April 23–24, 2022

Dancing With the Universe

REAson d’etre Dance Productions

Canada

An interdisciplinary journey of human emotions that shines a light on loss, grief and resilience. 

Photo by Sarah Jones

Ticketing Information

Price Overview: Tickets on sale soon

Venue Overview: Fleck Dance Theatre

Overview

Dancing with the Universe is a dance theatre production co-directed by Vivian Chong and choreographer Kathleen Rea with dramaturge Tristan Whiston. It tells Vivian’s life story of losing her sight due to a rare reaction to ibuprofen and her journey to rediscover herself as a multidisciplinary artist and athlete. Chong performs in the production alongside an ensemble cast of six dancers and cellist Cheryl Ockrant. Dancing with the Universe is an interdisciplinary journey of human emotions that shines a light on loss, grief and resilience. Through her sense of humour and by moving towards that which she loves to do, Chong has fully found her voice as a multidisciplinary artist.

About Vivian Chong – Co-Director, Lead Performer, Original Music

Vivian Chong’s first love is drawing. Ever since she could hold a pencil, she drew and, after formal training, eventually worked as a graphic designer, video editor and 3-D animator. After a rare medical reaction to ibuprofen left her without sight, and with hearing loss, she experienced a creative rebirth and became a medal-winning triathlete, an access-focused yoga instructor, a motivational speaker, a musician, a dancer and performer. She is part of the Brazilian percussion ensemble Samba Elégua and performs regularly with them in community events in Toronto. In 2016, she created and performed a one-woman show, The Sunglasses Monologue, which has toured in Canada. In 2021, she collaborated with choreographer Kathleen Rea to create Dancing with the Universe, a dance-theatre production starring Chong and a cast of six dancers and a musician. She was featured in the documentary A Whole New Light, profiled in CBC Arts, and appears in the children’s book Claire Wants a Boxing Name with her guide dog, Catcher. Chong and Catcher often hike together and have, over the last two years, trekked the entire 275 kilometres of the Oak Ridges Trail through rain and shine.

About Kathleen Rea – Co-Director, Choreographer

Kathleen Rea danced with Canada’s Ballet Jörgen, National Ballet of Canada and Tiroler Landestheater (Austria). She fell in love with Contact Improvisation (CI) 21 years ago and has been involved in the CI community ever since. She has choreographed over 40 dance works and has five nominations for DORA awards. Rea has a learning disability that has meant that writing takes four to eight times longer for her than for the average person. It is one of life’s great surprises and mysteries for her that despite this struggle she developed a love of writing and is a published author of The Healing Dance, as well as a blog and academic writing. With a Master in Expressive Arts, she has a passion for functional movement and is a teacher of the Axis Syllabus. Rea has been on the faculty of George Brown Dance program for the past twenty years and is also the Director of REAson d’etre dance productions, a not-for-profit contact improvisation-based dance company that produces weekly dance jams in Toronto. Being on the autism spectrum, she also identifies as being neuro-atypical and works to educate the world about neurodiversity.

About REAson d’etre

REAson d’etre dance productions strive to provide artistic expression through movement, inclusive of age, ability or level. They stage and program works based on Contact Improvisation to utilize the inclusiveness that can be a part of this dance form with a desire to inspire both professional dancers and everyday people. They believe that increasing accessibility breaks down barriers to dance, creating a humanity that is the heart of the artistic aesthetic they aim to achieve.

Dates & Times

April 23
8pm

April 24
2pm

Venue

Fleck Dance Theatre

Queen’s Quay Terminal, 3rd Floor
207 Queens Quay West
Toronto ON M5J 1A7
Canada

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Keywords DanceTheatre