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tdsbCREATES: Dance and Spoken Word Showcase

Creating CHANGE through the Arts

Monday, May 08, 2017
Categories: Great Things, Happenings @ TDSB, School Web Stories


On Tuesday, April 25th, 150 elementary and secondary students from across the TDSB performed original dance and spoken word compositions at the Toronto Centre for the Arts.

Through a partnership with the Toronto Arts Council, and with support from Prologue to the Performing Arts, over 20 professional Dance and Drama artists mentored students through their artistic process.

tdsbCREATES is a program that has an enormous impact on the participants, the teachers and the mentors...it is so fulfilling to watch young people find new ways to openly express themselves through their bodies, where their body provides an outlet to express topics that maybe are more challenging to confront through words. They become free, confident and proud. Lauren Cook, Dance Mentor

All participating students engaged in creative and critical thinking in response to the theme of CHANGE. The show was a culmination of an intensive process that began in the fall 2016. Over 350 students created original dance and spoken word pieces that were juried by a panel of esteemed Toronto artists who then selected which performances would proceed to the final event.

The result was a compelling showcase of student work that challenged the audience to think and feel deeply about issues of belonging, identity, power, privilege, isolation, friendship community and hope.

tdsbCREATES is an incredible way to connect students to the Arts world outside the walls of their schools. Students can see the impact, power and unity of the Arts community. Alexandra Parravano, Teacher - William Lyon Mackenzie CI

The work belonged to the students whose passion, energy and commitment inspired the audience to join them in becoming change makers, challenging us to find thoughtful solutions to shared problems and in creating a spirit of hope for the future.

Interspersed with the live performances, a series of short film vignettes gave us insight into the creative process of these young artists.

The themes help us to express what we need to learn about each other and ourselves… You will notice the chains in our piece. They represent the weight of the stereotypes society puts on us… Mental. Physical. Emotional… There is a misconception surrounding our community and I feel really overwhelmed by that... These are not everyday conversations so the TDSB is really allowing us to take this topic and explore it deeply… I feel by doing this dance we are showing them that we can do this. Student -Downsview C.I.

These ARTS students are not our leaders of the future; they are our leaders NOW and their words reveal wisdom and passion.

You only create change by showing the beauty in differences. Student - Don Mills C.I.

tdsbCREATES has reignited my passion to create…watching the other performers allowed me to see so many different perspectives, to hear so many diverse voices, and to feel so many emotions…This event is invaluable and transformative and we hope it continues so other students can feel this excitement and love. Student - SATEC@Porter C.I.

Thank you to all the teachers and students who made tdsbCREATES Dance and Spoken Word such a success.

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