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Zachary Cardwell is a passionate dance teacher, choreographer, and dancer interested in cultivating connections within ourselves and between one other.
A graduate of the Arts Umbrella Post-Secondary Dance Program, under the direction of Artemis Gordon, Zachary has had the pleasure of performing works by choreographers such as Crystal Pite, Marie Chouinard, Jiri Kylian, Mats Ek, Sharon Eyal, James Kudelka, and Aszure Barton, among others. During his tenure with the Arts Umbrella Dance Company, Zachary toured Holland performing in the ITS Dance Festival and Netherlands Dans Theatre’s Shortcuts XL.
In Toronto, Zachary has had the privilege to dance with Toronto Dance Theatre, Zata Omm Dance Projects, Dusk Dances, Little Pear Garden Dance Company, hART dance, Jane Alison McKinney, ACE dance theatre, and Cadence Ballet.
Zachary curated and presented ‘In Response: An Evening of Music and Dance I and II’ in 2019 and 2020. In Response is an evening for artist and audience to practice collective listening and openness. In 2017, Zachary developed Bodies in Space, Bodies in Contact (BISBIC). Focusing on refining sensitivity in three facets– within a dancers’ own body, between bodies in contact, and bodies in space– in order to explore new coordinations. BISBIC continues to be a source of artistic inspiration and is taught to professional dancers to develop partnering skills.
Zachary Cardwell is a Progressing Ballet Technique (PBT) certified teacher versed in ballet, modern, contemporary, partnering, and improvisation and has taught at Canada’s National Ballet School, Etobicoke School of the Arts and lead repertoire for the Arts Umbrella International Audition Tour.
Cheryl Chan is a graduate of the George Brown Dance Performance Studies Program and has studied a year at The School of Toronto Dance Theatre. She has performed for Debra Brown, McArthur Park Suite: Disco Ballet, Company B, Improptu Movement, Kashe Dance, and the Parahumans.
Agnes found her passion in dance at the age of 4, training in Classical Chinese Dance, Chinese Ethnic Dance, and Ballet. She has taught kids of all ages and is always finding different ways to teach each learner best. Agnes has performed many events for large organizations during Chinese New Year, Mid-Autumn festival, Canada day, etc. She hopes to spread the beautiful culture and history of Chinese dance to the younger generations. Agnes has completed the entire student examination syllabus for Chinese dance by the Beijing Dance Academy and is a Certified Beijing Dance Academy syllabus teacher.
Emilio Colalillo is a dancer and a choreographer. A graudate of Ryerson University receiving his Bachelor of Fine Arts in Dance, he is the Artistic Director and choreographer of EMIMOTION. He has toured the world from the Middle East to Asia to Europe and all over North America. Colalillo performed for the Pam Am Games, Miss Universe Canada, and Canadian Opera Company. Visit www.emimotion.org.
Sarah Di Iorio
Sarah Di Iorio (she/her) is a dancer and choreographer. She received her Bachelor of Fine Arts Degree in 2018 from Toronto Metropolitan University, graduating with distinction. During her final year in school, Sarah was selected to create two full length works that premiered in the University’s first ever Springworks show. She was also the recipient of the Nadia Potts Heart and Soul Scholarship Award, an award given to a student who has shown genuine passion, drive, and leadership in the arts. Since graduating, Sarah has danced with Red Sky Performance in their Dora-Award winning work; Trace, and has had the privilege of
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Originally from Aurora, Ontario and raised in the hip hop / street dance culture of Toronto, Sebastian “Bash” Hirtenstein began dancing at the late age of twelve. A graduate of the School of Toronto Dance Theatre, he has performed with several companies throughout Ontario & Quebec, as well as the Middle East.
Candace Kumar started dancing at the age of 7 in ballet, jazz, tap and Filipino folk dance. She’s performed for Cirque Du Soleil, Nuit Blanche and worked with choreographers such as Emily Cheung, Brandy Leary and Luther Brown. Currently she is a freelance dancer and student at the University of Toronto.
A graduate from the Shandong University of Arts in China, Lu majored in Dance Choreography and specialized in Chinese Classical Dance, Chinese Folk Dance, and Contemporary Dance.
During her time at the Shandong University of Arts, Lu was a performer at the opening and closing ceremonies of the 2012 The 3rd Asian Beach Games in Haiyang, China. Her passion for dance and choreography has earned her numerous accolades and awards both the provincial and national level in China. Aside from performing herself, Lu always enjoys teaching the fine art she loves to others and has been involved in dance instruction in one form or another for the past 8 years. Currently, she resides in Toronto and is a dance instructor at Manling Dance & Art Studio.
Alena Loboda found herself enchanted with classical ballet when the art form challenged her to explore the beauty in every emotion, both positive and negative. This lead to her experimentation with choreography as well as a furthering of her education in the Vaganova method abroad at the Perm State Choreographic College (Perm’, Russia), the Kiev State Ballet School (Kiev, Ukraine), and Koltun Ballet Boston (Boston, USA).
Alena has danced for Columbia Classical Ballet, (Columbia, SC), Coastal City Ballet (Vancouver, BC) and continues to freelance in Toronto, including appearances with Kulkat Dance Entertainment, Medusa Entertainment and of course, Little Pear Garden Dance Company. Alena has performed for LPGDC since 2013.
Currently, in addition to performing, Alena is working towards a Specialist degree in Arts Management at the University of Toronto, and developing her repertoire as a choreographer. Her choreography and performance was recognized with the Audience Choice Award at the Lights Dance Festival 2018.
