• 2013

    CanAsian Poster-Medium
    2013 CanAsian International Dance Festival
    April 27 – May 5, 2013
    Fleck Dance Theatre 

    Ziya Azazi, Vienna
inDANCE, Toronto/Singapore
Taketeru Kudo, Tokyo

    Susan Lee, Toronto
Joceyln Montpetit, Montreal

    (see video trailer below)

  • Newsletter Signup

    Sign up for our newsletter

    * required fields




  • 2012


    Kick Start: 6 Choreographers Pushing Boundaries
    Februrary 9 – 11, 2012
    Winchester Street Theatre

    Commissioned works by six emerging, mid-career and independent artists supported with dramaturgy and mentorship.

    Emily Cheung, Toronto, working with Peter Chin, Toronto
    Susan Lee, Toronto, working with Elizabeth Langley, Montreal
    Hiroshi Miyamoto, Toronto, working with Guillaume Bernardi, Toronto
    Tomomi Morimoto, Montreal, working with Elizabeth Langley, Montreal
    Meena Murugesan, Montreal, working with Janet O’Shea, Los Angeles
    William Yong, Toronto, working with Tedd Robinson, Ottawa

  • 2014

    Kick Start: 6 Choreographers Pushing Boundaries

    April 23 – 26, 2014
    Dancemakers Centre for Creation

    Commissioned works by six emerging, mid-career and independent artists supported with dramaturgy and mentorship.

    Robert Abubo working with William Yong (Toronto)
    Michael Caldwell working with Susie Burpee (Toronto)
    Natalie Tin Yin Gan working with Lee Su-Feh (Vancouver)
    Ziyian Kwan working with Barbara Bourget (Vancouver)
    Emily Law working with Michael Trent (Toronto)
    Bageshree Vaze working with Christopher House (Toronto)

  • About Us

    CanAsian Dance presents and cultivates exceptional dance inspired by Asian ideas and expressions. Led by Artistic Director Denise Fujiwara, CanAsian has earned critical acclaim for its world-class programming. This includes the biennial CanAsian International Dance Festival – a weeklong festival of performances, matinees, films and workshops that reflect dance traditions from across Asia; as well as annual artistic, educational and professional development activities.

    StaffAndrea Nann8
    • Denise Fujiwara, Artistic Director
    • Adina Herling, General Manager
    • Farheen Beg, Manager of Audience Development

    Board of Directors
    • Anne Yourt, President
    • Allen Kaeja, Past President
    • Menon Dwarka, Secretary-Treasurer
    • David Gonzales, Director


  • 2011

    2011 CanAsian International Dance Festival
    February 23 – 26, 2011

    Fleck Dance Theatre

    Ziya Azazi, Vienna
    Mi Young Kim Dance Company, Toronto

    Jocelyne Montpetit, Montreal
    Tribal Crackling Wind/Peter Chin, Toronto/Cambodia

    Bageshree Vaze, Toronto
  • 2010

    2010 Museum Dances: Ancient Inspiration, Contemporary Interpretation
    May 7 – 9 &  May 14 – 16, 2010
    Royal Ontario Musuem

    Natasha Bakht, Ottawa, with composer Alexander MacSween, Montreal
    F.A.M., Toronto
    Soojung Kwon, Toronto with composer the Opaque Ensemble, Toronto
    Moving Dragon Dance Company, Vancouver, with composer Michael Vincent, Toronto

  • 2009

    Canasian2009 E-flyer
    2009 CanAsian International Dance Festival

    May 6 – 9, 2009
    Fleck Dance Theatre

    Jung-Ah Chung, Victoria, BC
    Mira Hunter and  Raqib Brian Burke, Vancouver
    Ko Murobushi, Tokyo
    Andrea Nann, Toronto
    Post Ego Dance Company, Seoul
    princess productions, Toronto

  • Past Festivals

    Berdandan Triptych

    CanAsian Dance has been presenting exceptional Asian-based dance to Canadian audiences since 1997.  Click a year below to see the line up and poster for each past festival.

