Dance for the camera
film Workshop


Join Allen Kaeja for a one-day intensive dance film workshop! This is an extraordinary opportunity for those interested in dance, media and film to develop skills and gain experience in the relatively underdeveloped and hugely promising field of dance for the screen.

This rare hands-on, in-depth workshop will explore the marriage of these two moving mediums and include discussions, screenings and filming choreographic work while exploring the technical, practical and artistic challenges involved in producing a dance film. Participants will work in groups to create a number of short videos, storyboards, and editing.


10-11am — Discussion and Film Screening

How does a choreographer capture the essence, essential texture, emotional and kinesthetic power of choreography within the lens of the camera. How does the camera dance with the choreography? How does the physical landscape play into the essence of the physical vocabulary and the theme, and assist the emotional resonance. What does one want to say through the power of the imagistic realm. When and why are we engaged, engulfed and enriched by the experience of watching a dance film? Discussion includes screenings of Allen Kaeja’s films and those of other distinguished film-makers and young dance film creators.

11am-12pm — Hands-on Examination with Cameras

This portion of the workshop will include hands on exploration with cameras: stationary and moving as well as working with each other as movers.  Participants will prepare their first site-specific project and watch short films relating to the assignment. Karen Kaeja will lead this portion of the workshop.

12-1pm — Shooting a Film

Participants will shoot their first short film and share it with the class. After a brief discussion, participants will prepare a shot-list for their second short film.

1-1:30pm — Lunch

1:30-3pm — Shooting a Second Film and Film Screening

Participants will work with both Karen and Allen Kaeja to finalize their shot list, shoot their second site-specific project and make basic edits. Participants will then screen their final works and the floor will be open for discussion. There will be available time to either re-shoot or re-edit the films as necessary. 


*Gives you $5 off your ticket to Capitalism, Sex, And Magic


5 hours


Saturday, May 2


Dancemakers, Main Stage 313
9 Trinity Street, 3rd Floor
Toronto, ON M5A 3C4
> Get Directions



  • A camera (can be DSLR, consumer/consumer pro/professional video cameras or even your iPhone)
  • A tri-pod (not necessary, but useful)
  • An editing system (can be done on a laptop, or even in-camera, on your iPhone)
  • Lunch (or cash to purchase food in the Distillery District)

About Allen Kaeja

 Allen Kaeja. Photo by Serge Gubelman.

Allen Kaeja. Photo by Serge Gubelman.

Allen Kaeja (Co-Artistic Director, Choreographer, Cinematographer) is an internationally recognized and award winning choreographer and filmmaker. Invited in 1981 by the Ontario Olympic Wrestling Federation to compete for “the team,” he chose dance as his career instead. Since 1982, he has created over a 160 dance pieces and has choreographed for twenty-six films. Allen is Co-Artistic Director of Kaeja d’Dance with his wife Karen Kaeja. He is co-founder of the CanAsian International Dance Festival (1996-present) and fFIDA (1991-2000). His stage works have been presented in festivals around the world, including in Norway, Sweden, Israel, the UK, Portugal, India, Mexico, Venezuela, Spain, the USA, as well as at the VANOC Cultural Olympiad.

Allen has also received a number of commissions from international dance companies from Sweden, UK, India, Mexico, the USA and Norway, among others. Allen’s awards include the prestigious Clifford E. Lee, K.M. Hunter, and Paul D. Fleck Choreography Awards (Canada), the Bonnie Bird Award (UK), a UNESCO citation, and the Moving Picture Award for best performance (Canada). Allen also performed as Pushkin in Moze Mossanen’s Gemini-winning dance film Nureyev. In addition, Kaeja films have been screened all across the globe and have been nominated for the American Choreography Awards (LA) and the Banff World Television Festival Awards (Canada). They have received special ‘Jury Mentions’ from IMZ (Europe) and American Dance Festival (USA). The Kaeja films are also a part of the permanent collection at the MoMA and the Jewish Museum in New York, the Yad Vashem Holocaust Memorial in Israel and in a new exhibit at the Museum of Civilization opening 2015, as well as owned by many university libraries.

Allen is just completing another Bravo!FACT for an upcoming dance film, Oxygen, co-directed with Oscar-winning special-effects master Colin Chilvers. Allen and Karen teach Master classes in Kaeja Elevations, Contact Dance, Improvisation and Dance Film. They are also currently on faculty at The School of Toronto Dance Theatre (since 1991) and Brock Univeristy (2013 - present), as well, Allen has taught Partnering and Dance Film at Ryerson University since 2002. He has published his second book, entitled Transcending Media: Adapting the Dance Production Asylum of Spoons, from Stage to Film.

Allen is currently working on his third book, Kaeja Elevations, in which he has completed principle cinematography and photography. Allen worked as the International Guest Choreographer and Judge for Mexico’s Canal22 and their dance reality series Opera Prima. Allen just completed YET AGAIN (2015), a quartet for four powerful men, for Ballet Jorgen Canada. Allen and Karen are in their 25th anniversary (2015) with two major concerts and a new PVD and they have just been commissioned to create a new choreography in UK (2016). Allen also completed “the ROGUE show”, his first solo show ever, with Director/Dramaturge, Bruce Barton Allen and Karen were finalists in the TD Diversity Award 2013, Now Magazines “Best Local Choreographer 2011” and Canadian Dance Assembly I Love Dance National Awards for Innovation and Community 2012, of which they won the latter. They were also listed in the Globe and Mails BEST DANCE 2012 for Porch View Dances!