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Ignite! Toronto

  • Canadian Contemporary Dance Theatre 509 Parliament Street Toronto, ON, M4X 1P3 Canada (map)
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Ignite!  is an auditioned one-week summer dance program in Toronto that will take you on a journey to expand your creative consciousness.

We're excited to announce that the program has been totally reimagined for 2018!  Through classes, movement labs, choreographic collaborations, and field trips (to art galleries, performances, open rehearsals, and more), this program will open your eyes and open doors to a professional career in contemporary dance!

Now in its sixth year, Ignite!  is a collaboration between Toronto’s acclaimed school and company, Canadian Contemporary Dance Theatre and TOES FOR DANCE.



The Ignite approach is highly collaborative. It is acknowledged that each participant brings a unique and valuable set of experiences and skills to the program. Our intent is to work together to create a safe and brave space, within which each participant feels excited to contribute their inherent creativity to our shared experience.

This year, ALL participants are vision-keepers; simultaneously dancers, choreographers and leaders. We will work together to break down the traditional roles of “teacher” and “choreographer” by questioning the conventional hierarchies. Our interest is in creating an experience that allows participants to bring their personal questions and inspirations into the room as a starting point for dance-making. The TOES FOR DANCE team will offer tools, guidance and protected time throughout the process but it is the participant's responsibility to devise and self-direct.

With an emphasis on process, not product, we will insist that we do not know what we will discover before we begin. It’s about taking risk and giving ourselves the opportunity to venture into new territory, not relying on what we know will be “good” or “impressive”. This is an exploration.



  • Classes: Each day of the Ignite program will begin with a warm-up movement class led by either Kristen Carcone or David Norsworthy. The 2-hour classes will be technique-based with elements of improvisation. Our intent for these classes is to activate the body and mind; providing a foundation of focus, presence, physical readiness, and enthusiasm.

  • Research Labs: Taking place on Monday, Wednesday and Friday of the program week, these 2-hour sessions will introduce and explore the contemporary movement and/or creative process ideas of our guest artists. Participants will have the opportunity to dive into a specific physicality and/or way-of-working, for the purpose of gathering new inspiration and different perspectives.

  • Field Trips: Each night of the program after 7 pm between Monday and Friday, we will embark on an art-seeking journey in the City of Toronto. Excursions will include but are not limited to performances, open rehearsals, film screenings and art galleries. Participants will immerse themselves in artistic experiences and then we will unpack and explore the ideas that surface through personal reflection, writing, and discussion. These ideas will serve as the inspiration for the Choreographic Collaborations.

  • Choreographic Challenge: Throughout Ignite, participants will apply their learning through three emergent creative projects based on generative “challenges” or assignments; using dance as a starting point but also potentially expanding into the realms of other artistic disciplines. Each project will use inspiration from other aspects of the program; dealing with themes/ideas/ways-of-working that emerge from Classes, Research Labs, and Field Trips.

  • Open Studio Night: The culminating event of Ignite will be an informal “happening” that will exhibit the creative artifacts of the week. This could take the form of a studio showing, an immersive and/or site-specific event or a gallery night — or some combination of these three ways of sharing that will be determined by the participants in collaboration with the Program Directors.



Stream One: High School Artists

  • ages 15+
  • minimum 3 years of dance experience

  • curiosity and eagerness to learn

Stream Two: Emerging Professional Artists

  • completed at least one year of post-secondary dance training
  • minimum 3 years of dance experience

  • curiosity and eagerness to learn


Extended Deadline: Friday, June 15th, 2018 at 11:59pm EST

Fee: $30 including HST, payable to ‘CCDT’

Requirements: Max. 1-minute video of improvisation uploaded to YouTube or Vimeo. We do not accept video files sent through email, DropBox or Google Drive.

Submit: Click here to submit your application!

Please note: There is no live audition for Ignite! this year.


Please send $30 CAD video audition fee:

  • Via Interac E-Transfer to . Please remember to send the password in a separate email to!

  • Via Cheque or Bank Draft made payable to “CCDT” and mailed to Canadian Contemporary Dance Theatre, 509 Parliament Street, Toronto, Ontario, M4X 1P3.

  • Via Credit Card – Visa Only. Please call 416-924-5657 with your Visa card information.  $7.00 surcharge applies.



Stream One: High School Artists

$100 Activity Fee plus $500 Tuition Fee =

$600 CAD plus HST

Stream Two: Emerging Professional Artists

$100 Activity Fee ONLY*, plus HST

*See scholarship info below.


A very limited number of scholarships will be awarded to applicants for Stream One: High School Artists who demonstrate exceptional artistic merit and financial need.

NEW IN 2018-- Stream Two: Emerging Professional Artists is a tuition-free program, fully subsidized by our Scholarship Fund and Canadian Contemporary Dance Theatre. TOES FOR DANCE and Canadian Contemporary Dance Theatre recognize the financial burdens of pursuing a professional career in contemporary dance and offer this development opportunity to a select number of artists who demonstrate extraordinary talent and potential. Stream Two Participants will be required to pay only the $100 Activity Fee and $30 Application Fee, plus arrange their own travel to Toronto and accommodation for the duration of the program. 

