The Board of Directors of Dancemakers is pleased to announce Emi Forster and Benjamin Kamino as the company’s inaugural team of Co-Curators to lead the company in the implementation of the ground-breaking Incubation Production House model (IPH).
Dancemaker’s IPH model proposes a new way to think about dance making in Canada. In a bold move to reinterpret the role of Dancemakers in Toronto, the company will grow from a traditional dance-based ensemble to a radical next generation centre for innovation and production in which the public and artists will redefine their relationship through the experience of dance.
“We welcome with great enthusiasm the passionate vision that Forster and Kamino have proposed and are confident that Dancemakers will chart new territories in the dance world,” said Arsinée Khanjian and Lena Sarkissian, Co-Chairs of Dancemakers. “The Selection Committee for Curator included representatives from the larger arts community and our organization. They carried out an extensive and rigorous search to identify an energetic and audacious artistic vision to lead Dancemakers. The joint application of Ben and Emi was a most compelling proposition,” explained Khanjian.
Originally from Sydney, Australia, Emi Forster is a curator, writer, producer and choreographer. She holds a Master of Art Administration (Curation Major) from University of New South Wales’ College of Fine Arts (Sydney, Australia), and a Bachelor of Dance from the Victorian College of the Arts (Melbourne, Australia). As a curator and arts administrator, Emi has worked on several dance-based and multidisciplinary programs, including the Beams Arts Festival, a unique festival of dance, visual art, theatre, film, music, workshops and talks taking place throughout the inner-city suburb of Chippendale, Sydney; and Toronto’s SummerWorks, Canada’s largest juried and curated performance festival. Emi’s work as a dancer and choreographer includes the full-length work, Dust, which toured across Australia; and Good Evening Apocalypse, which premiered at Pact (Sydney) in 2013.
Benjamin Kamino is co-founder of do what you can an international resource for artists, providing residencies for artistic production in Montreal and disseminating community arts projects around the world. Benjamin lives and works in both Montreal and Toronto and his work has been shown in Austria, Brazil, Canada, Mexico and the United States. Benjamin is currently working as a collaborator with Dancemakers, Peggy Baker Dance Projects, Compagnie Marie Chouinard, Sook-Yin Lee, Ame Henderson and Virgil Baruchal. Benjamin is also a member of Interferencias, an international encounter devoted to research on performance and collaboration. He co-authored and edited the English language section of the group’s first publication “Interferencias the Book/el Libro,” published by the Centro de Las Artes San Luis Potosi in 2012 and continues to organize and administer iterations of the project.
This is a new era for Dancemakers as Forster and Kamino take the helm to envision and herald the company. “We are incredibly excited to take on the artistic leadership of Dancemakers,” said Forster and Kamino. “We look forward to introducing a new foundational rhetoric for working and supporting processes that rigorously engage people in the act of making dance. We will challenge a range of artists to investigate “What is dance?” and “Why am I dancing?” while establishing a true incubator and hub for innovators in the dance community.”
Within the IPH model, Kamino and Forster will identify and collaborate with the first three Resident Artists, over a three-year cycle, to develop new practices in contemporary dance and performance in Canada. Ancillary programming will be developed and implemented to provide access points for audiences into the work of the Resident Artists as it progresses over the three-year incubation period. Alongside this, Dancemakers will offer technical and emerging artist residencies as well as a comprehensive and innovative outreach, partnership and education strategies. This means that the doors of Dancemakers are now open to welcome and offer a multi-voiced, continuously-shifting, artistic frame to generate excitement and momentum for the next generation of dancers and public in their search for new aesthetics, content and presentation.
The Board of Directors looks very much forward to this important and lively new chapter of Dancemakers’ long and remarkable history under the intelligent and imaginative curatorship of Forster and Kamino.