Commissions & Creative Partnerships

Shameka Blake & Riley Sims: Last year's Dance Ontario Creative Partnerships

Dance Ontario Announces Commissioned Works for DanceWeekend ‘18

Toronto, ON – November 14, 2017: As part of the 2017-18 Dance Ontario Creative Partnerships Program, the Dance Ontario Commissioning Committee (Jesse Dell, Tina Nicolaidis, Lola Ryan, Ofilio Sinbadinho, and Jennifer Watkins) has proudly selected talented Toronto choreographers Shameka Blake and Riley Sims to present exhilarating new works. These commissioned works will make their world premieres as part of DanceWeekend ’18, taking place at the Fleck Dance Theatre from January 19-21, 2018.    

Shameka Blake will present Child Soldier, a work set in a small remote village in Kenya, where a guerilla unit violently kidnaps a child, destroying his home and killing his family. As he is groomed for the life of a child soldier, he resists conforming to this foreign culture of brutality. Ultimately his fight is in vain and he joins the ranks as yet another child soldier.  In collaboration with krump choreographer and dancer Amadeus "Primal" Marquez, Shameka will bring an urban take to a serious political issue.

BIOGRAPHY – Dancer and Choreographer Shameka Blake is a graduate of George Brown College’s Commercial Dance Program. She has performed in several concerts, tours, and productions, having shared the stage with artists such as Ne-yo, Mob Deep, Kanye West, Lil Jon, and Ciara. She has been featured in videos for recording artists Damian Marley, Kreesha Turner, and Sean Paul and most notably she was featured as a principal dancer in Luther Brown’s productions On My Way Home and The Red City. Shameka is the proud Artistic Director of Artists In Motion (AIM), a multidisciplinary Toronto dance group that aims to unite various styles of dance.

Riley Sims of Social Growl Dance will present Old New Borrowed Blue, a visceral, eccentric, animalistic and emotionally stirring contemporary dance piece, performed by four female dancers: Clarke Blair, Wing Sheung Chan, Ana Groppler and Molly Johnson.

BIOGRAPHY – Independent Dance Artist and Choreographer Riley Sims is a graduate of the School of Toronto Dance Theatre’s Professional Training Program in contemporary dance.  As Artistic Director of Social Growl Dance, a contemporary dance company which was incepted in 2012, Riley has presented several full length shows and commissioned pieces. With Social Growl Dance he was the recipient of SummerWorks’ Risk and Innovation Award in 2015 and was selected as the Dance Matters Residency and Commission Artist of 2016-17.

DanceWeekend '18 an unapologetic celebration of all things dance!

In association with Harbourfront Centre’s NextSteps Series
A DanceWorks CoWorks Series Event
January 19-21, 2017 Admission $10 min donation per patron
Fleck Dance Theatre, 207 Queens Quay West, Toronto
Info  416 204 1083 or 416 973 4000

#danceweekend25yrs #danceTO


To date choreographers commissioned include Nenagh Leigh, Meagan O'Shea, Terrill Maguire, Lucy Rupert, Vivine Scarlett,Jenn Goodwin, Sasha Ivanochko, Marlee Cargill, Malgorzata Nowacka, Nova Bhattacharya & Louis Laberge-Côté,Sashar Zarif & Holly Small, William Yong, Lacey Smith, Amy Hampton & Keiko Ninomiya, Jessica Westermann, Lucy Rupert & Barbara Pallamino, Pamela Rasbach, Robert Stephen, Amy Hampton & Keiko Ninomiya, Apolonia Velasquez & Ofilio Portillo, Benjamin Landsberg, Jasmyn Fyffe, Keiko Kitano, Malgorzata Nowacka with James Croker & Jack Langenhuizen, Natasha Powell, Courtnae Bowman, Hanna Kiel, Louis Laberge Cote, Jacob Niedszwiecki, Alyssa Martin, Ryan Lee. Shameka Blake and Riley Sims

...creativity that excites!

Call for Submissions: 2018-19 Creative Partnerships Program
Dance Ontario's Creative Partnership Program will provide $2,000 in production/creation support to each of two choreographers for NEW work to be premiered at DanceWeekend'19 next January. Choreographers whose membership is current at the time of submission are eligible to apply. All forms of dance will be considered and two works each approximately 15 minutes in length will be selected. The Association's Selection Committee looks for applications that :
- demonstrate excellence and professional integrity;
- bridge diverse forms and/or disciplines;
- take creative risks;
- connect with and are relevant to a broad-based audience;
- enhance the artist's repertoire.
Please submit a description of the proposed new work electronically together with a C.V.s for yourself and your collaborators, creation
budget and links to youtube or vimeo of past or relevant work to:
The Dance Ontario Selection Committee c/o

Deadline: May 14, 2018 (past)