Montreal’s Anne Plamondon was FFDN’s first Artist in Residence when we launched a pilot residency in 2018. Over two years, Anne created the duet, Counter Cantor, a work that premiered at FFDN 2018 and which continues to tour across Canada and internationally, and her first large ensemble work, Fiddle Embrace, performed at FFDN 2019. Fiddle Embrace was created over the course of a year on 18 of Canada’s preeminent BFA students at the Ryerson School of Performance.
The FFDN Artist-in-Residence program helped Anne, a Canadian dancer with a rich and varied performance career, find her choreographic voice. Anne premiered a second ensemble work, Yearning to Make a Difference, for Alberta Ballet in February 2020, which the Calgary Herald called, “an entrancing success.”
Ryerson School of Performance dance students in Fiddle Embrace by Anne Plamondon. Photo by Bruce Zinger.
Anne Plamondon and Belinda McGuire in Counter Cantor by Anne Plamondon and Emma Portner. Photo by Bruce Zinger.
Dedicated to establishing a new relevance for jazz dance in contemporary culture, Natasha Powell and Kimberley Cooper will work with FFDN and their education partner, The Ryerson School of Performance, to focus on the art and history of jazz dance with a Canadian and global perspective. Work will be created for performance under both the FFDN and Ryerson School of Performance umbrellas.
Natasha Powell, Artistic Director, founded Holla Jazz to reinvigorate jazz dance with its sister dances, including hip hop and house, as innovative and important vehicles for expression. Kimberley Cooper is the current Artistic Director of Decidedly Jazz Danceworks, established in 1984 to re-ignite an appreciation and love for the traditional values of jazz dance. By linking artists from Toronto and Calgary, respectively, FFDN is opening a cross-country conversation regarding the history of jazz dance and music, its cultural relevance and the future for the dance form.
As associate artists of the festival, Natasha and Kimberley’s perspectives, research and work will impact FFDN programming, including Artist Talks, Open Studio and Pop Up events. FFDN also looks forward to introducing Natasha and Kimberley to our network of Canadian and international presenters.
Natasha Powell by Kendra Epik.
Kimberley Cooper by Trudie Lee.