Dance Ontario completed the pilot project for its initiative, Dance from a Distance, in May 2011. It allowed high school students in North Bay to work with a professional choreographer, based in Toronto through internet- based technology. With the help of a local rehearsal director, the project culminated in a performance that showcased the students' work alongside a professional dance company.
Dance From A Distance, generously funded by the Ontario Arts Council, involved Toronto's Santee Smith of KAHA:wi Dance Theatre who worked with students from Widdifield Secondary School and teacher, Jocelyn Bell. Students developed their own storyline and selected the movement language with the involvement of local dance artist Penny Couchie acting as an outside eye/liaison/rehearsal director.
Web-based videography designed by Richard Munter was a key component in developing the choreography, allowing the students to interact with off-site choreographer Santee Smith who had been touring to Japan and vice versa. This deepened the students understanding of the creative process and allowed them to explore this new style as they 'translated' their own contemporary story.
More information on this project is available through the Dance Ontario head office at firstname.lastname@example.org