Stage Door News

Toronto: Fall for Dance North reveals participating international dancemakers

Wednesday, August 16, 2023

Fall for Dance North (FFDN), Toronto’s premier international dance festival, will bring its diverse line-up of national and international dancemakers to venues across Toronto, from Sept. 26 to Oct. 7, 2023 – with all tickets (still!) priced at just $15. The 2023 edition of FFDN returns to its roots with two signature programmes showcasing an innovative range of contemporary dance by emerging and established choreographers hailing from across the globe. The 9th annual festival also includes a diverse series of live and digital offerings including a full-length presentation of Ohad Naharin’s inventive KAMUYOT; the inaugural, Indigenous-led dance competition, Tkaronto Open, presented on Canada’s National Day for Truth and Reconciliation; FFDN’s second annual dance film series; the sneak preview of a CBC docuseries in partnership with The National Ballet of Canada; and the return of the late night series Night/Shift, in support of Ontario-based dancemakers.

“We are thrilled to present this year’s exceptional roster of inimitable local and international dancemakers at the 9th annual Fall for Dance North festival, which includes the choreographic talents of rising stars such as Tony Award-winning Sonya Tayeh and Olivier Award-winning Mthuthuzeli November, among many others,” says Ilter Ibrahimof, FFDN Artistic Director. “This year’s programme represents a cultivated blend of emerging and established creators – many of whom will be making their Toronto debuts – whose authentic voices help expand our worldview towards a more inclusive and equitable future full of love, beauty, and resilience.”

FFDN features Toronto premieres from four internationally revered ensembles that push the boundaries of professional dance – from the UK, Cassa Pancho’s Ballet Black, which celebrates dancers of Black and Asian descent, and Candoco, the world’s leading company at the forefront of conversation around dance and disability; the US’s Charlotte Ballet, whose new Artistic Director Alejandro Cerrudo builds upon its mission of an inclusive and collaborative company; and Gibney Company of New York City, who is redefining what a 21st century contemporary dance ensemble looks like.

FFDN 2023 presents the highly anticipated return of two Signature Programmes, at Meridian Hall from Oct. 4-7. HEARTBEATS: Signature Programme 1, co-presented with TO Live on Oct 4 & 5, will showcase a commissioned solo work with live music from Toronto-based Pulga Muchochoma; the Toronto company debuts from New York City’s Gibney Company, performing Swedish choreographer Johan Inger’s beloved piece Bliss (first created on Italy’s Aterballetto) and London’s Candoco with a new work by British dancemaker Jamaal Burkmar; plus the Toronto premiere of the work Heart Drive by Dutch siblings Imre and Marne van Opstal performed by Ballet BC.

UNBOWED: Signature Programme 2 on Oct 6 & 7, will feature a work created by Gibney Company associate artist Jesse Obremski, Light-Print, performed by recent graduates of TMU School of Performance; the highly anticipated in-person premiere of My Mother’s Son from brothers Mthuthuzeli and Siphesihle November (first presented virtually at FFDN’s 2021 festival); a second work from Gibney Company, Oh Courage! by Tony Award-winning choreographer Sonya Tayeh performed with live music by The Bengsons from Brooklyn, and the Toronto company debut of London’s Cassa Pancho’s Ballet Black with NINA: By Whatever Means, also created by Mthuthuzeli November, highlighting the music and activism of the late Nina Simone.

Festival highlights also include the presentation of Ohad Naharin’s KAMUYOT, performed in-the-round by Charlotte Ballet (Sept. 26-30) in two different venues (The Theatre at The Creative School and Holy Blossom Temple); the return of the short dance film series, 8-Count (Sept. 27 & 28) with two live screenings at Hot Docs Ted Rogers Cinema and York University’s Sandra Faire and Ivan Fecan Theatre followed by online streaming; and a sneak preview screening of Swan Song, co-presented with TO Live, a CBC original documentary series that follows the creation of Karen Kain’s Swan Lake for The National Ballet of Canada (Oct. 3) before the series premiere on CBC Gem and CBC TV on Nov. 22, 2023. The Meridian Hall event will feature an artist chat with Kain and select featured dancers, as well as a short live performance of excerpts from Swan Lake, in partnership with The National Ballet of Canada.

