Fall For Dance North: The Flip Side | Originals


Scenes from Bathtub Bran, Video by Owen Deveney
The challenges of 2020 prompted us to push unusual approaches to dance presentation to the forefront. We explored new ways to engage with the dancing body, through original projects and series.
A new FFDN podcast, a comedic partnership with the Second City Toronto, and a dance film featuring 46 displaced dance students, emphasized the power of narrative stories that can bring us together in times of crisis, finding connection where it seemed there was none. An audio album of poetry and music shone a light on a part of the dancer's body rarely heard: the voice. And a quirky interview series – set in a bathtub! – used humour to lever us closer to the artistic practices of some of Toronto's finest artists.


An audio album, bringing world-renowned dance makers together with poetry and music.

[in]verse merged poems chosen and read by dance artists with classical selections curated and performed by Canadian cellist Arlen Hlusko. The voices of renowned Canadian and international choreographers, including Peggy Baker, Michael Greyeyes, Emma Portner, Cheng Tsung-Lung and Lousie Lecavalier, became the soundtrack to our audience's festival experience through this unique 12 track collaboration. Personal and proximate, their words and spoken languages offered a different expression of their moving bodies through tone and music.

Photo: Courtesy of Arlen Hlusko.



A new podcast series telling stories about encounters with, through and beyond dance.

Co-hosted by FFDN’s artistic director, Ilter Ibrahimof, and Turn Out radio producer Nicole Hamilton, Mambo ties a variety of stories intersecting with dance together through the power of human connection. A first-time dance festival experience leads to a first-time baseball game. A cancelled choreographic work transforms into an audio production. Forlorn dance festival objects find solace in a group counselling session. Mambo tells tories that swing to the rhythm of our modern lives.

A 6-episode first season premiered during FFDN's 6th annual festival in October 2020. MAMBO is still available for your listening enjoyment here on our website, as well as on stitcher, spotify, google podcasts, and apple podcasts.

Photo by Kendra Epik.


Bathtub Bran

A six-episode, interview-style web series, in a bathtub!

With the inimitable Bathtub Bran as host, beloved Toronto dance artists discussed their lives and the impact of the pandemic on their projects, from a comedically COVID-proofed bathtub. Irreverent and off-the-wall, this series of six interviews offered a frank and fun introduction to the work of Aria Evans, Emily Cheung, Esie Mensah, Guillaume Côté, Lua Shayenne and Sara Porter. Spurred on by some sudsy dance play, creative costuming and the assistance of a few plastic unicorns, of course.

The 2020 season of Bathtub Bran was a reboot of an original 3-season web series started in 2014 by Toronto dance artist Bran Ramsey. All episodes were filmed on location in Toronto, Canada.

Photo: Brandon Ramsey with Esie Mensah, by Marlowe Porter.


a gathering

A new dance film by Bobbi Jene Smith and Or Schraiber

Through creative prompts and coaching, 46 Ryerson School of Performance dance students worked remotely with former Batsheva Dance Company members/filmmakers Bobbi Jene Smith and Or Schraiber, plus collaborator Shamel Pitts, to document their at-home choreographic explorations. a gathering is the result of this collaborative intensive, in the form of a black and white dance film. Investigating questions like, "how do you find togetherness in the face of isolation?" and "can you perform without an audience?", a gathering is dedicated to dance students worldwide whose educations have been impacted by the pandemic – inspiring them to stay the course.


The Lost Objects

Ten festival objects share their feelings about being forgotten.

Do objects experience FOMO? This quirky audio visual gallery paired lost festival objects with the comedic talents of actors from The Second City Toronto (Jillian Welsh, Ashley Comeau, Wilfred Lee, Adam Cawley and Phatt Al) who personified their fears and desires around being forgotten in the effort to move Fall for Dance North online in 2020.

Objects forced to lie in wait until we are able to return to the theatre again – from a permanent marker to applause to the Meridian Hall Lobby – came to life in this fun take on "if these walls could talk". A group counselling session, where all these objects came together to share their feelings, also premiered as one of the episodes of Mambo, FFDN’s new podcast series, on Oct. 7.

Produced in collaboration with The Second City Toronto. Photo by Zhenya Cerneacov.