~ A VERNACULAR SPECTACULAR ~
Spring Workshop with Natasha Powell & Travis Knights
Registrations are now open!
Cat’s Corner invites you to the 2019 edition of our spring workshop – the Vernacular Spectacular – with Natasha Powell & Travis Knights
An annual event: The spring workshops at Cat’s Corner are put on every year to offer the community an opportunity to learn and be inspired by invited artists and bring together dancers of all levels in a learning experience. Follow our Facebook event for updates
In this 2019 edition, Cat’s Corner presents The Vernacular Spectacular! This year, we’re dreaming big. We strongly believe that Jazz dance cannot exist in isolation. It needs external influences to grow and be part of a living culture.
Our two invited artists have dedicated their art and their dance to jazz, to it’s unique language, to understanding its traditions and to its future potential. They are two accomplished artists whose work has been praised by their peers and critiques. They came to Vernacular Jazz through tap dance and urban social dances. Their multiple influences distinguish them and their unique contributions to movement and dance.
“Tap Dancer. Performer. Choreographer. Speaker. Believer. Montreal native Travis Knights is realizing his dreams, pounding rhythms on wood floors all over the world. His talent and dedication have earned him audiences in Shanghai, Dusseldorf, Paris, New York, and Vancouver.
His career started in 2000, when he was cast as a principal dancer in the motion picture biography of Bill ‘Bojangles’ Robinson with Gregory Hines and Savion Glover. The film, entitled ‘Bojangles’ was choreographed by Henry LeTang.
In 2006, he was tapped to be the principal dancer in the video game adaptation of Warner Brother’s ‘Happy Feet’. In 2007 and 2008, Travis participated extensively as a Tap Dance consultant for Cirque du Soleil. Since then, he has performed in Tandem Act Productions’ ‘Diary of a Tap Dancer’ at the Apollo Theatre, and the touring show ‘Wonderland: A Tap Tribute to Stevie Wonder’, created by Ayodele Casel and Sarah Savelli.
He was a featured Tap Dancer in the Opening Ceremonies to the 2010 Winter Olympic Games in Vancouver and in the same year, toured North America with the raucous internationally acclaimed Australian Tap Dance show, Tap Dogs.
He currently lives in Brampton, Ontario and hosts a podcast, The Tap Love Tour Podcast available on itunes, soundcloud and stitcher, (make sure to subscribe) featuring interviews of a myriad of inspiring artists. His latest focus is developing an original full length work commissioned by Soulpepper Theater Company as a part of Project Imagination, Canada’s largest theater project of new work by Canadian artists. https://soundcloud.com/the-tap-love-tour”
Natasha Powell is a Toronto-based dancer, choreographer, producer, and founding artistic director of Holla Jazz.
Born to a Grenadian mother and Jamaican father, Natasha’s first exposure to dance was through family social gatherings, basement parties, and backyard barbeques hosted by her parents and elder siblings. With an older brother and sister growing up in the height of the hip hop era, it was only natural for Natasha’s dance practice to be rooted in the social dancing.
Enrolled in ballet, modern jazz, and tap classes from the age of nine, Natasha’s vocabulary encompasses a wide rage of dance styles that also include hip hop, house, and vernacular jazz. She has trained with North America’s top instructors in the field from New York, Toronto, Los Angeles and Vancouver and continues to be a student to the craft at all times.
An injury forced Natasha to take a slight pause, but also introduced her into the new territory of her creative career – of jazz dance. Grant awards from the Canada Council and Ontario Arts Council supported her New York residency research period, guided by Professor Moncell “iLLKozby” Durden and support from Margaret Batiuchok, Nathan Bugh to study the roots of jazz dance, lindy hop, and their connection to the popular street dances as we know them today. This residency was the birth of new creative chapter for Natasha leading to creation of Holla Jazz – an arena where all jazz dances, hip hop, and house intersect to reinvigorate the idea of freedom and unity of the dance styles that bring meaning and feeling to our dancing bodies.
This weekend of workshops will allow you to deepen your understanding of multiple fundamental aspects of the dance, oral teaching traditions, external influences, social dances, stage performance and the importance of music at the center of it all.
Open to all levels! An experience that you will not want to miss. Everyone is welcome!
Prerequisites: a desire to learn, to listen, to watch, to feel. Jazz is for all. Jazz is for you!