2020-2021 :: DATT 3931/4931 Collaborative Performance Project I & II

Course Directors: Susan Lee and Don Sinclair

In this course students work on a large scale project in collaboration with the Departments of Dance, Theatre, and/or Music. Students engage in a collaborative interdisciplinary artistic creation process with students from participating departments under the direction of an Artistic Director(s). The final project is typically presented in one of AMPD’s large performance facilities. Time flexibility on the part of students in this course is critical as class sessions are scheduled around the availability of a diverse team.

Melding Vista

Creation Team: Bridget D’Orsogna, Nour El Zein, Faadhi Fauzi, Andrea Madore, Leslie Woo, JiaJun Xu, Jialei Zheng

Program note: Melding Vista depicts a negotiation between the limitations of online interaction and the emerging new ways we now connect. With a banal premise of an everyday video call, the work explores a thirst for expression beyond the confines of our bodies in webcam. As the dancers become familiar with their confines they begin to share the virtual space and in this room, their identities merge – becoming one. Who are you? But, who am I? 


Reece Caldwell, Jace Junyu Gao, Zeynab Mahdi, Alyssa Nunziato, Eyad Tawfik, Hao Tang, Bayley Wyatt

Escape is an immersive performance which depends on the audience’s interaction and choices to contribute to the story line and fate of the dancers outlined in the piece. The display utilizes filters and cryptic audio to portray the sense of entrapment and loss, followed with a poetic narration in both a deep demonic and normal voices to explicitly highlight the direction of which the story will take. The choreography changes as the performance goes depending on the audience’s choices, the individual dances portray entrapment in various different forms allowing the audience to feel the pain which the dancers demonstrate. 

The Game of Life

Creation Team: Teagan Ariss, Youssef Bassit, Kelly Choi, Jie Gao, Kwame Kyei-Boateng, Kyra Todd

Program note: The performance follows five contestants in a bizarre game show as they go about their day in COVID-19 lockdown. They are aware that they are being watched by an audience, but are otherwise disconnected from and unable to directly communicate with the audience and each other. Through votes cast by the audience, the host of the show gives the participants permission to let loose in any way they desire. The piece is about the struggle to keep things together while gradually breaking down, and about seeking moments of escape from one’s reality.


Teagan Ariss, originally from Waterloo, Ontario, is an emerging dance artist based in Toronto. Currently in the fourth year of her BFA in Honours Dance, Teagan has a particular interest in creating contemporary choreography. At York, she has trained under artists including Susan Lee, Tracey Norman, Syreeta Hector, and Julia Sasso.

Reece Caldwell is a Toronto based emerging dance artist, specializing in contemporary and modern dance forms. Reece began dancing in Peterborough, ON, and has continued his dance training in York University’s BFA program, where he has trained under professional dance artists including Syreeta Hector, Tracey Norman, and Susan Lee.

Kelly Choi is an emerging dance artist and teacher from Scarborough, Ontario. Kelly specializes in contemporary/modern and ballet. She has over fifteen years of dance experience in ballet. Kelly plans to pursue teaching and performing as she completes her BFA in dance and BEd in concurrent education.

Bridget D’Orsogna is an emerging contemporary dance artist based in Toronto, Ontario. Currently in her fourth-year in the York Dance program, Bridget specializes in choreography and performance. At York University, she has studied Cecchetti ballet, modern, and contemporary dance techniques with a focus on improvisation. Bridget is in her second season with the York Dance ensemble.

Andrea Madore is a Toronto-based emerging dance artist in her fourth year. She is completing the Hons. BFA program in Dance at York University. Andrea has training in various dance forms including contemporary, modern and traditional Chinese dance. Andrea has studied under professional dance artists including Susan Lee, Syreeta Hector and Julia Sasso.

Alyssa Nunziato is an emerging choreographer, teacher and performer originally from Barrie, Ontario. She has trained for over ten years in various styles including ballet, modern, and contemporary. She has continued her training through York’s four-year BFA Honours in Dance where she became passionate about improvisation and collaboration in movement creation.

Kyra Todd is an emerging dance artist and choreographer, specializing in contemporary and modern dance forms. Kyra began dancing in Vancouver, B.C., and moved to Toronto, Ontario to continue her training in the dance program at York University. There, she has studied under professional dance artists including Nicole Rose Bond, and Susan Lee.  

