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Away to Create
Natasha Powell and friends. Photo by Fran Chudnoff.
You’re never alone in jazz. Connection lies at the heart of it all. Connection to self, others, music, memory, history, elders – and most of all, to the form itself.
Fall for Dance North, external link’s artist-in-residence Natasha Powell – artistic director of Holla Jazz (Toronto) – creates a new work with 11 students from The School of Performance Dance Program in a two-week “bubbled” residency hosted by Orillia Centre for Arts + Culture, external link. Starting from research around chorus girls and the lives of women in the early 20th century, Powell and the dancers enter the unknown space of creative process. The project offers the dancers a bridge from their pre-professional training to the professional realm.
Travel to Orillia, step into the studio and catch glimpses of their creative journey through Jeremy Mimnagh’s short documentary film, to be released September 17.
Experience in-person pop-up performances – set to new music by composer Sabine Ndalamba – in outdoor spaces around Toronto. Date and location information to be announced in September.
Connect with the process. Connect with the artists.
Connect with jazz.
More information about the live and documentry presentations of Away to Create will be shared in the coming weeks.
The Creative Team
Natasha Powell is a Toronto native who has been working in the dance industry for 17 years. Her soulful approach to movement that transcends genre can be seen and felt in her dancing, choreography, and teachings. In 2016, she founded her Dora-award winning company, HOLLA JAZZ as a forum for developing and presenting artists that work and improvise together, to create harmonious and transformative experiences. The company aims to reinvigorate jazz dance with its sister dances including hip hop and house, as innovative and important vehicles for expression, while showcasing freedom and one’s own identity through the spirit of jazz.
Over the last 10 years I have been involved in still photography, film, AR, projection and sound works that ask unanswerable questions contending with, and relevant to, living in this world today - with all that is broken. From a film delving into the impossibility of acquiring a culture, to performance works exploring the limits of memory, the inherent generational difference relative to lived experience, and the irreversible human impact on the natural world, these collaborations have sought to have their audiences consider deeply a vast constellation of unknowns. In looking at what we don’t have answers to, perhaps we can ask ourselves more honestly to be where we are. Maybe in seeing what is broken we can can see more clearly what can be different, and what can change.