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I'm not interested in fame and glory. It's just that I would like others to know what a happy dance this is.

- Frankie Manning

Legacy Tap Dance Concert 
June 23rd – 25th, 2022


 



June 23 – 25, 2022
8:00 PM EDT

Canadian Stage High Park Amphitheatre, Toronto

Tickets: "Pay What You Wish"-  $30


Where dance meets music. Where tradition meets innovation. dance Immersion’s Legacy Tap Dance Concert celebrates Black culture born from the Harlem Renaissance, with a genre-bending intergenerational cast led by Travis Knights, Lisa La Touche, and Donny Milwalkee.

The Legacy Series is a movement. It examines the past, present and future of African Diasporic dance forms through reclamation, education, and celebration. This Concert brings together some of Canada’s most renowned tap dance artists and multi-genre musicians, with brief appearances from some special next-generation tap dancers. Celebrate and honour the culture with us at the Legacy Tap Dance Concert. 

dance Immersion’s Legacy Tap Dance Concert is part of Canadian Stage Dream in High Park.

Legacy Series is made possible with the generous support of: TD Bank Group

Presenting Partner: Canadian Stage

CLICK HERE TO PURCHASE YOUR TICKETS
Artist Spotlights
Spotlighting Canadian dance, drum, & theatre artists of the African- diaspora that have, and continue to pave the way.
 
Salome Bey

 

Salome Bey, best known as “Canada’s First Lady of the Blues” was a singer, composer, actor, and playwright, whose work impacted the music and theatre world around the globe. Born October 10, 1933, in Newark, NJ, as Salome Wideman-Bey, the young protégé was born into a household filled with music. Bey and her siblings learned how to play the piano by ear, and her brother, the renowned jazz artist Andy Bey, had even cut his first record by the age of 12. 

Bey attended the Newark Arts High School, where several other now-famous music artists had attended as well. She and her siblings went on to form a vocal group known as “Andy and the Bey Sisters”. The group toured North America, and Europe, and produced several records. While touring Canada in 1960, Bey and her siblings stopped at an after-hours club, which was managed by Howard Matthews, her soon-to-be husband. In 1964 Bey moved to Toronto and married Howard. This is when Bey became known as “Canada’s first lady of the blues” from playing and working through Canada’s jazz scene. While in Toronto she also fell in love with musical theatre and would be part of productions produced by the Global Village. She appeared in many on and off-Broadway shows including Your Arms Too Short to Box with God. Bey was nominated for a Grammy Award for her work on the cast album. In 1971 she won an Obie Award for her performance as the lead in the musical “Justine”; when it was later presented off-Broadway, renamed “Love Me, Love My Children”. 

During the ’70s, Bey’s focus shifted toward creating more opportunities for Black performers in Toronto. From this, “Indigo” a cabaret show on the history of Black music, was created. The project was later filmed for TV and aired on Superchannel followed by CBC.  She also created a musical titled “Rainboworld,” which was based on the questions pertaining to injustices and disharmony in the world that her daughter Tuku had asked. This musical had a cast of more than 40 children. Bey’s had 3 children: Marcus, Jacintha Tuku Matthews, and Saidah Baba Talibah, who were very involved in her artistic and charitable endeavours. The children were often on stage performing with Bey and her music group Salome Bey & the Relatives. Bey’s daughters went on to become music artists themselves and are now known as tUkU and SATE. In addition, she recorded two albums with Horace Silver, released live albums of her performances with the Montreal Jubilation Gospel Choir and at the Montreux Jazz Festival, and in 1985 contributed vocals to a charity single recorded by a supergroup of Canadian artists titled “Tears Are Not Enough”, which raised funds for relief of a famine in Ethiopia. Her holiday special “Salome Bey’s Christmas Soul” aired on CBC.

Throughout her life, Bey touched many lives and influenced the Canadian Jazz and musical scene, all without being a Canadian citizen. Many Black Canadian actors and musicians give credit to her for not only mentoring them but discovering them as well.  She and her husband's home was known to be a refuge for Black creatives, and many artists such as Dizzy Gillespie would stop by the residence after shows in Toronto. She has won countless awards for her work in music, theatre, and the community including a Toronto Art Award in 1992 for her contributions to the performing arts, two Dora Mavor Moore Awards for outstanding performance in a revue or musical and outstanding production of a cabaret or revue for “Inidgo”, the Martin Luther King Jr. Award in 1996 for lifetime achievement from the Black Theatre Workshop of Montreal, and this past April Canada Post unveiled a stamp honouring the artist. Her iconic look of flowing vintage dresses, chunky necklaces, and hair in either an Afro or braided style will forever be remembered by the lives she touched.

Thank you Salome for the ways that you shifted the music and theatre world, and created more opportunities for Black Canadian artists to be seen. 

