Playbill Notes

Last updated: Oct 8, 2022

Artistic Director

Thank you for joining us for

2022 Signature Programme

Oct 6 & 7, 7:30 PM
Oct 8, 2:00 PM

Pre-show Artist Chat, Oct 6 show only 
6:30 PM
Meridian Hall, lower lobby

Moderated by: Cathy Levy, Executive Producer, Dance, National Arts Centre

Lawrence Cherney (Artistic Director, Soundstreams)
Dianne Montgomery (Softly Losing, Softly Gaining choreographer)
Kaleo Trinidad (Kau Hea A Hiiaka choreographer)
Jera Wolfe (Arise Choreographer)

Duration: approximately 125 minutes, including intermission

Co-presented with

Act 1

Softly Losing, Softly Gaining

World Premiere
A Fall for Dance North commission
Choreographed by Dianne Montgomery
With live music

FFDN’s presentation of Softly Losing, Softly Gaining is supported by Patrons’ Circle member Elliott Kornhauser.

Softly Losing, Softly Gaining is a rhythmically complex soundscape composed to celebrate the embodied music of tap dance while broadly examining themes of connection and disconnection. 

The piece is simultaneously rooted in the visceral and intellectual, drawing inspiration from theories of human social connection, and inspired in particular by the work of social psychologist Matthew Lieberman, whose study of the neurological basis for human connection has suggested a radical shift in the traditionally held hierarchy of human needs; that the need for social connection is the foundation on which all other needs are able to exist.

Increasingly recognized by medicine and behavioural science as the antidote to many disease states, connection and how we find it, how we lose it and how it manifests in unexpected and contradictory states is measured in the strains and impulse of melodies, woven rhythms, and stretching and colliding musical bodies in this work.


Choreography and Music Composition: Dianne Montgomery

Cori Giannotta - Rehearsal Director
David Lafleur
Johnathan Morin
Veronica Simpson
Kai Somerville
Tarra Tresham

Bryden Baird - Music Director, Trumpet
Drew Jurecka - Violin

Art Director - Projections
Todd Kowlaski

Siobhán Sleath

Outside Eye
Dayna Szyndrowski

Dramaturgy Consulting
Samson Bonkeabantu Brown

This work has been supported by Canada Council for the Arts, Ontario Arts Council and The National Ballet of Canada's Open Space program.  




A short dance film
Directed and Choreographed by Zui Gomez
Performed by Zui Gomez and Alicia Delgado
Canadian Premiere

A small creation that purposefully strayed away from a strict story-line. Instead, it was created to ease Zui’s own approach towards movement with a comedic tone, groovy tunes, and some silliness. From the introduction of your friendly artists, to the background surprises, the piece aims to invite you on a light journey, uplift nostalgic feels and some giggles (like the intro to a sitcom). As for Savannah, the artist behind those the background surprises, (who also makes an appearance) partakes whilst we run around, doing it all with no video cuts, just one take. This film is brought to you by some open-minded/first-time collaborators. Action!

...Savannah? is presented as part FFDN's inaugural short dance film series 8-Count. After two live screenings at Betty Oliphant Theatre and Sandra Faire and Ivan Fecan Theatre (York University), all seven films included in 8-Count are now available to enjoy online on our website here. Free streaming available until Oct 8.

Zui Gomez
Alicia Delgadillo

Director: Alicia Delgadillo
Stylist: Alicia Delgadillo
Dancer: Alicia Delgadillo
Composer: Zach Berns
Prop Coordinator: Savannah Jade Dobbs
Videographer: Gabriel Johnson


Kau Hea A Hiiaka

Canadian Premiere
Choreographed by Kaleo Trinidad
Performed by Kumu Hula of Kamehameha High School and Ka Leo O Laka | Ka Hikina O Ka La
With live music

FFDN’s presentation of Kau Hea A Hiiaka is supported by Patrons’ Circle members Larry Williamson and Karin Schemeit.

Mele, songs, are the receptacles of our collective ancestral memory. They are what we, as Hawaiian people, have used to talk to each other across generations. Upon creation, mele transform thoughts into energy. The more a mele is spoken, sung, and danced into life, the more energy it gains. Like a stone skipping across a pool of water, a well-crafted mele has the ability to skip across space and time, connecting us to our past and our future, and creating ripple effects in each new era. Today, we realize that we are kūpuna,ancestors, for the century to come. We affirm that there are more pages to our story. And thus, we know there are more mele to be written. More stones to be skipped. In doing so, we ensure that we continue to tell our stories of today, grounded in our past and poised for our future.

