UNLEASHED 2018, Choreographer Series: Derek Sangster - Ballet Jörgen

“We were interested in approaching a new work with abandonment and the sheer joy and pleasure of moving. We are searching to find the marriage between sweet sound and rhythmical movement.”

Derek Sangster was appointed Associate Director of George Brown Dance in September 2012 and is one of Canada’s most sought-after dance instructors.
In addition to his current position at George Brown College, he is also a professor in the dance department of the Bachelor of Music Theatre Performance, Sheridan College.
Derek has worked extensively with some of Canada’s leading musical artists as dancer and video choreographer. Derek also has an extensive theatre career which began at the Stratford and Charlottetown Festivals. His choreography credits for the Stratford Festival include both Night For Life, and A Midsummer Night’s Dream. Derek was commissioned for a new work by Canada’s Ballet Jörgen for the company’s 2011 – 2012 Season. His contemporary ballet, Good Mourning, premiered to sold-out houses at Toronto’s Betty Oliphant Theatre in March 2012.
Here’s what he had to say about working with George Brown Dance and his new piece for UNLEASHED 2018, titled 1984.


Can you talk about how George Brown Dance has contributed to your work and experiences as a choreographer/dancer/teacher?

It is always very exciting to work on a new composition with a group who are trusting, eager and open to discovery. The safe environment we have created here at GBD allows for unbridled and uninhibited exploration. Within my work as both choreographer and facilitator in this process, I found myself deeply relying and trusting both the collaborative instincts and perspective of these new emerging artists.

What sets GBD apart from other training institutions?

George Brown Dance holds and builds upon its strength as not only a bonded community but a collective support system for all those involved. We pride ourselves in nurturing strong alliances and relationships not just within our studios, but reaching deep into the arts community.

Why is it significant for students to work with prominent choreographers such as yourself?

Unleashed allows our students the occasion to work with and alongside some of the community’s best creators. This opportunity allows dancers to cultivate not only relationships but work ethic and creative possibilities.

What is your new piece in Unleashed about?

This year the Graduate class work is fun, energetic, rhythmical and devoid of any meaning other than celebration.​


UNLEASHED 2018 is at the Betty Oliphant Theatre, April 13 & 14.
Click here to purchase tickets