    2014    2013     2012     2011     2010

    2009     2008     2007     2006

    2005     2004     2003     2001

    1997 – 1999

  • Press

    “Good art should satisfy on every level – emotional, spiritual, aesthetic. The two programs of the CanAsian International Dance Festival fulfilled that mandate.”
    - Paula Citron, Globe and Mail, February 26, 2011

    “Where cultural distinctions are concerned Toronto’s biennial CanAsian International Dance Festival casts the net generously wide.”
    - Michael Crab, Toronto Start, February 24, 2011

    “The dance evening is profoundly moving on every level – physical, visual and emotional. …This first program of CanAsian is not to be missed.”
    - Paula Citron, The Globe and Mail, May 8, 2009

    3 1/2 STARS out of 4!
    “Program A, repeating tonight at the Fleck Dance Theatre, has as its centrepiece a moving and quite astonishing Butoh dance, quick silver, performed by Tokyo-based performer Ko Murobushi.”
    - Susan Walker, Toronto Star, May 8, 2009

    “The three dance pieces bring together Korean, Japanese and hybrid contemporary experiences, performed by artists of the highest caliber in their respective area of expertise. – Pure rapturous delight for an audience.”
    - Keith Garebian, Stage and Page Website, 2009

    “Toronto’s dance scene is going to be hard pressed to meet this level of performance. Forget Lord of the Rings, or the National Ballet of Canada, or the opera – Transformations is performance that must not be missed.”
    - Kristine, blogto.com

    “…bigger and better than ever before”
    - Toronto Star, 2005

    “A triumphant celebration of Asian roots”
    - The Globe and Mail, 2005

  • 2008

    2008 CanAsian International Dance Festival
    May 1 – 3, 2008
    Enwave Theatre

    Chitralekha Odissi Dance Creations, Toronto

    Fujiwara Dance Inventions, Toronto

    inDANCE, Toronto
    Soojung Kwon, Toronto

    Tribal Crackling Wind, Toronto

    Wen Wei Dance, Vancouver

  • Awards

    Dora Mavor Moore Award Nominees and Winners

    Congratulations to the following artists who were nominated for a Dora Mavor Moore Award for their performances at CanAsian!

    Peter Chin, Sirijwa

    Nominated for Outstanding Performance 2011Natasha

    Natasha Bakht, Dafeena
    Nominated for Outstanding Choreography 2010

    Alexander MacSween, Dafeena
    Nominated for Outstanding Original Sound Design/Composition 2010

    Charles Hong, Joo Hyung Kim, Sosun Suh, Choonengmu
    Winner of Outstanding Sound Design/Composition 2008

    Cokaseki, TooBoe – The Howl
    Nominated for Outstanding Production 2007

    Keiko Ninomiya and Kinya “Zulu” Tsuruyama, You See the Tree, You Don’t See the ForestKinya Zulu Tsuruyama and Keiko Ninomiya-2
    Nominated for Outstanding New Choreography, 2007

    Sudarshan Belasare, Uma
    Nominated for Outstanding Performance 2007

    Andrea Nann, SOURCE
    Nominated for Outstanding Dance Performance 2005

    Fisherman’s Art Factory YAN-SHU, HA-SU – breath of lotus flower
    Nominated for Outstanding Choreography and Outstanding Dance Performance 2005

    Roger Sinha Danse, LOHA/Thok
    Winner of Outstanding Dance Performance (Tom Casey) and nominated for Outstanding Choreography 2004

    Tedd Robinson, Heroic Garb and Intimate Marching
    Nominated for Outstanding Choreography and Outstanding Dance Performance 2001
  • 2007

    2007 CanAsian International Dance Festival

    February 22 – 24, 2007

    Premiere Dance Theatre

    Joanna de Souza, Toronto

    Soojung Kwon, Toronto

    Keikon Ninomiya, Toronto, with Kinya “ZULU” Tsuruyama, Tokyo

    Qi Shu Fang Peking Opera Company, NYC
Sinha Danse, Montreal

  • Get Involved

    Want to get more involved with CanAsian Dance? Here’s how:


    CanAsian Dance has many exciting volunteer opportunities.  Join a large group of individuals who donate their time, expertise and special skills to help make the Festival run.  Have fun, meet new people, enjoy performances, and participate in a range of activities.

