Concept and Direction
Karen Kaeja and Allen Kaeja
Choreography for Film 1(ART-ery HEART DANCE)
Film 3 (ART-ery TOUCH)
Film 4 (ART-ery TOUCH-AR)
Choreography for Film 2
(ART- ery SOLO DANCES)
Karen Kaeja, Allen Kaeja,
and Kaeja d'Dance
Additional Film Direction
Mateo Galindo Torres
Ciamaga Lane Dance Films:
Karen Kaeja, Katherine Semchuk and Irma Villafuerte
Broadcast Lane Dance Films:
Aria Evans, Karen Kaeja and Elke Schroeder
AR Experience for both Lanes: Nickeshia Garrick and Mio Sakamoto
Allen Kaeja and Drew Berry
Mateo Galindo Torres
and Jacob Niedzwiecki
Dramaturg for original creations on Films 1, 3, 4
Irma Villafuerte and Karen Kaeja
Pat Beaven, Jane Deluzio, Anne Fleming, Catherine Kourkounakis, Lizzie Moffatt, Lisa Meschino, Abigail Rosas, Karla Rosas, Lesley White, and Patricia White
Alley 1: Broadcast Lane (Cabbage town) - Start at the north end of the lane (Winchester Street)
Alley 2: Ciamaga Lane (Seaton Village/ West Annex) - Start at the north end of the lane (Barton Avenue)
Laneway ART-ery Dances is an interactive digital installation that invites audiences to visit and experience two of downtown Toronto’s unique alleys in exciting new ways. Audiences will encounter large visual art imagery with QR codes that will prompt 3 short dance films plus one augmented reality (AR) experience. The films are triggered and experienced from your mobile device, making the performance personalized and safe to enjoy while adhering to COVID protocols. Shot in the laneways, the dance films feature 7 professional dancers, several community participants, and original music, creating a beautiful site specific experience. This installation will open in fall 2021 for ArtworxTO: Toronto's Year of Public Art 2021 – 2022.
Laneway ART-ery Dances invites audiences to pause in the back alleys we usually hurry through, and to be present with the triggered imagery, each other, and the space we can share. The usual bustle of people weaving their presence in Tkaronto/Toronto streets becomes separate from the calm laneway environment. This piece subverts the common perception of back alleys being deserted and dangerous by highlighting 7 diverse womyn performers in powerful and vulnerable dances. The performance has an expansive nature over its duration: from solos to ensembles and finally inviting the viewer into the dance; playing with the circles of connection we make from individual to neighbourhood to City. Think artifacts, historical and significant legends, garages with urban graffiti, intimate underpinnings, arteries of the body, the city, and compilations of life’s wisdoms.
Laneway ART-ery Dances will run from September 22, 2021 to September 21, 2022.
Choreography for each film:
Film 1 - The choreography is by Karen Kaeja with influences from the Moving Connections Heart Dance developed with 30 older adult community members. The Heart Dance is named after the late Sallie Lyons whose movement contribution and spirit has enlightened us all.
Film 2 - The choreography is by Karen Kaeja and developed with dancers Michael Caldwell and Stéphanie Tremblay for Crave/Touch, with dramaturg Pil Hansen
Film 3 - The structure is by Allen Kaeja for personalized solos that are passed on from one dancer to another through their kinaesthetic brilliance.
Film 4 - The choreography is by Karen Kaeja and developed with dancers Michael Caldwell and Stéphanie Tremblay for Crave/Touch, with dramaturg Pil Hansen
NOTE: The dancers in Laneway ART-ery Dances have brought their personal artistry into the development and interpretation of the work.
Laneway ART-ery Dances Trailer
Our Community Partner
How to experience the Laneway ART-ery Dances:
1. Bring a mobile device connected to the internet
2. Find the 4 stickers with the QR codes in the laneway.
These stickers can be found on the ground and on the walls
where the large trigger images are situated.
Ciamaga Lane QR Codes – On the most Southeastern garage
door of Ciamaga Lane just North of London Street.
Broadcast Lane QR Codes – on the wall of the middle
building in Broadcast Lane.
3. Stand in a safe place away from traffic
4. Open your camera/QR code scanner
5. For stickers 1, 2, and 3, follow the link and enjoy the dance films!
You may want to make the videos fullscreen
You may want to look around as you watch the video and notice where you are
PRO TIP: You may want to lift your phone to match the video to specific places in the laneway
6. For sticker number 4, after you scanned the QR code...
You might need to give permission to use your device camera
Once permission is granted, point the camera to the large image in front of you
When the play button appears hit 'play'
PRO TIP: To watch the dancers on the laneways, you may want to keep the camera pointed at the image
PRO TIP 2: If you came with someone, ask them to stand in front of the camera and interact with the dancers
This is the sticker image to look for!
