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New Moves:
Short Digital Dance Works

CanAsian Dance is proud to announce the three talented, emerging choreographers that have received commissions in our New Moves - Short Digital Dance Works program. 

They are:

Ashvini Sundaram (Vancouver/Toronto) working with Dramaturg Karen Kaeja

Mary-Lee Brunet (Montreal) working with Dramaturg Handy Yacinthe

Ian Simon (Toronto) working with Dramaturg Nina Lee Aquino

The New Moves program is made possible with the generous support of
TD Bank Group





Learn more about the pieces they have created:

AS Photo 1 (Alison Wandzura).jpg


Ashvini Sundaram

Ashvini Sundaram (pronounced uh·sh-vi-NEE Su-ntha-rum) is an emerging dancer and choreographer trained in the traditional style of Indian dance postcolonially known as bharatanatyam. Born in Singapore, raised in Vancouver, and trained in Delhi, Ashvini explores identity and decoloniality through performance work. She receives ongoing training from internationally acclaimed artist, Rama Vaidyanathan, and pursues a Master of Fine Arts degree in dance at York University through the York Graduate Fellowship. She is the recipient of prestigious awards such as the Chrystal Dance Prize from Dance Victoria and the Professional Development Grant from the Canada Council for the Arts. Ashvini holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Behavioural Neuroscience from the University of British Columbia and is also professionally trained in vocal Carnatic music, South Indian rhythm, and ballet.

Photo by: Alison Wandzura



Mary-Lee Brunet

Hello ! I'm Mary-Lee Brunet, I am 23 years-old and I come from Montreal, Canada. I have been dancing for almost 8 years now and I study hip-hop and popping dance styles. I have done stage competitions, a television competition, numerous freelance and corporate dance contracts as well as some battles, here in the city. Dance has also made me travel to Toronto, Vancouver, Quebec City and Los Angeles. I have mostly worked with Sarah Steben, Ricky St-Jusna and many others. I have also worked with La Résistance, le Quartier des Spectacles of Montreal, Gala Artis, Gala ComediHa, RBC, Air Transat and many others. I consider myself more of a freestyle dancer, but really I enjoy all that is dance and beyond the movement. To me, it's imperative to understand, study and stay curious about what you do, in this case dance, with passion. I am always looking for opportunities to push myself and my creative and professional development as a dancer but also as a human.

Photo by: Sarah Steben



Ian Simon

Ian Simon is a multidisciplinary Filipino artist based in Toronto, Canada currently pursuing a career in both filmmaking and dance. He moved to Canada at the age of 15 from the Philippines and has always had a huge connection with art growing up. Ian's dance journey began in 2013 watching shows like ABDC and learning choreography through YouTube videos, and started formally taking in-person dance classes a little while after. He began taking dance as a professional career path around 2016 building his repertoire in choreography, freestyle/improv, and teaching. He's performed and showcased his own work on different stages in the Toronto dance industry as well as teaching dance workshops nationally and internationally, and competing in different dance competitions with a local Toronto dance team. His journey in film started in 2017 after graduating from Seneca's Interactive Media Studies program where he solidified his passion for video creation and filmmaking. In 2020, he decided to take a career path in the film industry and has then been developing and improving his skills in directing, cinematography, producing and editing and wants to bring the two mediums together to make timeless intentional art pieces.

Photo by: Ian Simon



Karen Kaeja

Karen Kaeja is an award-winning performer, choreographer, project instigator and mentor. “The mastermind behind Porch View Dances” Toronto Star, she develops platforms for collaborative relationships between dancers and everyday people. Co-Artistic Director of Kaeja d’Dance with Allen Kaeja she is in The Canadian Who’s Who, with awards including Dance Ontario Lifetime Achievement Award, CDA “I Love Dance” Community Award, and Paul D. Fleck Fellowship. She was a finalist for the TAF Celebration of Cultural Life Award, TAF Muriel Sherrin Award, NOW’s Best Local Choreographer and twice for NOW’s Best Dance Company, plus 7 Dora Mavor Moore nominations. Commissioned and presented by performance series around the world, she continues to collaborate with and dance for many of Canada’s brilliant choreographers.

Photo by: Sean Howard 



Handy Yacinthe

Handy "HYA" Yacinthe is an artist that is strongly positioned in the Canadian and international street dance circuit. A creator, innovator and experimenter in his own right, but above all he is a multidisciplinary artist that explores in multiple creative realms. An experimenter for 25 years, his career has spanned from creations, stage work, as a choreographer, with productions, short films, music production, curation, pedagogy, mentoring, music production, cyphers, battles, and the entertainment business. Founder of the innovative and acclaimed international street dance festival Jack of All Trades; JOAT has been held in Singapore, Taiwan, India, Vancouver, Los Angeles, the United Kingdom and Japan

Photo by: Clément Dietz

Nina Lee Aquino Headshot.jpeg


Nina Lee Aquino

With a string of firsts in Asian Canadian theatre, Nina was the founding Artistic Director of fu GEN Asian Canadian Theatre Company, organized the first Asian Canadian theatre  conference, edited the first (2-volume) Asian Canadian play anthology, and co-edited the first  (award-winning) book on Asian Canadian theatre. She became Artistic Director of Cahoots  Theatre, currently holds the same position at Factory Theatre, and is the incoming Artistic  Director of the National Arts Centre English Theatre. Awards for her work include the Ken  McDougall Award, the John Hirsch Prize, the Toronto Theatre Critics Awards for Best Director,  Toronto Arts Foundation’s Margo Bindhart and Rita Davies Cultural Leadership Award, and  three Dora Awards for Outstanding Direction.

Photo by: Cesar Ghisilieri

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