Originally from Ottawa, Ontario, Philippe-Alexandre Jacques is a graduate of the Royal Winnipeg Ballet School’s Aspirant Program as well as a past participant of international programs such as Springboard Danse Montréal and the Netherlands Dance Theatre Summer. During his time in the Aspirant Program and after, Philippe had the opportunity to perform in many of the Royal Winnipeg Ballet’s performances, such as Moulin Rouge, Twyla Tharp’s the Princess and the Goblin
, and other classics such as The Nutcracker
. In 2015, Philippe started working as a choreographer and artistic coordinator for the RWB School where he lead projects such as the choreographic competition and incubator, First Steps
, as well as the Winnipeg branch of the national community outreach initiative, Sharing Dance
. As a choreographer for the RWB School, Philippe had the chance to create for various events including the end of year performances Spotlight
and On The Edge
. An independent dance artist who strongly believes in artivism, his latest autonomous projects include choreographing Tejido
about cooperative action, for Horizons,
the 360 film created in celebration of Canada’s 150th, A Day in the Life of a Young Person with Anxiety
, a series of videos on the stigmatization of severe anxiety, in collaboration with Dr Roberta Woodgate of the University of Manitoba, and Text Me,
about the sexual exploitation of children, in collaboration with Beyond Border ECPAT Canada. Jacques also recently danced in choreographer Peter Quanz’ Q Dance
Esie Mensah, choreographer/ dancer/teacher/model is the 2017 100 Black Women to watch in Canada, 2015 recipient of the Cultural Promotion award from the Ghanaian-Canadian Association and the 2014 Black Canadian Award Winner for Best Contemporary Dancer. Esie has worked with some of the industry’s biggest icons such as Rihanna, Drake, French Montana, Janelle Monae, Nelly Furtado, as well as Coca Cola, Luminato, TIFF, Estée Lauder, FIFA, WE DAY and more. Esie was the co-choreographer of the 2015 Pan Am Games “Panamania” en- tertainment. Choreographer of the CHFI commercial “Mornings are a little different” for the Erin and Darren show. Featured dancer in the 2016 FOX TV remake of Rocky Horror Picture Show directed by Kenny Ortega and produced by Lou Adler. Most recently Esie is the choreographer/ dancer for up and coming Pop Soul artist Francesco Yates who opened up for Justin Timber- lake’s Man of the Woods Tour.
Aside from her accolades, Esie is committed to bringing a new fresh genre of dance into the industry. Afrofusion is her own unique style of dance that includes movements from Traditional and Contemporary African, Commercial, Urban and Contemporary styles. Expanding her abilities, Esie also works in theatre and produces her own work. She was the movement director for the Shaw Festival’s 1837: Farmer’s Revolt directed by Philip Akin and Soulpepper’s Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom directed by Mumbi Tindyebwa. She has produced several art pieces; Shades, Zayo and Akoma. Her work has toured to the US and the UK.
Choreographer photos by: Lisa Fleischmann