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CanAsian Dance Festival

Arts & Expression, All Asian, Music, Dance, Events

Zulfikarali R. Kassamali


CanAsian Dance Festival fosters and promotes diverse expressions of Asian aesthetics through dance in Canada. www.canasiandance.com


Formed in 1997 by members of the Dance Committee of the Asian Heritage Month Festival.

Incorporated as a non-profit charitable organization in December 1999. Under Artistic Director Denise Fujiwara and a Board of Directors including President Joanna de Souza, Chan Hon Goh, Allen Kaeja and Tina Park.

We present the CanAsian International Dance Festival, a weeklong festival of performances, student matinees and workshops that reflect dance traditions from across Asia. In 2009, it will be held (PDF File / 40KB download) from 6-9 May 2009 at the Fleck Dance Theatre. www.canasiandancefestival.com

In addition to the festival, we present annual artistic, educational and professional development activities on an ongoing basis, often in partnership with other like-minded organizations.

Performance home is at Harbourfront Centre where we present at both the Fleck Dance Theatre (formerly the Premiere Dance Theatre) and the Enwave Theatre (formerly the Harbourfront Centre Theatre).

Since its inception CanAsian has:

  • Presented seven successful Festivals and two successful off-Festival year events
  • Presented over 50 artists and companies from all over the world
  • Presented workshops for over 250 artists in the community
  • Commissioned new works from nine Toronto artists
  • Garnered a total of 10 Dora Mavor Moore award nominations for artists presented in CanAsian's performances

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CanAsian International Dance Festival Artists

Jung-Ah Chung (Victoria, BC) graduated from the Ewha Women's University in Seoul, Korea. Appearing in Empty Space at the 4th Recontres Choreographiques Internationales De Seine-Saint Denis, she was awarded a Best Dancers Prize. She also performed for Ae-Soon Ahn in 1998 in the Grand Prize of the Centre Internationales De Bagnolet in Paris. Her own choreography has included Shape, A Shout of Joy, Woman in the House, Beginning and Being, and Duet. Since moving to British Columbia, she has worked with Constance Cooke, Ballet Victoria, Tripod Dance Collective, Out of the Box Productions, Suddenly Dance Theatre, Wen Wei Dance and Battery Opera.

Recently, Jung-Ah's solo Connection has been invited to Tangente in Montréal, which she created for Pulse at the Dance Centre and Dancing on the Edge, ROMP 2006. She also participated in Suddenly Dance Theatre's film Nature ecstasy, and Opium and Aisling for Bravo and directed, choreographed and performed in her first film Drive in 2005. She toured with Suddenly Dance Theatre to three cities in Korea in summer 2008 and was invited for The 10th Next Wave Dance Festival. With her non stop versatile performances, she was chosen as Victoria's Favourite Choreographer in 2006 and favourite Dancer in 2004 by M-Awards, Monday Magazine. She will continue to dance in gratitude with the mind of infinite possibility.

princess productions (Toronto, ON) princess productions was founded in 1995 by Yvonne Ng. Since then, princess productions has commissioned, produced and presented over 30 works, including dance films. These works have been shown across Canada, in Australia and Singapore and have received critical and commercial acclaim. Five of the works: Language, Treehouse, My past follows like dragon's tail, Stone Velvet and Fading Shadows/Returning Echoes garnered seven Dora Mavor Moore Award nominations for performance and choreography in 1998, 2000 and 2005.

During the first six years of the company's existence, the focus was primarily on the creation of a repertoire commissioned from Canadian choreographers. Now, the focus has migrated to the national and international touring of the repertoire, choreographic creation by the artistic director through tiger princess dance projects and presenting "dance: made in canada/fait au canada" (d:mic/fac), a bi-annual festival presenting both established and emerging artists on the same platform. www.princessproductions.ca

Mira Hunter (Vancouver, BC) It can be argued that Mira Hunter has been whirling for most of her life. A visual artist and second-generation Sufi Mevlevi whirling dervish, she began her traditional training at the age of 16 with her father, Raqib Burke. As a visual artist, she studied at NSCAD University and Yale, graduating with a Bachelor degree in Fine Arts in 2001. For the past 10 years, she has collaborated with Turkish-born, Canadian producer/musician/DJ Mercan Dede, performing all over the world, from New York to Japan. She was recently featured in David Michalek's Slow Dance project that was exhibited at the Venice Biennale in 2008. Mira continues to challenge the fundamental forms of whirling by incorporating innovative movements and concepts, coaxing the 13th century practice into a contemporary context. www.mirahunter.com

Andrea Nann (Toronto, ON) My professional career has been about creating, inspiring and bringing different people together. My art form is dance. I find joy and challenge in exploring the expressive transcendental beauty, dynamism and connectivity of movement and physical expression. Growing up as a female member of a visible minority in Canada, I spent my time searching for ways to fit in, to feel included.

I have been a member of the Canadian arts community since 1988 when I received my Bachelor degree in Fine Arts from York University and began a professional career that would include a 15-year engagement with one of Canada's most prominent dance companies, the Danny Grossman Dance Company. During that time, I also had the unique experience of maintaining a parallel dance career, creating and premiering over 45 new roles for some of Canada's most influential independent choreographers.

In 2005, I created the Andrea Nann Dreamwalker Dance Company (ANDDC), a company mandated to create and produce work that explores the human experience through artistic collaboration with artists from all disciplines. ANDDC facilitates opportunities for artists to observe, discover, create, reflect, expand and share; and actively reaches out to diverse community groups through workshops, master classes, presentations and cultural exchanges.

Through these extraordinary dance opportunities, I have had the great privilege of sharing some of my life experiences in performances and workshops across Canada, and in parts of the United States, Europe and Asia. As an arts educator, I have engaged students and participants of all ages and backgrounds in artistic explorations that foster creativity, imagination and emotional expressiveness. My process involves empowering students as thinkers, evaluators, interpreters and creators. It is my ambition to create opportunities to inspire and transform lives through creative experiences because I believe that as a society we need to work hard and work together to cultivate and nurture an appreciation for the impact that creative expression can have on daily life. www.dreamwalkerdance.com

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