Home Classical Music Nightfall Dances Celebrates thirtieth Season With Performances In Toronto & Hamilton

Nightfall Dances Celebrates thirtieth Season With Performances In Toronto & Hamilton

Nightfall Dances Celebrates thirtieth Season With Performances In Toronto & Hamilton


Top row: Moving Parts (Images courtesy of Dusk Dances & Laurel MacDonald); Bottom row (l-r): Denise Fujiwara (Photo: Denise Grant); Images from rehearsals of Moving Parts (Photos courtesy of Denise Fujiwara)
High row: Shifting Components (Pictures courtesy of Nightfall Dances & Laurel MacDonald); Backside row (l-r): Denise Fujiwara (Picture: Denise Grant); Pictures from rehearsals of Shifting Components (Images courtesy of Denise Fujiwara)

Nightfall Dances has been providing out of doors performances with a community-minded focus for 3 many years. The thirtieth season consists of performances in Hamilton and Toronto.

We spoke with choreographer Denise Fujiwara and Laurel MacDonald, Musical Director, about Shifting Components, a chunk which is able to shut the night in each areas, about how the piece got here collectively as a piece carried out open air. The piece makes use of a choir and stay musical accompaniment with modern songs, together with Tears for Fears’ iconic Mad World and Parachute Membership’s 1983 hit Rise Up.


Denise Fujiwara (DF) has been knowledgeable dance artist for 45 years as a dancer, instructor, choreographer and impresario. In her childhood, she competed for the Canadian Rhythmic Gymnastics crew, and shaped Fujiwara Dance Innovations in 1991. In 2013 she obtained the Toronto Arts Basis Muriel Sherrin Award for worldwide achievement in dance, amongst different awards.

Toronto-based singer, composer and video artist Laurel MacDonald (LM) has launched 5 albums of her personal work, and carried out extensively. She’s the recipient of a 2021 SOCAN Award, and a Gemini Award in 2021, amongst different accolades.

LvT: How did Shifting Components come collectively — i.e. the concept of utilizing a wide range of songs and a choir along with dance?

DF: With the world in troublesome occasions and with individuals changing into more and more polarized, taking sides with rancour, and falling for simplistic options, I turned interested in how you can embrace complexity and battle with talent and style. We’ve investigated these questions via dance and singing, each uplifting practices that help curiosity, listening, openness and collaboration.

The music crew and I listened to numerous songs through the years on the lookout for related lyrics and ultimately got here up with a track record that takes us on a musical path from lows, via anger, to reflection and company.

LvT: How did this undertaking come collectively, together with the collaborators?

DF: I collaborated with composer, arranger, Phil Robust, on a number of dance tasks from 2007. He introduced his accomplice, Laurel MacDonald, into this undertaking as Co-Music Director and singer, and so they introduced Cathy Nosaty in as our Choir Director. Our dream crew tragically misplaced Phil Robust to a uncommon coronary heart situation this winter, however we’re carrying on buoyed by his stunning preparations.

LM: For this our first 12 months performing Shifting Components at Nightfall Dances in Hamilton, we’ve got been very a lot depending on the Hamilton Nightfall Dances crew to prepare (an advert hoc) and great area people choir for us. Our Hamilton Nightfall Dances choir is led by Roland Repair from the Hamilton Conservatory for the Arts, who very generously labored with the singers for a number of weeks in preparation for the arrival of the Toronto music crew to take over path of the music rehearsals in late June.

In the meantime, in Toronto that is our third time performing Shifting Components, and we have been thrilled to have the ability to welcome again lots of the advantageous choir members whom we labored with beneath Cathy Nosaty’s management within the earlier iterations of the present, in 2017 and 2019.

LvT: How do you method a dance piece like this, that will probably be carried out open air? Does the choreography differ basically from what you’ll stage indoors, in a managed surroundings (and the way)?

DF: Working open air is certainly harder and sophisticated than working indoors. We’re on the mercy of utmost temperatures, wind and rain, noise, uneven terrain, which impacts the dancing, acoustics, security, et cetera.

However dancing open air additionally offers us fascinating areas to work in and the chance to interact with new and bigger audiences. It’s additionally safer from the COVID perspective.

LvT: What are the challenges concerned in combining a choir with a dance piece, one which additionally entails the dancers often becoming a member of in (singing)?

DF: For the dancers, the complexity of doing exact choreography, blended with improvisation, laborious bodily power output in addition to singing is a cognitive, bodily and musical problem. Within the choreography, we’re shifting the choir in and across the efficiency area in easy methods integrating physicality to their singing.

LvT: What do you search for in dancers for one of these efficiency? Is there a specific high quality?

DF: The choreography in my repertoire fluctuate broadly in aesthetic and talent necessities, and all the time contain improvisation within the artistic course of and performances. We work with dancers who’re enthusiastic about artistic course of, improvisation and efficiency coaching, and we normally select from the dancers who attend our workshops and lessons.

LvT: On the subject of the music, the preparations don’t use the same old SATB format — it’s high-middle-low. Is that a part of your method to choral preparations? 

