Parcon by Andrew Susemo
Parcon by Andrew Susemo

The Contact Dance International Film Festival (CDIFF), returns for its third season June 28 to July 2, 2017 in Toronto with five different screening programs presented alongside dance workshops, jams and parties where dancers fly and bodies collide with force, grace and tenderness.

The Festival will bring Mayumu Minakawa and Tom Weksler to Toronto to teach Tom’s Movement Archery workshop, and to perform together and present their film work.

Other special guests include filmmaker and dancer Harriet Waghorn, from Edifice Dance Theatre in the UK, who will be teaching her unique fusion of ballroom and contact improvisation; New York filmmaker and Parcon dancer Andrew Suseno who will teach an outdoor cityscape workshop; and Luke Anderson (Founder of the StopGap Foundation) and Laura Storey who, with Festival director Kathleen Rea, will teach Inclusive Contact Improvisation Workshops and facilitate an Inclusive Contact Improvisation Jam; and present their film Contact Dance Every Body by Olya Glotka.

This year, the festival will present 80% of its programming is in accessible spaces. There are two films on the program that showcase dancers using a wheelchair; Contact Dance Every Body and the documentary Intimate Dance: Journeys through Movement by Sanford Lewis. The inclusive workshops and jams lead by an all-abilities team of dance teachers are designed to be welcoming to people of all training levels and abilities, to those new to the form of Contact Dance, and to dancers using wheelchairs.

The Festival literally kicks off on Wednesday, June 28, at Dovercourt House with a pre-Jam Workshop Class with Tom Weksler, followed by The Wednesday Dance Jam with music by Jennifer Gillmor; and continuing with the first screening program, Toronto Spins, a mixed program of short films that celebrate the explosion of dance films made by Toronto based filmmakers and dancers. Also, included is a documentary on the Israeli Contact Festival.

Each day of the Festival features workshops, classes and Jams with live music with the Festival’s visiting artists plus evening screenings and a live performance of Zen and the Art of Dance with Mayumu Minakawa and Tom Weksler at the Betty Oliphant Theatre on June 29; Rotating View Points, a mixed program of short films that find contact improvisation in an underground parking lot, on a circus pole and through philosophical discussion, at the Celia Franca Centre on June 30; An Intimate Dance: Journeys Through Movement and Touch, a feature-length documentary following the lives of an all-star athlete, a skeptical beginner, and a professionally trained dancer on and off the dance floor, at the Celia Franca Centre on July 1; plus the Gala Film Screening of international shorts showing dancers rolling up and down the Niagara escarpment, local water towers, an abandoned factory, a farmer’s field, the Helsinki Market Square, the New York subway, and Toronto’s financial district, at the Revue Cinema, also on July 1.

Sunday, July 2 offers an intense post-Festival Dance Film Making workshop with Olya Glotka in various locations around the Roncesvalles/High Park area, from 3:30pm-Dusk. Films will be made!

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