creation will be shared through in-person pop-up performances – set to new music by composer Sabine Ndalamba – in outdoor spaces around Toronto (date and location information to be announced in September), plus a live streamed performance on Oct. 15 as part of Orillia Jazz Festival. Co-presented with The School of Performance Dance Program at Ryerson University* and Orillia Centre for Arts + Culture

Jazz in Motion: Portraits of Syncopated Souls

  • Exhibition curated by Natasha Powell and Kimberley Cooper
  • Premieres Sept. 20 at Union Station (Digital Edition Premieres Oct. 1)

Experience a visual feast of jazz dance imagery co-curated by Fall for Dance North’s artists-in-residence: Natasha Powell – artistic director of Holla Jazz (Toronto) – and Kimberley Cooper – artistic director of Decidedly Jazz Danceworks (Calgary). Transformed into a dynamic gallery, Union Station’s Oak Room and West Wing feature larger-than-life photographs of dancers from these respective companies, along with an augmented reality experience and a playlist collaboratively curated with JAZZ.FM91. Co-presented with Union Station and in collaboration with Dance Collection Danse


  • Single tickets and festival passes are on sale at ffdnorth.com
  • Festival passes provide unlimited access to FFDN’s full line-up of five livestream and filmed presentation events. 
  • Passes are $45. 
  • Single tickets are $15 per livestream and filmed presentation events. 
  • Tickets for FFDN’s Heirloom dance series in Toronto’s surrounding communities are $15 per performance.

Developed in strict compliance with current public health recommendations, FFDN’s 7th Edition offers audiences performance options for all comfort and accessibility levels, through socially-distanced outdoor live performances as well as livestream and filmed presentations.