ProArteDanza And The Quest For Choreographers

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ProArteDanza (Picture courtesy of PAD)

ProArteDanza Fall Season 2022, works by Chantelle Good, Syreeta Hector, Lesley Telford and Roberto Campanella, Nov 2 to five, Fleck Dance Theatre. Tickets right here.

Since 2004, ProArteDanza has been Toronto’s resident up to date ballet firm. The style description merely implies that dancers should have robust ballet approach to carry out the choreography. The vocabulary and grammar of the repertoire demand a particular ability set to execute the way in which the steps are put collectively.

Since PAD is a repertoire firm, it wants choreographers, however the issue is, there aren’t many dancemakers on the market with ProArteDanza’s aesthetic, and that’s the reason the corporate’s Fall Season 2022 is so particular. This system options three new choreographic works by rising up to date ballet dancesmiths.


One of many hallmarks of a PAD live performance is the thrilling and rigorous choreography it presents, however initially, there weren’t many dancers who might carry out the corporate’s aesthetic. To that finish, in 2008, the corporate started its Summer time Intensive program, which educated dancers in up to date ballet, and through the years, most of the dancers who’ve carried out with PAD got here out of this program.

The subsequent step was logical — to search out choreographers — however that took money and time, which PAD’s tight funds actually didn’t permit.

Explains PAD inventive director Roberto Campanella, “You don’t practice choreographers, reasonably, you let the inventive juices circulation. You allow them to mess around with out strain within the rehearsal room, and that’s the place the pandemic turned out to be a blessing in disguise. The work stoppage gave us time to hear and study, and make new connections. We might put money into experimentation and domesticate new expertise.”

To that finish, PAD hosted its first choreographic workshop referred to as Choreolab in 2020 and invited Syreeta Hector to play, because it had been, giving her some dancers and a rehearsal house. The 2022 Choreolab featured Chantelle Good, and each the works that got here out of those workshops, are a part of Fall Season 2022.

“I’m not one for motion for motion’s sake,” says Campanella. “I discover that boring. I’m in search of choreographers who can inform me one thing with the steps.”

ProArteDanza (Image courtesy of PAD)
ProArteDanza (Picture courtesy of PAD)

Discovering new choreographers

New Brunswick-born, Toronto-based Syreeta Hector is of Mi’kmaq, African American and Acadian heritage. Campanella grew to become conscious of Hector via her acclaimed piece Black Ballerina about her not-so-happy experiences within the classical ballet world.

“I noticed the work on-line, and he or she had an aesthetic I assumed would work with ours,” says Campanella. “I assumed she might provide one thing fascinating due to the narrative conceptual ingredient of the piece.”

Initially from Toronto, Chantelle Good has educated and labored in New York. She got here to Campanella’s consideration via her choreographic postings on social media, notably YouTube.

“I assumed she’d be a very good match due to the way in which she buildings her choreography,” he says. “She’s not predictable, and I preferred the way in which that she makes use of the physique.”

What’s of explicit curiosity right here is that Good’s Choreolab piece was not purported to be a part of Fall Season 2022. Provides Campanella, “We gave her two dancers to work with within the lab, and in 4 days she got here up with a blinding 10 minute duet that was so spectacular, we had so as to add it to this system.”

Vancouver-based Lesley Telford was found, so to talk, by PAD’s affiliate director/resident choreographer Robert Glumbek when he created a chunk for the acclaimed West Coast coaching centre Arts Umbrella. Telford had a piece on the identical program.

Says Campanella, “Robert thought she’d work nicely with our firm as a result of her work was straight from the up to date ballet world. She confirmed us an older piece that she had set on Arts Umbrella college students and we liked it. We requested her if she might rework it for skilled dancers, and gave her the time in 2021.”

The items

Campanella describes Hector’s Beast A La Mode as very theatrical, and loves the truth that she doesn’t take herself too critically. On the core of the work is how surroundings can have an effect on how we behave, that we modify on a regular basis pushed by exterior forces.

Good’s work could be very sensual, about contact and odor, and the way we protect recollections, however Tethered To Your Palms can also be far more than that. Campanella says that it defies description, however might usually be seen as how the senses stick with us from individuals who have impacted us.

The fascination of Telford’s work Solely Who Is Left is how she reveals power as we undergo inner and exterior struggles, how we face the world. Campanella describes the piece as heroic, as Telford depicts us with all our vulnerabilities and struggles within the face of battle.

There’s a fourth piece on this system, and that’s Campanella’s personal Fearful Symmetries from 2016. He describes the genesis of the work as strolling down Toronto’s Bay St. throughout rush hour, and turning into conscious of individuals transferring about him at nice pace. It made him surprise the place they had been going, and why so quick?

The pandemic made him additional mirror on the work when PAD was pressured to come back to an entire cease throughout lockdown, and he noticed the work via completely different eyes. Whereas it was exhaustion that introduced the dancers to break down in 2016, post-pandemic, there have been different forces at work.

Remaining phrases

“It is a severe, flat-out dance present when it comes to motion,” says Campanella. “It’s very bodily, very vigorous, very human, very weak. Each piece has one thing to say. Our three world premieres can actually converse to the viewers. As nicely, each Syreeta and Chantelle are younger ladies of color, and we’re happy with that range.”

In different phrases, ProArteDanza’s Fall Season 2022 guarantees to ship the thrilling choreography that the corporate’s followers have come to count on from this viewers favorite.


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Paula Citron
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