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A new dance-theatre work that delves into the stories of men in a therapy group. The work was created by Kathleen Rea, an award-winning choreographer and Registered Psychotherapist using arts-based methods. In this piece, Rea combines her fifteen years of experience in therapy practice with her skills as a choreographer to create a story that follows seven fictional characters as they meet weekly in a therapeutic support group. The brave dancers in this piece each use their personal life stories as a jumping off point into a fictional character. Stories are told through text and through the metaphors of dance and music. There are also moments of audience participation in which people who self-identify as male, currently or at some point in their lives, can join in.
Kathleen explains, “there is such bravery and beauty that occurs behind the therapist’s closed door. In this piece, take this usually private process and let the audience see what can occur. My main inspirations are the many male client over the past 15 years. It is so rare that we see men be vulnerable in this way. So many men have been taught to shut down their emotions in order to “be a man” and this hurts their ability to find joy. They only know how to build one dam that blocks all. Others I have worked try to fit into the stereotypical male role and struggle with feelings of inadequacy. The suicide rate in men is much higher than with woman. In Canada 75% of all suicides are men and it is the leading cause of death for men ages 15 to 39. It is an epidemic and I think that’s because it’s hard for men to ask for help or even begin to admit they’re struggling. Yes, there are many advantages to being a man in our society… but at what cost?”
Six men meet in a group therapy session, each harboring intimately personal stories of trauma, shame and denial. Michael, their disillusioned therapist has recently returned to practice after the death of a client. He struggles to believe that what he is doing can help anyone. When Michael unexpectedly takes ill, the men find themselves on their own. Inadvertently helping one of the group members through a difficult incident bonds them and leads them to continue meeting on their own. Together they journey into their vulnerable places.
Director / writer/ Choreographer
Kathleen Rea danced with Canada's Ballet Jorgen, National Ballet of Canada and Tiroler Landestheater (Austria) and teaches Contact Dance Improvisation at George Brown Dance. She has choreographed over 40 dance works and been nominated for five DORA awards for Long Live and the Velveteen Rabbit. Her film Lapinthrope won the Gold Award at the Festival Der Nationen (Austria). Kathleen is a recipient of a K. M. Hunter Choreographic Award and is also a published author (The Healing Dance, Charles C. Thomas). She is a Registered Psychotherapist (CRPO) with over fifteen
years in private practice. Kathleen is a candidate teacher of the Axis Syllabus. She is the artistic director of REAson d'etre dance productions, which produces both the Wednesday Dance Jam and the Contact Dance International Film Festival.
Tristan R. Whiston is a multi-disciplinary artist who has worked in Toronto’s arts community for over 25 years as a director, dramaturge, writer, performer, and community artist. Tristan has written and directed five audio documentaries for CBC; most notably, his work, Middle C, won the 2007 Premios Ondas Award for International Radio. As the Artist-in-Residence at Central Toronto Youth Services (2004 to 2010), Tristan directed Gender Play,a theatre project working with LGBTQ youth exploring experiences of gender identity. Tristan recently collaborated with Moynan King on an integrated art and sound performance piece called trace, which toured Canada in 2015. In 2016, Tristan traveled to England where he was dramaturge and performer on Hush, a new musical written by Alex Bulmer which was presented at the London International Festival of Theatre and at the Royal Exchange Theatre in Manchester. Cast and Co-creators
Allen Kaeja is an internationally recognized and award-winning Dance Film Director and Choreographer, who has created over 160 stage works and choreographed for 27 films. Allen is Co-Artistic Director of Kaeja d’Dance with Karen Kaeja, runner up of NOW Magazine’s BEST DANCE COMPANY award and he is co-founder of the CanAsian Dance Festival. His stage and film works have been presented in festivals around the world. Allen has received dozens of national and international commissions, teaches Kaeja Elevations and Dance Film master classes worldwide/ Allen’s awards include the prestigious Clifford E. Lee, K.M. Hunter, and Paul D. Fleck Choreography Awards (Canada), the Bonnie Bird Award (UK), a UNESCO citation, and the Moving Picture Award for best performance (Canada) and was recently nominated for Ontario’s Arts Education Award and received the Katheryn Ash Award for Choreography 2016. Allen also co-developed many site-specific and audience interactive engagement performance strategies with Karen Kaeja over the past 30 years.
Allen and Karen have completed a full company tour to Mexico and were just in Newfoundland, Vancouver, Moncton, UK and Japan. Allen and Karen have just completed CONSUMED a new choreography for The Edge in UK (2017) which toured Europe for four months. They are also recipients of the Toronto Arts Council Open Doors award for Canada’s 150 Celebrations and are in the throws of creating Xtraordinary TO Dances with 22 Dance Artists for both Film and Stage. He has just completed Part 1: Live Feed and Part 2: Moments in Reel Time - delivered to Bellmedia in August and Marqueearts (UK) in October 2017ma.
