Contemporaneity widens circles of consideration and curiosity in the performance field, with conversations, new works, and works-in-progress by some of Toronto’s finest artists.
Agua (Kidney, Echerio and First movement). The “ritual de las Aguadoras” (carriers of holy water) is led by the Purépecha women of Michoacán. In De Agua y Barro, aerial and multidisciplinary artist Diana Lopez embodies and honours their strength in an investigation of ritual, memory 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 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” as a term to describe European and white American theatrical dance, Anandam proposes re-centering “contemporaneity” as a shared inquiry, widening the circles of inclusion, and animating a current and collective interest in holding the dancing body in the world.
Image: Dancers Percy Anane-Dwumfour & Tereka Tyler-Davis in a work choreographed by Esie Mensah Photo: E.S. Cheah Photography