THE DANCE TEACHER
AT VANCOUVER FRINGE FESTIVAL 2016
SEPTEMBER 8TH TO 18TH
Justin Belmar, the main character of The Dance Teacher has been convicted of a crime. He is an utterly charming young man who declares his innocence from inside a jail. We follow the story of Justin from his days in university till the moments before his sentencing. But is he guilty?
Guilt or innocence is a verdict decided by the courts. Social media, however, has provided each of us with the information needed to make our own decision. When we hear about an entertainer charged with sexual assault or an athlete is charged with murder, we judge. Regardless of any judicial proceedings we believe we know and we judge guilt or innocence.
The Dance Teacher is the story of a man convicted of a crime yet he pleads for his innocence. Is he guilty or innocent? What’s your opinion.
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Friday September 2, 9:00pm
at The Havana Theatre, 1212 Commercial
Tickets available here:
Fringe Performances are
at Studio 16, 1555 West 7th Ave (6 minutes from Granville Island)
September 8, Thursday (1/2 Price Show)
September 11, Sunday
September 12, Monday
September 14, Wednesday
September 17, Saturday
September 18, Sunday
Review of The Dance Teacher by a dedicated fringer and theatre fan
CiTR radio review of The Dance Teacher
Plank Magazine review of top shows at Vancouver Fringe 2016
The University of British Columbia article on The Dance Teacher
Beat Route Magazines article on The Dance Teacher
Simon Fraser University newspaper article on The Dance Teacher
The Dance Teacher Cast in order of appearance
Tony is an SFU graduate of Communications and Publishing. He resides in Vancouver but was born in Grenoble, France. In addition to English, he is a fluent French speaker.
Tony plays the lead role of Justin in The Dance Teacher at Fringe 2016. Tony, working with the writer, began developing this character in early 2015. Dancers join the mind and body in a way other performances don’t require. This is the same way Tony joins the good and the bad of human nature to create the role of Justin.
Tony is a dancer has performed with the likes of Rihanna and Cheryl Cole, as well as appearing in a long list of Hollywood weekly TV series shot here in Vancouver. He finds time to perform on stage having recently completed a run of The Laramie Project at Studio 1398 on Granville Island. If you’re watching your TV this autumn you’ll catch him as a new series regular on a highly acclaimed TV series being filmed here in the lower mainland.
Tony is excited to be playing Justin. On working on this character he says that, “when any individual is broken, I believe he or she builds himself/herself back up via light and morally accepted values, but in the rare case, one chooses a dark path to claim revenge.” To see this talented actor claim his revenge, come and see The Dance Teacher at the Fringe, 2016.
Yvette is a graduate of UBC, Medicine and Sciences. She is fluent in Cantonese and English and currently lives in Burnaby.
Yvette is excited to be playing police Detective Spinner in the Tomo Suru Production of the The Dance Teacher as part of the Fringe in September.
Her work in this intense thriller makes it easy to understand her success in the local film and TV industry with roles on various television shows including FOX's Gracepoint and BBC America's Intruders.
As well, her short films have screened on television and in film festivals across North America, including at the Vancouver Asian Film Festival, the Route 66 Film Festival, and on Shaw Multicultural Channel.
Yvette is not content with a only successful film career, she is also a family physician and speaks about medical issues on CityTV's Breakfast Television, and has also appeared on CBC, CBC News Now, and The Weather Network as a medical expert. http://yvettelu.com
Sarah Seekamp is a graduate of the Randolph Academy for the performing Arts in Toronto in Musical Theatre. She currently lives in Burnaby, and her hometown was a collection of Canadian Forces Bases throughout Canada.
Sarah is delighted to play Detective Mori in the Tomo Suru Players production of The Dance Teacher at Fringe 2016. The role of Det. Mori is a severe departure from her most recent role in the Fighting Chance Production of Cats where she was recognized as the “sunniest cat across the night.”
Detective Mori uses cunning, and knowledge of the darkness that dwells inside to engage with Justin. Detective Mori explores her own dark side to set a trap for Justin. However, the bait can snare the hunter if she’s not careful. Justin and Det. Mori engage in a frank exchange of right and wrong, truth and lies, all the while moving The Dance Teacher to its exciting climax.
