“A Day in The Life” with Choreographer and Dance Film Director, Allen Kaeja

Allen Kaeja is an award-winning Choreographer (over 200 works) and Dance Film Director (35 films). Allen is Co-Artistic Director of Kaeja d’Dance, with Karen Kaeja, and creator of the innovative Kaeja Elevations partnering method. Internationally recognized, his stage works and films have been presented in festivals globally, and he has been commissioned to create works in Sweden, Norway, UK, India, Mexico, Portugal and the USA. Allen and Karen are trailblazers in community engagement, pairing professional choreographers and laypeople in Porch View Dances (Toronto) and Downtown Dances (Moncton, NB). He has pushed media boundaries, using television, livestreaming and recorded video to forge new performance opportunities for artists. A sought-after teacher, Allen has taught Kaeja Elevations, Contact Dance, and Dance Film to high school and university students across Canada, and has been adjunct faculty at the School of the Toronto Dance Theatre and Toronto Metropolitan University (Ryerson).

Allen is co-founder of the CanAsian Dance Festival, and Fringe Festival of Independent Dance Artists, and is the recipient of the Kathryn Ash Award for Choreography, Fleck Choreography Award, Bonnie Bird Award, a UNESCO citation, and Canada’s Moving Picture Award for best performance. Allen’s work explores themes of Holocaust survival, family trauma, masculinity, and intimacy.

-Written by Dr. Blake Martin

Allen Kaeja
Karen receiving her recent Dora Award for Mentorship with Steven Bush
Allen Kaeja
On a relaxing 63km ride throughout the city
Playing with Augmented Reality technology – Nickeshia Garrick dancing on a flower, Photo by Karen Kaeja
Rehearsals with many of the I am the Child of… cast members_ Ethan Kim, Mio Sakamoto, Nickeshia Garrick, myself, Ge Mello, Karen Kaeja, Aria Evans, and Bruce Barton
Allen Kaeja
Release of In Case of Emergency dance film, Collage by Olya Glotka
Allen Kaeja
Supporting Karen in the Mermaid, a Kaeja Elevation, Photo by Zhenya Cerneacov
Celebration with our family_ Devora, Mika, Lyla, Aniya, Karen, Jean, Tasha, and I
Drawing our child’s birthday card

***

Which ’hood are you in?

Seaton Village (also known as the West Annex)

What do you do?

Co-Artistic Director of Kaeja d’Dance with Karen Kaeja, Choreographer, Film Director, Educator and Performer

What are you currently working on?

I am currently collaborating with Bruce Barton and Vertical City Performance on a new multi-digital experience called, I am the Child of…

I have drawn directly upon the personal writings of the performers, about their experience within the frame of: I am the Child of… We are deeply complex individuals and I encourage the dancers to focus their writing/dancing/interacting that is directly associated with the statement.

I have also integrated Augmented Reality and multiple perspectives as an essential component of the piece, where there is now eight physical and five AR performers: 13 in total. Each interacts with the other and the audience is encouraged to bring their devices (fully charged) to experience the piece in all its intricacies.

Where can we find your work?

Most of my dance films are available on our website.

I have Trailers for most of my stage works on YouTube, some on Vimeo. I have not released many of my stage works on any social media platform, so it’s almost impossible to find, except, during the pandemic, I chose to release Jericho, created in Norway on my Facebook page.

I am the Child of… will be presented on November 11-13 as PART OF TORQUE International Contemporary Dance Series at Harbourfront Centre Theatre. Info can be found online here.

 

 

About Demian Vernieri 338 Articles
Demian is an Argentinian retired musician, avid gamer and editor for the Montréal Guardian, Toronto Guardian, Calgary Guardian and Vancouver Guardian websites.