Under a grant from the WHW Foundation, Philadelphia based MM2 Modern Dance Company is set to tour in Toronto, Canada from June 20, 2012 through June 25, 2012. MM2 will be offering a series of free performances and workshops to local communities and audiences throughout the city. At the same time, the group seeks to explore and experience the heritage, diversity and incredible art that Toronto offers.
MM2 kicks off its lineup of appearances with a performance of its new work, CONVERSATIONS, at David Pecaut Square on Thursday, June 21st at 7:00pm. This performance is being made free to the public. According to Steven Weisz, Artistic Director, “Conversations are indispensable; they are at our very core. These conversations take on a life of their own, a dynamic momentum, with the ebb and flow of our daily lives. With this new work by MM2, each of the company members, dancers and choreographers, has created their own dialog through movement, their own conversation.”
Dancer and choreographer, Heather Fleischman goes on to add “I am extremely excited about this season, the diversity MM2 has brought forward in this new program, and of course our upcoming visit to Toronto! We are really growing as a company and as a family. We are always pushing each other to search and to create movement with drive and originality behind it.”
Back in the States, MM2 Modern Dance has established itself as an incubator, providing support, space and opportunities for new emerging dance artists, who wish to explore the choreographic process, in order to cultivate and introduce new work to new audiences. Unlike most dance companies that feature the work of a single choreographer, MM2 presents with Conversations, ten separate works, each choreographed by one of the company members. While unified under the theme of Conversations, the pieces vary greatly in scope, material presented and artistic style. This season’s dancers/choreographers are Jessica Bryan, Katelyn Capato, Jenna Faye Eugenides, Heather Fleischman, Angela Frezzo, Kaylee Goodwin, Jennifer Laucella, Brianne Scott and Matthew Varvar.
On Friday, June 22nd, MM2 will be working with AFCY: Arts for Children and Youth doing both performances and workshops at two local areas schools, St Nicholas of Bari and F.H. Miller. AFCY allies with high priority communities in Toronto and empowers marginalized children and youth by engaging them in hands-on, community- and school-based arts education programs that respect existing cultural and community activity, resulting in participatory action and social awareness.
On Saturday, June 23rd from 7-9pm, the group will be appearing at the Toronto Botanical Garden at 777 Lawrence Avenue East. Admission to the public is $10; students $7 (General Admission, Door Sales Only) with all proceeds going to TBG, a registered charity. The performance will be followed by a conversation with MM2 Artistic Director Steven Weisz, led by respected dance critic and Globe and Mail staff writer Deirdre Kelly, author of the upcoming Ballerina: Sex, Scandal and Suffering Behind The Symbol of Perfection and the bestselling memoir, Paris Times Eight. An exhibition of dance photography and sculpture will also be on view.
The final performance of MM2 Dance in Toronto will be on Sunday, June 24th at the Ralph Thornton Centre, 765 Queen St East. In working with the staff and community at Ralph Thornton Centre, a day of performance and dance has been created, featuring live music and dance from a number of local area groups starting at 1pm. The day will culminate with MM2 doing a performance and workshop at 3:50pm.
Besides touring the city and experiencing Toronto’s rich cultural heritage, the group also hopes to attend performances by local dance companies and take dance classes with them before their return to Philadelphia, where they will be then getting ready for the Fringe Festival. The public is invited to follow their tour in Toronto on their web site at www.mm-2.org