Sabrina Naz Comănescu

 

As a Canadian-based dancer, Sabrina Naz Comănescu is truly a dynamic member of Canada’s artistic landscape. She has helped cultivate the Calgary dance scene for over a decade as a performer, choreographer, filmmaker, dance instructor, Caribbean festival coordinator and volunteer, yet her curatorial outreach spans worldwide. She has travelled throughout Canada as well as New York City, Trinidad, Finland, Romania and Mexico to teach and gather dance knowledge to share with the city of Calgary.

As an alumnus of Central Memorial’s Performing Arts Program and DJD’s Professional Training Program, Sabrina grew up in Calgary, Alberta as a first-generation Canadian of Trinidadian and Romanian heritage. As a performer, Sabrina has worked with Machel Montano, House of Dangerkat, The Bad Girls Club YYC, Headly, and has opened for international acts such as Pop Caan, Sean Paul, and Kes The Band. She is also the current major force behind The Diversity Performing Arts Club of Calgary that “celebrates cultural diversity while promoting inclusion and respect for all youth”.

Sabrina loves to explore the nature of Jazz and Caribbean movement, music as well as various funk styles. Through a fusionist lens, Sabrina's work manifests in dance, fashion, photography and film. Sabrina has found herself behind the camera, directing videos for Kaeyae Alo (“Only We Know”), Tourism Calgary (“#LoveYYC”), Casa De Naz (“Bonum”), Ready on 8, Alberta Culture Days and more. Her tastefulness has bled into her fashion where in June 2014, Avenue Magazine featured her as one of the faces that “brings her own unique style and flair to Calgary’s dance community”.

Sabrina is a 2015 Black Gold Award recipient for best dance act and the Alberta Foundation of the Arts Young Artist Prize winner in 2017. She is currently a full-time dancer with the professional jazz dance company, Decidedly Jazz Danceworks and is thrilled to be returning for her 8th season with the company later this fall. 

 UPCOMING PROJECTS:

- In early July Sabrina will be going into production with Arie Productions and will be directing The Queendmme music video on the newly released Queendemme EP. This video will feature the many faces of Calgary's millennial black, female creatives that help build the diverse artistic landscape of Calgary, AB.  Check out the song here and the Instagram here.

- Western Canadian Caribbean Festival Tour: Sabrina is the choreographer and tour coordinator for The Diversity Performing Arts Club of Calgary and they are returning for their annual tour! Stops include the Caribbean Days Festival in Coquitlam, BC, Cariwest in Edmonton, Alberta and Carifest in Calgary, Alberta.

- Sabrina is the current marketing and social media coordinator for Calgary's most vibrant Caribbean festival, Carifest!  Festivities take place on August 12th and 13th. www.CarifestCalgary.com



Click here to learn more about Sabrina and to follow her journey.

Sabrina will be one of the phenomenal guest artists at our Legacy Tap Dance Concert from June 23rd – to June 25th at Dream in High Park, Toronto. 

Click here to purchase your tickets!

Samson Bonkeabantu Brown

 

Samson Bonkeabantu Brown is an Afro-Indigenous, South African, and Portuguese Toronto-based Sangoma, Inyanga & Hoodoo who works as an ancestral anthropologist and playwright. His primary focus is on spiritual healing, ancestral veneration and anthropology, trans advocacy and the arts.

He has been tasked by his Ancestors to shed light on how ancestral veneration can assist with healing the self and living in one’s purpose. A multidisciplinary artist, imbongi, author of two published plays (11:11 - A Monodrama in 7D, and 11:11) respectively, Samson's presence in the arts educates the general public on both the trans experience and trans issues.

Currently, Samson is working on part 3 of the 11:11 Trilogy, entitled No Third Death. 

Click here to stay up to date with Samson and to follow his journey.

Call to Artists: IABD Conference & Festival Pre- Conference Event

 


Get Inspired. Invest in your craft. Bring your voice and step into the larger arena.
You Belong Here!


dance Immersion is thrilled to announce that we are co-hosting the return of the International Association of Blacks in Dance (IABD) Annual International Conference & Festival from January 25 – 29, 2023! Now in its 33rd year, the IABD Conference & Festival provides an exciting opportunity for you to increase your visibility, engagement, and career opportunities at this event for Black dance professionals from the international diaspora. The event includes seminars, workshops, performances, and celebrations.

Canadians, we heard you!

So, we've set aside a space to let your voices ring loud and clear at the Connectively Moving Our Dance pre-conference event on January 24 and 25, 2023. dance Immersion is hosting this part of the event, and we've got you. This forum gives our community the chance to connect, inform, and develop strategies with a Canadian focus. This two-day event includes discussions, movement sharing, and a presenter showcase specifically geared towards Canadian artists.

We want to hear from you! 

The opportunity to let your light shine is now open. We're looking for ideas and dance works from professional dance artists from across the country to take place during the pre-conference event, as well as the main conference and festival. Each is a fantastic opportunity to showcase your talent and invest in your career, so don't miss these calls, which can be viewed by clicking the link below.

CLICK HERE TO LEARN MORE
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