Toronto’s Premier International Dance Festival, Fall For Dance North 2018 has unveiled their fourth and largest festival season to date, which includes the festival doubling its capacity, showcasing 12 works from 11 companies across three distinct programs, and growing to two venues: at the Sony Centre for the Performing Arts and the addition of Ryerson Theatre. October 2 through 6, 2018. All tickets are now on sale for only $15 each.

The festival highlights the importance of accessibility for audiences to experience world-class dance, the representation of diversity in geography in the festival, from Toronto’s own Red Sky Performance to The Netherlands’ Introdans; diversity in style, from The National Ballet of Canada to the uninhibited street dance of Soweto Skeleton Movers; coupled with diversity in generation and gender, from rising star Emma Portner to living legend Lucinda Childs, coupled with the newly added venue, Ryerson Theatre, highlighting the work of female leaders in dance.

“Last year, with our addition of free Union Station programming, we brought dance into the lives of more citizens than ever before. This year we will do so again, adding Ryerson Theatre to our list of venues and welcoming thousands more into the FFDN community,” says Ilter Ibrahimof, FFDN Artistic Director.“While we are a young organization, we are immensely proud of the support, trust, and following we have built with our patrons to date. This year, new and returning audiences will be treated to a host of milestone firsts for the festival: a spectacular contribution from New York City Ballet Resident Choreographer Justin Peck; a world premiere commissioned by FFDN from Anne Plamondon and Emma Portner; and an endless array of evocative, engaging and exquisite artistic surprises.”

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 below, and online at ffdnorth.com.

The Fall For Dance North 2018 Programs include:

MAINSTAGE at Sony Centre
Program 1: Oct. 3(official festival opening)& 4 at 7:30pm
Opening with an electro-acoustic, symphonic epic and closing with pulsing house beats, this program will transport audiences across landscapes, borders, and cultures, speaking to the universal connections artists make with the world around them.

Red Sky Performance(Toronto): A special edition of Adizokan with the Toronto Symphony Youth Orchestra
At its 2017 premiere, this genre-defying work was heralded for its artful integration of dance, film, and musical elements including Indigenous vocals, and electro-acoustic and orchestral music by Canadian composer Eliot Britton. This special FFDN edition focuses on contemporary and traditional Indigenous dance components choreographed by Jera Wolfe, Sandra Laronde and Michel Bruyere, using movement to mount a fascinating exploration of Indigenous connections to ancestral origins.

Compagnie Marie Chouinard(Montreal):Solos and Duets(excerpts) by Marie Chouinard
In this Toronto premiere, the legendary creator revisits her extensive four decades of repertoire with fresh eyes and inspiration, including excerpts from a full-length piece about to make its world premiere at Venice Biennale Danza 2018, where Chouinard is the director. Her view of dance as a sacred art will be manifest in every motion of her profoundly expressive company, as they make their FFDN debut.

Los Hijos Del Director(Cuba):La Tribulacion De Anaximandro(Hombre, Arche, Apeiron)
Directed and choreographed by award-winning George Céspedes, this ebullient and energetic Havana-based company make their Canadian debut with a strikingly beautiful contemporary work set to a driving techno disco score. The piece explores the answer to a burning question: How do we dance in an undefined and unlimited way in a world of precision and limits?

Soweto Skeleton Movers(South Africa): Seven
After amazing international audiences at UK’s Sadler’s Wells Theatre and local crowds at Breakin’ Convention Toronto 2017, this high-energy crew returns to astound and amaze with comedic contortionism, frenetic footwork, and their unique brand of Pantsula; a dance form that originated in the black townships of South Africa during the Apartheid era, inspired – in part – by jumping on and off moving trains.

MAINSTAGE at Sony Centre
Program 2: Oct. 5 at 7:30pm & Oct. 6 at 2pm
The festival continues with artistic fireworks; a collection of companies representing technical mastery and inspired creation.

Introdans(The Netherlands) Lieder Eines Fahrenden Gesellen(Songs Of A Wayfarer) by Jiří Kylián
with musicians from The Glenn Gould School
In their second FFDN 2018 appearance, the company shares an elegant, fluid, and seemingly effortless series of duets by world-renowned choreographer Jiří Kylián, former artistic director of Nederlands Dans Theater for nearly a quarter century. This iconic work translates a composition of the same name by Gustav Mahler into a beautiful choreographic score, which will be played live by 10 musicians and a soloist from The Glenn Gould School at The Royal Conservatory.

Obeah Opera 2019(Toronto): An a cappella musical dance odyssey
The vision of Nicole Brooks(Music & Libretto) with choreography by Anthony“Prime” Guerra, Obeah Opera retells the narrative of the Salem witch trials through the eyes of Caribbean slave women. Performed by a powerful all-female cast with a live a cappella score, this special showcase shares new choreography developed for an upcoming 2019 reiteration of this one of a kind production, which originally premiered during the Pan Am Games in 2015.

