Archive | May, 2013

LAUREN COOK

27 May

This week’s Dancer/Choreographer shout out goes to Lauren Cook. Lauren is a choreographer, teacher, dancer, and the artistic director of Alias Dance Project. She is a graduate of Ryerson University (2005) with a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Dance Performance. Lauren has had the opportunity to perform in works by Julia Sasso, Kathleen Rea, Vicki St. Denys, David Earle, Darryl Tracy, Heidi Strauss, Meagan O’Shea, Emmanuel Jouthe, Valerie Calam, Helen Simard and Jodee Allen, Apolonia Valesquez, Ofilio Portillo, Susie Burpee, Andrea Spaziani, Gita Harris, Geordan Coupland, Meghan Cafferky, Troy Feldman and Allen Kaeja, and Emmanuelle Le Phan. Some of Lauren’s choreographic credits include Under the Mulberry Bush (2007), The Hidden Truth (2009), While You Were Sleeping (2010), Restorative Structure (2012) and A How To Guide (2012). Lauren is the co-artistic director of Pivotal Motion Dance Theatre (Alias Dance Project’s, contemporary youth company) and a certified Pilates instructor.

Bio provided by Lauren

lauren cook

Alias Dance Project on FACEBOOK

Follow: @AliasDanceProj on Twitter

Website: www.aliasdanceproject.com

Check out what Lauren had to say in this week’s feature…

 

Nikki: Do you remember the first time you started dancing?

Lauren: I started dancing when I was 3.  My mom put me in ballet at the local community centre.  When I turned 10, she agreed to let me study more than just ballet, so I enrolled in Modern, Hip Hop, Lyrical, Jazz, Tap and African Dance.

 

Nikki: Do you remember the first song you choreographed to? (Or your earliest memory)

Lauren: The first song I remember choreographing to was a crazy german band.  I used to research the music artists that my favourite dance companies used and then from there try to find something that was similar but different.

 

Nikki: Your personal advice for dancers when it comes to free styling?

Lauren: I would have to say, just be yourself and dance for yourself.  The minute you try to do what you think people expect you to do, you’ll trap yourself.  Allow your mind to be open to your physical impulses in the moment.

 

Nikki: Getting in the zone to choreograph, what does it take for you?

Lauren: This takes a really inspiring piece of music and time in the studio alone to workout movement.  

 

Nikki: Who are some of your biggest influences in the Dance industry?

Lauren: My influences are always changing.  Sometimes they even surprise me.  I think that I am influenced by everything I expose myself to, the performances I see, the people I train with, who I talk to, my students, the list could go on and on.

 

Nikki: Name a Toronto Choreographer you enjoy working with and why?

Lauren: I could name many… but if I had to choose one, I would say Valerie Calam, she is so open and humble.  She creates a space where you feel safe to take risks.

 

Nikki: Name one of your favorite artists to work with and why? (It does not have to be a pop star.

Lauren: Any type of artist that a Dancer would work with i.e.; another Dancer, Choreographer, Musician etc.)

My favourite artists to work with are the women of Alias!  We are all interested in constantly changing and evolving… always learning.  As soon as we get comfortable we present each other with a new challenge.

 

Nikki: Qualities you believe Toronto Dancers possess?

Lauren: I don’t think I can put the qualities of a ‘Toronto’ dancer into a box.  There are so many exciting and different qualities in Toronto Dancers. 

 

Nikki: Any advice for emerging dancers and choreographers working/training in Toronto?

Lauren: Make your work and find ways to show your work.  Don’t wait for opportunities, create them.  

 

Nikki: Any upcoming projects, shows or classes you would like to share with T.D.O.T. ?

Lauren: “Shifting Edges”

A DanceWorks CoWorks Series Event

Shifting Edges marks Alias Dance Project’s second full-length production, including commissioned works from some of Canada’s most celebrated dance artists, as well as an original Alias creation. This mixed program is an exciting treat for those brave enough to see what can happen if we step off the edge.

“This group is exploratory and creatively envelope-pushing…One need not be an expert or a dancer to appreciate this innovative effort.” Terry Gaisin, Ontario Arts Review

May 29th- June 1st, 8pm

June 2nd, 2pm and 8pm

$22-$25

Dancemakers Centre for Creation

Suite 313, 9 Trinity St., The Historic Distillery District

Ticket Information

tickets@aliasdanceproject.com

416-504-6429 ext.24

Online: http://www.eventbrite.com/event/5968093729

In Person: (Cash) DUO Office (M-TH 9:30-5:30, 476 Parliment St. Toronto), or at the door.

Choreography by: Apolonia Velasquez and Heidi Strauss, Troy Feldman and Allen Kaeja, Valerie Calam, Ofilio Portillo and Lauren Cook

Pre-Show installation performance by the young artists of Pivotal Motion Dance Theatre, created by Kate Hilliard.

