The preview night at Withrow Park was a success thanks to all its volunteers
Article and photography by Fleur Boomsma
The Dusk Dances preview evening started out relaxed. Neighbors got together with their children and pets; sitting on picnic blankets and lawn chairs enjoying a drink. They were watching the opening band and Joy of Dance teacher perform a dance lesson. Several people got up to learn how to dance, especially the children. The teacher requested a volunteer to help him assist with the dance lessons and a young child was delighted to come forward. You would think that only a handful of people would show up at 7 p.m., which was the introduction before the festival started.
By the time of 7:30 p.m., the park was filled with hundreds of neighbors prepared to watch the five dance performances. It was incredible see how the volunteers and the (really funny) host, Susie Burpee's alter ego, Allegra Charleston, were able to navigate these watchers to the next performance. Let me tell you, the host was a real comedian!
It is Dusk Dances’ 24th year that they celebrate this festival season and travel to Terrebonne (Quebec), Hamilton, Toronto (Withrow Park), and Barrie. The park is filled with volunteers selling popcorn for $2 a bag, take donations (it is a pay-what-you-can basis), and help the host navigate the residents through the park to go to the next dance piece. These festival’s choreographers come from various backgrounds that are represented in the contemporary and traditional dance pieces.
While the audiences are navigated by its volunteers to the next performance, you see the children run (for their lives almost) to get a good seat! You don’t want to sit behind those who have lawn chairs, you won’t see a thing! The adults are lucky, their children get to the piece early and reserve spots while the adults can walk at an easy pace while chatting with their surrounded neighbors.
Dusk Dances performs five 10-minute pieces at Withrow Park and are “inspired by the park’s natural environment”. I won’t spoil these performances, you’d have to see for yourself and judge! With the rain this week, don’t let this weather ruin this artistic, social and cultural event. Bring some dry lawn chairs so you won’t have to sit on the wet grass.
Dusk Dances celebrate between August 5-12th. You are just in time to finish your weekend off with this relaxing and amazing experience. We love Dusk Dances, what do you think?
Dusk Dances 2018
Located south of the Danforth, between Logan and Carlaw in Toronto, ON.
Closest TTC subway station: Chester.
More info: 416 504 6429 ext 24