After 21 years with OAC, first as Associate Dance Officer then Dance Officer and since 2001 as Director of Granting Programs, Billyann Balay has decided to retire. Her last day will be May 10, 2013. "Billyann is a tremendous asset to the Ontario Arts Council. Neither the board nor I wanted her to leave, but we certainly respect her decision. I am extremely grateful that Billyann has given us a long time to prepare for her departure and has also agreed to participate in the process for hiring her successor," said Peter Caldwell, Director & CEO.
The Dance Ontario Selection Committee (Peter Ryan, Jennifer Watkins, Yasmina Ramsay, Tina Nicolaidis and James Kendal) has chosen Gadfly (Apolonia Velasquez & Ofilio Portillo) & Benjamin Landsberg for Creative Partnership support for 2012!
Gadfly will create Stygmata, a work for six dancers performing on pointe to a score that mixes house with tracks by Dr. Draw. The piece challenges the fear faced when you dare to be different.
Landsberg will work with five dancers transforming a space into an imagined combative arena of identity synthesis.
Christina Taylor, Chair of the Quinte Ballet School of Canada (QBSC) is pleased to announce the appointment of Catherine (Cathy) Taylor as the new Artistic Director of the school. "Currently in its 40th year of operation, QBSC is extremely fortunate to have Cathy Taylor at its helm" explains Christina Taylor, "She brings a wealth of experience, charisma and artistic vision to the role.
The internationally renowned dancer, choreographer and institution builder Menaka Thakkar is the 2012 winner of the Canada Council Walter Carsen Prize for Excellence in the Performing Arts. She has been bringing classical Indian dance to Canadians for 40 years and has trained several generations of professional dancers who now enjoy thriving careers of their own.
Anjelica Scannura won both awards for After the Fall, a dance performance she created and performed which dealt with the repression of women in societies that bar them from basic civil liberties. Scannura's body becomes the movement, transgressing the boundaries of flamenco that is at her training roots.
Jade Jager Clark of Jade's Hip Hop Academy (JHHA), 24, is the youngest ever to receive the Arts Person of the Year Award, which is presented annually by the Brampton Arts Council. Surprised at the news, she said she was thrilled to accept the honour. The award is one of many in recent years for her, including the 2006 Arts Acclaim Award presented by the City of Brampton.
Jade is Secretary of the Dance Ontario Board of Directors and Chair of the DO Youth Board.
[image by Byron Johnson]
Twenty dancers ages 7-15 from Jade's Hip Hop Academy (JHHA) helped win 6 World Titles for Canada and several Top 7 place finishes at the UDO World Street Dance Championships in Black Pool England on August 24th-27th.