Dance4 Exchange spotlights a quad of talented dance centres

The power of movement will quadruple when Dance4 Exchange unfolds today in the McLean Performance Studio in York’s Accolade East Building.

This dynamic show spotlights a wide range of choreographic voices and performers from four dance education centres: the York Dance Ensemble (YDE) directed by Susan Cash, the spirited repertory company of York University’s Department of Dance; George Brown Dance, led by Bengt Jorgen, from Toronto’s George Brown College; McMaster Dance Company, headed by Dave Wilson, from McMaster University, Hamilton; and the School of Toronto Dance Theatre, under the artistic direction of York alumna Pat Fraser (BA ’75).

Right: Susan Cash

The YDE’s contributions to the program include encore presentations of works performed earlier this season: Interbeing, choreographed by Cash and her York dance department colleague, Sashar Zarif, and Teddy’s Last Stand by alumna Viv Moore (BFA ’90). (For the full story, see the Jan. 26 issue of YFile.) 

The YDE will also offer a partial remounting of Canadian choreographer David Earle’s contemporary classic, Baroque Suite (1972), a series of three works set to the music of Arcangelo Corelli, Johann Sebastian Bach and Antonio Vivaldi. The YDE will showcase two of the pieces, which Earle created as a tribute to his mentor, the pioneering modern dancer and choreographer José Limon.

Left: David Earle

The remounting of Baroque Suite is part of a project to reconstruct and document the works of several senior contemporary choreographers through videography, notation, oral history and other methods to preserve our Canadian dance heritage. The project, directed by York Dance Department Chair Mary Jane Warner, is made possible through a SSHRC grant.

Earle has been working with the YDE since February as a guest artist in York’s Dance Department. One of the leading lights of the Canadian dance scene, Earle co-founded Toronto Dance Theatre and is the artistic director of Dancetheatre David Earle ( A trailblazing choreographer, he has created a large repertoire of passionate dance works for which he has been awarded the Order of Canada.

In addition to the YDE performances, Dance4 Exchange will feature a liberal quantity and quality of innovative pieces by dance artists from George Brown College, McMaster University and the School of Toronto Dance Theatre.

“I initiated this get-together with the other dance centres because it’s stimulating to share and explore the talents that exist in our community,” said Cash. “It encourages further creativity and challenges dance students to greater artistry.”

Cash has served as the YDE’s artistic and managing director since 2003 and has worked with the company for over a decade, contributing numerous works to its repertoire.

Dance4 Exchange takes place today, at 2pm in the McLean Performance Studio, 244 Accolade East. The event is free and open to the public. For more information, contact the Dance Department at ext. 55137.

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