    Board of Directors

    Do you have a passion for the arts? Do you have expertise in arts management, marketing, fundraising, financial management, law or non-profit governance? Consider joining our dynamic Board of Directors.  For more information, email info(at)canasiandancefestival.com.

    Call to Artists

    CanAsian Dance’s Programming Committee is interested in the outstanding performance of traditional dance art forms, distinctive new choreography that comes out of traditional dance vocabularies and original contemporary dance works that integrate Asian principles and concepts.  Artists are chosen based on a call to artists, which is distributed approximately 18 months prior to each Festival.  To be notified of our call to artists please join our mailing list.

  • 2006

    2006TransformationsPosterTransformations: Expressions of Gender Roles in Asian Dance
    June 8 – 10, 2006
    Enwave Theatre

    Song Chang Rong, China
    Peter Chin (choreographer) with Didik Nini Thowok (featured performer), Indonesia
    Elly, Indonesia
    Hari Krishnan (choreographer) for Sudarshan Belsare, Boston
    Yukio Waguri, Tokyo


  • Supporters

    Thank you to our generous supporters:








  • 2005

    2005 CanAsian International Dance Festival

    February 19 – 27, 2005
    Premiere Dance Theatre

    Peter Chin, Toronto, with Didik Nini Thowok, Indonesia, and Gamelan Toronto, Toronto
    Denise Fujiwara, Toronto, with Mayumi Seiler, Toronto
    Shobana Jeyasingh (choreographer), London, Natasha Bakht (performer), Ottawa
    Hari Krishnan, InDance, Toronto
    Lu Min, Shanghai
    Andrea Nann with George Gao, Toronto
    Alvin Tolentino, Vancouver
    Yan-Shu, Tokyo

    Asia Toronto Dances
    Peter Chin (choreographer), Toronto for Canadian Children’s Dance Theatre (performer)
    Joanna de Souza (choreographer), Toronto for Chhandam Dance Company (performer)
    Folklorico Filipino
    Keiko Ninomiya
    Cynthia Tsang, Art of Dance Academy
    Sashar Zarif

  • 2004


    choreography by Roger Sinha 

    April 1 – 3, 2004
    Betty Oliphant Theatre
    Presented by CanAsian Dance Festival and Sinha Danse, Montreal

    Excerpt from interview with Glenn Sumi of NOW Magazine:
    In his double bill Loha and Thok, opening as part of the CanAsian Dance Festival, (Sinha is) using elements of Indian classical dance and combining them with his forte, modern. “I feel that Indian dance is too weighed down by tradition,” says the Montreal-based choreographer, who’s studied with everyone from Peggy Baker to Trish Beatty. ”There’s a devotion to a certain way of learning the art form. I’m not interested in that. I didn’t have a guru. It’s hard for me to find legitimacy in that since I wasn’t brought up with that form.” Instead, he uses Bharata Natyam, the ancient Indian dance form, as a technique “in the same way,” he tells me, “that La La La Human Steps’ Edouard Locke uses pointe as a technique, although he wasn’t trained in ballet.” His new pieces were inspired by his desire to work with dancer/choreographer Natasha Bakht, who had firm training in Bharata Natyam; she’s one of Menaka Thakkar’s former star pupils. He wanted to marry the two dance vocabularies – Natasha’s Indian with his contemporary Western – into something cohesive. ”I wanted to take what I thought was lacking in Indian dance, the use of the pelvis, spine and torso, and what was lacking in contemporary dance, the fact that the energy stopped at the wrists. ”I’m combining my yang,” he laughs, “with Natasha’s yin.”

  • 2003

    2003 CanAsian International Dance Festival
    March 22 – 30, 2003

    Yvonne Ng (choreographer) with Lee Pui Ming (composer), Toronto, ON
    Devraj Patnaik, Burlington, ON

    Mi Young Kim, Toronto
    William Lau, Toronto
    Roger Sinha (choreographer) for Natasha Bakht (performer), Montreal
    Lee Su-Feh, Vancouver
    Yumiko Yoshioka, Germany/Japan

    Asia Toronto Dances
    Gunaseelan Dance Company, Toronto
    Maxine Heppner. Toronto
    Yan Lam, Toronto
    Rina Singha, Toronto
    Jeng Yi, Toronto


