Back to the Garden
Dance doesn't take well to the indoors in the summer. But al fresco, it's another story. One of the best places to see new dance sprouting up is at Harbourfront's Toronto Music Garden (475 Queens Quay West) series from June 26 to September 18. Among those exercising their green thumbs and toes are Julia Aplin , choreographing a piece with musician John Gzowski for string quartet (August 4); Peter Chin , performing a new music/dance work with Peter Pavlovsky and Rick Sacks (August 11); and perennial crowd-pleasers the Esmeralda Enrique Spanish Dance Company , making the lakeshore rumble with their flamenco passion (September 1). Free. 416-973-4000.
Get a Kick out of you
New this year at Harbourfront is an entire summer weekend devoted to dance. Kick Up Your Heels offers hours of performances of works by local faves like the Chimera Project , Ballet Creole , Ronald A. Taylor and Learie McNicolls . Wanna join the action onstage? Take one of the workshops: there's everything from ballet boot camp to hiphop and salsa/merengue. Then watch the best underground dance outfits show you how to really do it at the late-night Urban Dance Explosion . August 26 to 28. Free. 416-973-4000.
The Fringe fest is an increasingly solid venue for new dance. This year's top pick is Chasing Bliss , a program of solo works by José Limón , Marie-Josée Chartier and Jolene Bailie , all performed by Winnipeger Bailie. This is her third national Fringe tour, and it's an all-new program, including Limón's promisingly titled Dances For Isadora. Bonus: her venue is air-conditioned! July 6 to 16. Artword (75 Portland). 416-966-1062.
Sasha Ivanochko is so damned expressive, you could sell tickets to watch her cross the street. Her series of new choreographed solos is so rich it's spread out over two programs. Julia Sasso , Michael Trent , Kate Holden and Susie Burpee dance solos in a program called Suite Of Black Miniature Dances . Those same dancers take part in structured improv, paired with Ivanochko herself in a solo called Is This Love? Oh, Sasha, do you really have to ask? June 23 to 25 at the Winchester Street Theatre (80 Winchester). 416-204-1082.
Not all the acts have been confirmed for the fFIDA International Dance Festival , but some exciting names have been released for the intimate Studio Stage Artists series. Japan's Mari Osanai and Toronto Dance Theatre star William Yong are creating works in the 20-to-25-minute range, while the techno-savvy Samara Thompson and exciting emerging artist Keiko Kitano have spots in the 15-to-18-minute range. Then there's the excitement of the Grande Scale Gala and Grande Scale Event over at the Fermenting Room, where audiences shift from show to show in a carnival-like atmosphere. Distillery District (55 Mill). August 10 to 21. Check www.ffida.org for updates.