Artist
Chy Ryan Spain

Canada

Chy Ryan Spain is a multi-disciplinary artist, performer, activist, organizer, writer, and educator originally from Philadelphia. Spain is a graduate of Swarthmore College with a degree in Education and English Literature. Since moving to Toronto in 2005, he has held positions at Parkdale Project Read as an Adult Literacy Worker, and as Youth Program Coordinator at both the Art Gallery of Ontario and Buddies in Bad Times Theatre. He regularly performs with Toronto‚Äôs premiere women of colour burlesque troupe, Les Femmes Fatales, as an acrobatic pole dancer and burlesque artist under the moniker Axel Blows, and holds the inaugural title of Toronto’s Bent Beauty Supreme. In 2013, Spain was nominated for a Dora Mavor Moore award along with his fellow ensemble members for their work in Of a Monstrous Child: A Gaga Musical (EcceHomo). Other select theatre credits include: pool (water) (Cue6 Productions); Small Axe (Project Humanity); The Queer Bathroom Stories (Libido Productions); The Pastor Phelps Project: A Fundamentalist Cabaret (Ecce Homo); and his original, one-man performance piece The Price of Bleach (Rhubarb, 2007).

Artist
Jefferson Pinder

USA
www.jeffersonpinder.com

As an interdisciplinary artist, I create performances, video work, and objects that challenge viewers to think critically about our highly polarized society. I explore the tangle of representations and misrepresentations, visual tropes, and myths‚ÄĒreferencing historical events and invoking cultural symbolism. My work features stylized representations of performers working themselves through exhaustion to unveil genuine emotion. My ‘action videos’ depict physical prowess with the body. The participants, in turn, communicate narratives through the physical tasks they perform.

Inspired by the symbiosis of music and the moving image, I portray the black body both frenetically and through drudgery in order to convey relevant cultural experiences. To get to the essence of this conversation, I place no restrictions on the tools that I employ as an artist, working with materials as disparate as neon lighting and found items in my sculptural stylizations. I find ways in which reclaimed materials convey rugged histories, relating them to a Black American experience.

Jefferson Pinder is an interdisciplinary artist based in Chicago, USA. He holds an MFA (Painting and Mixed Media) and a BA (Theatre) from the University of Maryland. His sculpture, videos and performance works have been exhibited and presented widely across the US. Currently he is an Associate Professor at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. 

Artist
Jasmyn Fyffe

Canada

Jasmyn Fyffe is a Toronto-based dancer and choreographer. She is the director of Jasmyn Fyffe Dance since 2008 and has produced shows both independently and in collaboration with other choreographers in Montreal, New York, and Toronto. Past works include Into the Roots…Beyond the Leaves (in collaboration with Vivine Scarlett), Gimme One Riddim (in collaboration with Natasha Powell, presented at the Enwave Theatre as part of NextSteps, Harbourfront Centre) and she is the recipient of a Frankie Award (Montréal, 2013) for outstanding choreography/choreographer for Pulse which was presented at the Wave Rising Series, PULSE Dance Conference, Montreal Fringe Festival and Next Stage Theatre Festival (Toronto).

As an independent dancer, Jasmyn has performed in the touring musical UMOJA and has danced for Grammy Award winning artist Nelly Furtado. She has worked with: Gadfly, Hanna Kiel, Vanessa Jane Kimmons, Red Sky Performance, Artists in Motion, Dance Migration, K‚Äôaeja d‚ÄôDance, KasheDance, Linda Garneau and international music sensation Kirk Franklin. Jasmyn has been commissioned by Dance Ontario, Iona Secondary School, City Dance Corps youth company, Earl Haig Secondary School, Ballet Jorgen, Mayfield Secondary School, Martha Hicks School of Ballet, Pivotal Motion Dance Theatre, York Memorial Collegiate Institute, Wish Opera, Dance Ontario, Cawthra Park Secondary School, Cathedral Productions, Obsidian Theatre, Dramatic Change Youth Theatre, Oakwood Collegiate Institute and Copper Coin Arts Association. 

Artist
Danièle Dennis

Canada
www.danieledennis.com

Dani√®le Dennis’ experiences as an African-Canadian woman inform her practice and prompt her investigation of racial, cultural and identity issues primarily through performance, material exploration and installation. She actively attempts new ways to disrupt and dismantle social norms and constructs, employing repetition and process-based experimentation to the use of everyday and often abject elements such as hair and food. Her work seeks to trigger within the viewer critical thought, self-reflection, and dialogue around uncomfortable yet relevant subject matters.

Dennis obtained her Honours Bachelor of Arts from the University of Toronto Scarborough in 2015, with a Specialist in Studio Art and a minor in Art History. She was born and raised in Montréal and currently works in Toronto. Dennis is also a co-founder of Y+ contemporary in Toronto.

Artist
Ravyn/Jelani Ade-Lam Wngz

Canada

Ravyn/Jelani Ade-Lam Wngz is a graduate of the School Of Toronto Dance Theatre and Ballet Creole Professional Training Program. He has received two full scholarships to the American Ballet Theatre‚Äôs summer intensive and has performed with InDance, Xing Dance Theatre, Earth In Motion, and Ballet Creole. She is a co-founder of ILL NANA/DiverseCity Dance Company‚Äďa queer multiracial dance company that aims to change the landscape of dance and provide accessible affirming dance education to the LGBTTIQQ2S community. They are the creator of (OVA) Outrageous Victorious Africans Collective a Dance/Theatre collective that share the contemporary voices of Black/African and Queer/Self Identified storytellers and strive to honour reveal and share their stories of resilience, Voice, and Pride.

