LIVE Dance Festival is a brand new festival coming to the Greater Toronto Area next summer, from June 10 to 12, in a beautifully curated outdoor venue equipped for rain or shine. This three-day event will bring together dancers, dance lovers and dance fans for a weekend of fun and learning that will centre community and the sustainability of the dance sector. As founder Brittany Hutton notes, “It’s about education, communication and movement; it’s about meeting, sharing and learning.”
The festival will take place entirely outdoors, with a vibe like a music festival or carnival complete with multiple stages. You’ll find a variety of dance events, art installations, food, live music, professional dance photographers offering on-site sessions and a vendor area where attendees will be able to purchase all sorts of dance-related merchandise from local businesses. The goal is to “create an overwhelming sense of joy and happiness and gratitude for what dance is and what it can be,” says Hutton.
Hutton was inspired to create the festival because of her experiences as a dancer and choreographer. While she has enjoyed some success within the field, including touring to venues around the world, Hutton says, “I didn’t know how to further my career or take myself to the next level.” She hopes the LIVE Dance Festival will help foster the mentoring experiences and connections for others that she feels would have helped her. “I want it to be a starting point for the emergence of new productions.… Together, we can build and understand where the support lies.”
Dancers and dance lovers of all ages will be welcomed with open arms to take workshops, perform and dream about the future of the sector. Classes will be offered for a variety of levels from beginner to professional in over 25 different styles including krump, samba, contemporary, ballet, Broadway jazz, Bollywood, salsa and more.
Between classes, dancers will be able to learn from and participate in panels that will discuss various topics including dance health, the latest trends in the industry and what it means to be a professional.
In addition to performances, studios from across Ontario and beyond can participate in a competition; their dancers will receive the opportunity to earn scholarship money and further learning opportunities. While it will be called a competition, Hutton says, “It’s meant to be a place of support and growth for the art of dance.” Street dancers will have the opportunity to battle in four different genre categories for the chance to take home prize money.
What’s exciting to Hutton about the LIVE Dance Festival is that so many people who are passionate about dance will be gathering in one place. She acknowledges that the pandemic has been difficult for all dance communities and relishes the opportunity to work together to foster the energy and ideas needed for a path forward that will be more supportive of dancers. “It’s about staying inspired.”
Because of the focus on community, Hutton has decided to keep the prices as affordable as possible. All-inclusive tickets for attending the weekend of festivities range from $25.99 to $47.99, and kids five and under can attend for free. If prices are a barrier, she encourages folks to reach out to firstname.lastname@example.org — everyone will be welcomed.
If you’d like to get involved as an artist, panelist or vendor, or would like to submit your studio for the competition portion of the festival, submissions are now open on their website at livedancefestival.com. The deadline for submissions is March 31, 2022.
Follow @livedancefestival on Instagram for all the latest information and programming announcements as they become available.
Tickets are now available at livedancefestival.com
Full festival pass for all 3 days (14+): $47.99 + tax
Full festival pass for all 3 days (6-13): $29.99 + tax
2-day festival pass (14+): $39.99 + tax
2-day festival pass (6-13): $25.99 + tax