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DanceWorks Presents IN ABSENTIA, Produced By JDdance at Harbourfront Centre Theatre

Boldly interweaving dance, puppetry, set, music, lights, and live-action video design, DanceWorks is proud to present IN ABSENTIA, a stunning new multimedia work produced by Toronto-based collective JDdance. Boasting choreography and direction by Sharon B. Moore, as well as performances by Jesse Dell and Jordana Deveau, alongside five of Toronto's most exhilarating emerging dance artists, this original production is five years in the making and will celebrate its World Premiere at Harbourfront Centre Theatre, November 21-23, 2019.


A modern day fantasy, IN ABSENTIA celebrates the unexpected beauty that blossoms in the aftermath of calamity. Two humans, lost, traverse an ever-shifting landscape. Fragile and torrential, vivid and fantastical, the journey spins a prophetic dream world which helps them divine the consequences and potentials of living in a harrowing time.


"With complex design and over 1000 pounds of raw cardboard material on-stage, IN ABSENTIA is riddled with risk. Humorous and magical, threatening and horrifying, movement reshapes the weight of the world around us and our own human part in it. Whether navigating through a house of mirrors, escaping the poisonous needles of a porcupine or surrendering to the premonitions of two tiny fortune- telling skeletons, IN ABSENTIA is a visual journey through movement and design." Sharon B. Moore

This ambitious dance piece also features a larger-than-life set design created by award-winning designer Steve Lucas. Turning and twisting like an incoming storm, it is entirely made of cardboard. The production also features original music composition by Allen Cole, projection design by Laura Warren, elaborate costume design by Sonja Rainey, and two petite skeletons that provide hope in a world of treacherous fantasy.

Sharon B. Moore (Concept, Choreography & Direction) works across the worlds of dance, theatre, film, and circus. Alongside Canadian composer/director Derek Aasland, she runs Cinetic Creations, a company dedicated to large scale cinematic and theatrical works. Their fantastical worlds are a hybrid of intimate narrative, movement, original music and production design. Their creations have received many Dora Mavor Moore nominations in the categories of choreography, production, performance, and lighting design, including a Dora for Outstanding Performance - Female, Jillian Peever in The Mystery of Mr. Leftovers (2016).


Jesse Dell (Producer and Performer) is a dance artist, choreographer, singer, costume designer, graphic designer, and mother. As a dancer, Jesse has had the privilege of working with choreographers Peggy Baker, Aria Evans, Kate Franklin, Susan Lee, Shannon Litzenberger, Sharon Moore, Tracey Norman, Julia Sasso, and Holly Small, as well as for JDdance, a collective she co-founded in 2009.


Jordana Deveau (Producer and Performer) is a dynamic force in the Toronto dance community, active as a dancer, creator, educator, rehearsal director, and producer. She is the Co-Artistic Director of JDdance and is the co-author, with her mentor Donna Krasnow, PhD, of "C-I Training: Conditioning with Imagery for Dancers."


The show also features performances by five extremely talented graduates of The School of Toronto Dance Theatre; Noah Blatt, Yiming Cai, Hilary Knee, Jake Ramos, and Kathia Wittenborn.


The production includes set and lighting design by Steve Lucas, who has designed award-winning sets and lighting for more than 500 productions of theatre, dance, and performance art. His work has toured extensively and has been seen all across Canada, the United States, the UK, Europe, Scandinavia, Russia, Australia, and Asia. Steve has also been nominated for several of Canada's most prestigious awards, including the Siminovitch Prize in Theatre, the Pauline McGibbon Award, the K.M. Hunter Award, and 33 Dora Mavor Moore Award nominations.


Also, the show includes original music by composer Allen Cole. Allen has worked as composer, musical director, and writer on many musical theatre, dance, and film works and has won numerous awards, including four Doras, five Merritts, and a Best Film Score Award from The Atlantic Film Festival. The show will also include projection design by Laura Warren and costume design by Sonja Rainey.



When: November 21 – 23, 2019, 8 PM

Where: Harbourfront Centre Theatre, 231 Queens Quay W, Toronto, Ontario

Price: Tickets range from $36 - $42, with group rates, senior/CADA, students, and arts industry discounts available. To purchase tickets, please visit or call the Harbourfront Centre Box Office at 416-973-4000


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