Stage Door News

Toronto: Toronto Dance Theatre presents “welcome, we’ve been waiting” May 19-28

Wednesday, April 13, 2022

Toronto Dance Theatre (TDT) is thrilled to announce the details of a new work by multi-hyphenate artist, performance maker, activist, and Black Lives Matter – Canada co-founder Rodney Diverlus. Following his residency through the RBC Pilot Episodes series at TDT, Diverlus returns to build upon the project he started last season with the TDT Company and premiere a full-scale production of welcome, we've been waiting, on stage at the Winchester Street Theatre May 19 to 28.

"The premiere of welcome, we've been waiting will be a particularly celebratory moment, as it marks the first full-length work for the company since 2020," says TDT Artistic Director Andrew Tay. "Rodney is one of the most fearless, original artists and ardent activists in our city. We are extremely excited to welcome audiences back to the Winchester for this new creation which focuses heavily on the ensemble and features eight of TDT’s company dancers."

welcome, we've been waiting invites audiences into a world of whimsical play, spontaneous discoveries, magnetic dancing and on a journey of home and place, of fantasy, and finding your tribe. Performed by Jordan Alleyne, Yuichiro Inoue, Peter Kelly, Megumi Kokuba, Erin Poole, Devon Snell, Margarita Soria, and Roberto Soria, and featuring music composed by 2022 Canadian Screen Award winner TiKA in collaboration with Dillon Baldasserro, this new work pulses with choreography that draws upon and deconstructs disparate styles including lindy hop, kizomba, hand performance, jazz, rhythm and groove and contemporary queer performance.

"Developing this work throughout many lockdowns and phases of the pandemic has been an experience unlike any other. It is very much a post-pandemic offering; musings on the many radical possibilities for communities and interdependence," says Diverlus. "We look at themes of home and belonging, the democratization of space, of zealots, and traversing the boundaries of fantasy and reality. For this process, I was as much interested in how we work versus what we work on; creating flexibility and possibility within a creative process rooted in play, collaboration and non-judgemental exploration."

RODNEY DIVERLUS is a Haitian Canadian multi-hyphenate artist and artivist who uses the body and voice as sites to host movement, text, and protest. His work samples from the realms of contemporary and afrikanic movement and dance practices, physical theatre, mass mobilization, and public arts-based interventions. A vagabond, his work presents - at times flaunts - emergent representations of blackness and weaves in ancestral, diasporic, and queer narratives of life and freedom.

He has created and interpreted works at the Art Gallery of Ontario, Decidedly Jazz Danceworks, Stratford Festival, SummerWorks Festival, Irie Music Festival, Canadian Opera Company, and Tableau d'Hôte Theatre, and KasheDance. Rodney is the recipient of the 2019 Canadian Stage Award for Direction and a 2019 Montreal English Theatre Choreography Award nominee.

Beyond his artistic practice, he moonlights as a community activator and writer. He is the co-founder of Black Lives Matter – Canada and co-creator of Wildseed Centre for Art & Activism.

welcome, we've been waiting runs May 19-21 & 25-28 at the Winchester Street Theatre, with performances at 7:30 p.m. Estimated duration: 1 hour and 15 minutes, without intermission. Tickets ($20- $30) must be booked in advance and are now available at Accessibility information and services is available online.

TDT will be offering $10 tickets for a livestream performance of welcome, we've been waiting on May 20. Ticket holders will be able to watch in real-time or on-demand for 14 days following the performance.

ABOUT welcome, we've been waiting

May 19 – 21 & 25 – 28, 2022

7:30 p.m. performances

Livestream available for May 20 performance

Choreographer: Rodney Diverlus

Composer: TiKA

Co-Composer: Dillon Baldasserro

Dancers: Jordan Alleyne, Yuichiro Inoue, Peter Kelly, Megumi Kokuba, Erin Poole, Devon Snell, Margarita Soria, and Roberto Soria

Lighting Designer: Shawn Henry

Costume Designer: Diseiye Thompson

Outside Eye: Jaz-Fairy J, Julia Cosentino

Tickets: $30 General Admission

$20 Student/Senior/Arts Worker and $10 Livestream