Bright future of dance
Back for its second year, Dancing in the Park, organized by Toy Guns Dance Theatre, brings dance and community together for a summer afternoon in Downtown Edmonton.
With free admission and a packed schedule of dance and music at Alberta’s Legislature, the event is a must for anyone interested in the art of movement.
“There are so many wonderful events going on that we really wanted to stick to the uniqueness of a dance based or a movement based festival,” says Jake W Hastey, artistic director for Toy Guns Dance Theatre. “We’re a big believer in what we call kinetic narrative art, so within that there’s dance represented in all different genres. So anything that has a connotation to movement and getting the city moving, we’re happy.”
The event begins at noon with a walk around the lower legislature grounds led by a full-on marching band.
After the march, attendees will be free to explore the many unique dance performances, food, and music that are set to take place.
As the performances wrap up for the day, there will be an open dance lesson for those who want to partake, led by Let’s Swing Dance, followed by a dance party with live music to close out the festivities.
“It’s a really lovely kind of bridge for a general audience to come and experience high level dance in an environment they can really get invested in and find some joy,” says Hastey.
The Alberta legislature was the obvious venue choice for the event according to Hastey. “It’s an iconic local building that puts Edmonton and provincial cultures together,” he says. “I think it’s a wonderful meeting ground and it tends to be a hub for a multicultural audience to come together.”
The future looks bright for the event, as Toy Guns has plans to grow the experience.
“We’re looking at expanding it to three days, presenting even more local work as well as bringing in international dance groups in the future,” says Hastey.
Dance is the event’s main focus, however, the organizers are open to adding more dance-based elements and incorporate some variety to go along with the performances.
“I have an interest in film, and I think we’ve started to experiment with dance film,” says Hastey. “There’s many more wonderful dance films being made in Canada right now. We’re definitely looking at different avenues and venues for that to be incorporated.”
Toy Guns has some big upcoming plans outside of Dancing in the Park. Hastey noted that they are launching a professional dance program in September 2017, with auditions taking place throughout the summer by appointment only.
“It will be a post secondary program for professional arts study,” says Hastey. “We’ve been working up to it for the last three years by offering more and more educational programming, and now this is going to be the official launch.”
Sat., July 15 (12 pm)
Dancing in the Park
Alberta Legislature Grounds