Since October 2020, Canada's National Ballet School has hosted more than 40 speakers as part of the School's Spark Talks speaker series. Through this student-led initiative, NBS Professional Ballet-Academic Program students hold 20-minute virtual lunchtime conversations with leading professional artists working in the full spectrum of the dance sector and NBS Alumni immersed in a wide variety of professions. Their peers are the primary audience. Spark Talks explore a depth of topics with a focus on equity and inclusion, both in the dance world and in our communities as a whole.
Though many of our students and staff have been able to experience these talks, we are excited to begin sharing highlights from them with our wider community!
This Spark Talks Spotlight features Syreeta Hector, a professional dancer, choreographer and dance educator. Her most recent and critically acclaimed work "Black Ballerina" is a reflection of Syreeta's Black and Indigenous background in the ballet world. In this Spark Talks Spotlight excerpt, Syreeta speaks about her personal challenges on being seen as an individual rather than the stereotypes reflected by her skin tone.
Learn more about Syreeta Hector by visiting: www.syreetahector.com
Follow Syreeta: @syreets
This Spark Talks Spotlight features David Norsworthy, dance artist, choreographer and arts educator. David is Co-Director of Toes for Dance and Founder of Fresh Dance Intensive. David has also presented multiple choreographic works in places such as Toronto, New York and Stockholm. In this Spark Talks Spotlight excerpt, David explains the unique elements he brings to his classes and how he challenges his students to explore not only new movement but themselves.
Learn more about David Norsworthy by visiting: www.davidnorsworthy.com
Follow David: @david.norsworthy
This Spark Talks Spotlight features David Leventhal—Founding Teacher and Program Director of Dance for PD®, a program of the Mark Morris Dance Group. In his talk, David shares his experience as a dancer and as an educator working with people living with Parkinson’s Disease. The award-winning Dance for PD® program, founded in 2001, offers specialized dance classes to people with Parkinson’s, their families, friends and care partners. Learn more about Dance for PD® at www.danceforparkinsons.org
NBS is proud to have worked with David, the Mark Morris Dance Group, and Dance for PD® to develop our Sharing Dance Parkinson’s Program. Learn more at www.nbs-enb.ca/sharingdanceparkinsons
Our first Spark Talks Spotlight feature is Esie Mensah. Esie is a dance artist, choreographer, teacher, and NBS' Artistic Equity, Diversity and Inclusion Consultant. In this Spark Talks excerpt, Esie speaks about her experience in the dance industry, and her work Shades, which explores the roots, realities and effects of shadeism.
To learn more about Esie’s work, including Shades, visit: www.esiemensah.com
Follow Esie: @esiemensah