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Three Dancers in Mono-crome outfits hanging off a concrete wall.

Divergent Dances Peterborough (World Premiere)

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September 28, 2018 @ 7PM  & 29, 2018 @ 2PM, Peterborough Square (corner of George and Simcoe)

** Performance Rain Date Sunday September 30th 2-3pm**

FREE Performance

Presented by Anandam Dancetheatre, Public Energy Performing Arts,

The Art Gallery of Peterborough and Artsweek 2018

Artsweek Logo: a splash of rainbow colour with triangular confetti

Open Public Rehearsal:
Thursday September 27th 12pm-1pm
Public Rehearsal followed by a Q & A

Artist Talk:
Wednesday September 26th, 7pm-8pm
Divergent Dances: Bodies & Public Space
Artist: Brandy Leary

Location: Bagnani Hall
Traill College, Trent University


Adaptive Circus Arts – An intro Workshop for People with Disabilities

Divergent Dances Peterborough – Performance 

Public Energy Performing Arts is thrilled to co-present Divergent Dances Peterborough, an outdoor aerial performance at Peterborough Square created by Anandam Dancetheatre’s Brandy Leary with dance artists: Erin Ball, Opal Elchuk, Nikola Steer, Thomas Vaccaro and Lina Loaiza Bran.  Divergent Dances explores themes of listening, non-spectacle, and how bodies move in public space. Brandy Leary is the Fall Artist in Residence at Public Energy Performing Arts.

Divergent Dances Peterborough is co-presented by Anandam Dancetheatre, the Art Gallery of Peterborough and Artsweek Peterborough. Divergent Dances Peterborough is part of the 2018 [in]SITES Series.

Read more about Divergent Dances Peterborough in this article by Kawartha Now.

Listen to our podcast featuring Brandy Leary of Anandam Dancetheatre

Choreographer’s Note:

It has been a deep pleasure to be in Residency with Public Energy for the past three weeks, creating with a collection of local and visiting artists to re-imagine Divergent Dances for Peterborough Square. We have been working with questions of how to soften; ourselves, our bodies, a concrete space and the different ways we can encounter each other. Divergent Dances integrates contemporary aerial and circus acrobatic/contemporary dance with site explorations of both architecture and landscape. The inquiries of the work remain both relevant and urgent in this current moment as when it was conceived, offering an interest in present-ness, a communal slowing down, an altering of how we perceive our surroundings, history of site and its relationship with publicness and the body and our relationships to each other. It has been an honour to create in Peterborough and an honour to share this work with the public.

with care

Brandy Leary


Artist Bios:
Brandy Leary

Brandy creates contemporary performances through the body: active as a dancer, choreographer, aerialist, writer, arts advocate, community cultivator, space maker, Artistic Director, educator and curator. Her performance works have been produced and performed in Canada, Europe, India, South Africa and the USA in theatres, urban environments, festivals, museums, art galleries and isolated landscapes.

She founded Anandam Dancetheatre as an umbrella structure for her performance projects ( and is its Artistic Director. She is a founder and Co-Director of Collective Space (an alternative performance and rehearsal venue in Toronto’s west end), Founder and Co-Artistic Director of CCAFT (Contemporary Circus Arts Festival of Toronto), developer of Anandam’s Audience In Residence Program and curator/co-producer of the Body Brake dance series at Theatre Passe Muraille. She is a driving force in the evolution of contemporary circus practice in Toronto as a choreographer, performer, curator and festival director working from values of experimentation, discourse development, curiosity and collaboration.

Erin Ball is a circus artist and coach based in Kingston, Ontario and she is the owner of Kingston Circus Arts. She is mainly an aerialist but also does some hand balancing. She took a year off in March 2014 due to life changing events that resulted in the loss of her lower legs. She has returned to her passion of training, coaching and performing. She loves adapting and creating new/different ways of executing skills.

Erin loves to move and to connect with others through movement and play. She has worked with many diverse groups of people. She developed a workshop and manual in 2017, called Flying Footless, a course for aerial coaches working with amputees. She recently hosted the first amputee circus camp week at Kingston Circus Arts.