Update: Despite some initial challenges with the QR codes in the laneways getting covered up or worn down, we are happy to report that all the stickers in both locations have now been replaced! In addition to the stickers on the ground, all four QR codes can now be found on a wall within each laneway. Plus there are instructions posted in each location to help you interact and engage with the installation.
Photography by Karen and Allen Kaeja
Additional Film Direction and Cameras
Drew Berry is a Toronto-based dancer, thespian, photographer, musician and teacher. She has been working with Kaeja d'Dance since 2016 in various roles including: resident photographer/ videographer, scribe, dancer, certified KE assistant and teacher, marketing and development intern, and assistant stage manager. Drew is a company member with Rock Bottom Movement having performed in five full-length works and participated in multiple respected residencies. Other collaborators include: Jaberi Dance Theatre, Guelph Dance, Portal Dance, Emma Kerson, Nico Contreras, Irma Villafuerte, Kate Hilliard, and Alias Dance Project. Drew is also on faculty in the dance department at Centennial College. A graduate from Quinte Ballet School of Canada's post-graduate program, Drew holds her BFA (Honours) from the Performance Dance program at X University.
Nickeshia Garrick is a settler on the stolen land of Tkaronto and has performed on this land for over 25 years. She is unapologetically a Black, Queer Artist, who believes in the healing power of breath through raw emotion and movement. Nickeshia is a Dora Mavor Moore-winning and multi-nominated artist who uses her knowledge of the arts and the body to teach movement at The Toronto Film School and to offer discounted/free personal training sessions to the Black and Indigenous communities. She holds her BFA in Dance from Simon Fraser University (Vancouver) and is currently working on the second iteration of her solo exploration, ‘To My Past, Present, and Future...’ which will be part of the Caminos Festival 2021. This continued exploration of what it is to be Black, Queer, Broken, and Spiritual will be adapted to and captured on film.
Elke Schroeder is a Toronto-based dance artist. A graduate of The School of Toronto Dance Theatre, she has worked with Lucy Rupert /Blue Ceiling Dance, Alias Dance Project, TILT Sound + Motion, Frog in Hand, and with choreographers Jenn Goodwin, Amanda Acorn, Susie Burpee and Andrea Nann (among others). Currently she is creating solo works for her company One Animal, just finished creations for The School of Toronto Dance Theatre and L'École de Danse de Québec, and is dancing in new works by Karen Kaeja.
Elke's diverse movement background includes dance of many styles, floorwork, acrobatics, yoga, functional movement and martial arts. Her greatest influence is the Fighting Monkey Practice, a task-based, longevity- driven practice created by Jozef Frucek and Linda Kapetanea (RootlessRoot). A close student of Jozef and Linda, Elke is a designated FM instructor. A passionate teacher, Elke has taught for organizations such as Spirit Loft (Toronto), Toronto Dance Community Love-in, L’Artère Danse, L'École de Danse de Québec, The School of Toronto Dance Theatre, the University of Calgary, Ryerson University, York University, Peggy Baker Dance Projects, Jane Clapp/Movement for Trauma and GMD (Toronto).
Elke is known for her explosive performance quality and skills on the floor. She is an active creator and performer and travels her work throughout Canada and abroad.
Artistic Producer and AR Design
Mateo Galindo Torres
Kaeja Projects: Calibrate (2018); Porch View Dances Vignette Choreographer (2019); Consumed Duet (2019); Commissioner for Karen Kaeja; Kaeja's Dance Ontario Lifetime Award Achievement Celebration (2020), plus more.
Mateo Galindo Torres is a multidisciplinary dance artist, actor and performer based in Toronto. He started his training in Bogota at an early age, and deepened his studies in the USA, Cuba, and Canada. As an interpreter, he has worked with a wide array of directors and choreographers, for live theatre, voice over and film. Mateo has performed in Canada, Colombia, Cuba, Germany, Mexico, and Panama. As a choreographer and creator, his work is highly influenced by his Latinx American background, often politically charged, and inspired by social subject matters. Mateo fuses his eclectic movement training within his choreography creating a distinct movement quality.
Mateo is the founder and artistic director of GUETCHA GUARITCHA, a dance and performance company whose call is to find our essential truth, to connect with it, honour it, and to express ourselves from it.
