Dance festival presents largest lineup in its history


Although the pandemic has forced most dance shows to cancel or scale back over the past year-and-a-half, the Fall for Dance North Festival is returning bigger than ever.

This autumn’s FFDN, which runs from September 11 to October 29, is the largest in its seven-year-history. The lineup, a mix of in-person performances and original digital content, includes the world premiere of 10 festival commissions.

There are real-time, live-streamed performances from Toronto, as well as works shot in India, Cuba and London. In addition, live in-person performances will take place in communities around the GTA. And multimedia works include an interactive photo and augmented reality exhibit at Union Station, making the festival’s reach broader than ever.

“This year’s hybrid edition of FFDN brings us one step closer to our vision for a new festival format fit for our changing and increasingly virtual world,” says Ilter Ibrahimof, FFDN’s artistic director.

Signature Program

One of the festival’s highlights is the October 13 premiere of the Signature Program consisting of a three-part performance film directed by Indo-Canadian filmmaker Vikram Dasgupta.

Included are the world premiere of Canadian choreographer Aszure Barton’s Bloom, performed by Cuba’s Malpaso Dance Company and filmed in Havana; South African choreographer Mthuthuzeli November’s My Mother’s Son is performed by the choreographer and National Ballet of Canada principal dancer Siphe November, filmed at the Battersea Arts Centre in London, UK; and the Nrityagram Dance Ensemble performs from the Nrityagram Dance Village in Bangalore.

New Canadian works

Many exciting Canadian works are being live-streamed during the festival. Côté Danse’s +(dix), choreographed by Guillaume Côté and inspired by the myth of Odysseus and the idea of home, streams live on September 23 from Harbourfront Centre Theatre.

The four-night Night Shift program features four new works live-streamed from The Citadel: Ross Centre for Dance, each one directed by Barbara WIllis Sweete. They are Ola Barrios’s Mestiza (September 29), Kean Buffalo and River Waterhen’s New Work (Double Bill) (September 30), Sashar Zarif’s Grandmother’s Drum (October 1) and BaKari Ifasegun Lindsay’s SpiritYouAll (October 2).

On October 7, William Yong directs a live-streamed film of a world premiere double bill featuring Toronto artists Sara Porter and Danah Rosales. Porter’s Getting To Know Your Fruit combines dance and memoir, while Rosales’s The Grand March Of The House Of Siriano, is structured like an extravagant mini house ball.

And at the end of the month, U.S. choreographer/performer Caleb Teicher’s More Forever, a collaboration with composer Conrad Tao, is live-streamed from the Fleck Dance Theatre and captured by director Barbara Willis Sweete.

In-person events

If you’re outside the GTA area, you’ll be able to catch some live, in-person outdoor dance in the festival’s Heirloom series.

Works by Toronto choreographer Lua Shayenne, Montreal’s Sandy Silva and Americans Caleb Teicher and Nic Gareiss will be performed September 11, 16 and 18 in various outdoor spaces, including Peterborough, Hamilton, and St. Catharines.

Free programming

The festival’s free programming includes open-air screenings of her body as words by Peggy Baker Dance Projects. Jeremy Mimnagh’s film captures Baker’s sensual choreography about female identity, and will be screened various nights at Yonge-Dundas Square.

And Union Station’s Oak Room and West Wing will be transformed into a gallery for Jazz In Motion: Portraits Of Syncopated Souls. Curated by Natasha Powell (Holla Jazz) and Kimberley Cooper (Decidedly Jazz Danceworks), the exhibit features enormous photographs of dancers from both companies, as well as an augmented reality component and playlist.

Tickets and passes go on sale today at




Stay In The Know with Now Toronto

Be the first to know about new and exclusive content