Leslie Woo, originally from Calgary, Alberta, has trained in various dance forms including Vaganova and Cecchetti ballet, contemporary, contact improvisation and jazz. Alongside her training, she currently holds the position as Assistant Artistic Director of Bloom for the 2020-2021 season.

Bayley Wyatt is a dance artist based in Toronto, Ontario. She has been teaching and choreographing pieces since the age of fifteen, Bayley specializes in contemporary, jazz, and acro dance styles. Now in her third year of the BFA dance program, focusing in the performance stream, Bayley has studied under dance artists Susan Lee, Nicole Rose-Bond, and Tracey Norman.

Youssef Bassit is  a 20 year old Intermedia student at York University. He owns a custom media startup whose specialties include soundtracks, video editing, and logo design. His startup works toward a lifelong dream of helping others by doing what he loves and getting paid for it.Recently Youssef released a book which is being used to raise funds for a new Sick Kids hospital building. Kick in his bedroom door and you’ll probably find him watching New Girl or working on his latest new project (whatever that’s gonna be).

Nour Elzein is a 3rd Digital Media Arts student. She is interested in design and interactivity and has knowledge in programming languages and software including  Java, Arduino, Processing, and Javascript. Her goal is to pursue a career in 3D modelling and animation.   

Faadhi Fauzi (they/them) makes noise and cooks spicy. Their works attempt to translate the full range of human emotion by combining sound processing, movement, and DIY hardware. Currently, they’re building an exoskeleton controller for use in live performance.

Jack (Jie) Gao is a senior at York University, and will graduate this year with a BA in Digital Media. He is a foodie and world traveler to over 30 countries. He believes life is a journey. He finds meaning in life by travelling to different destinations to explore their history, cultures, and people. In the process of creating the work you will experience tonight, we all contributed our ideas actively, asking questions and providing suggestions. Doing this project is like exploration in travel.  I have enjoyed every process of this project.  Are you ready? Let’s enjoy The Game of Life.

Junyu Gao is a digital media student in the game arts stream under AMPD. He specializes in game designing using Unity. In terms of programming, he utilizes Java, Javascript, Max, Maya in his creative projects and particularly enjoys creating sound-driven effects and randomized visuals. His live visuals and effects were integral to solo and group performances in recent showings.

Kwame Kyei-Boateng is a digital media artist completing his final year in York University’s Digital Media Undergraduate program. With a background in devised theatre and collective creation, he is fascinated by human-computer interaction and the interdisciplinary, and is interested in bridging the gap between the physical and the digital.

Zeynab Mahdi is a third year Digital Media Arts student. She is interested in all things design, specifically how we can use design to create better experiences for people. Zeynab also specializes in UI/UX design under York’s continuing education program. She has knowledge of programming languages such as Java and Javascript. She also has experience working with different software including Processing, Adobe Photoshop, Max, Figma, Sketch, and Maya.

Hao Tang is a third-year Digital Media student specializing in the Arts stream under AMPD. She used her skills in Max to create a visual music effect for this evening’s performance. Hao enjoys using Maya and SketchUp for making models, Unity for making games, and Isadora for creating stage effects. During her 3rd year in York University Hao is focussed on collaborative performance projects and a game for her capstone project. She is very much enjoying the collaborative  sharing of ideas and deeply respects the contributions of her teammates. In the future, Hao is planning to focus on 3D model making and visual effect realization.

Eyad Tawfik is a 3rd year Digital Media student who specialises in 3D and video game art. He enjoys creating character and environmental art in various styles that reflect on the range between realism and toon like worlds. He uses his 3D art in various video game works to portray themes and new game styles.

JiaJun Xu is a 4th year Digital Media major in the Game Arts stream. He enjoys creating and working with 3D modeling, animation, programming and visual effects. JiaJun typically works with Unity, Maya, Premiere and Max. He is enjoying the process of discovering the new possibilities of online performance.

Jialei Zheng is a 3rd-year Digital Media Game Arts student. She specializes in using Unity and Maya to make mobile and PC games, 3D modeling, and animation. She also enjoys using Processing to translate information into visual contexts to identify trends and patterns in large data sets.  In the future Jialei intends to use her skills and knowledge of programming languages to create interactive works. 

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