Set and Lights:
Kaleo Trinidad in partnership with FFDN production crew and:
Janelle Rainville: Stage Manager
Seren Lannon: Assistant Stage Manager
Troy Taylor: Assistant Stage Manager
IATSE Local 58 Crew
IATSE Local 822 Crew

Costuming: Kaleo Trinidad 

Performance Sections

Poetry / song: Kaleo Trinidad
Choreography: Kaleo Trinidad

Hulihia Ke Ahi:
Poetry / song: Snowbird Bento
Choreography: Snowbird Bento

He Kai E:
Poetry / song: Kaleo Trinidad
Choreography: Kaleo Trinidad

Kukulu Ka Pali Hao I Ka Makani:
Poetry / song: La’akapu Lenchanko
Choreography: Snowbird Bento and Kaleo Trinidad

‘Au ‘A ‘Ia:
Poetry / song credits: Traditional
Choreography: Traditional 


Thank you to Kamehameha Kapālama High School. Bento, Lenchanko, and Trinidad script and storyline. Performing Arts Department Head Alika Young.The Kamehameha Kapālama Hawaiian Ensemble.KSHE 2022-2023 Parent board.Ty Sanga, Vincent Ke’ala Lucero at CoCreative Studios.Randie and Jamie Fong, Ho’okahua Cultural Vibrancy. Kaleo Kaukahi-Daniels, Ho’okahua/Booster Chair. William Char, specialty fabrications. 

Act 2


World Premiere (in collaboration with Soundstreams)
Short film by Michael Greyeyes
Co-produced by Soundstreams and Signal Theatre
With live music by Ensemble Soundstreams

FFDN’s presentation of Zipangu is supported by Patrons’ Circle members Ned and Georgina McLennan.

With music inspired by the ancient mythical Japanese “city of gold”, we discover a sleeping goddess – the embodiment of gold itself. From Greyeyes’ program note: ‘By avoiding the pitfalls of a post-colonial morality tale, we access something much greater: an Indigenous "Das Lied von der Erde," (Song of the Earth) with Vivier's powerful score pushing us toward its thrilling climax.’ Claude Vivier's masterwork "Zipangu" refers to Marco Polo's word for Japan, which he had dubbed "The Land of Gold."


I am drawn, always, to untold stories.  

As an Indigenous artist and scholar, I have been keenly aware of my community's absence from the classrooms, history books, and media with which I grew up.  This invisibility and erasure has awakened in me a desire to always seek other stories, the ones behind dominant narratives, the ones that we may not even know are there.

It is unsurprising then that when longtime collaborator Soundstreams, led by Lawrence Cherney, invited us to envision a staging for Vivier's masterwork Zipangu, that I immediately began wondering which story would we tell. Obviously, the title refers to Marco Polo's word for Japan, that he had dubbed “The Land of Gold."  Immediately the idea conjured images of the East, of silk and gold, of statues and Japan's verdant countryside and white snow-capped mountains. We imagined the colonial hunger for precious metals and silk and the story of a couple emerged, a family ultimately destroyed by the West's craven appetite.  Another story suggested the political reading of a world out of balance, where the pursuit of wealth was its own victory.  But behind each of these possible pathways, another one waited patiently before emerging: the story of gold itself. The metal was a pawn in the battle between the East and the West, between the haves and the have nots.  Who would champion the metal itself? Who would tell her story?  

The energy that this premise gave the production was utterly galvanizing and by avoiding the pitfalls of a post-colonial morality tale, we were able to access something much greater: an Indigenous Das Lied von der Erde, with Vivier's powerful score pushing us toward its thrilling climax. We had uncovered our missing narrative: a story of transformation, a goddess remembering her purpose, and a portrait of the earth itself, of stone and sand and gold coming inexorably to life. 

Special thanks to Soundstreams and their immense support; to Elan, for her steady presence and artistic counsel, and, of course, to Ceinwen--our stunning performer, who co-created every minute of this choreography alongside me.


