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AMPD celebrates the return to live on-campus art and performance

AMPD celebrates the return to live on-campus art and performance

2022 saw students, faculty, staff and community members flocking to campus to celebrate live, in-person art and performance. From exhibitions in the Gales and Special Projects galleries to new stories brought to life in the Sandra Faire and Ivan Fecan Theatre and Tribute Community Recitals Halls, we've collectively experienced art that's made us laugh, cry, cheer and feel hope for a better tomorrow in 2022.

Check out some of the on-campus performances and exhibitions that took place in 2022.

York music festival celebrates culture and tradition

This cross-cultural celebration spotlighting musical traditions around the world offered six in-person concerts featuring over 100 students in six performances, including Balkan, Brazilian, Caribbean, Cuban, Celtic Canadian and West African ensembles.

Produced by William Thomas, associate professor in the Department of Music at the School of the Arts, Media, Performance & Design (AMPD), this global sonic tour presents a sampling of several international cultures represented in York’s world music program.

“Exposing our students to the diversity of music found around the world has always been an important component of the study of music at York and has distinguished our program from others in the province,” says Thomas. “Very early in the development of the program, founding Department Chair Sterling Beckwith felt that the study of global music was important in developing the musicians of the future and course offerings in South Indian Carnatic music were offered to York students.”

Read more here.

Intersections reunites the York Dance Ensemble

In March, the Department of Dance presented Intersections featuring new choreography by MFA student choreographers Rachel da Silveira Gorman, Jessica Stuart, Ashvini Sundaram, and Yui Ugai, performed by the York Dance Ensemble (YDE). Comprised of 24 third-year and fourth-year dance majors, YDE works with guest artists from outside of York, as well as faculty members, MFA and MA students in dance, digital media, and music, to create original and inventive contemporary choreography.

Bridget Cauthery, an assistant professor in the department of dance explains that this year’s annual showcase features four world premieres by the dance department’s MFA students. This includes Rachel da Silveira Gorman’s Golem, Jessica Stuart’s In Medias Res, Ashvini Sundaram’s Art of Time, and Yui Ugai’s New Nostalgia.

The works engage with ideas of intersections, using movement, music, and projections, and feature the gifted members of YDE. Susan Lee, artistic director, says, “In this time of sweeping transitions, understanding how we, as a community of artists, intersect and how the intersectionalities of race, gender, ethnicity, power, place, and time affect the present is more critical than ever.”

Read more here.

York graduate film students organize Solidarity with Ukraine event

Film students in York University’s Master of Fine Arts (MFA) program came together to support the filmmaking community documenting the war in Ukraine by hosting Solidarity with Ukraine: Music, Poetry, and Film Screening at Nat Taylor Cinema on March 25.

Speakers and artists joined the event from all corners of the world virtually, including political activist Denis Pilash from Kyiv, Ukraine, to introduce director Sergei Loznitsa’s film Maidan. The film screening was the main feature of this event. The 2014 documentary film focuses on the Euromaidan movement of 2013 and 2014 in Maidan Nezalezhnosti (Independence Square) in Ukraine’s capital Kyiv. It was filmed during the protests and depicts several aspects of the revolution, from peaceful rallies to bloody clashes between police and civilians.

York MFA graduate students are the primary organizers of the Solidarity with Ukraine event alongside partners Ontario Public Interest Research Group (OPIRG) at York University, York Graduate Film Student Association (GFSA), York University’s Graduate Student Association (YUGSA) and Goethe Institute.

Read more here.

Terminal Station: a drawing exhibition by two visual art students

In May, two visual art students, Abbie Mauno and Yuki Tam, will present Terminal Station, a drawing exhibition presented in the Gales Gallery, including an open reception on March 23.

“Terminal Station is a love letter to contemporary life,” says Mauno, a sixth-year visual art student. “It is a celebration of letting yourself be profoundly affected by the world around you.

“Our exhibition captures the moments in between where your mind can wander, whether you’re on the subway or walking down the street. It’s in these moments where the mystery and beauty of life becomes most clear,” Mauno adds.

Read more here.

YSDN 22 Presents Variety: Final GradEx

As the York/Sheridan Joint Program in Design came to a close, 2022 marked the final cohort it will produce. Over three days, both online and in-person, the culmination of a decades-long program was celebrated through exciting events. Featuring student booths, workshops, panels and keynotes, the final YSDN show.

Read more here.

FilipiNEXT investigates the legacies, transformations, and aspirations of Filipinx people on Turtle Island

FilipiNEXT brought scholars, activists, and community members from all over Canada to York University to engage in creative discussions around Filipinx Studies emerging from Canadian contexts. Filipinx scholars from institutions across Canada make up the organizing committee, including AMPD Visual Arts and Art History professor Dr. Marissa Largo.

The weeklong series of workshops, events, and exhibitions explored the following questions: What tensions, aspirations, and lines of inquiry can emerge when we think critically about the history and future of Filipinx people in Canada? How will the past and present inform what is NEXT for Filipinx Studies in Canada?

Read more here.

Over 200 film lovers gather for CineSiege 2022

In its 20th year, 200 community members and film lovers celebrated cinema in-person at Paradise Theatre on October 24, 2022 with CineSiege 2022. The event featured a juried selection of shorts chosen by program alumni and leading practitioners in film and media culture.

Professors’ shortlist nominated films from all 170 films produced by students from all levels of the program in 2021. The nominated films include fiction, documentary and alternative works. Those chosen for CineSiege are honoured for their exceptional achievement in the art and craft of cinema.

For a full list of winners, click here.

Embodying climate change: Dance Innovations 2022 showcases inspiring new student work

Dance Innovations 2022: Escalate featured new choreographic works by 23 fourth-year dance BFA students. Performed by students in all years of York’s undergraduate program in dance, this series engages with social justice-oriented themes of resistance and rebellion.

This year’s instalment of Dance Innovations is rooted in social activism, exploring topics of anti-racism, personal growth, feminism and more. Several of the students dove into the topic of climate change, an imminent threat that affects this generation more than any other. As the artists take a stand against the issues that plague the world, they display their inspiring resilience and vulnerability. Guided by faculty members, students navigated the intersectionality of dance, creating a show that encompasses a broad range of human emotions and experiences. Presented in two series – Resistance and Rebellion – Escalate also features a reconstruction of three connected dances from West Africa by Professor Modesto Amegago for the department’s third-year performance class.

Read more here.

Theatre @ York gracefully tackles bespoke David Yee play “Love in the Time of Werewolves”

Theatre @ York returns to the traditional way of theatre-making with playwright David Yee’s new play, Love in the Time of Werewolves. Maggie Basset Award-winning director Diana Belshaw led 30 upper-year and 100 first-year crew members alongside 15 Theatre @ York Acting Conservatory students in designing, producing, and realizing the production.

Love in the Time of Werewolves is a farce about the politics and chaos behind the scenes of a community theatre group attempting to get through Tech Dress of an epic new play. Love affairs, internal squabbling, grievous bodily harm, re-casting and a potentially dangerous intruder all stand between this production and greatness

Read more here.