Intersections: presented by the department of dance and featuring the York Dance Ensemble

(Courtesy of Don Sinclair)

This weekend, on March 12 and 13, the department of dance presents Intersections, featuring new choreography by MFA student choreographers, Rachel da Silveira Gorman, Jessica Stuart, Ashvini Sundaram, and Yui Ugai, performed by the York Dance Ensemble (YDE). 

“YDE is York’s resident dance company. Comprised of 24 third-year and fourth-year dance majors, YDE works with guest artists from outside of York, as well as faculty members, MFA and MA students in dance, digital media, and music, to create original and inventive contemporary choreography. The company performs up to four times a year, culminating in the annual showcase in the winter term,” says Bridget Cauthery, an assistant professor in the department of dance.

Cauthery continues, “YDE performs as part of outreach and recruitment activities on behalf of the dance department. They also offer its members an intensive pre-professional training and performance experience prior to graduation.”

Cauthery explains that this year’s annual showcase features four world premieres by the dance department’s MFA students. This includes Rachel da Silveira Gorman’s Golem, Jessica Stuart’s In Medias Res, Ashvini Sundaram’s Art of Time, and Yui Ugai’s New Nostalgia

The works engage with ideas of intersections, using movement, music, and projections, and feature the gifted members of YDE.

Susan Lee, artistic director, says, “In this time of sweeping transitions, understanding how we, as a community of artists, intersect and how the intersectionalities of race, gender, ethnicity, power, place, and time affect the present is more critical than ever.”

“In Intersections, my role is to collaborate with the MFA students throughout their creation processes and perform in the pieces that they orchestrated with me and the other dancers,” says Kelsey Bonvie, a third-year dance choreography and performance student. 

Rachel da Silveira Gorman is one of the four choreographers featured in Intersections. They are currently completing their MFA in dance and are also an associate professor in critical disability studies. Golem, Gorman’s piece, is about the transformation that humans need to go through in order to achieve environmental balance.

“While I was researching ideas for this piece, I was drawn to the 16th-century Jewish myth that tells of a rabbi who creates a being out of mud and tasks it with protecting the community. Throughout the creation process, I kept returning to the idea that we are made of earth,” says Gorman.

“At the beginning of the piece, we meet ‘homo economicus’ — humans who destroy the environment and follow economic logic. At the end of the piece, they have transformed into ‘homo environmentalus’ — they understand themselves as dependent on each other and the environment.”

Bonvie says that audience members can expect to be blown away by this years’ unique performances. “It might feel like they are getting caught in a hurricane along with the performers with a refreshing set of original creations that have been crafted with deep care.”

To learn more about this event and to get tickets, click here

About the Author

By Sydney Ewert

Arts Editor

Sydney is in her third year at York University studying Dance. She loves to travel and explore new places. When Sydney is not editing, working, or studying for her classes, she is likely going for walks or learning new recipes.


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