Dance TO Showcase Feature #9: Forgive the pun...short and sweet with Yvonne Ng
Please forgive the pun, but our final feature on the Dance TO Showcase artists and presenters is short and sweet on all counts: Yvonne Ng. She may be small, but she is a dynamic performer, thinker, doer, high-energy, witty and compassionate. She is a choreographer and dancer like no other, but also, and importantly, the director of the dance: made in canada/fait au canada festival (d:mic/fac).
Don't forget to get yourself out to the opening party of Dance TO Showcase events, tonight September 28th 5-6:30, followed by a free showcase performance with Louis Laberge-Cote, Tribal Crackling Wind and inDANCE.
And here, to finish off our interview series, the succinct and smart answers of Yvonne Ng.
LUCY: Why was d:mic/fac founded? How has that shifted over the years?
YVONNE: It was founded to give back to the community, my community; as a complimentary platform to DanceWorks and Harbourfront Centre; as a way to expand my dual life. In addition to dancing/choreographing i also enjoy producing. It started as a short run of shows every other year, but has since changed to a festival format - more programmes in each edition of the festival.
LUCY: What keeps you inspired as a dancer, as a creator, as a curator?
YVONNE: Inspiration for me comes from many sources, it is hard to narrow it down because that kind of isn’t how my mind or life works. I mean, people are incredible - what we deem the brilliant or good and the less brilliant, bad people, how we respond to each other, what we do to each other knowingly and unknowingly. I’m not really knowledgable about politics and global issues but the web like nature of the world and its cycles really fascinates me.
LUCY: What do you think dance artists can do to improve the health of the Toronto dance community?
YVONNE: In general, we should feel even more proud to be a dance artist BASED in Toronto, boast about it. We’ve got a strong contingent of superb dance artists in Toronto. We also have dance artists who are wonderfully enterprising and motivated, if they want to initiate change - create complimentary services or join forces with existing organisations who are probably looking for new voices etc. One negative: Don’t be reinventing platforms just for the sake of building it yourself.
LUCY what is your dream d:mic/fac?
YVONNE: dance: made internationally - exchanges with different countries - my dream has always been that a dance:made in canada would be a reciprocal exchange with other countries. That an entire program would travel to Germany or China and Toronto audiences would have dance: made in Germany or China come here.
LUCY: Can you tell me about a performance you’ve seen that was a game changer — artistically or personally? Something you were in the audience for, rather than performing in.
YVONNE: I'm not really inclined to pick favourites mostly because I just think there is such diversity in dance. How can I compare a beautiful and raw solo at Series 8:08 to Jean Pierre’s Joe with a dozen amazing dancers creating this visual and sonic cacophony?