TD Bridgemakers Project
December 2021 - April 2022
Seeking to stimulate artistic collaboration between Toronto-based dance artists and artists across Canada and abroad, the TD Bridgemakers Project commissions five pairs of artists to work remotely on the creation of five new digital works to be presented online throughout the 2021/22 Season: Ankita Alemona and Subhashree Parthasarathy; Danah Rosales and Justin de Luna; Erin Ball and Gaitrie Persaud; Sofí Gudiño and Ilse Gudiño; and Ashley “Colours” Perez and Viktor Manoel. Within each pair, there is a Toronto-based dance artist and another artist of any discipline based outside of the GTA (across Canada or Internationally). Multidisciplinary artist Francesca Chudnoff will be the Digital Dramaturg / Technical Consultant to support these long-distance collaborations.
Each project will culminate with a virtual broadcast event for audiences to hear from the artists and be the first to see their creations. These will occur once a month from December 2021 to April 2022. Each work will become available on-demand following their premiere events until May 2022.
Premiere Broadcast with Danah Rosales and Justin De Luna
Thursday January 27 at 7:30 p.m. EST
Free Admission | Registration is required
Following the broadcasts, each work will remain available online until May 2022 and can be accessed here as they are released throughout the season.
The Bridgemakers Project is made possible by the generous support of TD Canada Trust as well as the Canada Council for the Arts through the Digital Now initiative.
The Creative Duos
Left photo by Aryan Nayyar.
Ankita Alemona & Subhashree Parthasarathy
ANKITA ALEMONA (she/her) is an artist rooted in Kalaripayattu (an ancient form of martial arts from South India), dance and theatre. She is also the founder of Nautanki Creations, a collective that shares ideas through artistic forms of expression and develops opportunities for cross-cultural engagement between artists working in Canada and India, her two home countries. A lifelong student of the arts, Ankita is an alumna of the University of Toronto in Theatre and Peace and Conflict Studies, Attakkalari Centre for Movement Arts and Mixed Media (Bangalore, India) and Hindustan Kalari Sangam (Calicut, India). Her passion lies in the intermingling of classic with contemporary.
A performance artist from Chennai, India, SUBHASHREE PARTHASARATHY (she/her) is traditionally trained in Carnatic music (vocal) and Kalaripayattu. As a performer and trainer in both these disciplines, she has always been inclined towards creating performances with traditional content. Subahsree strongly believes that her creations must always be with an intent to communicate the constant evolution, that is happening through generations in the perception and practice of arts and tradition. Currently she is actively working in her research on devising a contemporary methodology, called Vaikhari, for voice and movement artists, inspired by techniques and principles from traditional Indian knowledge systems of Kalaripayattu, Sanskrit sounds and musical structures.
Left photo by Kristine Flores, Mix Mix Dance Collective. Right photo by Claudia Chan Tak.
Danah Rosales and Justin de Luna
DANAH ROSALES (she/her/siya) is a Toronto based cis-queer millennial; second-generation Canadian-Filipin*; a daughter; a dawta; a sister; a sis; a mother of two little humans; a mutha of a kiki house; and an artist in which her work encompasses improvisational performance, choreography, competition, collaboration, teaching, and active community participation and organization.
Justin de Luna
Born and raised in Toronto, JUSTIN DE LUNA (he/him) is a queer dance artist currently based in tiohtià:ke, so-called Montréal. His practice as a dancer has been touched by such artists as: Dana Gingras, Ame Henderson, Jeanine Durning, Francesca Chudnoff, Adam Kinner, Sasha Kleinplatz, Simon Portigal, Alicia Grant, Amanda Acorn Jamie Ross, Eve Tagny, Diane Borsato, Jim Verburg, Alexandre Morin & Jonathan Goulet, Sebastien Provencher and Caroline Laurin-Beaucage. Prior to relocating in Montréal, Justin spent two seasons with Toronto Dance Theatre as a company dancer. His choreographic work and collaborations have been presented at the CanAsian KickStart Festival, Dance Matters, Festival Phenomena, the Love-In’s ps:we’re all here and at FLOWCHART. In February 2021, Justin had the opportunity to curate for the first time alongside Winnie Ho for Studio 303’s 5th edition of Queer Performance Camp. Winnie & Justin will be co-curators for the following edition in 2022. In the Spring of 2020, Justin was a contributor on Studio 303’s Queer Body Politic project, curated by Aaron Pollard. Graduating in 2015, Justin holds a BFA in dance from Ryerson University.
Left photo by Virginia Marie Photography.
