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African-Caribbean Choreographer Jasmyn Fyffe Set for Black History Month performance

African-Caribbean Choreographer Jasmyn Fyffe Set for Black History Month performance

Posted by Shanelle Weir on January 28, 2015

York’s Jasmyn Fyffe is teaming up with fellow local African-American female choreographers to celebrate Black History Month with a dance showcase at the Harbourfront Centre, 235 Queens Quay W.

Queens Calling, presented by dance Immersion, will be staged Feb. 6 and 7.

The show features pieces by eight choreographers, featuring a broad range of dance styles, from contemporary African and Lindy Hop to modern and Caribbean.

“You’re getting a performance from eight different female, African-Canadian choreographers. A show like that will have a huge variety of work,” Fyffe said.

For Fyffe’s showcase, the audience will see a pair of contemporary dance pieces with old-school Motown music setting the tone.

The two pieces are part of a larger body of her work called Pulse, which Fyffe staged in Toronto earlier in January.

“These are two duet sections of the show. They explore different facets of human relationship in the broadest description really. My inspiration for them is some of my own personal life, relationship experiences, also childhood memories, my parents,” she said.

Queens Calling is dedicated to the 219 girls abducted from a boarding school in Chibok, Nigeria in April 2014. The show is meant to celebrate sisterhood, kinship and womanhood, featuring work by choreographers from Canada, the United States and the U.K. Each choreographer gets about 10 minutes to put on their performance.

Fyffe’s portion will feature five dancers, including three members of her Jasmyn Fyffe Dance troupe. Fyffe said her performances are energetic.

The 31-year-old has been dancing since childhood, doing ballet, African-Caribbean, contemporary and jazz. She attended York University for an unrelated program, but took a jazz dance course, which rekindled her love for the art. She continued at York University with a dance education and by her third year began doing choreography and fell in love with it.

She’s now a dancer, choreographer and dance teacher.

“I really love creating dance and art. I’ve always been a very artistic, creative person,” she said.

Coming out of school, she became affiliated with dance Immersion and considers Vivine Scarlett, the organization’s founder, as her mentor.

“I’m really honoured to be a part of this show,” Fyffe said. “I’m definitely one of the younger choreographers in the lineup. I’m blessed for every opportunity I get and I’m very thankful to be part of it.”

She said dance Immersion is a forerunner in representing artists of the African diaspora and has a high reputation. In keeping with that reputation, she said, the audience can expect a top notch show.

dance Immersion, a non-profit organization, was founded in 1994 in an effort to produce, promote and showcase dancers and dances of the African diaspora.

Queens Calling will also feature performances choreographed by Paulette Brockington, Ghislaine Dote, Sharon Harvey, Charmaine Headley, Zab Maboungou, Michele Moss and Alesandra Seutin. Tickets cost $25 to $30 with discounts available for seniors, students and groups. Showtimes are 8 p.m. on Friday and 1 and 8 p.m. on Saturday.

For tickets, contact www.harbourfrontcentre.com or 416-973-4000.

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