Mateo Galindo (midcareer dance artist):
Mateo Galindo Torres is a dancer and choreographer, with side projects in film, photography and music editing. Torres has trained and performed in Colombia, USA, Cuba, Panama and Canada. His most recent professional experience includes work with Hanna Kiel, Frog in Hand, Jacob Niedzwiecki, Danny Grossman, Janak Khendry, Peggy Baker Dance Projects, William Yong, Kaeja d’dance, Maxine Heppner, Toronto International Ballet Theatre and Olga Barrios. Torres is the artistic advisor and guest choreographer of the newly founded company Form Contemporary Dance Theatre. Torres’ work is often politically charged, inspired by social subject matters, and fuses his eclectic movement background.
Kousha Nakhaei is a violinist, improviser and composer. He has studied improvisation and classical performance, as well as Persian and South Indian musical traditions at York University where he graduated in 2005. Kousha is also a dancer with a strong sense of technique and his own personal style. He has studied with Venno interdisciplinary creation. He has collaborated with several choreographers, dancers, poets and directors, such as Lucie Carmen Gregoire, Patty Powel, Tracey Norman, Roger Greenwald, and Jean-Michael Malpeux. He has performed at numerous venues in Toronto and many festivals, including fFIDA International dance Festival, Toronto Street Festival, and Under The Azure Dome.
Rudi travels from Austria to work on Men’s Circle. As a young man, his days circled around basketball, rap and jazz, with occasional sparks of classical music and political activities. After graduating from high school and one year of traveling, he briefly tapped into theatre, felt the need to move on and engaged in the studies of philosophy. It was at that time, at age 21, that he encountered CI and Capoeira. A short break from University in order to focus on contemporary dance turned into a four-year full time training at SEAD, Salzburg Experimental Academy of Dance, where he became acquainted with various contemporary dance techniques.
Choreographers and teachers that influenced him are Chrystel Guillebaud (Pina Bausch), Jan Burkhart/Sigal Zouk, Matteo Fargion and Vita Ojsonik. His artistic perspective is grounded in freestyle rap and improvised music as well as capoeira and CI, and a secret passion for baroque piano music.
Bill has danced with Bill T Jones/Arnie Zane Company, Martha Graham Dance Company, Toronto Dance Theatre, Tere O'Connor, Fondation Jean-Pierre Perreault, Wiesbaden Ballet, William Douglas Danse and currently Tedi Tafel and Dance Theatre David Earle.
He regularly collaborates with diverse groups and communities in the creation of one-of-a-kind theatrical events. He is the co-founder of Bill Coleman & His North American Experience with composer John Oswald and Coleman/Lemieux & Compagnie with Laurence Lemieux. Most recently Bill created Hymn To The Universe performed with the legendary Sun Ra Arkestra, Inverted Mountains with John Oswald, Emile Morin in Banff National Park and OutSideIn, a 3D film by Anne Troake with Carol Prieur which was screened at the 2015 Venice Biennale. Bill’s solo work Dollhouse, a collaboration with composer Gordon Monahan, was presented as part of Toronto’s Canadian Stage 2016/17 season.
Deltin Sejour received his early Training Primarily in martial arts. During adolescence he began training in Theatre as well as Dance at Lois Sieler Academy of Dance, Georgia School of Theatre and Dance as well as Freeport Players Guild. Seeking further training he Attended the School of Toronto Dance Theatre and Later Dance Performance at George Brown College. Sejour has also traveled to India to study various aspects of Yoga and Movement. He spends his free time taking workshops to expand his knowledge of the arts, reading, writing, doing calisthenics and extensive research into mind. He is dedicated artist that's always seeking to learn more about movement, art, the human body and the world at large. As an emerging artists Sejour seeks to continue his education by collaborating and creating meaningful, thoughtful, physical and engaging work
Harold Tausch has been a practitioner of the Feldenkrais MethodÒ, a form of movement education, since 1991. In the following year he discovered men's work and contact improv dance. He co-founded and has been a member of a leaderless men's group for 25 years. He has studied contact dance with a variety of teachers including Pam Johnson, Karen and Allen Kaeja, Kathleen Rae, Daniel Burkholder, and Yves Candau. Harold has been a singer/songwriter since the early seventies, and has studied acting with Alex Laurier, Eli Rill, Don MacQuarrie, and Terrence Durant. He is thrilled to be in a production exploring some of the issues men face in our culture.
Understudy who appears in the stage film version due to cast illness