Yui Ugai in XTOD: Solo Dance Xchange Japan. Photo by Norikazu Okamoto.
XTRAORDINARY TO DANCES (XTOD)
"It was so thrilling to have the Solo Dance Xchange at Streetcar Crowsnest and a personal highlight for me. I was entranced by the film and by all of the performances on Thursday and I was reminded of how deliciously fulfilling it is to witness dance in Toronto. Karen- your work as curator and your performance were both much needed fuel for my soul."
Margaret Evans, Associate Producer, Crow's Theatre
Dora Mavor Moore Nominated Sound Score
Xtraordinary TO Dances: Solo Dance Xchange and Film (XTOD:SDX)
A serendipitous exchange of dance making, where one dancer's film solo becomes another’s seed for creation and live performance across cultures and continents.
In February 2018, Kaeja d'Dance premiered a film/stage collaboration called Xtraordinary TO Dances (XTOD). Ten years in planning, the film XTOD: Moments in Reel Time, conceived and directed by Allen Kaeja and the stage performance XTOD: Solo Dance Xchange (SDX), conceived by Karen Kaeja, featured the original creations of 22 extraordinary dance artists and three live musicians. Celebrating Canada’s diversity and excellence, the 22 dance artists are of distinct genres and cultural influences. The project has already experienced an international cross-continental performance partnership in Japan.
“Must-see pageant of excellence in dance. ..[N]o matter what you fancy in the way of dance. You can’t be disappointed.”
Susan Walker, Reviewer Toronto
The Film - XTOD: Moments in Reel Time
The original 25min film takes place throughout Metropolitan Toronto highlighting 22 Xtraordinary Toronto Dance Artists improvising one-minute dances in deeply meaningful locations of their choice. The 22 creators animate secret and sacred locations in Toronto, one of the most multi-cultural cities in the world!
XTOD: Moments in Reel Time Trailer
The Performance - XTOD: Solo Dance Xchange
XTOD:SDX is a platform for the 22 dance artists to be intimately provoked by the essence's of each other's performances. Each film solo is exchanged with one dancer to become the seed for live performance making. Taking inspiration to another level, movement, imagination, and conversation ignite the creative process to reimagine a new three-minute stage solo. The new solos become the SDX performance with a screening of the short original film.
How the International Xchange Works
Each performance includes the original screening of XTOD: Moments in Reel Time film followed by the XTOD:SDX live performance, uniting creative dialogue between artists on film and stage. Artists in partner cities and countries are matched with one of the Toronto film performer’s solo through a democratic pairing. The number of Dance Artists participating will vary in each location. We send the new dancers the film solo, inspiring them to re-imagine a three-minute live stage solo. Online discussions assist the process to set structure and scoring of the solo. Creation workshops are a component when possible. The new solos are performed consecutively for the SDX performance. Post-show conversation with the cast reveals the complexity of the exchange.
March 2019 saw our first international iteration of XTOD:SDX in three Japanese cities: 15 Japanese dancers performed responses to the Canadian dancers’ film solos for a unique and successful cross-cultural and continental exchange in Tokyo, Nishinomiya and Hiroshima.
“It was a physical and philosophical experience that Kaeja d’Dance offered to the Japanese art scene. I am proud of being part of the team to introduce the diverse respect and excellence of 'Xtraordinary.'"
Naoko Murakoshi, Production Agent, Japan
"Kaeja’s group of Canadian and Japanese dancers put on a breathtaking show of contemporary dance . . .This kind of cultural exchange is important for promoting mutual understanding between countries. I applaud Kaeja for taking the initiative to move forward with these types of activities."
Scott McKeeman, Secretary General, Hiroshima Canada Association
The original score designed for the film and the Dora Mavor Moore nominated Solo Dance Xchange stage production score is by Canadian composers: Phil Strong, Eric Cadesky, and Laurel MacDonald joining for the Solo Dance Xchange.
Flato Markham Theatre
Oscar Peterson Theatre, Canadian Embassy in Tokyo, Japan
Koshien Hall, Mukogawa Women's University in Nishinomiya, Japan
International Ballet Academy in Hiroshima, Japan
Guloien Theatre, Streetcar Crowsnest in Toronto, ON
Film /25min Solo Dance Xchange /30-70min
Total (approx) /55-95min
Concept & Director
(Moments in Reel Time)
Concept & Direction
(Solo Dance Xchange)
Original Xtraordinary TO
Mi Young Kim
XTOD: SDX Touring Performers
XTOD: Moments in Reel Time Composers
XTOD: Solo Dance Xchange (2018) Composers