Michael Greyeyes, Film Choreographer/ Director
Ceinwen Gobert, Dancer
Jessie Potter, Production Manager
Sebastian Marziali, Technical Director
Gayle Ye, Director of Photography
Asiam Osei, Art Director
Victoria Ius, Costumer
Traci Loader, Makeup Artist
Dina Attalla, 1st Assistant Camera
Ashley Mach, 2nd Assistant Camera
Thierry Fargeau, Steadicam Operator
Carine Zahner, Gaffer
Khanh Tudo, Key Grip
Winston Lewis, Swing
Cori Ferguson, Hair Stylist


David Fallis, Conductor 
Erika Raum, Violin 1 
Sharon Lee, Violin 2 
Jessy Kim, Violin 3 
Suhashini Arulanandam, Violin 4 
Tanya Charles, Violin 5 
Emily Hau, Violin 6 
Aysel Taghizada, Violin 7 
Steven Dann, Viola 1 
Jacob Clewell, Viola 2 
Caleb Georges, Viola 3 
David Hetherington, Cello 1 
Amahl Arulanandam, Cello 2 
Daniel Lalonde, Double Bass 
Lawrence Cherney, Soundstreams Staff
Beth Brown, Soundstreams Staff  



Choreographed by Jera Wolfe
Performed by 146 professional students from Canada’s National Ballet School

Arise is presented by FFDN with the leading generosity of Joan and Jerry Lozinski and the additional support of Patrons’ Circle members Bruce Cooper and Marie Campbell, Mary and Bob Gore, and Margaret McNee and Nancy McNee.

Arise, created by Jera Wolfe for Canada’s National Ballet School (NBS), explores how collaboration and support for one another enables us to rise up and face challenges in our lives.

“There will always be challenges in life. I have realized that what defines me is not necessarily my failures or accomplishments, but how I rose to face them. We will all have great challenges to overcome in our own lives, everything from personal, political, to environmental. Only by collaborating, supporting and caring together will we be able to arise to face these challenges.” - Jera Wolfe

Choreography: Jera Wolfe
Assistant to the Choreographer: Miyeko Ferguson
Répétiteurs: Lise Jourdain, Keith Morino
Music: Eulogy for Evolution by Ólafur Arnalds
Songs 0040, 0048/0729, 0952, 1220, 1953
Published by: Kobalt Music Publishing
Courtesy of: Erased Tapes Records Ltd.
Performed by: Ólafur Arnalds
Lighting: Simon Rossiter
Costumes: Robyn Clarke
Stage Manager: Jennifer Lee

Ensemble and Leads: Canada’s National Ballet School Professional Program Students, ages 12-19
Leads: Simon Adamson De-Luca, Marley Burke, Grady George, Avery Grierson, Ewan Hartman, Riku
Hirakoba, Jane Park, Samuel Yuan*, Poppy Trettel

*Thanks to a special exchange with The Dutch National Ballet Academy.

Bios of Choreographers

Music’s powerful ability to connect human beings is at the centre of Dianne Montgomery’s artistic practice as choreographer, dancer and composer. Her values deeply align with the traditional tenets of tap dance---community building, perseverance, innovation, generational sharing, physicality, intellect, playfulness and mindfulness.

Recent projects include commissions from the Toronto International Tap Dance Festival and Citadel + Compagnie, artist-in-residence appointments for companies in Ottawa, Calgary and Washington D.C, collaborations with Juno Award winner Ron Davis and with the We Are One Jazz Project. Other notable work includes contributions to television (SNL, Warehouse 13), film (Gunless), music (Down and Out in Upalong) and live concert work (Feist). 


Kaleo Trinidad holds the prestigious position of Kumu Hula at Hawaii’s notable private learning institution for those of Native Hawaiian descents, the KAMEHAMEHA SCHOOLS. Kaleo founded Ka Leo O Laka I Ka Hikina O Ka La, where he has been Kumu Hula since 2004. He holds diverse skills in Hula Kahiko, Hula Awana, singing with a broad repertoire of songs, both traditional and modern and playing the ukulele. He is a multi-award winning choreographer in the International Merrie Monarch Hula competition, where he has won top honours for several consecutive years. Kaleo has performed, directed and produced on an international stage, including performances for President Obama, the United Nations, Disney and Fall for Dance in New York City.

