Upcoming CoWorks Show by Lua Shayenne

Lua Shayenne

Our upcoming CoWorks’ show, cos.mo.pol.i.tan, is a 60-minute program filled with explosive contemporary and traditional West African dance, and live drumming and music. The presentation features two compelling works choreographed by Lua Shayenne: Landed Immigrant, based on the experience of newcomers to Canada and Hybrid, which explores identity through a fast-growing multi-racial and multicultural prism.

cos.mo.pol.i.tan runs May 29-31 at 8pm and June 1 at 2pm, at the Harboufront Centre Studio Theatre, 235 Queens Quay West. Tickets can be purchased by calling 416.973.4000.

Want to see more from DanceWorks?

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Josh Martin on tap, birds, and beer

What is your favourite city to visit on tour?

Josh Martin by David Cooper
Josh Martin by David Cooper

My favourite is whenever I can go somewhere I’ve never been before. I like to explore a bit while traveling. Touring interior/northern BC is always beautiful and a lot of fun. But I also really enjoy performing work in bigger hubs like Toronto, with larger audiences and usually a chance to see some friends and family while visiting.

What style/technique was your first dance lesson? 

I took a tap class first, but soon after my older brother went into a “street jazz” class (with the inclusion of “street” simply being a successful ploy by the studio to get more male dancers enrolled), and I begged my mother to put me in his class. He quit the next year because it was embarrassing dancing with his little brother, but I kept going.

What profession, other than dance artist, would you like to attempt and why?

Ornithologist, because for some reason I have an unexplainable passion for learning about and helping endangered/exotic birds, OR an astronomer of some sort, because I can’t imagine ever being bored in that field.

What do you like to eat before a show? After the show?

Before – Half a club sandwich and a small salad.

After – Beer and Poutine (and whatever was left in the greenroom).

What is New Animal about in five words or less?

Release The Beast.

This interview was edited for length and content.

First Things with Kate Holden

Kate Holden where did you meet Kate Franklin?

I first remember becoming aware of Kate, and I guess we met, the summer of 2001. It was either during a TDT spring intensive or “Breaking Ground” another great summer intensive that used to happen in TO. She had a shaved head and was awesome!

Molly Johnson, Joshua Van Tassel, Kate Holden and Kate Franklin at dance: made in Canada 2011
Molly Johnson, Joshua Van Tassel, Kate Holden and Kate Franklin at dance: made in Canada 2011

Why is your company called firstthingsfirst? 

We started the company to dance in the work that we wanted to dance in, to be able to prioritize for ourselves, to feel like we could make some artistic choices. We didn’t really know what we were doing in terms of producing a show but knew that we needed to start with the first thing and go from there. 

What style/technique was your first dance lesson? 

I would have been in some great community “movement” classes as a kid. My first real technique classes were Ballet and Creative Movement with Pia Bouman.

What profession, other than dance artist, would you like to attempt and why?

Osteopathy. I am fascinated by how the body functions. I now practice Cranial Sacral Therapy (which is related to Osteopathy) and I really enjoy the listening and movement that is involved. There is a satisfaction that I feel from working with another person’s body and trying to understand it – somewhat similar to working with a dance partner.

What do you like to eat before a show?

What do you like to eat after the show?

I eat fairly well in general. Before a show I prefer to eat a really balanced meal three hours before hand, with a good protein like chicken or fish, brown rice and leafy green vegetables. Afterwards, I’m likely to eat whatever is in front of me and am pretty happy with a plate of nachos.

What is with a trace about in five words or less?

It’s hard and difficult to encompass the nature of three separate works with one title or explanation. But maybe the best way I can say it, today, is it’s about the impact we have on the world around us and it on us.

What other DanceWorks Mainstage show will you attend this season?

I will likely see most of them as I really love to support the work of the community and visiting artists. I won’t see A Soldier’s Tale by Michael Greyeyes, or at least not from the audience perspective, because I’m performing in that work as well.

This interview has been edited for content and length.