“A Day in the Life” with Toronto Dancer Siphe November

It is unsurprising to me that the story of my brother, Siphe November, was inspiring enough to be made into a documentary. From growing up in small town Zolani, South Africa to being sponsored by my family to study ballet in Toronto, his story has been said to be a ‘Billy Elliott tale with a South African twist.’ (Toronto Star).

Siphe arrived in Canada in July of 2010. With imperfect English, the fear of never having travelled and the loneliness of being away from his family for the first time, it was not the easiest transition. But Siphe, like everything else he does, took that challenge and adapted in the most remarkable way possible.

The strength, courage and passion he demonstrated as a young boy continues to serve him well as a Second Soloist in the National Ballet of Canada. But above all that talent, Siphe is a genuine human being. He has the ability to bring large audiences to their feet in standing ovations and bring warmth, laughter and joy to intimate gatherings of family and friends. He brightens everything he touches, and anyone who knows him is beyond grateful for that privilege. Although his early childhood story is what he is known for now, Beyond Moving helps to convey that it’s really the bright future ahead of him that proves this is just the beginning of his success.

By Ella Mathison (Siphe’s Canadian sister)

Favourite spot in the whole city Polson pier
Favourite spot in the whole city Polson pier
Coffee every morning is a must
Coffee every morning is a must
Reading through cocktail books. New hobby of making cocktails
Reading through cocktail books. New hobby of making cocktails
Siphe November - Taking ballet class at home
Siphe November – Taking ballet class at home
Siphe November - My mother and crystal pite after the world premier of “Angels’ Atlas”
Siphe November – My mother and crystal pite after the world premier of “Angels’ Atlas”
Siphe November - Filming Beyond Moving in South Africa with Director Vikram Dasgupta
Siphe November – Filming Beyond Moving in South Africa with Director Vikram Dasgupta
Siphe November - Winning the Erik bruhn prize
Siphe November – Winning the Erik bruhn prize
Mid Performance at the four seasons centre
Mid Performance at the Four Seasons Centre
lunch with my ballet teacher Sergiu Stefanschi and friend Ryan Tomash
Lunch with my ballet teacher Sergiu Stefanschi and friend Ryan Tomash

What hood are you in?

I live in Seaton village.

What do you do?

I’m a dancer.

What are you currently working on?

Since quarantine I have been at home giving my body a much needed break after the stress and work of the season which was unfortunately cut short due to coronavirus.

Where can we find your work?

I’m a dancer with the National Ballet of Canada, and perform with them at the Four Seasons Centre for the Performing Arts. I am a subject of a new documentary “Beyond Moving”, directed by Vikram Dasgupta, currently available to view from Hot Docs Cinema website. Also I post a lot of my dance content on my Instagram @deshgrey.

 

 

Joel Levy
About Joel Levy 1943 Articles
Editor-In-Chief at Toronto Guardian. Photographer and Writer for Toronto Guardian and Joel Levy Photography