LM: Together with singing in different kinds and traditions, I’ve had in depth expertise singing conventional vocal music from the republic of Georgia. Elementary traits of Georgian folks singing are its use of carefully voiced 3-part concord, and a restricted vocal vary from excessive to low.

It was this Georgian folks singing custom that impressed the fundamental precept for Phil Robust’s and my musical decisions. The carefully voiced 3-part harmonies are likely to sound constantly musically cohesive, however most significantly additionally enable untrained singers to work in a pure, snug vary (as an alternative of the SATB vary, our high-mid-low ranges are extra analogous to low alto/excessive tenor/low tenor).

We wished preparations which are eminently accessible and singable, in one of the best custom of true ‘folks’ music, that’s, music that may be sung collectively by of us who would not have in depth voice coaching, in order that the act of performing and sharing it might hopefully be a really inclusive neighborhood expertise.

The Particulars

The out of doors performances happen at Bayfront Park in Hamilton from July 20 to 23, and in Toronto’s Withrow Park from July 30 to August 6.

Hamilton Performances

Sisterhood In Circularity (Choreographer: Shivani Joshi)

The circle represents a joyful interpretation of divine femininity. A Nightfall Dances premiere.

  • Performers: Mekha Jayakumar, Shivani Joshi, Anisha Manyal, Disha Panchal, Shailee Shethji and Muskaan Singh
  • Music: Jhume Re Gori, Dholida and Asvaar

Barely Black (Choreographer: Kiera Breaugh)

“This undertaking stemmed from emotions I’ve skilled being biracial in a society that doesn’t acknowledge biracial as a authentic identification.” A Nightfall Dances premiere.

  • Music: Kiera Breaugh in collaboration with David Karagianis

Shifting Components (Choreographed & directed by Denise Fujiwara/Fujiwara Dance Innovations)

“Fujiwara is interested in how you can embrace complexity and battle with talent and style, and how you can keep open and type within the midst of tumult.”

  • Performers: Sylvie Bouchard, Jen Hum, Mayumi Lashbrook, Michael Mortley, Lucy Rupert and Brodie Stevenson
  • Music and Music Preparations: Phil Robust & Laurel MacDonald; Music Director: Laurel MacDonald; Sound Designer: Simon Outhit
    Lead Singers: Annabelle Chvostek, Mike Evin and Laurel MacDonald; Bass: David Woodhead; Ukulele: Eve Goldberg; Choir Lead: Cathy Nosaty; Native Choir Lead: Roland Repair
  • Choristers: Priya Bhatia (Soprano), Margot Corbin (Alto), Asher Cuthill (Baritone), Daybreak Cuthill (Soprano), Megan English (Alto), Kristi Kemp (Alto), Anne Noble (Alto), Marvin Oldejans (Baritone), Ali Owen (Soprano), Czerny Vanden Heuvel (Soprano), Anya Wassenberg (Alto), Karine Wibrin (Alto)
  • ASL Translator: Thurga Kanagasekarampillai
  • Aikido Sensei: Greg Angus and Naka Ima Aikikai; Stage supervisor: Sooji Kim
  • Music and composer credit: Mad World – Roland Orzabal (1983); That’s Sufficient – Thompson Household; 911 for Peace – Anti-Flag; Rise Up – Parachute Membership (1983) (Billy Bryans, Lauri Conger, Lorraine Segato and Steve Webster with lyrics contributed by Lynne Fernie); Right here Comes the Change – Kesha Sebert; Love Be taught Hear – Laurel MacDonald & Denise Fujiwara

These performances are devoted to the reminiscence of Phil Robust.

Toronto Performances

Rhythm Playground (Choreographer: Rumi Jeraj)

Faucet dancing “in a playground of area and sound”. A Nightfall Dances premiere.

  • Performer: Rumi Jeraj
  • Bass: Adrian Russouw
  • Saxophone: David Hodgson
  • Music Composition: Lester Younger, Rely Basie and Thelonious Monk

No Return (Choreographer: Michael Mortley)

“A return to self, a return to the place my physique referred to as house not simply the place the center is.”

  • Performer: Michael Mortley; Understudy: Jael Jones Carby
  • Reside Spoken Phrase: Jäjé Jones Carby
  • Poetry Author: ‘Door Method of No Return’ by charles c. smith
  • Music: ‘Battle Orphans’ by Charlie Haden
  • Outdoors Eye: Wind Within the Leaves Collective via the CRP course of

Conventional Hoop Dance 

The standard medication dance of the Hopi individuals, the Hoop Dance, which marries storytelling and motion, originates from what’s now Southern Arizona.

  • Choreographed and carried out by LISA ODJIG July 30 to August 2;
  • Choreographed and carried out by River Christie-White August 3 to six.

Shifting Components (see Hamilton, above)

Extra details about all of the dances and performances is accessible [HERE].

Disclaimer: The creator is a member of the volunteer choir for the upcoming Hamilton performances.


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