The National Ballet of Canada(Toronto)Paz de la Jolla by Justin Peck with The National Ballet of Canada Orchestra
The subject of the celebrated documentary Ballet 422, New York City Ballet Resident Choreographer Justin Peck’s creation is a buoyant and beachy tribute to his home state of California. This large ensemble work exquisitely embodies the thrills and fears of coming of age; and the heedless sugar rush of young summer love.

Compagnie Hervé KOUBI(France):What the day owes to the night(excerpts) by Hervé Koubi
Created with and for a company of 14 Algerian and Burkina Faso dancers, mostly originating from street dance and hip-hop, the Toronto premiere of this contemporary dance work takes its name from Algerian author Yasmina Khadra’s 2008 novel. In it, Koubi explores his own Algerian origins and journey through a combination of capoeira, martial arts, urban, and contemporary dance tinged with evocative Islamic imagery.

FFDN at Ryerson Theatre
Program 3: Oct. 2 & 4 at 7:30pm
The festival’s newest venue, Ryerson Theatre hosts the final program of FFDN 2018 and celebrates the voices of emerging and established female leaders in dance, highlighting works by female artists, choreographers, and artistic directors.

La Otra Orilla(Montreal):RITE / a flamenco ceremony by Myriam Allard
These radical flamenco innovators re-invent the tradition-filled form with a trans-disciplinary vision of its percussive dance and keening song. Making its Toronto premiere, this cabaret-style work offers spontaneous, intimate conversations between musicians and a solo dancer, exploring numerous styles born from this powerful and passionate art form.

Introdans(The Netherlands): Canto Ostinato by Lucinda Childs
This Canadian premiere was created specifically for Introdans by iconic septuagenarian choreographer Lucinda Childs, whose Einstein on the Beach appeared at Luminato in 2012. One of two contributions from the company at FFDN 2018, this beautiful minimalist work is abundant with clean lines, tight formations, and understated elegance.
Anne Plamondon(Montreal) + Emma Portner(USA):Counter Cantor(Working Title) – FFDN Commission
An international dance fixture for more than 25 years, Anne Plamondon has performed with Netherlands Dans Theatre 2, Kidd Pivot, and Les Grands Ballets Canadian, and performed at FFDN 2016 in Crystal Pite’s A Picture of You Fallling. The 23-year-old Canadian-born Emma Portner is a rising choreographic star and social media sensation, creating work for Justin Bieber’s world tours, New York City Ballet, and her own New York-based company, Emma Portner & Artists. This FFDN commissioned world premiere will see the two women meld their unique voices in a thrilling collaboration.

Ballet Kelowna(Kelowna):MAMBO by Alysa Pires
The evening ends with an east coast premiere and a homecoming, as Ryerson graduate Pires shares work on her alma mater’s stage. Her zany, tongue-in-cheek creation allows Ballet Kelowna’s technically-skilled artists to unleash their playful side to infectious jazz tunes by Dean Martin, Rosemary Clooney, Perry Como, and more.

In addition to its Mainstage Programs, FFDN features an extensive variety of ancillary events and programming that seek to introduce dance to public life; enrich audience appreciation for the form; and offer dance practitioners opportunities to enhance their craft and career. 2018 activities will include:
The expansion of its free public Union Station programming to year-round performances.
Complimentary master classes and workshops for dance artists and non-dancers.
The return of its popular Artist Talks prior to every performance, both at Sony and Ryerson.
An International Presenters Program that connects local artists and companies with a network of international programmers, producers, and presenters.

About Fall for Dance North(ffdnorth.com)
Fall For Dance North is Toronto’s premier dance festival and an Ontario not-for-profit organization and registered charity. Founded in response to the crucial need to fortify the dance audience of the future, FFDN has been attracting new audiences to experience a diversity of the best established and emerging dance happening in Toronto, across Canada and around the world since the first season in 2015. The festival’s mandate is to reflect Toronto’s multiculturalism, create an atmosphere of shared discovery, and entice people to attend live dance performance throughout the year. The fourth edition of FFDN takes place October 2–6, 2018 with three unique programs across six performances running at festival co-presenter Sony Centre for the Performing Arts and — FFDN’s newest venue — Ryerson Theatre, in partnership with Ryerson School of Performance. To make dance accessible to all, tickets for any seat are available for only $15. Additional free programming at Toronto’s Union Station also runs throughout the year.

About the Author

Bryen Dunn is a freelance journalist with a focus on travel, lifestyle, entertainment and hospitality. He has an extensive portfolio of celebrity interviews with musicians, actors and other public personalities. He enjoys discovering delicious eats, tasting spirited treats, and being mesmerized by musical beats.