Aria Evans is a queer, Toronto-based, award-winning interdisciplinary artist who's practice spans dance; creation, performance, and film. Aria draws on their experiences with multi-racial heritage to capture meaningful social and cultural themes through their interactive art. With a large-scale vision, collaboration is the departure point to the work that Aria creates under their company POLITICAL MOVEMENT. Advocating for inclusion and the representation of diversity, Aria uses their artistic practice to question the ways we can coexist together. www.politicalmovement.ca
Mio Sakamoto is a Toronto based performer, choreographer, and certified Kaeja Elevation teacher originally from Japan. Sakamoto graduated from The School of Toronto Dance Theatre in 2017. She has performed (selected) Crépuscule by Marie-Josée Chartier, October Sky by Paul-André Fortier, XTOD - SOLO DANCE XCHANGE for Xtraordinary Japan Tour by Kaeja d’Dance, and Mani.Deux by Northfoot Movement for its premier at Fall for Dance North in 2019. Sakamoto's choreographic work, reverie (dance film), Where Do We Go? (dance film), Systematic, Oblivious or Naive, You Don't Own Me, and Cater To You, were presented in Canada and Japan. She was Kaeja Elevation Choreography Assistant for the Wendy & Peter Pan production of the Stratford Festival in 2019/2020. In 2020, she was selected to receive the RBC Newcomer Arts Award by Neighbourhood Arts Network - Toronto Arts Foundation. In 2021, she was selected for the first year-long Artist in Residence of Kaeja d'Dance.
Katherine is a dance-based collaborator, performer and instructor currently based in Tkaronto (Treaty 13 Territory). She is a graduate of Victoria School of the Arts and The School of Toronto Dance Theatre where she was the recipient of the Kathryn Ash Leadership Award. Katherine has had the pleasure of working with Good Women Dance Collective, Kaeja d'Dance, Kylie Thompson, Mateo Galindo Torres, Meghann Michalsky, Mile Zero Dance, Nostos Collectives, Peggy Baker Dance Projects, Sasha Ivanochko, and Naishi Wang. She feels liberated when she is able to act as a physical portal for her own and other collaborator's stories, ideas and sketches.
She continues to investigate her own creative practice and has presented her work through numerous festivals and platforms including Expanse Festival, Feats Festival of Dance, Mile Zero Dance, New Dance Horizons, and Nestfest. Her artistic practice has been supported by Edmonton Arts Council, Alberta Foundation for the Arts and Canada Council for the Arts.
Katherine is a co-artistic director of Nostos Collectives and a program coordinator for Kaeja d'Dance. Her passion for sharing has brought her to teach at The School of Toronto Dance Theatre, Canada's National Ballet School, Canadian Ice Academy, Ballet Edmonton, Decidedly Jazz Danceworks, The University of Alberta, Edmonton Public School Board, and YYC Contemporary Training.
Irma Villafuerte is a Central American dance artist and educator based in Tkaronto. She is a first-generation daughter of refugees from Nahuat-Pipil Territory Kuskatan (Place of Jeweled necklaces), post-colonial El Salvador. She is a graduate of George Brown Dance. Her experience and training extend to Latin American and Caribbean dances and Cuban Contemporary technique. She is a 2021 Toronto Arts Foundation Emerging Artist Finalist. Since 2017, she has embarked in a choreographic development through residencies with TDT Emerging Voices, Aluna Theatre, Dance Makers Peer Learning Network and George Brown Dance. Her artistic mission is embodying cultural, social-political and migrant narratives of marginalized and racialized communities. As a daughter of refugee parents, her passion for social justice, human rights, and political art making, is the driving force for creation in Irma's choreographic and performance work, leading her to incubate her solo on her historic memory "nudoDESnudo". She recently on the faculty at Casa Maiz' Semillas Latinas summer camp for Latin American children since 2013 as a dance instructor and choreographer; as of late, she is also a new member of the faculty of the Theatre Department at Randolph College for the Performing Arts as a Voice, Text and Movement educator. She's had the honor to perform, train and create in various arts festivals and workshops across the Americas and overseas, such as Night Shift 2020 Presented by the Citadel & Compaigne, Fall for Dance North's Open Studio, The Rhubarb Festival, DanceWeekend Ontario, Aluna Theatre's Panamerican Routes Festival, RUTAS and Caminos Festival, Panamania 2015, La 12 Bienal de la Habana 2015 for (IN)DISCIPLINAS, Vanguardia Dance Projects Festival, Danza Corpus Annual Open Space Temporada in Matanzas, Cuba, International Dance Meeting by Danza Libre in Guantanamo, CounterPulse Performing Diaspora in San Francisco. She has been part of choreographic works by Santee Smith (Kahawi Dance Theatre), Alejandro Ronceria, Roshanak Jaberi (Jaberi Dance Theatre), Victoria Mata, Kaeja d'Dance, Aria Evans (Political Movement), Ryan Lee, Derek Sangster, Tina Fushell, Arsenio Andrade, Sharon B. Moore, Jose Angel Carret (Danza Corpus), Esteban Aguilar (Danza Fragmentada, Cuba).