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DanceWorks Presents Yvonne Ng's Tiger Princess Dance Projects, IN SEARCH OF THE HOLY CHOP SUEY And ZHONG XIN This Weekend

DanceWorks, Toronto's longest running contemporary dance series, proudly presents Toronto's tiger princess dance projects(tpdp) with an evening of two world premieres, each exploring identity in different ways. Choreographed by acclaimed tpdp artistic director Yvonne Ng, her solo In Search of the Holy Chop Suey and her work for a trio, Zhong Xin, run as a compelling double bill tonight, November 24, through Saturday, November 26 at 8pm at Harbourfront Centre Theatre as part of the NextSteps series. Tickets are now on sale.

Where or in what time space does identity reside? Ng asks "How does someone else's movement quality impact my own dancing self?" as she undertakes a pointed investigation for her solo, In Search of the Holy Chop Suey. In it, she ponders a life of creation and imitation in movement and mines influences from sources as varied as her mother, modern dance and kung fu legends, ordinary people, wild animals and more. Says Ng, "When I imitate, I also uncover something unique in myself. Each time I fail to become more like my mother (or my favourite kung fu hero Bruce Lee), I become more me." Silvie Varonedesigns the set for this expressive work.

In explaining the title, Ng says: "In the late seventies/early eighties, there was a TV series called In Search ofŠ that focused on mysterious phenomena, e.g. Loch Ness, Holy Grail, Big Foot, etc. But they would never find the 'thing' that was the subject of the particular episode. Chop Suey is a dish that reportedly originated from migrant Chinese workers who lived in the U.S.A. in the 19th century. When I was young, living in Asia, I wanted everything western. I knew about the dish and equated it to something Western/North American. The title is a comment on my belief that each of us has a deep desire to find meaning for our lives - even as that meaning eludes us and/or is not what it seems."

Ng then extends the exploration to Zhong Xin (which translates to centre or core in Mandarin), her trio for three splendid dancers - Irvin Chow, Mairéad Filgate and Luke Garwood. After many months of creating in isolation from each other, the dancers and Ng unite, each harnessing different qualities and histories. In collaboration with composer Nick Storring and set designer Joe Pagnan, Ng and her dancers propose an unknowable universe of possibilities - anchored by memory, identity and the body.

For the evening, multi-faceted award-winning artist Marie-Josée Chartier is the Outside Eye/Creative Facilitator, Johanna Bergfelt is the Rehearsal Director and Arun Srinivasan is the Lighting Designer.

BIOGRAPHIES:
Born and raised in Singapore, Yvonne Ng is a choreographer, presenter, arts educator and artistic director of princess productions (since 1996), which housestiger princess dance projects and the dance: made in canada/fait au canada Festival. The company's repertoire includes Yvonne's choreographed works and commissioned works. Yvonne has created original roles for choreographers such as Bill James, José Navas, Peter Chin, Dominique Dumais, Kevin O'Day (National Theatre Mannheim Ballett), Marie-Josée Chartier, Stephanie Skura and Tedd Robinson. tiger princess dance projects has toured to Singapore, Ireland, Italy, Germany, Australia, China, Canada and the USA. Between 1998 and 2014, the works have garnered ten Dora Mavor Moore Award nominations for performance and choreography.


She has taught at and created work for Ryerson and York University, the Theatre Department at Pennsylvania's Juniata College, the Nanyang Academy of Fine Arts and La Salle College of the Arts in Singapore and at University of Waterloo's Dept. of Drama and Speech Communication. Currently based in Toronto, Yvonne Ng is a recipient of the K.M. Hunter Artist Award, New Pioneers Arts Award, Chalmers Arts Fellowship, Soulpepper's Community Artist Award and the Ontario Premier's Award for Excellence in the Arts - New Talent. In 2000, she was honoured with a Dora Mavor Moore Award for Outstanding Performance and has received multiple nominations. Ng was the artistic director of Series 8:08 (1994-2015), a dance service organization that supports professional dance development, and is currently artistic director of the biennial festival, dance: made in canada/fait au canada, presented by her princess productions.


Irvin Chow began dancing at the Ontario School of Ballet in Toronto. He was then accepted into the BFA Dance program at York University in 2007. Throughout the last few years he has danced in projects by: Angela Blumberg, Sylvie Bouchard, Debra Brown, Susan Cash, Robert Glumbek, Michael Greyeyes, Terrill Maguire, Yvonne Ng and William Yong. Irvin has performed as a part of David Earle's (2011) Miserere in the Toronto Heritage Dance project and with Julia Sasso (2012) in her most recent show SLoE, performed at the Enwave Theatre. Irvin was a part of the 2012 Dusk Dances tour dancing in a Flock of Flyers and Tenterhooks. Irvin has been dancing with tiger princess dance projects since 2012.

A graduate of the Etobicoke School of the Arts and the School of Toronto Dance Theatre, Mairéad Filgate was proud to be a member of the Danny Grossman Dance Company from 2003 to 2008, and has since performed the work of many independent artists in Toronto and beyond. She is Artistic Associate of tiger princess dance projects (since 2010), a core collaborator with Public Recordings (with whom she won two Dora Mavor Moore Awards), and co-founder of Throwdown Collective, a collaborative, contemporary Dance Company that creates site-specific and stage works. Throwdown Collective has toured their three site-specific works extensively, and won the Dora Mavor Moore Award for Outstanding Choreography and two Audience Choice Awards at dance: made in canada/fait au canada for Various Concert. Her new independent project, one small thing, was presented as a part of SummerWorks 2016. Mairéad is an executive member of the Canadian Alliance of Dance Artists and a student of Women & Gender Studies at the University of Toronto.

Luke Garwood began his dance training at Ballet Classique du Haut-Richelieu (1994) but his continued studies soon brought him to l'Ecole Superieur de Danse du Quebec in Montreal (1995-2000), Canada's National Ballet School in Toronto (2000- 2002) and the Hamburg Ballet School in Germany (2002-2003). Luke has performed professionally with such companies as: Banff Festival Ballet, Toronto Dance Theatre, ProArteDanza, Typecast Dance Company, Hit and Run Dance Productions, Signal Theatre and Coleman Lemieux & Compagnie. Independently, Luke works in Toronto and Berlin and has collaborated with choreographers such as Valerie Calam, D.A. Hoskins, Allison Cummings, Susie Burpee, Jacob Niedzwiecki, Ame Henderson, Brendan Jensen, Jenn Goodwin, Heidi Strauss, Christoph Winkler and, through Nuit Blanche, Gordon Monaghan and Trisha Brown Dance Company. Luke is also co-director of F Slash, which is an organization that creates and curates dance performances for live and online audiences. Luke has been dancing with tiger princess dance projects since 2012.


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