When the first Porch View Dances took place in 2012, it was so innovative, that the Canadian Dance Assembly bestowed the prestigious “I love dance/J’aime la danse” Community Award on the project.
The format is simple. Well-known choreographers are matched with four volunteer families who are not dancers. The works that are created reflect the lives of the volunteers who perform on their front porch, often spilling over to the front lawn.
The audience is led from house to house by a guide who gives both a real and fictional history of Toronto’s Seaton Village where Porch View Dances takes place.
The grand finale in Vermont Square Park has Karen Kaeja engaging the audience in a mass dance celebration called Flock Landing. Kaeja first got the idea for Porch View Dances when she looked out the window of her Seaton Village home.
Says Kaeja: “I wondered what goes on in the house across the street. This led to the concept of bringing the residents’ stories out to the front porch. The front door becomes a portal through which real people, in real time, in real spaces flow to the outside.”