Toronto, August 22, 2023 - Shaoren Gou, International Arts News--The enchanting artistry of Awaken Dance has once again graced the streets of Toronto, captivating audiences with mesmerizing performances that blend divine inspiration with graceful movement. From August 4th to 12th, the dance collective embarked on a journey to awaken souls and spread a message of love, performing at various street corners and public spaces in Hamilton, Mississauga, and Toronto.
Founded in 2022, Awaken Dance is a group of friends who share a common vision for ballet dance, inspired by a profound connection to divine love and a higher calling. With a mission to awaken the masses through their art, they dance with purpose, aiming to serve and engage with people on a heartfelt level.
In this year's series of performances, the troupe showcased their unique blend of contemporary and classical dance styles, against the backdrop of the scorching August heat. As the sun bore down on Toronto's streets, the dancers' movements flowed like a cool breeze, touching the hearts of passersby and bringing a sense of peace and comfort to the bustling city.
Despite their demanding full-time jobs, all six members of Awaken Dance dedicated nearly two weeks of their time to bring their art to the streets. They performed a mixture of group pieces and solo performances, each intricately woven with the theme of awakening and renewal. During breaks, they engaged in meaningful interactions with the audience, offering prayers and connecting with individuals on a personal level.
At the heart of their performances is the music of American contemporary Christian musician Misty Edwards. The carefully chosen pieces, such as "Womb of the Morning," "As in the Days of Noah," "Break the Chains," and "People Get Ready," resonate deeply with the overarching message of love and spiritual awakening that Awaken Dance seeks to convey.
The synopsis of their production draws parallels between the biblical story of Noah and the present day, urging people to awaken from the distractions of modern life and seek forgiveness and redemption through Jesus Christ. Their performances aim to inspire audiences to turn away from sin and embrace a life filled with love and freedom.
Elyssa Currey, a standout member of the dance collective, is a Canadian ballet dancer with a rich artistic background. Her journey into ballet began under the tutelage of her elder sister, a professional ballet dancer and instructor. Elyssa's dedication to ballet training is unwavering, with three hours of practice daily. Her extensive training includes the Royal Academy of Dance (RAD) and American Ballet training, along with participation in various dance organizations. Elyssa's street ballet performances have graced numerous Ontario cities, blending classical ballet with popular film scores to make dance accessible to all.
Carolyn Joy Currey, Elyssa's elder sister, became involved in Awaken Dance due to her shared vision of bringing faith-infused art to unconventional venues. Carolyn believes dance possesses a distinctive ability to convey messages in captivating ways, rekindling engagement and understanding in audiences.
Maggie Shew, based in Ottawa, is a professional dancer affiliated with a contemporary dance company that specializes in family-friendly shows. Despite her extensive experience in theaters and traditional venues, Maggie embraced the challenge of street dancing as a novel and exhilarating opportunity when she received an unexpected invitation from Elyssa.
Lilyana Neposlan, hailing from Windsor, is a dance teacher who joined Awaken Dance through a connection with Anna Thomson. While she had limited experience in street performing, Lilyana saw this project as a unique opportunity to make a profound impact through dance, collaborating with admired artists and stepping into uncharted territory.
Anna Thomson, a resident of Windsor and a teacher at a Christian dance school, began her dance journey early in life and rekindled it after a pause. Awaken Dance provided her with the perfect opportunity to weave her faith into her passion for dance, turning personal pursuit into a powerful message.
Tabithah Thomson, the youngest member of the team at just 20 years old, started dancing at an early age, introduced to ballet by Carolyn Joy Currey. Tabithah had sporadic involvement with dance, including tours with Carolyn's company. Initially hesitant about participating in the project due to work in 2022, she felt a calling to push her boundaries and ultimately decided to embrace the challenge this year. Despite her limited time and training in styles outside ballet, she took on the learning curve with determination.
As Awaken Dance continues to captivate audiences across Ontario and beyond in the future, their unique blend of dance, music, and faith offers a fresh perspective on the power of artistic expression to inspire change and ignite transformation in the hearts of those who witness their performances. For those seeking a refreshing and meaningful experience, the dance collective invites everyone to join them on their journey of awakening, one graceful step at a time.
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