Performances by: Caitlin Amodeo, Francesca Chudnoff, Lauren Cook, Gita Harris, Kate Nankervis, Amanda Pye, Marisa Ricci, Rosemarie Stea, Courtney Stolarski

Artistic Advisor: Valerie Calam

Atmosphere Design: Angela Beever and Robin Woodward

Lighting and Technical Direction: Adrien Whan

DJ Patooti Hed

 THANK YOU LAUREN FOR SHARING YOUR LOVE & PASSION WITH T.D.O.T. XO

CHECK OUT THE TRAILER FOR “SHIFTING EDGES”

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DEVON PERRI

13 May

A huge milestone for T.D.O.T. This week. Our 100th feature goes to Devon Perri. Devon is from Toronto and has been dancing since a young age. He’s had the opportunity to choreograph for such projects as The Toronto Film Festival as well as the tap scenes in the movies; Honey, Universal Pictures and Save The Last Dance 2 MTV.

His music video credits include; Chris Brown-Turn Up The Music, NeYo-Beautiful Monster, David Guetta+Chris Brown-I Can Only Imagine, Timbaland-Cop That Disc, Snoop+Wiz-Young,Wild n’ Free, BoA-Energetic, K-OS-Superstar + Crab Bucket, Yasmeen-Blue Jeans and many more. Devon has also performed for artists on TV and stage shows for the V.M.A.’s, Billboard Awards, BET Awards, DWTS, w/ Chris Brown,
So You Think You Can Dance w/ Ne-Yo, American Idol w/ Travis Garland and Stefano Langone, DWTS w/ Macy’s All-Stars, DWTS w/ Jason Derulo, Korean Pop Star BoA and many more. He has also appeared in commercials for Marshall’s, Cali-Max, and Milk-Canada.  He now resides in Los Angeles, and teaching at Millennium Dance Complex where he is always seeking to improve his craft. Devon is currently dancing for Chris Brown on his Carpe Diem Tour.

Bio provided by Devon.

devon perri toronto dancers

Youtube: Devon Perri
Follow: @Devon_Perri
 
 
 

Find out what Devon had to say in this week’s shout out…

Nikki: Do you remember the first time you started dancing?

Devon:
 I started dancing at a very young age.  Michael Jackson’s ‘Thriller’ music video is what started it all.

Since then, it’s been 25 years of  dancing and counting..

 

Nikki: Do you remember the first song you choreographed to? (Or your earliest memory)

Devon: Not sure, I have choreographed to many songs.  One that stands out is the God Father/Mafia tribute my friends and I did back in 2005 for Toronto’s Choreographer’s Ball… good times.

 

Nikki: Your personal advice for dancers when it comes to free styling?

Devon: Try to relax, breathe when you dance. Listen to the musicality of the song.. what’s it saying?

 

Nikki: Getting in the zone to choreograph, what does it take for you?

Devon: If it’s for myself, the song has to grab my attention the first time I hear it. A lot of music today sounds the same, doesn’t really climax. I prefer to be alone with just the music… no need for mirrors.. feel the movement.
I prefer to tell a story through dance.. it’s always better that way..

 

Nikki: Who are some of your biggest influences in the Dance industry?

Devon: Michael Jackson, Fred Astaire, Savion Glover, Marty Kudelka, Tone+Rich Talauega, Aakomon Jones.
(just to name of few)

 

Nikki: Name a Toronto Choreographer you enjoy working with and why?

Devon: I enjoy working with Luther Brown.  When I lived in Toronto I used to train with him for a good year.  He helped me out with certain gigs as well as my 0-1 Visa.. he’s a great guy to know!

 

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.)

Devon: I’d have to say Chris Brown.  He knows how to perform and he’s not scared to battle his dancers..  he keeps you on your toes.  Ne-Yo is also one cool brotha.. very humble and great singer.

 

Nikki: Since you’ve lived and worked out of L.A for quite some time do you have any advice for Dancers looking to do the same?

Devon: If you want to follow your dreams… then don’t let anyone stop you from doing it.
Try to work as much as possible in your home city, collect everything you can that has to do with dance involving your name… this is key for when meeting an immigration lawyer.

 

Nikki: Qualities you believe Toronto Dancers possess?

Devon: Our city has some of the best dancers in the world. We have great work ethic when it comes to show business, whether it’s at an audition, in rehearsals our on stage.. We’re a hungry bunch from the North!

 

Nikki: Any advice for emerging dancers and choreographers working/training in Toronto?

Devon: I find Toronto a great place to train.  Work on your craft and at the same time, give back to our dance community. Take class, teach class, and show case your material in dance events throughout the seasons.
Believe in your dreams and stay ready! Sometimes work from the U.S. comes up to Toronto.. you want to be on those gigs!

 

Nikki: Any upcoming projects, shows or classes you would like to share with T.D.O.T. ?

Devon: As of right now, I reside in L.A. working on anything that comes my way.  I like to teach a lot as well as take class.  I train with the best of them which eventually leads to working with the best of them.  When I’m back home in the DOT, I usually teach at OIP Studios downtown Toronto – keep an ear open.

THANK YOU DEVON FOR SHARING YOUR LOVE & PASSION WITH T.D.O.T. XO

 

CHECK OUT SOME CHOREOGRAPHY FROM DEVON BELOW….

 

DEVON’S CHOREOGRAPHY TO TORONTO’S VERY OWN ANDREENA MILL….

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