Erin Ball and Gaitrie Persaud
ERIN BALL (she/her) is a Queer, Mad (from the Mad Pride movement) and double below knee amputee circus artist. She is white, a treaty inhabitant, and is based in Katarokwi/Kingston, Ontario. She runs Kingston Circus Arts and is the co-founder of LEGacy Circus (a performance company co-created with Mad artist, Vanessa Furlong). Erin achieved Disability membership in 2014 and took a year off. She currently thinks a lot about Disability theories and creative access in relation to performance. She travels internationally to perform, teach, and collaborate, and has recently spent time learning about the digital realm and the accessibility it offers.
GAITRIE PERSAUD (she/her), a Torontian, lives and breathes acting and that is reflected in her amazing identity.
She has been breaking down barriers to have AMERICAN SIGN LANGUAGE INTERPRETATION provided at music concerts. She has won Air Canada Center’s and CBC entertainment’s attention. Gaitrie is a firm believer in creating opportunities for the Deaf Community and young deaf children.
Her creation strives to increase the overall impact to provide the excitement of adventure to the deaf/hard hearing Community with the musical by ASL interpretations.
In her free time, Gaitrie likes to write, do dance and acting, listen to music with lyrics and of course, she is currently in development on the script with her partner, expanding her creative reach and platforms. She is the founder of PHOENIX THE FIRE.
Left photo by Josh Rille. Right photo by Denis Grant.
Sofí Gudiño & Ilse Gudiño
SOFÍ GUDIÑO (she/they) is a dance artist and founder of Inamorata Dance Collective. Raised in flamenco and established in contemporary dance, Sofí’s work is marked by emotional intensity and the expansion of flamenco as influenced by contemporary, Latinx and queer arts. Training in Spain and Canada, Sofí has presented work at Nuit Blanche, Pride, New Blue, Dancemakers, Fringe, and many more.
ILSE GUDIÑO (she/her) began her movement career as a gymnast and continued into dance and eventually flamenco. She was a dancer and assistant choreographer at the Esmeralda Enrique Spanish Dance Company for over 25 years, during which her dance career expanded internationally to include performances and choreography with contemporary dancers, experimental theatre, opera, independent music, video and film.
She choreographed for Los Amigos de Pilar, solo performances and recordings with Ventanas, Apostle of Hustle and Santerías, working very closely with Jorge Miguel Flamenco Ensemble musically integrating footwork with original compositions. Since relocating to Spain, she has explored dance with diverse collectives, choreographed for a viola de gamba and participates in ongoing dance works with a collective of non-Spanish dancers in flamenco.
Ilse holds an MFA in Choreography and a Master’s degree in Art Therapy; she currently choreographs, teaches, dances and facilitates movement therapy for various collectives and individuals in Seville.
Left Photo by Sam So.
Ashley Colours Perez and Viktor Manoel
Ashley Colours Perez
ASHLEY PEREZ (she/her) is a Teacher, Dancer and Choreographer. She is the Co-Artistic Director of Mix Mix Dance Collective. Mix Mix has showcased work at Fall For Dance North (2017), Contemporaneity 3.0 (2019), and represented Canada at the Jeux de la Francophonie (2017) in Abidjan. Ashley’s talent was awarded the 2018 Dora Mavor Moore Award for Outstanding Performance, Ensemble in the Dance Division for Floor’d presented by Holla Jazz in 2018. Ashley continues to teach street dances with her enterprise, Class with Colours. Ashley has recently completed her MA in Dance at York University.
VIKTOR MANOEL (he/him) is known as the last living Original Punker, born in 1957. Manoel is a Mexico-American dancer, choreographer, writer, actor and cyclist. Manoel has a diverse background in dance. While performing at a nightclub in LA in 1987, artist, actress, musician, and original Locker Toni Basil hired Manoel for David Bowie’s Glass Spider Tour. Manoel has worked with the choreographer of the Canadian dance group La La La Human Steps Edouard Lock and with singer Grace Jones. Manoel has been teaching dance since 1982.
Photo by Krista Newey @k_newz, Gallery TPW (2020)
ft. Francesca Chudnoff as Digital Dramaturg/Consultant
Digital Dramaturg / Technical Consultant
FRANCESCA CHUDNOFF also known as Franz (she/they), is a Tkaronto based millennial, with a BFA in performance, and paying rent as a multidisciplinary artist. She is a dance maker, video artist, and photographer who is slowly learning digital illustration. Their work is in conversation with internet aesthetics and shaping a “social aura”. In process they prioritize improvisation and collaborative creation. Franz recently completed a 3 year research residency at Dancemakers Centre for Creation with Driftnote, and has worked as a mentor / dramaturge for Festival of Recorded Movement and X University.