  • Contact Us

    Email:       info (at) canasiandance.com

    Phone:      416.593.8455

    Mail:          5998 Bathurst Street, 
                      P.O. Box 8039
                      Toronto, ON  M2R 1Z1

    Facebook:  https://www.facebook.com/CanAsianDance

    Twitter:       https://twitter.com/canasiandance

  • 2001

    Peter Chin / Japan


    2001 CanAsian International Dance Festival
    March 17 – 24, 2001 

    Peter Chin (choreographer) for Chan Hon Goh (performer), Toronto

    Maria Darmaningsih, Lethbridge, AB
    Gamelan Toronto, Toronto
    Kokoro Dance, Vancouver
    Devraj and Ellora Patnaik, Burlington, ON
    Tedd Robinson (choreographer), Ottawa, ON for Denise Fujiwara (performer), Toronto

  • 1997 - 1999

    May 1997
    Jahanara Akhalaq, Toronto02TV65_1
    Peter Chin, Toronto
    Joanna Das and Esmeralda Enrique, Toronto
    Yvonne Ng, Toronto
    Mariko Tanabe, Montreal, QC
    Carly Wong, Toronto

    May, 1998
    Jay Hirabayashi, Vancouver
    Studio Performance
    Denise Fujiwara, TorontoLate Fall 2
    Jay Hirabayashi, Residency work-in-progress, Vancouver
    Mi Young Kim Dance Company, Toronto
    Ellora Patnaik, Toronto

    1999 CanAsian International Dance Festival
    April 29 – May 1, 1999
    Mi Young Kim, Toronto

    Choreography Residency
    Roger Sinha, Montreal

    Peter Chin, TorontoMi-Young Kim2
    Hari Krishnan, Toronto
    Ziyan Kwan/Barbara Bourget, Vancouver
    Alleluia Panis Dance Theatre, San Francisco
    Sinha Danse, Montreal
    Mi Young Kim, Toronto

    Asia Heritage Month Matinee
    Sukalyan Bhattacharjee, Edmonton, AB
    Folklorico Filipino, Toronto
    Hari Krishnan (choreographer) for Nova Bhattacharya (performer), Toronto
    Yan Lam, Toronto
    Roger Sinha (Residency work-in –progress), Montreal, QC 

  • Bageshree Vaze


    ← back

    Through invasions and migrations – political and personal – a sense of displacement has influenced Indian dance performance, and the boundaries of movement and rhythmic aesthetics in Kathak dance have continually been redefined through individual interpretation and improvization. ‘In my (dis)place’ explores Vaze’s search for a time and space in Kathak dance that is sometimes sacred, often personal, and ultimately uplifting in discovering a fantasy of rhythm and movement.

    Bageshree Vaze (choreographer)Bageshree Vaze by David Hou5

    Bageshree Vaze has trained in the South Indian style of Bharatha Natyam with the late Guru T. K. Mahalingam Pillai in Mumbai, & studied vocal music with her father, Damodar Vaze. She later trained in Kathak dance with Jai Kishan Maharaj in New Delhi, & studied vocal music with Veena Sahasrabuddhe. Bageshree has choreographed numerous Kathak dance works & has performed in major festivals in North America & India. In 2004, MTV India named her an ‘ubbharta sitara’ (rising star), & in 2010 she was awarded the K.M. Hunter Award in Dance.

    Christopher House (dramaturg)Christopher House by David Leyes

    Christopher House was born and raised in St. John’s, Newfoundland. Resident Choreographer of Toronto Dance Theatre since 1981 & Artistic Director since 1994, he has contributed over fifty works to the repertoire. He has also created works for Lisbon’s Ballet Gulbenkian, the National Ballet of Canada and Les grands Ballets Canadiens, directed two collaborations with The Hidden Cameras & made several short films and videos. Christopher has received many awards for his work. He is an Associate Dance Artist of Canada’s National Arts Centre.  www.tdt.org

  • Emily Law


    ← back

    This work researches the question of how to find spontaneity and freedom while also developing intricacies. The two performers interact with popular images of classic Kung Fu cinema, while utilizing movement concepts from various street dances.

