TDT @ TIFF’s Festival Street
Come see an exciting line up of dancers perform short pieces set to music from the film score or movie soundtrack of their choice on the Festival Street stage during Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF). Curated by Toronto Dance Theatre’s artistic director Andrew Tay, this dance activation will feature one-of-a-kind performances from tap, contemporary, street dance, and more!
Featured artists: KINAJ (Kin Nguien and AJ Velasco), Megumi Kokuba, Carolin Mateus, Johnathan Morin, Kwasi Obeng, and Erin Poole
KINAJ is a cross-genre dance collective created and led by Kin Nguien and AJ Velasco. Since 2020, KINAJ’s mission has been to bridge gaps between various art disciplines such as dance, film, photography and music through the art of collaboration and knowledge exchange. They create cross-genre dance work that fuses street styles and contemporary dance with improvisation and partnering techniques. Guided by storytelling, they continue to challenge the status quo with their witty and relatable performance while speaking on various social issues pertinent to the present times.
Megumi Kokuba was born on the southernmost island of Japan, Okinawa. She studied ballet with joy from the age of two. After graduating from College in Okinawa, Megumi came across contemporary dance and was smitten. She moved to Toronto to train in dance and is a proud graduate of The School of Toronto Dance Theatre (now called Dance Arts Institute). Megumi joined the TDT company as a TD Dance Intern in 2012/2013, and she has had many inspiring creation and performance opportunities in Toronto ever since.
As a dance artist, her main focus is to help maintain a supportive work environment. Actions like listening, holding space and prioritizing active communication are at the forefront of her personal practice.
Carolin Mateus, originally from Bogotá, Colombia, embarked on her journey in the field of dance in 2010. From the outset, she immersed herself in the exploration and mastery of various street dance styles, guided by a diverse range of mentors. This immersive experience allowed her to refine her proficiency in an array of styles including hip-hop, waacking, house, krump, dancehall, locking, popping, afro, and complementary workout techniques.
Carolin earned a Bachelor’s degree in Elementary Education, concentrating on artistic development and specializing in the domains of dance and literature. This academic pursuit not only enriched her understanding of dance but also provided a solid foundation for her multifaceted approach to the art form.
Her dedication to dance education was exemplified through her collaboration on the publication of the book “Educational Tools for Dance,” an impactful contribution facilitated by IDARTES in 2017. This endeavor underscored his commitment to advancing the pedagogical aspects of dance instruction.
Since 2015, Carolin’s professional trajectory has encompassed roles as both a dancer and choreographer within diverse companies and organizations across Colombia and Canada. This international engagement showcases his versatility and adaptability within different cultural and artistic contexts.
Carolin Mateus continues to evolve as a dynamic force in the world of dance, combining her comprehensive training, educational background, and performance expertise to create a lasting impact on the global dance community.
Johnathan Morin is a 32 year old indigenous tap dancer hailing from Treaty 6 Edmonton, Alberta. Now residing in Treaty 13 Toronto Ontario he is a force in the tap dance community and known across the country and around the world. A Dora Award Nominee, Johnathan co-produces and co-directs Rhythm and Sound Dance Company alongside Cori Giannotta and also runs his own drop-in classes in Toronto. His passion for dance has brought him across the country as well as internationally as a performer and educator.
With his talent, dedication, and impressive list of accomplishments, Johnathan Morin is sure to continue making rhythmic waves in the world of Canadian tap dance for years to come.
Kwasi Obeng-Adjei is a Canadian dancer, choreographer, and instructor born and raised in the Greater Toronto Area. After being accepted into the regional arts program at St. Roch Secondary School, Kwasi was able to expand his knowledge training in various styles that include ballet, jazz, hip hop, and modern and traditional African dance. Kwasi’s professional credits include the Pan-American Games, Lua Shayenne Dance Company’s Kira, The Path | La Voie, Esie Mensah Creations, the Raptors half-time show, and more.
Erin Poole is a dance artist in Tkaronto. She has been a member of the ensemble with Toronto Dance Theatre for the past six seasons and has contributed to and performed in many works and processes. At TDT and as an independent artist, Erin has had the opportunity to work with Christopher House, Jeanine Durning, Ame Henderson, Alyssa Martin, Laurence Lemieux, José Navas/Compagnie Flak (Montréal), among others.
A conversational piece of Erin’s, i think i am able to listen and tend to her body, was published in the Capilano Review’s Winter 2021 issue. She also choreographed and performed in the short music film All Our Departed/El Malei Rachamim (Alphabet of Wrongdoing/Daniela Gesundheit, LA).