Africa New Music presents Ensemble Pour Notre Francophonie Torontoise, a journey through dance, rhythms and stories.
DATE: Sat 2 Dec 2023, 8 PM
VENUE: Small World Music Center, 180 Shaw St, Toronto
TICKETS: $20 in advance at 1.647.893.3527 or firstname.lastname@example.org. 25$ at the door
Four talented dancers highlight sometimes little-known historical facts as well as the complex realities of Ontario’s black French-speaking community. They also explore the intimate links between this community and English-speaking realities. Through a captivating fusion of choreographic movements, these artists reveal often hidden experiences, inviting the audience on a journey that will awaken curiosity and reflection. This show is unmissable, an experience not to be missed.
AISHA NICHOLSON an Artist, Choreographer, Teacher, Spiritual Being and Reiki Practitioner hails from Toronto; creator of the Movement CheckIn a program that brings artists together on Instagram live. Alongside 3 other artists Aisha co-founded a collective called the D.I.A Kollective; a safe space of dance, inspiration and alchemy. Currently, Aisha is dancing with the Lua Shayenne Dance Company, she has worked with various choreographers and companies such as Arsenio Andrade, C.O.B.A (Collective of Black Artist), Garth Fagan, Aria Evans and KasheDance to name a few. Aisha has performed in Obeah Opera for the Luminato festival and the Carifesta XIV festival in Trinidad and Tobago. In 2020 she Choreographed her first inaugural solo called Abandonment and currently she is working on reviving this piece, ready to continue inspiring the world of dance
To stay connected with Aisha and follow her artistic journey, you can join her on Instagram under the username @movementcheckin. Aisha Nicholson continues to push the boundaries of art and dance, leaving an indelible mark on the world of artistic creativity.
EMILIE ZILA JABOUIN is a curious intuitive dance artist and researcher who uses her story-telling abilities for collective liberation, and engages in performance and research projects that focus on social transformation, reparations and collective healing. Her performance is rooted in Haitian folk culture – dancing, singing, and drumming under the mentorship of Peniel Guerrier based in New York City. Zila offers a series of Haitian dance workshops to heal the body, mind and spirit through movement, chanting and rhythm exploration for various levels and abilities. An approach she describes during a CTV interview with the Social in February 2023. She founded a multi-faceted research, performance, and creative consulting company, Do Gwe Dance & Research (Emirj Projects), which offers research, creation guidance and artistic services to support creatives in manifesting their vision (www.emirj.ca). Emilie is the author of an article on Black women jazz dancers in mid-twentieth-century in Montréal, published in the Winter 2021 special issue of the Canadian Journal of History. She is currently working on her first solo performance piece around bodily autonomy called, “The Release.”
AMY SYLLA, born in France with Senegalese origins, left her French comfort zone in 2013 to pursue her North American dream. A dynamic and versatile dancer, she is passionate about the art of storytelling, exploring a range of styles from afro-fusion to urban dance. His career has been marked by participation in music videos, television shows and various creative projects.
Amy is committed to shining a light on marginalized voices who rarely get the opportunity to shine and be celebrated. Her goal is to make a difference by demonstrating that plus-sized, darker-skinned Black women deserve as much attention in the spotlight as anyone else.
Her journey exemplifies a dedication to inclusivity and equity in the dance and popular culture industry. Amy, through her talent and commitment, embodies artistic expression that transcends boundaries and prejudice, while elevating the voices of Black women and inspiring positive change in the dance world and beyond.
ZAHRA HARRIET BADUA is a Ghanaian dancer, teacher and choreographer born in Tobruk, Libya who grew up in Montreal Quebec and now resides in Toronto Ontario. Her passion for dance started at a very young age as a means to learn and understand her African heritage. Through discovery and training, she is skilled in Traditional West African (primarily from Ghana and Guinea), Afro-Caribbean folklore, various West African street styles, Dancehall and Soca.
Zahra is dedicated to disseminating knowledge about the vast beauty and history of Afro-Diasporic dance. Whether through seminars, podcast discussions, or movement workshops, her aim is to create a holistic view of the different facets of African dance. She is the founder of ZahraMoves. ZahraMoves provides classes, workshops and lectures that educate people on the complexities of Black dances from the African Diaspora as well, teaching about West African and Caribbean cultures through movement. She teaches all ages from primary level students to recreational adults all over the Greater Toronto Area. She additionally works as a movement coach for adults with different developmental abilities and children living with autism. In addition, ZahraMoves produces a collection of video projects and curated showcases with the goal to create opportunities for emerging female identifying artists of color. She is also the Engagement and Administrative Coordinator for dance Immersion which is a black-led non-profit organization that promotes, produces and supports Black dances and dancers from the African Diaspora.
DIEFAITE CHARLES, better known by his stage name, Jahfaa, is a singer, composer and performer passionate about music. He was born in Gonaïves, Haiti. Jahfaa is distinguished by his unique musical style, which is strongly influenced by the Afro-Haitian musical tradition known as “Racine”, which he sometimes describes as “Afro-soul”, emphasizing the spiritual dimension. Her voice radiates love, and her stage presence is infectious, evoking a feeling of freedom. He knows how to captivate his audience by exploring the full range of emotions through his music, offering a musical vibration that blends the heartbreaking roots of Afro-blues with the joyful rhythms of Afro-Haitian.
His music is regularly broadcast on stations such as Choq Fm, Radio Metga, CBC Radio and CIUT 89.5 FM, to name a few. Dieufaite was also nominated for the international music competition UNSIGNED ONLY Fandemonium Awards in 2020 and 2021, securing a top ten spot in the world music category.
Jahfaa is an artist whose music transcends boundaries, fusing diverse influences to create an authentic and emotional sound. His musical career is a vibrant tribute to his Haitian roots and the richness of Afro-Haitian culture, while bringing a contemporary touch that inspires and delights his audience.