    Emily Law (choreographer)Emily Law by Andrea De Keijzer

    A graduate of The School of Toronto Dance theatre, Emily has dedicated her life to dance. She has extensively trained and competed in house dancing and waacking. She is a founding member of the house dance crew Warehouse Jacks and Mix mix Dance Collective. Emily has worked with companies and artists such as: Kaha:wi Dance Theatre, Valerie Calam, D.A. Hoskins, Brendan Jensen, Alias Dance Projects, Gadfly, The Chimera Project, the Parahumans Dance Theatre, Event Horizon Dance, Piotr Biernat and was a resident artist at Sound Travels 2006. She has been nominated for a Gemini and 3 Dora Mavor Moore awards including outstanding female performance.

    Michael Trent (dramaturg)MT-119 colour cropped

    Michael Trent has been Artistic Director of Dancemakers and the Centre for Creation since 2006. Works to date for the company include new versions of things in between, Random Access, and Acts of Light as well as new creations Dark, Quiet & Cool, Constructing Doubt, Double Bill #1 with Ame Henderson, It’s about time: 60 dances in 60 minutes, Double Bill#2 with k.g. Guttman, The Adaptation Project, loveloss and Night Shift, a 12-hour site-specific work for Toronto’s Scotiabank Nuit Blanche created with visual artist Brendan Fernandes.

  • Robert Abubo


    ← back

    Robert Abubo (choreographer)07-_HOU0259
    Robert Abubo has been a member of Dancemakers and a part of Michael Trent’s artistic team since September 2008. Abubo worked with Le Groupe Dance Lab from 1994 to 2006, under artistic director Peter Boneham.   As an independent dance artist he has worked with Tedd Robinson, Louise Lecavalier, Sylvain Émard, Lynda Gaudreau, Shannon Cooney, Bill James, Luc Dunberry, Winnipeg’s Contemporary Dancers, Heidi Strauss, Kate Hilliard, Ame Henderson and Dana Gingras. Abubo’s own choreographic works have been presented by the Canada Dance Festival, Tangente, Dancer’s Studio West, Kaeja d’Dance, Dancemakers and Nuit Blanche (Toronto). Abubo graduated from David Moroni’s class of the Royal Winnipeg Ballet School’s professional division.

    William Yong (dramaturg)William Yong by David Hou2
    William Yong was trained at the London Contemporary Dance School in England and was admitted to the Master of Arts with distinction by University of Kent. He has worked with Wayne McGregor’s Random Dance, Matthew Bourne’s Adventures in Motion Pictures, Toronto Dance Theatre, CORPUS, Theatre Rusticle, Lina Cruz’s Fila 13 and many others. William has performed in eleven dance films. Currently William is the artistic director and choreographer of Zata Omm Dance Projects (www.zataomm.org). William is a double Dora Mavor Moore Award nominee. William was also nominated for the Young Centre Performing Arts Multidisciplinary Dance Artists Award and K.M. Hunter Artists Award. He is recently awarded the winner of 2013 Canadian Dance Assembly’s ‘I love dance/J’aime la danse Award for Innovation’. Currently he is working on Zata Omm’s next full-length production vox:lumen premiering in March 2015.

  • Michael Caldwell


    ← back

    Inspired by personal visits to temples/pagodas throughout Japan and Vietnam, Caldwell’s new duet examines the act of worship through the lens of a dysfunctional pair of lost souls.  With a strikingly expressive movement score, the work explores the structures that we invent to help define our lives – the pedestals that we erect and the temples that we create in each other.

    Michael Caldwell (choreographer)Michael Caldwell by Chris Randle

    Michael Caldwell’s work has been presented in the dance: made in Canada Festival, Dance Ontario Weekend, Dusk Dances, Porch View Dances, and the Toronto Fringe Festival, and he has been commissioned by opera vocalist, Patricia Ruggles.  He is a graduate of The School of Toronto Dance Theatre’s Professional Training Program, and holds a bachelor’s degree in film / art history from Syracuse University.  He sits on the board of The School of Toronto Dance Theatre, is co-chair of the Canadian Alliance of Dance Artists – Ontario Chapter, and is associate curator for Older & Reckless.