Ignite! Scholarships are made possible with the support of our generous donors. Help us inspire the next generation of dance artists by making a contribution to the TOES FOR DANCE Scholarship Fund. Click here for more information!



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DAVID NORSWORTHY (Program Director / Faculty Member), is a Toronto-based internationally acclaimed dance artist who is “an exceptionally lucid performer, technically impressive and articulate with choreographic detail” (Globe and Mail). David has been privileged to perform and tour with companies including Peggy Baker Dance Projects (Toronto), Toronto Dance Theatre (Toronto), Dancenorth (Melbourne), ZviDance (New York), Brian Brooks  (New York), Skånes Dansteater (Malmö) and Magma Dans (Stockholm) among others. He has presented his choreographic work at Wave Rising Series (New York), Our Voices (Stockholm) and the OnSite/InSight Festival (Winston Salem) among other festivals. Recent commissions include Lamondance (Vancouver) and Point Park University (Pittsburgh). A graduate of The Juilliard School (New York), David is the grateful recipient of the Living Arts Centre’s 2016 Ron Lenyk Arts Award and one of three finalists for the Toronto Arts Foundation's 2018 Emerging Artist Award.


KRISTEN CARCONE (Program Director / Faculty Member), is a Toronto-born, internationally acclaimed dancer, choreographer, teacher, and reiki healer. She is a company member of Third Rail Projects (New York), currently performing in their Bessie award-winning production, Then She Fell. Kristen is a guest artist with FROG IN HAND, and has also performed the original works of Jason Parsons and the Kuperman Brothers. She has performed internationally in: The Phish Concert at Madison Square Garden (New York), Tangente’s Danses Buissonnieres (Montreal), The New Prague Dance Festival (Prague) and Art Gallery of Ontario’s MASSIVE PARTY (Toronto). In 2016, Kristen was named one of the 25 Most Influential Young Choreographers to watch by Narcity Toronto. Her choreography can be seen in Cardinal’s Pride music video Masterpiece, and in Supa’Nova, a new play by Maria Ramirez. Thanks to funding from the Toronto Arts Council, and support from lululemon NY, Kristen’s latest work 4-7-8 will premiere in Fall 2018 in Toronto. She graduated from New World School of the Arts in 2011.


NIGEL EDWARDS (Guest Artist) is a young aspiring artist known for breaking the boundaries in dance. He has been dancing professionally for 7 years with the internationally known dance crew The Moon Runners and established contemporary dance company Alias Dance Project. Nigel uses animation, waving, floorwork, threading and miming to make his style come to life and continues to inspire, innovate and create through dance. Nigel is also the founder of Lost is Found which is a platform that curates safe and inclusive spaces for dancers coming from all walks of life. The idea is to use movement and dance to challenge stereotypes and fight discrimination. 


ALVIN COLLANTES (Guest Artist) is a certified Gaga teacher, photographer and dance artist based in Toronto, Canada. He completed the Gaga Teacher’s Training Course in 2017 under the artistic direction of Bosmat Nossan with the generous support from the Ontario Arts Council’s Skills & Careers Development Grant for Artists of Colour and Canada Council for the Arts’ Career Development Grant. During the course, he participated in Gaga intensives and took company classes at Batsheva Dance Company under the artistic mentorship of Ohad Naharin. He holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Management & Organizational Studies specializing in Finance and Administration at Western University. His work has been featured in numerous shows including International Dance Day, Toronto’s Original Choreographer’s Ball, Toronto Fringe Festival and Nuit Blanche. Alvin produces Gaga/People & Gaga/Dancers classes in Ontario and a guest faculty member of Western University, Centennial College, H.B Beal Secondary School and Toes for Dance.


ALYSSA MARTIN (Guest Artist) is a Toronto-based choreographer and performance maker. She is the Artistic Director of Rock Bottom Movement, a dance theatre company she founded in 2012 as a home for her work. Her most recent full-length choreographic works include: “string quartet no. 14 in g major” (DanceWorks CoWorks), “Dolphin” (Dance Ontario and SummerWorks Performance Festival) and “MANICPIXIEDREAMGIRLS” (Dance Ontario, Center for Performance Research and Next Stage Theatre Festival). She has researched in residency with Toronto Dance Theatre, adelheid dance and Ryerson University. She most recently choreographed Tarragon Theatre’s “Girls Like That” under the direction of Esther Jun. Alyssa is a graduate of Ryerson Theatre School where she now works as a guest choreographer and instructor in the theatre department. She is currently in process creating a new work called “fantasylover.” You can visit her work at 



School of Canadian Contemporary Dance Theatre


Telephone: 416.924.5657

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Later Event: August 7
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