Performance
MONOMYTHS Stage 5

MONOMYTHS is conceived and curated by Shannon Cochrane and Jess Dobkin.
The series is presented by FADO in the context of Progress.

MONOMYTHS invites a diverse collection of artists, scholars, and activists to revise Joseph Campbell‚Äôs conception of the hero‚Äôs journey through performance art, lectures, workshops, and other offerings. This new assemblage of non-linear un-narratives proposes a cultural, political and social feminist re-visioning of the world. The MONOMYTHS perception of the universal journey dispels the notion of the lone patriarchal figure on a conquest to vanquish his demons‚ÄĒboth inner and outer‚ÄĒin consideration of community, collectivity, and collaboration.

MONOMYTHS Stage 5: Belly of the Whale
Thoroughbred by Jefferson Pinder
Performed with Ravyn/Jelani Ade-Lam Wngz, Danièle Dennis, Jasmyn Fyffe, Chy Ryan Spain

In¬†Jefferson Pinder‚Äôs¬†Thoroughbred, four performers work themselves to exhaustion running on treadmills that are remote controlled by the artist who sits at a single controller. Pinder¬†‚Äúskillfully exhumes a corpse of black captivity and subjugation of black bodies in America that started four hundred years ago and brings it into the foreground into our present day experience.‚ÄĚ (Fo Wilson,¬†The Evidence of Things Not Seen)

American artist Jefferson Pinder works in video, installation, and performance. His work explores the tangle of representations and misrepresentations, visual tropes, and myths‚ÄĒoften referencing historical events and invoking cultural symbolism. His work portrays the black body both frenetically and through drudgery in order to convey relevant cultural experiences.¬†

SummerWorks, in partnership with¬†The Theatre Centre¬†and a roster of Toronto theatre and performance organizations/presenters and companies including¬†Aluna Theatre,¬†Dancemakers, FADO Performance Art Centre,¬†Summerworks,¬†The Theatre Centre¬†and¬†Volcano Theatre¬†brings the world to Toronto with¬†Progress, an international festival of performance and ideas¬†from January 14‚ÄďFebruary 7, 2016.

Series
MONOMYTHS

Conceived and curated by Jess Dobkin and Shannon Cochrane

MONOMYTHS invites a diverse collection of artists, scholars, and activists to revise Joseph Campbell‚Äôs conception of the hero‚Äôs journey through performance art, lectures, workshops, and other offerings. This new assemblage of non-linear un-narratives proposes a cultural, political and social feminist re-visioning of the world. The MONOMYTHS perception of the universal journey dispels the notion of the lone patriarchal figure on a conquest to vanquish his demons‚Äďboth inner and outer‚Äďin consideration of community, collectivity, and collaboration.

Joseph Campbell‚Äôs influential book, The Hero with a Thousand Faces (1949) prescribes a common pattern to all of the world‚Äôs mythic narratives. According to this fundamental structure, the archetypal hero is challenged to embark on a monumental quest. Over the course of the hero‚Äôs journey, trials and obstacles must be overcome until a victory is won and the hero returns home with new knowledge about himself and the world. Campbell‚Äôs concept of the monomyth (‚Äėone myth‚Äô) is a recognizable motif in both ancient mythology and contemporary culture, including film, music, literature, sports, and advertising. A current trend in popular visual culture replaces the male character with a female one, in spite of the fact that our heroine‚Äďfrom the get-go‚Äďwould make different choices if the conditions, and conditioning, allowed. While each MONOMYTHS stage stands alone, the work of each presenting artist is interdependent and connected. These independent visions, when stitched together through the audience‚Äôs collective presence, form an exquisite corpse of a larger experimental narrative.

The year-long MONOMYTHS project is presented in three sections starting in February 2016 and concluding in February 2017.


Part 1 (February 3‚Äď7, 2016)
Stage 1: The Ordinary World/Call to Adventure
Stage 2: Refusal of the Call
Stage 3: Meeting of the Mentor
Stage 4: Crossing the Threshold
Stage 5: Belly of the Whale

Part 2 (May 2016‚ÄďJanuary 2017)
Stage 6: Tests, Allies, Enemies
Stage 7: Ordeals
Stage 8: Atonement with the Father/State
Stage 9: Apotheosis/Journey to the Inmost Cave

Part 3 (February 15‚Äď19, 2017)
Stage 10: The Road Back
Stage 11: Refusal of the Return
Stage 12: Mistress of Two Worlds
Stage 13: Freedom to Live
Stage 14: The Return Home

Series Purple

An ode to FADO's history, Series Purple is composed of a collection of purple fragrance materials dating back to the Roman Empire. Dense, intense, and meandering, this fragrance tells us non-linear stories.

Top Notes

huckleberry, violet

Middle Notes

cassis, lilac, heliotrope

Base Notes

orris root, purple sage, labdanum