    Susie Burpee (dramaturg)Susie Burpee

    Susie Burpee creates ’fully human characters, struggling for connection’ (The Toronto Star).  She works in contemporary dance & theatre, and has received Dora Awards for choreography and performance.  Recent credits include Someone Else (Crow’s Theatre) and the Dora-winning Road Trip. A recipient of the K.M. Hunter Artist Award, Susie was a company dancer for Dancemakers and Le Groupe Dance Lab.  She completed her professional training at the Professional Program of Contemporary Dancers in Winnipeg, and studied at L’Ecole Philippe Gaulier in Paris (Character and Bouffon). Susie teaches and mentors emerging professional artists.

  • Natalie Tin Yin Gan


    ← back

    As an Asian-Canadian artist I am driven by questions about embodied knowledge, identity and loss in an era of globalization, mass immigration, and hyper-mobility. NINEEIGHT (working title) is an exploration of Mo Lei Tau, a phenomenon of absurdist, comedic film that emerged in Hong Kong in the 1990’s and earned international acclaim through the work of actor/director Stephen Chou. NINEEIGHT will aim to dissect the elements of this sub-genre to inquire what they express given a new time, place, and medium.

    Natalie Tin Yin Gan (choreographer)Natalie Gan by Alan Ho
    Natalie Tin Yin Gan is a contemporary dancer, choreographer and instructor based in Vancouver. She holds a double major in Dance and International Studies from Simon Fraser University. Natalie is drawn to interdiscplinarity, cultural politics, and identity crises. She explores these with her company, Hong Kong Exile.

    Lee Su-Feh (dramaturg)image
    Lee Su-Feh is a dancer, choreographer, dramaturge and teacher born and raised in Malaysia, where she studied with teachers who strove to find a contemporary Asian expression out of the remnants of colonialism and dislocated traditions. In addition to dance and theatre, Su-Feh has studied and practiced Chinese martial arts for more than 30 years. Since arriving in Vancouver in 1988, she has created a body of work that interrogates the contemporary body as a site of intersecting and displaced histories and habits. In 1995, she co-founded battery opera performance with writer/performer David McIntosh. Her latest work is Sweet Gyre (2013), her second collaboration with Montreal choreographer Benoît Lachambre and Juno Award-winning composer Jesse Zubot. 


  • Ziyian Kwan


    ← back

    Ziyian Kwan (choreographer) dumb instrument Dance:Ziyian Kwan by Chris Randle
    Ziyian Kwan lives in Vancouver where she has worked and played as a dance artist since 1987. As an interprète she has performed close to 100 original creations by an eclectic range of artists on international stages. In January 2012, Ziyian formed dumb instrument Dance, a collage of activities that comprises her creative life: commissions, site-specific installations, unorthodox dance actions and experiments with choreography.  www.dumbinstrumentdance.com

    Barbara Bourget (dramaturg)Barbara Bourget by Yukiko Onley
    Barbara Bourget is the Co-Producer of the Vancouver International Dance Festival and the Artistic Director of Kokoro Dance, the post-butoh dance company that has been named by The Georgia Straight as one of the ten best reasons to live in Vancouver.  Barbara has choreographed over 150 dance works including more than 40 full evening works. Barbara’s art is characterized by its continual exploration of the feminine, the dark, and the theatrical. Her critically-acclaimed works include Crime Against Grace, Dance of the Dead, Sunyata, the trilogy of works Sade I, II, and III, F, and four collaborations with the Vancouver Symphony Orchestra. Barbara has a Master of Fine Arts – Interdisciplinary Studies from Simon Fraser University. In September of 2011, Barbara was awarded the Mayor’s Arts Award in Dance from the City of Vancouver. 

Ziya Azazi DERVISH by Kerem Sanliman (4)


CanAsian Dance presents and cultivates exceptional dance inspired by Asian ideas and expressions.
dumb instrument Dance:Ziyian Kwan by Chris Randle


Thank you to everyone that made KickStart a great success! All the best to this year's choreographers as you develop & share your new works.
Mi Young Kim by Hugh Li good


Do you have a passion for the arts? Interested in becoming a Board member or festival volunteer? Click here for more info.