Together with Union Station, the festival will also co-present the inaugural, Indigenous-led Tkaronto Open, a contemporary dance competition at Union Station’s West Wing on Sept. 30, Canada’s National Day for Truth and Reconciliation. Under the leadership of Freddy Gipp, member of the Apache Tribe of Oklahoma and champion powwow dancer, and Thunder Jack, a Knowledge Keeper, singer, dancer and member of the Oneida Nation of the Thames, the dance contest will honour and celebrate Indigenous heritage, community, and identity. Registration for this inaugural competition is open for women-identifying, Indigenous performers in the Jingle Dress category. Dancers will compete for the chance to receive cash prizes, with all proceeds donated to the Native Women’s Resource Centre of Toronto. Spectators are invited to watch the competition for free.

FFDN’s fan favourite series, Night/Shift, will also return, in partnership with Citadel + Compagnie. Nine Ontario-based dancemakers will present new works live at The Citadel from Oct. 5-7, as well as live streamed for home audiences on both FFDN and The Citadel websites.

A variety of free in-person and digital ancillary events will be offered throughout the festival, including the return of Open Studio at Union Station’s West Wing; the fourth season of FFDN’s in-house podcast Mambo; excerpt performances of various works in partnership with Canadian Opera Company; dance workshops including Gaga classes for both professional dancers and the general public by a guest teacher from New York, artist talks and more.

For FFDN tickets and information, visit:

Fall for Dance North Festival Highlights:

Ohad Naharin’s KAMUYOT, performed by Charlotte Ballet

Sept. 26: 8pm at The Theatre at The Creative School (43 Gerrard St. East)

Sept. 27: 4pm & 6pm at The Theatre at The Creative School (43 Gerrard St. East)

Sept. 28: 6pm & 8pm at Holy Blossom Temple (1950 Bathurst St.)

Sept. 29: 6pm & 8pm at The Theatre at The Creative School (43 Gerrard St. East)

Sept. 30: 11am at The Theatre at The Creative School (43 Gerrard St. East)

Created by world renowned Israeli dancemaker Ohad Naharin and performed by Charlotte Ballet under the direction of the company’s new Artistic Director Alejandro Cerrudo, KAMUYOT is a contemporary experience for all ages.

Accompanying this performance series will be two Gaga workshops: a workshop for all abilities (ages 16+) by Kyle Scheurich (Gaga instructor, NYC) at The Theatre at The Creative School (Sept. 28 at 6pm) and a workshop for dancers and advanced dance students (ages 16+) co-hosted by Scheurich and Keith Morino at Canada’s National Ballet School (Sept. 29 at 11:30am).

8-COUNT: Short Dance Film Series

Sept. 27: 7:30pm at Hot Docs Ted Rogers Cinema (506 Bloor St. W)

Sept. 28: 7:30pm at York University’s Sandra Faire and Ivan Fecan Theatre (Ian MacDonald Blvd.)

8-Count returns for its second year, with two live screenings followed by artist chats with select creators. This series showcases short dance films produced and directed by national and international creators, and curated by an esteemed Selection Committee through an open call, including:

 • Burn From The Inside | Ballet Black On Film, Choreography & Direction by Mthuthuzeli November

 • Challah by Karen Kaeja, Allen Kaeja, Moze Mossanen

 • Locked by Moze Mossanen, Roberto Campanella

 • Lucid Space by Geanderson Mello, Mio Sakamoto

 • amalgaMOTION by Adam Daniel Mezei, Crystal Finn-Dunn

 • Circular Labyrinth by Louis-Martin Charest, Margie Gillis, Ruth Naomi Levin

 • The Euphorian by Lina Cruz, Sylvie Bouchard, William Yong

 • Reflejos del Tiempo (Reflection of Time) by Esmeralda Enrique Spanish Dance Company, William Yong

Tkaronto Open

Sept. 30: 12-5pm at Union Station’s West Wing (55 Front St. W; $15 registration fee for dancers, free for spectators)

Co-presented with Union Station

A new contemporary dance contest in the category of Jingle Dress, open to the general public (both Indigenous and non-Indigenous) to honour and celebrate Indigenous heritage, community, and identity, through music and dance.

