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Anandam Dancetheatre and Dancemakers present Contemporaneity 1.0


Join Anandam Dancetheatre and Dancemakers in widening circles of consideration, curiosity and care in the performance field, with conversations and choreographies by some of Toronto’s finest artists.
Contemporaneity is a new presenting series by Anandam Dancetheatre featuring new works and works-in-progress by artists practicing in Asian, African, Latin American, Arab and Indigenous dance forms. Responding to the widespread use of “contemporary” to describe European and white American theatrical dance, Anandam re-centers contemporaneity as a shared inquiry, animating a current and collective interest in holding the dancing body in the world. The inaugural edition features Diana Lopez, Mafa Makhubalo, and Esie Mensah.Artists are in residence at Dancemakers in October, their creative process culminating in a presentation of new works and works-in-progress October 12th to 14th.

De Agua y Barro is inspired by “las portadoras de agua bendita” (carriers of holy water), and the ritual led by the Purépecha women of Michoacán. Aerial and multidisciplinary artist Diana Lopez embodies and honours their strength in an investigation of ritual and its relationship to memory, material and the body.

A specialist in South African dance forms, Mafa Makhubalo sees culture as an accumulation and evolution of the history and memory of a people; a process made visible through dance, music and song. In Lentswe la Setjhaba (Voices of the Land), Makhubalo explores the way individuals hold a sense of self, express themselves, and find their way through complex times.

Afrofusion artist Esie Mensah presents Shades of Blackness, exploring the concept of shadeism through movement and text as the work examines what it means to be scrutinized for the tone of one’s skin. Shadeism is a child of racism; Mensah brings this taboo into the light to explore its ugliness and discomfort, so that a new truth can step forward.

Contemporaneity is generously supported by the Toronto Arts Council’s Open Door program, which provides catalytic funding for projects with the potential to create transformative change in the arts sector. The series will unfold in 2017/18 and 2018/19 through cross-sectoral partnerships with Dancemakers, Toronto Dance Theatre, and The Theatre Centre. Residencies provides audiences with opportunities to attend open rehearsals, Q&A’s with the artists, and roundtable discussions. Anandam is also commissioning critical writing from artists and academics specializing in aesthetics of Indigenous practices and practices of people of colour. Through Contemporaneity, we invite artists, presenters, curators, critics and audiences, to ask: how can contemporary dance grow and evolve, become more responsive, expansive and complex in its offerings for the sector? With curiosity, consideration and care, we hope to contribute to a new vision of Canadian dance.
Performance dates:
Thursday October 12th, 7:30 pm
Friday October 13th, 7:30 pm
Saturday October 14th, 7:30 pm
$25 Artists | Arts workers | Students | Seniors
For tickets please visit or purchase at the door.
For further information, contact Soraya Peerbaye at visit