Lina Loaiza Bran (Ambar Violeta)
I have studied and practiced different dance techniques for over fifteen years, mainly traditional and folkloric dances from Colombia, afro-contemporary dance, contemporary dance and aerial silks dance. In 2016, I presented the work Pie de muñeca – contemporary dance solo, in which I show the exploration that I have been developing about the possibilities of movement my body offers, with the particular condition of being an amputee. For the realization of this work I received a Dance creation grant for a solo or duet of the Call for Submissions for Art and Culture, 2016 – Secretary of Culture for Citizens, Mayor of Medellin.

In addition, I have made some photographic creations wherein I have presented my own experience of disability, and have participated in various exhibitions and photography competitions. Among these, I was the winner of the First Place in the IV INICO Digital Photography Contest “People with disabilities in everyday life” (Spain, 2006). I have also taken part in artistic interventions in public spaces in Medellín, Colombia. In 2018, I obtained an International Dance Internship in the Call for Submissions of the Ministry of Culture of Colombia, which allowed me to travel to Canada to participate in the performance Divergent Dances Peterborough.

Opal (Jennifer Elchuk) grew up in Thunder Bay, completed degrees in Visual Arts and Education, spent 7 years teaching outdoor education, painting and practicing Contact Improv dance, before she took up aerial circus in 2012. Since then she has helped to seed aerail circus in Peterborough. Previous productions include in: The Flying Canoe (2018) Elements (2016), Lepidoptery (2015) and Creatures of Flight (2014)Opal is currently an instructor, choreographer, program coordinator, and performer with The Peterborough Academy of Circus Arts. She also performs aerial and fire dance with the Pyroflys.

Nikola Steer is a multidisciplinary artist, educator, and curator, specializing in creating magical, immersive experiences that transform the ordinary into the exceptional.  She is known internationally for her work in burlesque performing as Coco Framboise. She is currently developing an edgy new multimedia performance art experience called Coco Paradise. When she’s not dancing, writing, taking photos, or programming the Toronto Burlesque Festival, you can often glimpse her around the city at various arts events or singing her head off with Choir! Choir! Choir!

Thomas Vaccaro
Thomas Vaccaro was born in the United States and moved to Canada after marrying his husband in 2008. He studied Japanese language at Santa Monica College in Los Angeles, which he never really did anything with beyond watching anime. He dabbled with writing comic books during his inaugural years in Canada until he found Circus Arts in 2009 at local group gatherings where people jammed movement and flows for fun. Since then, he has become a champion fire dancer, a graduate from the National Circus School’s Instructor Program, and a full-time coach to many youth in the local area of Peterborough, Ontario. His primary disciplines are flow arts, aerial silk, and cyr wheel. During his four year stint as Artistic Director for the Peterborough.

Patricia Levert-Thorne, Stage Manager
Patricia Levert-Thorne was born and raised in North Bay, Ontario. She attended Chippewa Secondary School when she discovered theatre. Her education continued at Humber College in their Theatre Technical Program 1995. She studied Technical management, props, painting, lighting, sound, set and costume design.

She has mainly worked in Toronto at Hot Docs Film Festival, Toronto International Film Festival, Factory Theatre, Necessary Angel, Soulpepper, Young Peoples Players Theatre, Le Theatre Français de Toronto and The Shaw Festival.  She moved to Peterborough in 2008 with her husband while working at 4th Line Theatre (2006 – 2009).  Currently, she is the head of production as Operations Manager at The Market Hall Performing Arts Centre.

Amino Yusuf, Writer in Residence 
Amino Yusuf is a writer in search of authenticity, in both her voice and the stories that she tells. Having written for the Trent Arthur for the past four years, she has since expanded her writing skillset and has added personal and literary blogging to her body of work in the past year. Amino is a voracious reader with a particular love for literary fiction and magic realism. She is also a lover of languages and aspires to someday be fluent in her native tongue, Somali, as well as French. She recently graduated from Trent University with a Bachelor of Arts Honours in English Literature and a minor in French and is striving towards a career in corporate communications with a focus on public relatons. Amino lives in Peterborough, Ontario.


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