York’s graduate dance artists return to the stage with Mémoires

York’s graduate dance artists return to the York stage on Jan. 16 and 17 with Mémoires, a captivating showcase of 17 original and traditional dance works inspired by the choreographers’ diverse cultural backgrounds.

The pieces being presented include half a dozen solos as well as five works spotlighting outstanding young performers in the York Dance Ensemble (YDE). Directed by York dance Prof. Susan Cash, the YDE is the spirited repertory company of York University’s Dance Department.

Offering a broad palette of choreographic voices from different generations and traditions, Mémoires spans centuries and continents. The program comprises centuries-old dance forms from China, Brazil, India, the Caribbean and the Middle East, as well as classical ballet, dance theatre and contemporary dance styles.

The contributors to Mémoires include the following distinguished dance artists.

  • Gary David De Matas, artistic director of the Astor Johnson Repertory Dance Theatre, has been involved in the Trinidad and Tobago dance scene as a performer, teacher and choreographer for 25 years.
  • Fethi Karakecili, a graduate of Dance Conservatory at the Gaziantep University in Turkey, is the president of the Community Folk Arts Council of Toronto.
  • A dancer, choreographer, actor and teacher, Viv Moore (BFA ’90) has worked both collaboratively and as a solo artist for many years in dance, theatre, film and video in Sweden, Australia, England and Canada. She performs with Theatre Rusticle and fellow dance alumna Denise Fujiwara (BFA ’79), a leading choreographer, dancer, actor, dance impresario and teacher on the indie Canadian dance scene.
  • Emily Cheung (BFA ’02/BEd ’05) is an educator, performer and choreographer who serves as associate artistic director of Little Pear Garden Collective, Canada’s premiere Chinese performing arts company.

York’s graduate dance artists, studying in the MA Program in Dance, who contributed to Mémoires are: Lesley Bunbury-Watson, Catherine Carpenko, Susan Cash, Shannon Elliott, Paromita Kar, Junia Mason, Samantha Mehra, Marcio Mendes, Jorge Luis Morejon, Melissa Noventa, Jonathan Osborn, Elena Quah, Sheri Talosi, Xiao Han Yan and Sashar Zarif.

Mémoires will be performed in the Recital Hall, Accolade East Building. Showtime is 6pm and admission is $10. Tickets are available online, during business hours from the Fine Arts Box Office, or by calling ext. 55888.

This article was submitted to YFile by Mary-Lou Schagena in the Faculty of Fine Arts.