This week’s Dancer/Choreographer shout out goes to Lua Shayenne. ‘We write our stories with the medium of the body, unearth a beginning, middle and end through movement and infuse them with raw emotions and explosive live percussion.’
LUA SHAYENNE & CO. presents contemporary and traditional African dance works that explore current subject matters with the aim to be a vehicle for spiritual and social progress. Choreographer and founder, Lua Shayenne draws on the aesthetics and values of traditional African dance and culture to create dance pieces that seek to upset and challenge multiple conventions and stereotypes.
LUA SHAYENNE & CO. promotes community development as well as cross-cultural exchange and collaboration with national and international artists. Since its inception, the company has been gaining recognition by performing in Canada’s major venues and festivals such as Enwave Theatre, Afrofest, Irie Festival, Kuumba and more.
Bio provided by Lua.
Here’s what Lua had to say in this week’s shout out…
Nikki: Do you remember the first time you started dancing?
Lua: My mom says I was 9 months old!
Nikki: Do you remember the first song you choreographed to? (Or your earliest memory)
Lua: Youssou N’dour.
Nikki: Your personal advice for dancers when it comes to free styling?
Lua: I have a hard time with it so I’d say practice, practice when no one is watching and you’ll get better at it
Nikki: Getting in the zone to choreograph, what does it take for you?
Lua: An empty dance studio, a story to work with and inspiring music
Nikki: Who are some of your biggest influences in the Dance industry?
Lua: Debbie Wilson
Nikki: Name a Toronto Choreographer you enjoy working with and why?
Lua: Debbie Wilson, Esie Mensah
Nikki: Name one of your favorite artists to work with and why? (It does not have to be a pop star any type of artist that a Dancer would work with i.e.; another Dancer, Choreographer, Musician etc.)
Lua: The dancers I work with. They are fabulous and very supportive: Miranda Liverpool, Natasha Phanor, Allyson Trunzer, Gigi Soleone, Esie Mensah
Nikki: Are you currently working on any projects?
Lua: I’m presenting my production Ocotber 11 to 14 at the Lower Ossington Theatre.
Nikki: Qualities you believe Toronto Dancers possess?
Nikki: Any advice for emerging dancers and choreographers working/training in Toronto?
Lua: Become great at what you do. It’s a tough world out there.
THANK YOU LUA FOR SHARING YOUR LOVE & PASSION WITH T.D.O.T. XO
WATCH THE TRAILER FOR DEPARTURE 00:00