Sarah has performed on stage across Canada as well as in Australia. She is a musical theatre triple threat with the vibrancy of a singing diva, and the subtle shadings of Vermeer on her serious acting roles. In 2017 she will be playing the lead in a Vancouver production of Cabaret.
Amy is a graduate of the Canadian College of Performing Arts, in Victoria. She has made Vancouver home since relocating from the charming town of Pense, Saskatchewan.
Amy plays Gail, a young dance student who dates her classmate, Justin, in The Dance Teacher at Fringe 2016. As
Gail tries to establish a relationship with Justin while they are both pursuing academic studies in dance performance. She recognizes in him a talent and ability which outshines their peers, and yet, he has a habit of being helpful. Helping others ranges from altruistic to self-serving, but his kind of helpful?
Amy is delighted to engage in this role of a strong confident person who forges ahead with success and meets with unspoken obstacles. She is the victim of the horror that exists in someone else’s mind.
Amy recently appeared in the Canadian Premiere of American Refugee where her performance earned well-deserved praise. She is a versatile performer with a strong sense of character, and an ability to convey the subtle nuances of every role she inhabits. She will be starring in Spring Awakening in early 2017 in Vancouver.
Bruce is thrilled to be joining the cast of The Dance Teacher at the Fringe. He loves performing and loves performing with highly motivated people telling a complex and compelling story.
Bruce plays Maurice, a gentle man who is led to act in a way that pushes his ethical boundaries. It is a simple role that is universal in the way we are all tempted by what we desire and fear.
Bruce is known for his many stage productions, his favourites are Mickey Marcus in the Normal heart and Harold Mitchell in Street car named desire. He also has several movie and TV credits to his name. His favourite motto is "Acting is behaving truthfully under imaginary circumstance.” (Sanford Meisner)
David C Jones
David is a graduate of Langara’s Studio 58, as well as an alum of the Vancouver Theatre Sports.
David is the 2015 recipient of the Vancouver Pride Legacy Award for his contribution to the performing arts as a queer artist, as well as a Jessie nominee for promoting diversity and inclusion in the arts in Vancouver. David is well known in the Vancouver area for his comic turns as emcee, performer from the Arts Club to street fairs. He is the consummate lifelong entertainer.
David plays Mr. Taylor, the guy next door who everyone likes but no one really knows. A little older, but still youthful and willing to take on the responsibilities that having foster kids requires. He used to teach more than he does now; there were rumours, something about kids, but it didn’t amount to anything, so it couldn’t have been important. He’s a polite man, a little hard the way teachers can be, but fair and cares for his students. He wants to be loved, but who doesn’t?
David is excited to be part of a show that draws on his ability to create a character deeply flawed and severely disliked by audiences. Playing a dramatic role in such an important piece is an opportunity David relishes and hopes audiences will be captivated by the mystery and intrigue.
Georgia is a graduate of New York University Tisch School of the Arts. She divides her time between Vancouver and Mayne island.
Georgia is excited to be playing the role of Marilyn Kettel in the dance teacher. Marilyn’s husband Matt approaches her with suspicions that their sons are being molested, and Marilyn sturdy hands guide her husband until he acts like a responsible adult and takes appropriate action.
Georgia is deeply engaged in the writing and performing of music and draws from the beauty and soulfulness of this part of the world. She was able to blend her love of music with her rapport with the nature of Mayne Island into her role as line producer on the seminal and critically acclaimed music documentary The Sea In Between with Josh Garrels and Mason Jar Music.
Georgia feels that Marilyn is a woman audiences can identify with as she is not merely a “mom”, but a woman with a lot going on in her life. She needs to fulfill her duties to her children, maintain her relationship with her children, and live a life; she beyond a stereotype, she’s a person dealing with life.
This is Georgia’s second work with Tomo Suru Players, after having played a number of roles in their recent production of The Laramie Project.
Brad is a Montreal native raised in Edmonton who attended the well recognized Grant McEwan musical theatre program. He relocated to Vancouver to pursue a professional career acting in film and TV with his most memorable role being on the hit TV series, Almost Human.
He is excited to be joining the cast of The Dance Teacher as Matt Kettel. Matt is a complex character who recognizes the truth but his inability to address things head on causes serious repercussions.
His love of theatre keeps him involved in the local theatre scene with a recent critically received performance in About Love: A festival of short plays. In addition to singing and dancing Brad weekly shows his nuanced ability at the Instant Theatre improv show Sunday evenings at the storied Havana theatre on Commercial drive.
