Education and Classes, GBD Alumni

Message from George Brown Dance Associate Director, Derek Sangster

July 9, 2021

“Our community remains strong and I am reminded of this daily.”

As we approach the Intersession of this term, I would like to begin by thanking everyone for their tremendous support. Thank you for your optimism, your consideration, your encouragement as well as celebrating all of our successes! Our community remains strong and I am reminded of this daily.

There is no doubt that the past 15 months represent a profound turning point in our society. We’re continuing to respond and evolve with our world. In front of us lies the opportunity to reimagine creative fields, how we educate creators of tomorrow, and where we can break barriers and remove silos.  I believe the moment and need for artists and creatives has never been greater. 

The relevance of our work has not only been demonstrated through the resiliency of our students, faculty and staff but through collective dedication, passion and perseverance of all those involved. In the early Spring we successfully created two wonderful, innovative works for GBD Ensemble. For the first time, we premiered new works using YouTube Live platform, followed by a collective Zoom meet and greet. A big thank you to alumni creators Alexandra Woodley and Maddie Martin, as well as our Marketing Department for their commitment in bringing this event to fruition.

Later in the spring, we created the opportunity to commission a remount of a dance for film with our Commercial Dance Program. The project was an opportunity for the students to get real, hands-on experience, just like they would encounter in the industry. A film project such as this has not been a part of the GBD curriculum but is certainly an important experience as the dance industry adapts to changing times. Film helps us move forward and reach broader audiences. Students rehearsed with Choreographer and GBD Alumni Lindsay Aquin over four days to learn and perfect the choreography, and then worked with George Brown College’s video team to bring the project to life.

George Brown Dance ballet Jörgen
P106 dancers in rehearsal with GBD Alumni, Guest Choreographer, and Instructor, Lindsay Aquin. 

Presently we are successfully completing our term and are deep into rehearsals for UNLEASHED 2021. Though it may look different than the past, the creative process, involvement, passion and creativity continue to be paramount. It is this culmination of work, passion and trust that make UNLEASHED a GBD annual favourite. With this years’ choreographers – Alyssa Martin, Jennifer Robichaud, Lindsay Aquin, along with a work created by the collaboration of the graduating class with myself, UNLEASHED will be filmed at the end of term. I look forward to sharing with you the performance viewing dates!  

Yours in dance,

Derek Sangster, Associate Director