Nostos Collectives Dance Association
Nostos Collectives Dance Association was first originated in Halifax, Nova Scotia in the Spring of 2014 by Jessica Lowe, Sarah Hopkin and Olivia Aubrecht for a scheduled performance at the 2014 Atlantic Fringe Festival. After their initial performance, Lowe and Hopkin would return to Toronto to pursue their dancing careers in the fall of 2014. They decided to continue Nostos Collectives in Toronto with the intention of bringing together local emerging Toronto contemporary dance artists to create, collaborate and perform together, developing their professional careers. Their premiere show titled “Up and Running” was shown at the Winchester Street Theatre in Toronto on March 15, 2015. Their show pulled in an audience of 90 people and it was the first time the Collective has ever appeared outside of Halifax.
Over the past four years, Nostos Collectives has produced a total of four proscenium theatre dance works ("Up and Running", "Chasing the Light", "Springtide", "EXCAVATIONS"), as well as two intimate in-studio showings ("trial + error", "Return"), providing opportunities for a total of over fifty emerging dancers and choreographers to research, present and perform their work. In our latest season, the Collective recently wanted to strengthen our connection within the dance community and reach out to other emerging artists who would be interested in a platform to share their works as well. They returned to Dancemakers' Michael J Baker Studio to present "Return", an intimate studio showing, in November 2017 that featured four of our very own choreographers presenting new works, as well as two guest performances by local Toronto artists Half Second Echo Collective and Amanda Pye.
"EXCAVATIONS", Nostos' latest and most mature production in April 2018 at the Winchester Street Theatre featuring 3 new full-length works, was well-received by the dance community and was featured in art web magazine "Neomemoire". A workshop was led by the choreographers at Canadian Contemporary Dance Theatre for emerging dance artists to further gain interest into our movement style and creative processes.
Throughout these few years of self-discovery, we have established our identity as a diverse, inclusive group of young, talented, and hard-working dance artists from various training backgrounds. We are interested in pushing the rigour and theatrics of contemporary dance and performance, as well as creating genuine original works that speak from our personal experiences. What binds us together is our passion for strong, dynamic physicality and the practice, creation, and performance of certain aesthetics/styles of contemporary dance that are not researched enough in Toronto such as European contemporary floor work, Gaga, partnering, and fusions of urban/cultural dance forms. The voices of our members, which include visible minorities/immigrants and members of the LGBTQ+ community, are greatly valued, and we seek to comment and analyze issues regarding important current social and political events through our craft; hence, our research is always reflective of our personal experiences and perspectives as "millennial" adults navigating through Toronto in this post-colonial age.