Michael Greyeyes is a Nêhiyaw actor, choreographer and director from Muskeg Lake Cree Nation in Saskatchewan. Greyeyes is the first Indigenous student to graduate from Canada’s National Ballet School and join The National Ballet of Canada. He was also a soloist in the company of American choreographer, Eliot Feld, before beginning his own work as a choreographer and then actor. As a choreographer and director, his work has been seen across Canada and internationally, including: Pimooteewin, the first Cree language opera, with libretto by Tomson Highway (Soundstreams) and Almighty Voice and his Wife (Native Earth Performing Arts). In 2010, he founded Signal Theatre and premiered several full-length dance theatre works, including from thine eyes (Harbourfront Centre), A Soldier’s Tale (National Arts Centre) and Bearing for the Luminato Festival, a searing examination of Canada’s Indian residential school legacy. As an actor, he has appeared in numerous roles across stage and screen, including acclaimed performances in Woman Walks Ahead (A24), HBO’s third season of True Detective, and as Traylor in Jeff Barnaby’s feature film, Blood Quantum (Elevation Pictures) for which he was awarded a Canadian Screen Award for Best Actor. He also appeared in the Emmy-winning HBO series Know This Much Is True and can currently be seen as Terry Thomas in Rutherford Falls, a new comedy series on Peacock and Showcase in Canada. Most recently he can be seen starring in Lyle Mitchell Corbine’s debut feature Wild Indian, which premiered in competition at the 2021 Sundance Film Festival.

Born in Tkaronto (Toronto), Jera Wolfe is a choreographer and performer of Métis heritage.

His captivating choreography has awarded him the 2019 Dora Mavor Moore Award for Outstanding Original Choreography for Trace by Red Sky Performance. He has demonstrated an impressive repertoire of works presented by Canadian Stage, Fall For Dance North, Banff Centre for Arts and Creativity, Festival des arts de Saint-Sauveur, Danse Danse and Jacob's Pillow.

His choreographic works include creations with the National Ballet of Canada, Canada's Royal Winnipeg Ballet, Canada's National Ballet School, Winnipeg’s Contemporary Dancers and Red Sky Performance. Recently, Jera performed and choreographed for Buffy Sainte-Marie’s Moonshot as part of her Starwalker concert at the NAC.



Gain More Insight

For a deeper look at our festival artists and their artforms, check out the third season of our in-house podcast Mambo. Three of our six episodes feature conversations with Signature Programme artists including choreographer Jera Wolfe in Episode 4, Dianne Montgomery in Episode 5 and Kaleo Trinidad in Episode 6.

Episode 4

Jera Wolfe in conversation with Kenneth Shirley.

Episode 5

Dianne Montgomery in conversation with Michela Marino Lerman.

Episode 6

Kaleo Trinidad in conversation with Stanford Makishi.

Stream on FFDN's Website

Also available on these popular streaming platforms






Ilter Ibrahimof - Artistic Director

Aviva Fleising - General Manager

Lily Sutherland - Executive Producer

Milana Glumicic - Producer, Digital Programming

Simon Rossiter - Director of Design

Aidan Ware - Director of Production

Melissa Forstner - Director of Advancement and Philanthropy

Melina Osorio - Finance and Advancement Officer

Sheila O'Neill - Communications & Marketing Manager


Seasonal Staff

Leah Totten - Festival Coordinator

Bradley Langham - Box Office Manager

Faith Buchanan - Community Arts Coordinator

Nikki Chabrol - Volunteer Coordinator

Elise Roopchan - Digital Engagement


Year-Round Collaborators

Web Developer/Web & Technology Team - Mouth Media

Graphic Designer - Eric Rochon (Brood Studios)

Publicity & Communications - Murray Patterson Marketing Group

Financial Services - Robert Gore and Associates


Zita Nyarady - Company Manager, Meridian Hall

To read more about our team and their bios, please visit the Our Village page on the FFDN website.


Board of Directors

Chair Valerie Wilder

Past Chair Joan Lozinski

Treasurer Gerry Hannochko
Advising Representative (Portfolio Manager), Dealing Representative - Qwest Investment Fund Management Ltd.

Julia Blackburn
CEO, NPower Canada

Jovana Blagotic
Chief of Staff, Chartered Professional Accountants Canada (CPA Canada)
Jim Hwang
Chief Operating Officer, Firinne Capital

Heather Ogden
Principal Dancer, The National Ballet of Canada

Emma Sako
Senior Associate, Torys LLP

Karen Sparks
Director, Philanthropic Advisory Services BMO Private Wealth