Stage Door News

Toronto: Fall For Dance North debuts live and digital experiences starting September 29

Wednesday, September 23, 2020

Fall for Dance North (FFDN) proudly presents the 6th edition of its esteemed international dance festival, The Flip Side, from Sept. 29–Oct. 18, 2020. Featuring a new, Netflix-style digital platform, an enhanced line-up of free programming, and a ticketed signature livestream presentation featuring six world premieres by Canadian dancemakers, FFDN has reimagined the festival experience to offer audiences an intimate connection to the art form of dance during these extraordinary times.

Starting on Sept. 29, free programs will be released at daily, including an original podcast, a quirky interview series in a bathtub, a poetry + music album, a new dance film featuring 46 Ryerson School of Performance dance students, and an in-person interactive encounter where virtually enhanced social dancers are brought to life through augmented reality (AR).

“I am delighted with the incredible array of performances and experiences that arts enthusiasts will have the opportunity to engage with at Fall for Dance North: The Flip Side,” says FFDN Artistic Director Ilter Ibrahimof. “While this year’s festival was born out of necessity—following the closures of performing arts venues in the wake of COVID-19—it has flourished into a purposefully-designed and innovative live and digital program. In collaboration with more than 100 artists and our long-time co-presenters TO Live, this year’s festival is brimming with absorbing, entertaining, and thought-provoking live and digital dance content for audiences worldwide. There is truly something for every dance palate this festival season.”

Fall for Dance North 2020 Festival Highlights:

THE BIG SOCIAL: AR Edition — Premieres Sept. 29

Experience the intimacy of social dancing, in augmented reality

Presented in collaboration with Harbourfront Centre

Harbourfront Centre's Natrel Pond becomes a liquid dance floor for Argentine tango, balboa and vogue. Aim your device at the large image in the centre of the pond and dancers will appear before your eyes. Follow their movement as ambient audio transports you to a dance club, or a square in Buenos Aires. Long-time (bubbled) dance partners remind us of the power of touch and physical connection—in augmented reality.


Bathtub Bran — Premieres Sept. 29

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

Hosted by Bran Ramsey

Beloved Toronto dance artists talk about their lives and the impact of COVID-19 on their projects in this six-episode web series. Hear about their creations and watch video excerpts. Irreverent and off-the-wall, this series offers a frank and fun introduction to these artists. One tub, two artists (yes, clothed!), some suds—and the ubiquitous Plexiglass COVID-safety shield—bring a dose of humour to the situation.

Mambo — Premieres Sept. 30

A new podcast from Fall for Dance North

Hosted by Nicole Hamilton of Turnout Radio and FFDN Artistic Director Ilter Ibrahimof

This new six-episode podcast brings you stories about encounters with, through and beyond dance. A first-time dance festival experience leads to a first-time baseball game. A cancelled choreographic work transforms into an audio production. Follow your co-hosts’ curiosity as dance leads them into human and humorous exchanges.


Night Shift — Premieres Sept. 30

Intimate livestream performances, featuring six unique and boundary-pushing works.

Co-presented with Citadel + Compagnie

Late night, livestream performances at The Citadel: Ross Centre feature the voices of six Toronto movement makers. Solo performances provide immediate access to the energy and aesthetics of the moment. Curated by Toronto-based dance artists Nova Bhattacharya, Jon Drops Reid and Santee Smith, Night Shift is directed by Oscar-nominated Barbara Willis Sweete. And with pre- and post-show chats, you get direct access to the creators themselves.

[in]verse — Premieres Oct. 5

An audio album, bringing world-renowned dancemakers together with poetry and music

Poems chosen and read by national and global dance stars, including Peggy Baker, Michael Greyeyes, and Louise Lecavalier, merge with classical selections curated and performed by Canadian cellist Arlen Hlusko in this collaborative album. Spoken in multiple languages, meet dancemakers in new ways as their dancing bodies emerge through voice.

A Gathering — Premieres Oct. 4

A new dance film by Bobbi Jene Smith and Or Schraiber

Co-presented by Ryerson School of Performance

For 46 Ryerson School of Performance dance undergrads, a remote creative process offered continuity when their courses were disrupted last spring. Through creative prompts and coaching, students document their at-home choreographic explorations in this new film dedicated to dance students worldwide whose educations have been impacted by COVID-19.


Open Studio — Premieres Oct. 5

Rehearsals-in-progress, both online and in-person

Presented in partnership with TO Live

Catch a glimpse of dancers at work. Witness new choreography taking shape right before your eyes. Watch dancers rehearse live in-person inside Meridian Hall’s West Lounge, or online via livestream. Curated with Toronto-based artistic advisors Vivine Scarlett and Laura Nanni, this glass box studio reveals a spectrum of exciting Toronto artists and their latest explorations.


The Lost Objects — Premieres Sept. 29

Ten objects share their feelings about being forgotten

Presented in collaboration with The Second City Toronto

While FFDN explores the flip side, the theatres, dressing rooms and studios normally inhabited during FFDN lie dormant. So many objects are just sitting, waiting. Do they know a festival is happening without them? Sit in on a group counselling session, where they share their feelings (and reveal some inside drama!), as actors from Second City bring these objects to life.


Toronto Stages: Dancing Through Time — Premieres Oct. 3

An interactive exhibition, bringing Toronto's dance histories to life

Presented in collaboration with Dance Collection Danse

A virtual tour of 14 significant Toronto dance venues, travel back through photos and stories highlighting the Canadian and international artists who have enlivened these stages with beauty and innovation. Wander through four special theatres in 360º and hear from the people who know them best.

+ FFDN will host a curated collection of online workshops (from Sept. 29) and livestream artist talks (from Oct. 3).

2020 Signature Program — Oct. 3 at 2pm

Six world premieres live from the Fleck Dance Theatre

Presented in collaboration with Harbourfront Centre

This livestream event features six world premieres by a diverse range of emerging and acclaimed Canadian choreographers, blending live dance and music with surprise guests and pre-recorded presentations from Calgary and Amsterdam. The line-up includes original FFDN commissions by: Red Sky Performance Associate Artist Jera Wolfe; Les Grands Ballets Canadiens de Montréal principal dancer Vanesa Garcia-Ribala Montoya; contemporary dancemaker Joshua Beamish; Broadway tap star Lisa La Touche; South African-born gumboots dancer Mafa Makhubalo; and Decidedly Jazz Danceworks’ Artistic Director Kimberley Cooper.

Single tickets ($15) and Watch Party passes ($150) are now available at: ffdnorth.comDesigned to give bubbled family or friends an in-home festival experience, each Watch Party package comes with a dedicated Virtual Host from within the dance community, and care package with playbills and festival swag. For more details visit