Reinventing the Wheel - Public Discussion

Are new creations always better? Is stealing inspiration from the past acceptable?

Dancemakers Resident Artists Dana Michel and Zoja Smutny are investigating what happens when one revisits their own practice and uses old works to create new ones. Facilitated by Dancemakers Curator Emi Forster, this panel discussion explores who can steal from who, and what it is like to build upon what has come before. We will also investigate why working from the past is much more interesting than attempting to create from blank slate.

Included in the panel are four accomplished guests: Phillip Monk, Lindsay Fisher, Joshua Barndt and Nasim Adab. Read more about them below!

January 29, 7PM

About the Guests

Nasim Adab

Nasim Adab is an urban designer at the City of Toronto and a registered professional planner. She has a broad range of experience in designing cities, buildings, public realm, community revitalization and master planning in both public and private sectors.  



Joshua Barndt (community artist and urban ecologist)

Joshua Barndt is a Toronto-based painter, installation artist, and curator. His artistic work stands out for its technical proficiency and raw emotive imagery. Conceptually rooted in a reflection on the decline of contemporary society and environmental degradation, it is dominated by dramatic images of bodies in free fall and dark dystopian landscapes of clandestine waste. Barndt’s highly multidisciplinary exhibitions weave together delicate hyperrealist figurative paintings, raw painted animations, and large-scale sculpture into immersive installations. These surreal sets are often void of a specific reference to time and place, and inhabit a line between now and then, past, present and future. Barndt has exhibited extensively in Montreal and Toronto (with solo exhibits in 2007 and 2008). In February of 2009 he unveiled two large public installations as part of Art Souterrain of Montreal’s contemporary arts festival Nuit Blanche, in two of Montréal’s most prestigious buildings; Place Ville Marie and The World Trade Center of Montreal.  Most recently he unveiled his first solo exhibit in Montreal called “Leaps of Faith”.

Lindsay Fischer (National Ballet of Canada)

 Photo by Aleksandar Antonijevic

Photo by Aleksandar Antonijevic

Lindsay Fischer is a native of New York City. After graduating from Canada’s National Ballet School in 1978, he danced internationally with ballet companies in Lisbon, Amsterdam and New York City. During that time he performed as a Principal Dancer with both the Dutch National Ballet and New York City Ballet and as a guest artist with such well-known ballerinas as Margaret Barbieri, Cynthia Gregory and Evelyn Hart. 

Following his retirement from the stage, Mr. Fischer joined the artistic staff of Canada’s National Ballet School where, along with his teaching duties, he developed a structure to help guide the school’s graduates through the process from high school and graduation to professional employment. This resulted in the creation of the school’s Post-Secondary and Dancer Career Planning Programmes, both of which Mr. Fischer managed until leaving the school in 2007. In 2008, Mr. Fischer was appointed Director of the Professional Summer Dance Programme at The Banff Centre in Alberta. 

Mr. Fischer has created ballets for the senior students of Canada’s National Ballet School and has overseen the production of works by other choreographers, including George Balanchine, James Kudelka, Rudi van Dantzig, Peggy Baker, Christopher House, Matjash Mrozewski and Toer van Schayk. He has also staged works and been a guest Ballet Master with companies in Canada and abroad. He was a guest répétiteur for The National Ballet of Canada from 1997 to 2007 and in 2007, assumed the position of Ballet Master. In 2011 he restaged Don Quixote for the National Ballet. He is presently the Artistic Director of YOU dance, the National Ballet’s outreach programme that introduces young people to the world of dance and ballet.

Philip Monk, (Art Gallery of York University)

Philip Monk is Director of the Art Gallery of York University in Toronto. Previously he was curator at The Power Plant (1994 – 2003) and the Art Gallery of Ontario (1985 – 1993). From 1977 – 1984, he was a writer and free-lance curator. He has written ten books, the most recent being Glamour is Theft: A User’s Guide to General Idea. He has written dozens of catalogues on international and Canadian artists. In 2009, he was the inaugural recipient of the Ontario Association of Art Galleries Lifetime Achievement Award and in 2011 he received the Hnatyshyn Award for Curatorial Excellence.