Now Magazine - Clothes Your Mouth
The Wednesday, September 28, Clothes Your Mouth fashion show at the Social
(1100 Queen West) was a complete joy. The beats, the crowd, the models, the
production value, the energy and, of course, the indie Canadian designs, so did
it for me. Maybe it was because I came for the later show, but seriously,
everyone in the room was peaking. And man, did those models work the runway
(aka. the long bar). Trained as dancers and part of the Hit and Run theatrical
firm, they had moves ranging from street-style saunter to ballet fan dance done
en pointe. All completely enhanced the clothes. I'm standing. I'm clapping.
By Zenya Sirant
Globe and Mail - After dessert, pirouettes
With clients like rocker Mick Jagger and producer Robert Lantos, a plucky Toronto dance company brings
pas de deux into private homes and studios.
It was the day she was asked to be Mick Jagger's surprise birthday gift that Toronto dancer Jennifer Nichols realized her new twist on a ballet company might have a profitable future. "I just remember seeing Keith Richards's face, smiling with those big grinning teeth, jamming away on his guitar as I bourréed past him and Mick," says Nichols, recalling the day her company, Hit and Run Productions, was hired to bring a live classical-ballet performance to the Stones' Toronto rehearsal studios last August. "It occurred to me that we were doing something rather different."
Created "according to a client's specific hosting desires," Hit and Run's offers "dance delivery" -- anyone can request that live classical ballet, modern dance, hip hop, break dance, salsa, flamenco, jazz, aerial dance or opera performances be brought into their homes or studios for private functions.
Since founding the company in late 2004, Nichols, 28, and her business partner, National Ballet School graduate Anisa Tejpar, 24, have carved out a new niche, and in the process are providing career opportunities for their roster of dancers, who have learned to survive in a field that doesn't always offer the most steady employment.
Within the past two years, Nichols and Tejpar have choreographed, directed and delivered dance to groups across the city, including a private event last year hosted by film icon Robert Lantos (he praised their "style, energy and aplomb").
When they're not pushing coffee tables aside to perform privately, Nichols and Tejpar mesh dance genres with a dynamic group of other performers, including Canadian children's performer Jerry Levitan, and the Hang Times Circus group. "I was actually required to hold on to two acrobats' ankles while they were in handstands, and stand on the backs of their necks in pointe shoes and a tutu," says Nichols, recalling a recent collaborative performance. "It's insane, isn't it? But there's an audience for it."
Anne Svetik is among those doing the on-call dancing. Having struggled with finding employment for years after graduating from the National Ballet School a year before Tejpar in 1998, Svetik, 26, thinks Hit and Run is a step in the right direction for the dance world. "We're a multicultural city," she notes. "We're diverse, and people want to see diversity. We have to adapt. That's what's so great about Hit and Run. They've adapted to changes in dance, and they've brought it to a new level."
As for the employment it offers, she's sanguine. "It's not easy at all," Svetik says. "It's [an occupation in which] you have to expect the most obstacles thrown at you. You have to overcome major physical obstacles, and you have to mould and fit to artistic directors' visions, and that's totally subjective. . . . You're never safe."
While a 2001 Canada Council study pointed to significant growth in employment among those earning a living from dance or dance instruction over a 30-year period (from 400 in 1971 to 6,400 in 2001), Nichols and Tejpar note that the majority of such opportunities involve short-term contracts with little security. For a dancer, that can mean months, sometimes years, of paying for training in-between jobs. It's part of the reason Nichols agreed to start Hit and Run when Tejpar approached her after seeing a performance Nichols produced.
"I knew I had to create a job for myself at some point," Nichols says. "With a career in the arts, if you don't make it happen for yourself, it's not likely to happen at all. Then I thought to myself, 'People will pay money to have gourmet food catered and delivered to their homes for parties. Why shouldn't they have gourmet dance?' When Anisa suggested we make a company of it, it was the right time."
"The [dance companies] that stick with the old method and don't adapt to what's around them, they're going to die out," Svetik predicts. "Hit and Run is adapting and changing with the times. They're taking on all kinds of dance forms. Times change, people change, and that's what their company does."
By NATALYA BROWN
The Globe and Mail
Globe and Mail - Circa Nightclub Opening
The Circa nightclub was packed on opening night last night with patrons lined
up outside the doors. The house baseline throbbed and pulsated through club
floors and glass dividers as women topless except for body paint danced on
the packed dance floors of Toronto’s newest adult playground. The concept is
open, but each level offers sections shaped to create an exclusive VIP vibe.
Even as it got closer to capacity – about 3,000 people – it still felt spacious.
Arantxa Cedillo for The Globe and Mail
Globe and Mail - Get Your Snowflake On!!
A wintery blast of glamour swept into the Fairmont Royal York at Casey's House annual gala and award ceremony
honouring leadership in the field of HIV/AIDS. $270,000 was raised.
Globe and Mail, Photos by Janice Pinto
BizBash - Fasion sCares
One of Toronto's Top 100 annual events, Fashion Cares matched a "Fashion sCares" theme to its late autumn date and
featured a stage show inspired by Alfred Hitchcock films.
PricewaterhouseCooper's fire-and-ice themed party featured a frosty landscape of cool pastels and sleek lounge
furniture at the cocktail reception.
BizBash, Photo courtesy of Roni Feldman & Associates Inc.
Globe and Mail - The good, the bad and the potentially dangerous
"I also watched an artistic interpretation of folk dance performed by four limber young maidens. What a difference
from my previous party pit stop, where the dancers were topless, breast enhanced and grinding against a poles."
Amy Verner, Globe and Mail 2007