Preview: Dance Ontario’s Dance Weekend 2016

Weather SI_300dpi David Hou (3)

This weekend will be an exciting time for all dancers and dance-lovers, because this Friday is the beginning of Dance Ontario’s annual event Dance Weekend. Dance Weekend is a virtual smorgasbord of dance. Contemporary, urban, and flamenco are just a sampling of what the weekend will bring. The stage will be graced by multiple performers over the course of the day, switching styles as often as the dancers switch partners.

Attendees of this year’s weekend are lucky to have exciting new additions to the program, like talk-backs with choreographers and an urban dance battle. The Dance Weekend takes place at the Harbourfront’s Fleck Dance Theatre.

We asked the executive director of Dance Ontario, Rossyln Edwards, a few questions about this upcoming weekend:

Could you give a brief description of the event?

Dance Ontario provides a glimpse into global dance inspirations at DanceWeekend each year. From raw talent and contemporary innovation, to the beauty and diversity of traditional styles – three days of dance from Ontario’s dazzling and diverse companies who bring the world to our stages!

What can the audience expect?

The audience can expect the unexpected – for a modest $10 admission donation they will see dances that reflect Toronto’s pluralism as well as excursions into new works reliant on today’s technologies. Works of intensity share this platform with humorous pieces and riveting solos give way to group works with up to 30 dancers and live musicians, and of course there are two commissions created by Louis Laberge-Côté and Jacob Niedzwiecki.

What is the process for choosing performers/performances?

The program is curated to reflect the incredible diversity of styles practiced, as well as Dance Ontario’s growing professional dance company membership. Also included are new groups (8) and presentations by professional training institutions (3).

What makes the art of dance so special/interesting?

The art of dance is fascinating for its variety. From story ballets through the intensity of modern dance, the sheer joy of movement engendered though group folk dance from many cultures, the intricacies of butoh and the athleticism of urban forms.

What would like the audience to take away from this?

Audiences should take away a better understanding of various cultures as well as opportunities to compare styles and make note of dance groups they want to see more of throughout the season. They will be more dance literate and the in-out privileges accommodates attendance by young family members.


  • Dance Ontario’s Dance Weekend 2016 begins on Friday January 15th and ends Sunday the 17th at the the Harbourfront’s Fleck Dance Theatre (207 Queens Quay W).
  • Friday’s line-up runs from 6:45pm – 10:00pm, Saturday’s from 1:00pm – 6:30pm, and Sunday’s from 1:00pm-6:00pm.
  • Admission is by daily donation purchased before entering. The minimum donation is $10.00.

Photo: Canadian Contemporary Dance Theatre by David Hou