Swan Song

Oct. 3: 7:30pm at Meridian Hall (1 Front St. East)

In partnership with The National Ballet of Canada

Audience members will enjoy a sneak preview of the immersive new CBC documentary series, as well as an artist chat with Karen Kain, a group of National Ballet dancers featured in the series, and members of the series’ creative team, plus a live performance of excerpts from Swan Lake.

HEARTBEATS: Signature Programme 1

Oct. 4 & 5: 7:30pm at Meridian Hall (1 Front St. East)

In partnership with TO Live

Through four distinct works, the diverse choreographic voices of HEARTBEATS: Signature Programme 1 approach themes of love and human connection from different angles, perspectives and dance forms. Featuring:

 • Mascara by Pulga Muchochoma (Toronto) – with live music

 • Bliss by Johan Inger (Sweden), performed by Gibney Company (New York)

 • I think we should start over by Jamaal Burkmar (UK), performed by Candoco (London)

 • Heart Drive by Marne & Imre Van Opstal (The Netherlands), performed by Ballet BC (Vancouver)


Oct. 5-7: 10pm at The Citadel: Ross Centre for Dance (304 Parliament St)

Co-presented and produced by Citadel + Compagnie

Programmed by distinguished dance artists Penny Couchie, Christine Friday and Dedra McDermott, the 2023 edition of Night/Shift celebrates the many dance forms explored and practiced by Ontario-based movement makers. Featuring:

Thursday Shift (Oct. 5)

 • A History of Silencing Dance by Alireza Keymanesh

 • “Tarantos” – Alma de Mujeres by Maria Serrano

 • SEED by Shameka Blake

Friday Shift (Oct. 6)

 • Polyrhythms by Cori Giannotta

 • V.A.T.O. by Fer Camacho – Collective of Scenic Exchange

 • Experiences Of A Moment by Rumi Jeraj

Saturday Shift (Oct. 7)

 • Y3N Kw33 by Baffour Kwasi Obeng – Adjei

 • Act II by MillO Dance Projects

 • Seeker by Serwaa Daley

UNBOWED: Signature Programme 2

Oct. 6 & 7: 7:30pm at Meridian Hall (1 Front St. East)

In partnership with TO Live

UNBOWED: Signature Programme 2 showcases today’s most promising international contemporary voices and the brave steps they are taking in the dance world. This is a journey of dance that encompasses the spirit of unwavering resistance, tireless love, and promise of evolution through activism and vigour. Featuring:

 • Light-Print by Jesse Obremski (USA, Gibney Company artist), performed by TMU School of Performance (Toronto)

 • Oh Courage! By Sonya Tayeh (USA), performed by Gibney Company (New York), with live music by The Bengsons

 • My Mother’s Son by Mthuthuzeli November (Zolani), performed by Mthuthuzeli & Siphesihle November (Zolani)

 • NINA: By Whatever Means by Mthuthuzeli November (Zolani), performed by Cassa Pancho’s Ballet Black (London)

Festival packages and single tickets are now available at Tickets are available for $15 (+ HST and fees) per performance (except for the Night/Shift live streams, which are $5 each and $15 for all three).

Additionally, all ticket purchasers who are new subscribers to the arts and culture streaming service, Marquee TV, FFDN’s official streaming partner, will be offered a special two-month free trial to Marquee TV’s full library, which includes five FFDN-produced films.

The 2023 Festival Packages:

FLEX Package

Combine any two or more mainstage events (HEARTBEATS: Signature Programme 1, UNBOWED: Signature Programme 2, KAMUYOT, 8-Count, Swan Song, the Night/Shift livestreams) to build your own personalized package and receive 10 percent off your entire purchase.


Includes five mainstage events (HEARTBEATS: Signature Programme 1, UNBOWED: Signature Programme 2, KAMUYOT, 8-Count, Swan Song,) at $60 for 20 percent off ($75 value), which comes with free live streams for all three evenings of Night/Shift.

Box office services for FFDN 2023 is proudly managed by TO Live. For FFDN ticketing and package information, please visit: