On Saturday, September 26, 2015 over 300 people participated in a multi-media and multi-disciplinary experience to celebrate the completion of River Run’s 3-year artist in residence program. Led by celebrated Toronto-based dance artist Andrea Nann, artistic director of Dreamwalker Dance Company, Guelph artists Ishra Blanco, Jenn E Norton, Megan O-Donnell, Claire Tacon, Amadeo Ventura and Bry Webb worked together over three years to develop a collaborative and multi-disciplinary creation practice. Andrea specializes in facilitating movement-based creative strategies to cultivate a group-based artistic practice. The Guelph Shebang model, developed by Nann, focuses on a collaborative approach to creative practice.
River Run is grateful for the support of it residency program partners: Ed Video Media Arts Centre, Eden Mills Writers’ Festival, Guelph Dance, Guelph Jazz Festival and Hillside Festival.
The program is funded in part by Ontario Arts Council through its ONTARIO DANCES program, which supports initiatives to enhance appreciation of dance in local communities.
Artistic Director and dancer: Andrea Nann is a Toronto-based contemporary dance artist and artistic director of Dreamwalker Dance Company. She is a graduate of York University’s Fine Arts Program and is currently a Resident Artist at Soulpepper Theatre (Toronto), Artist in Residence at River Run Centre (Guelph) and visiting Artist at The Grand Theatre (Kingston) and Brock Centre for the Arts (St. Catharines).
As an educator, producer and artistic director of The Whole Shebang, a multi-arts performance platform, Andrea has developed a unique collaborative interdisciplinary community engagement process, the Shebang Process, that is being shared with artists across Southern Ontario. Andrea has created over 20 works for the stage, film and various outdoor sites. As an interpreter, Andrea was a member of Danny Grossman Dance Company from 1988-2003 where she created, performed and taught major roles from the works of Mr. Grossman and guest choreographers. Andrea is currently a member of Peggy Baker Dance Projects, a guest artist with Astrid Dance, Volcano Theatre and Modern Times Stage Company.
Dancer: Ishra Blanco (Guelph) is a performer and instructor who began belly dance training in 1994. She has performed with dance companies across Canada, including the internationally acclaimed Arabesque Dance Company and with musical groups such as, Kitchener-Waterloo Symphony Orchestra and Guelph Jazz Festival. She is artistic director of Invoketress Dance, a company that celebrates individual diversity and beauty in all ages and body types.
Dancer: Megan O’Donnell (Guelph) discovered modern dance at age 15, after six years of ballet training in New Jersey. After graduating from Ryerson University dance program she moved to New York City to pursue a career in performing arts. While there she had the pleasure of working with Chen Dance Center and pushing:progress. Since her return to Guelph she has worked with Dancetheatre David Earle, IMAGEO art works, and Project:Humanity.
Musician: Bry Webb (Guelph) is best known as the lead singer and guitarist (until 2010) of one of Canada’s best rock and roll bands, The Constantines. Presently, Bry is the Program Co-ordinator at CFRU 93.3 fm and hosts the weekly experimental song/sound collage radio program Messenger Bird. He released his first solo album, Provider, in 2011 and describes the album as eerie, minimal, and organic. Bry was also a featured songwriter on The National Parks 100th anniversary film project. His second album, Free Will, was released in April 2014
Musician: Amadeo Ventura (Guelph) is a pianist and percussionist known for his rhythmic drive. His musical career spans over 18 years as a leader of innovative Latin-fusion bands and community development collaborator. Amadeo believes in using music as a catalyst for breaking down of barriers and stereotypes. He is currently the leader of Rebel Rhythm and member of Guelph’s Mr. Danger. Both bands thrive on genre-defying innovation, in the recording studio and on stage. As the founder of Firegrooves Productions, Amadeo works with artists of various genres that include rap, world music and jazz.
Writer: Claire Tacon (Guelph) is the winner of the 2010 Metcalf-Rooke award for her first novel, In the Field. Her work appears in the 2012 editions of coming Attractions and Best Canadian Short Stories, both published by Oberon Press. Her fiction has been short-listed for the Bronwen Wallace Award and the CBC Literary Awards. Claire has an MFA in Creative Writing from the University of British Columbia, is a past fiction editor of PRISM International and lectures at St. Jerome’s University.
Media Artist: Jenn E Norton (Guelph) works with interdisciplinary media including video, installation, sound and kinetic sculpture to produce performative, critically engaged work. Her award-winning works have been shown nationally and internationally, including the Art Gallery of Ontario, International Film Festival Rotterdam, Rooftop Films Summer Series in Brooklyn, NY, and The Canadian Film Centre’s World Wide Short Film Festival in Toronto. Jenn Norton will be exhibiting new work commissioned by Musagetes in public spaces in Guelph, and at the Women’s Art Resource Centre in Toronto curated by The Toronto Animated Image Society.