Koren began her training at the age of 11 as a martial artist. At 18, she was introduced to Chinese dance as part of her cross-training in competitive martial arts. Discovering her love for dance, Koren went on to train in ballet, jazz and contemporary dance. She debuted with Little Pear Garden Dance Company in 2018. Koren is currently a medical student at the University of Toronto and hopes to combine her passion for both medicine and dance in a career as a sports medicine physician with a focus on serving the needs of dancers in Canada.
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Associate Artistic Director
Jiapei Ma finished her bachelor degree of dancing and got certificate of teaching in Guangzhou South China Normal University, where she studied Chinese classical dance, folk dance and contemporary dance. Her choreography was awarded excellence in Hong Kong’s competition, and was showcased in Beijing’s dance festival. Currently, she is a dance instructor with rich experiences on teaching and dance performances.
Falciony Patino was born in Funza, Colombia. He began his training in Colombian folk dance at the age of seven with the group Zaquesazipa, in Funza. After finishing high school, Patino got into the Superior Academy of Arts of Bogota (ASAB) to study contemporary dance. During his time at ASAB, he was part of the folk group Orkeseos. In 2009 he moved to Toronto, to join Ballet Creole, as a student and a company member. In 2015 Alejandro Ronceria invite him to be part of a show Amalgama in the pan american games, in 2016 he danced for Kaha:Wi Dance Theatre as a part of a the honoring and from 2017 he has been doing Mistatim an unforgettable story of reconciliation for children; the creation of Red Sky Performance . In the spring of 2012 Patino created Cabildo, a group that explores a contemporary approach to Colombian folk dance. Since he was very young he has been experimenting with different dance styles from folk dance, ballet and contemporary to afro, urban dance, capoeira and parkour. Dance is what drives Patino out of the ordinary.
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Associate Artistic Director
Yi Yuan is one of the soloists of Little Pear Garden Dance Company and holds the role of Assistant Production Coordinator. She had begun her Chinese dance training from a young age at the Beijing International Arts School, specializing in both classical and contemporary Chinese dance styles. Yi is a professional performer and experienced dance educator with a BFA at York University, where she is completing her MA in Dance. Her enthusiasm and motivation in Chinese dance have informed her research interests, focusing on the transmission and the evolvement of Chinese dance in Canada.
Ugai Yui was born in Hiroshima, Japan. She majored in drama at high school and then in dance and music at Kobe University. She performed in Toru Shimazaki’s contemporary dance works, Patch Work, Here We Are, and Run. Yui obtained professional ballet training at the Royal Academy of Dance (RAD) under the tutelage of Owen Montague and Joannes H. Nuyts, and she was awarded a prize for excellence in dance by the magazine Dance Dance Dance (DDD) in 2008. Yui holds BFA, Dance from York University in Toronto and Kobe College in Japan. She had performed at Nuit Blanche, Fringe Festival, WE DAY, Dance Ontario Dnace Weekend and Dance Matters a s a dancer. Yui has her career as an actress began with the film “Summer Days,” directed by Nobuhiko Obayashi, and she worked with the Hollywood casting director Yoko Narahashi. Yui was a heroine for the short film “Raptura” premiered in imagineNATIVE Film+Media Arts Festival at TIFF and ReelWorld Film Festival. In Japan, she produced the dance event, “Dance Kotoen: One Coin One Hour Theater” sponsored by Nishinomiya City to support youth dance artists and community since 2011.
Canadian dance artist and performer Brendan Wyatt was born in rural Saskatchewan. He started dancing at the age of four and later spent nine years training at Canada’s Royal Winnipeg Ballet School and The School of Toronto Dance Theatre. One of the country’s most sought after independent artists Wyatt has performed in a multitude of professional works by several companies and choreographers nationally and internationally. Wyatt has been a core member of several Toronto based companies including The Chimera Project, ProArte Danza, Dreamwalker Dance, Bouchardanse and blackandblue dance projects. In 2008 he was a founding member of The Dietrich Group with Director/Choreographer DA Hoskins and dance artist Danielle Baskerville. In 2010 he was the recipient of a Dora Mavor Moore Award for his performance in this time an aldheid production by Heidi Strauss. In 2011 Wyatt was nominated for outstanding choreography with Andrea Nann for their full length evening Beside Each Other.
Yuliya started dance training from early childhood in Shanghai, China. She got Chinese folk dance training in China Welfare Institute Children’s Palace, and later was select into Oriental Little Companions Collective. During her dance journey with the little Companions, she continued enhanced her Chinese folk dance technique, as well as exposed to jazz and ballet. She performed in many large shows, and these abundant dance experience gave her a solid dance foundation. After she moved to Canada, she was inspired by the culture here, and desired to learn different dance styles. Therefore, she spent several years in street jazz and hip pop dance training in Toronto. Now she is a street jazz dance instructor at Dantitude Dance Studio. She has performed on Canada National TV’s New Year’s Gala at Sony Center, and has been invited as a guest performer in many big events.
Xinmei Zou received her MFA through researching performing arts at The Beijing Dance Academy. She was a dancer at the China National Opera And Dance Drama Theater. She has performed in more than 120 dance dramas, 30 operas, and over 10 major productions. She studied Chinese Classical Dance at The Beijing Dance Academy and was awarded the 2015 Excellent Graduate. Xinmei was crowned as the ATV Miss Asia Pageant mainland China in 2015.