Graduated from New York Film Academy, Paris FR in Filmmaking
Studied Acting at the William Davis Centre for Actor’s Study, Vancouver BC
Currently at Langara College, Vancouver BC pursuing Fine Arts
Hometown Nelson, BC
Kelly plays Angie, a reporter looking for the story that’ll make her career in The Dance Teacher at the Fringe 2016.
Angie has tried and failed to make a name for herself in the world of journalism. She may finally have her chance if she can convince Justin to share his story of abuse, accusation, and innocence. She has all the hallmarks of someone who should have achieved success. This interview may be her last chance.
Kelly is an inter-disciplinary artist who has made her home in Vancouver after resettling from Nelson, BC. While studying at Langara in pursuit of a Fine Arts degree, she assumed the role of professional mentor and stage manager for street youth engagement project “Death in a Dumpster” in collaboration between Family Services of Greater Vancouver and Access to Music Foundation. She believes theatre goes beyond the stage and reaches into the community.
Her work has focused primarily on voice, movement, video and sound-based practices and is expanding to include print, sculpture and installation into her work. She has performed at such venues as the Vancouver Art Gallery, the Western Front, VIVO Media Arts Centre and Yaletown Roundhouse.
She believes that her role as Angie in The Dance Teacher will help promote discussion of the lifelong damage caused to victims of abuse. That this crime is one of the most underreported makes any work of art that addresses the issue important.
About the crew
Writer and Director
Gerald is the writer & director of The Dance Teacher at the Fringe 2016. A native of Toronto and a former student at UBC Dept. of Psychology, Gerald spent his thirties and forties in Japan teaching Education. He also found time to establish a theatre company in Kobe, and work throughout Asia developing acting techniques for the classroom.
He began writing the Dance Teacher soon after returning to Canada after reading about how celebrity can be used to sway opinion. The idea that someone can be guilty of a crime, yet be found innocent is one that pits the sense of justice against the truth of the justice system.
Working with the cast of The Dance Teacher has been exhilarating as each cast member presents the complex layers of how we as individuals interact with the truth we see in the media, and through social media. In the Dance Teacher, audience members will be treated to a good story, by actors who are entertaining.
Johnny is a Taiwanese-born Canadian raised performer, collaborator, and multidisciplinary artist. He is currently studying Contemporary Theatre and Criminology at Simon Fraser University. Johnny recently began to ventures into the world of directing. He's recent credits include directing Bluebeard's Castle as part of SFU's Directing Projects and assistant artistic directing SFU's Blackbox Theatre 2016. As an artist, Johnny seeks to intersect social discourse and contemporary arts. Johnny hopes to illuminate the invisible. He wants to use art as a platform to start discussions about topics that are seen but not heard.
Matt is born and raised in Vancouver, BC and is going into his fourth year at Simon Fraser University's School of Contemporary Arts in Theatre Performance.
He is the dramaturge for The Dance Teacher; this role requires him to offer and observe as a second pair of eyes, to help elevate the design, performance, or technical elements of the piece in accordance to the theme or vision.
On becoming involved in this play Matt says that he “ was curious about its title and how the title informed the substance of the play.” Earlier this year, Matt dramaturged the short play 'Morning,' directed by Johnny Wu, as a part of the Tomo Suru Players short-play festival, 'All About Love.' There, he caught a glimpse of the advertisement for The Dance Teacher where he saw that this play had “dark” themes and undertones that juxtaposed the title.”
After reading the script for the first time, he said that, “it felt like a film of some sort formed on my skin and I had to wash it off. I was struck by the manipulation of time, and the multi-layered character, Justin. It was exciting to gain insight into the different perspectives of the characters, and what they had to offer to the development of the story.”
He is thrilled to soon see this play performed in front of an audience, and hopes it will provoke a thoughtful reaction and discourse amongst those who'll witness it.
Nick is delighted to be part of The Dance Teacher. A native of Fort McMurray, AB, Nick cut his teeth on the boards at Keyano College Theatre before moving to Victoria to attend the Canadian College of Performing Arts in 2012. After graduating from the Company C Program in 2015, Nick made a pitstop in Rossland for the Gold Fever Follies before moving to Vancouver to do the whole artist thing. He is an actor and aspiring director.