Femmes du Feu Creations is a not-for-profit organization with three primary missions: performance creation, education, and sector development in circus and dance in rural and urban communities in Ontario, prioritizing the Niagara region. Since its inception, Femmes du Feu Creations has been creating and presenting circus works, researching innovative ways to combine its contemporary dance and choreographic backgrounds with contemporary circus, with an ongoing vision for cross-discipline collaborations.

FdFC creates performance work through collaboration with artists across disciplines, combining contemporary circus/dance with artistic curiosity, risk and reflection.

Our mandate is to remove barriers, increase inclusiveness, and serve the circus and dance community by producing professional performance experiences and cultural activities, strengthening our local, regional and national community, inspiring and enhancing its well-being. We will do so by offering community tickets, employing accessibility practices whenever possible, including audio description, touch tours, and American Sign Language, and engaging specialist and community programming consultants.

Our mission is to engage and inspire through artistic activities in circus and dance across diverse audiences and artists for happier and healthier lives.

CALL FOR BOARD MEMBERS

Ideal candidates will be willing to be active in their governance and financial oversight roles for a diverse and engaged Ontario dance/circus organization. We can’t wait to hear from you!

Shows, Projects and Events

IN THE FIRE

IN THE FIRE is a solo dance/aerial circus show about my dad. The show is based around stories from my dad’s experience as a Firefighter. It’s about my relationship with my dad. It’s about me. This show is about Fire. This show is about memories. This show is about trauma. This show is an homage to all the Firefighters out there, and to all those who have lost something or someone to Fire.

IN THE FIRE works with all new invented apparatuses – a turn-out coat on a pipe, a rope loop and an aerial ladder. Dance, aerial circus, video, music and storytelling come together to light this fire.

 

Creation and performance: Holly Treddenick

Direction: Monica Dottor

Aerial coaching and dramaturgy: Angola Murdoch

Memoir & Movement: Sara Porter

Original Score: John Gzowski

Costuming: Stacie Patterson and Sara Torrie

Lighting Design: Michelle Ramsay

Set Design: Monica Dottor, Holly Treddenick, Peter Benedetti

Apparatus Design and Build: Upstage Fabrication

Videography: Eamon MacMahon

Accessibility Consultant: Alex Bulmer

Producing Partner: Theatre Gargantua

Administrative support: Dance Umbrella of Ontario

 

Past Collaborators

Choreographic Dramaturge: Sara Poole (CCAFT Residency collaborator)

Dramaturg: Soraya Peerbaye (CCAFT Residency collaborator)

Generously supported by the Toronto Arts Council, Ontario Arts Council and Canada Council for the Arts. 

TWEET TWEET!

TWEET TWEET is a 25- minute contemporary circus duet performance experience for our youngest audience, age 0-3 years and their caregivers, and takes place in the round. The show takes place on a magical tree apparatus (built by Peter Benedetti and Kelsey Carrier), with 2 nests and 2 wood swing apparatuses hanging from the branches. The performers move from the nests, up into the aerial tree canopy, through the rope tree trunk, and on the floor. There is a large forest floor carpet that lies under the tree branches for the audience to sit and lie on. TWEET TWEET is directed by Monica Dottor.

 

Generously supported by the Toronto Arts Council, Ontario Arts Council and Canada Council for the Arts. 

FLORA & FAUNA

Flora & Fauna is a new early years creation exploring themes of relationship and nature. Flora & Fauna is an invitation for the audience to let the magical forest come and greet them in this performative forest walk. 

Flora & Fauna is part installation, part performance, to create a rich outdoor performing arts experience for young audiences and their caregivers. This show is created to be presented outdoors, on a variety of terrains in summer or winter. 

 

Creative Team
Concept: Holly Treddenick & Lindsay Goodtimes
Co-creators: Holly Treddenick, Lindsay Goodtimes & Monica Dottor
Directed by: Monica Dottor
Apparatus Design: Upstage Dynamics
Illustration: Kelsey Carrier
Costume: Tannis MacArthur

 

“Isn’t this what we want for our children? This immersion in the natural world, this feeling-at-oneness, these eyes sparkling with fire.”

– Child & Nature Alliance of Canada

 

Flora & Fauna began creation in Fall 2020. We are preparing a free-standing apparatus for an outdoor performance experience, maintaining awareness around Covid-19 and the new restrictions placed on the performing arts. We are approaching this creation process as an opportunity to create outside the box for these unknown times.

 

Femmes du Feu Creations is grateful to Theatre Gargantua, Toronto Arts Council, Ontario Arts Council, the OAC Recommender Grants for Theatre Creators from Carousel Players and Young People’s Theatre, and the Canada Council for the Arts for the support of this project.

BIND

Premiere 2016
BIND is a 6-performer, 25-minute aerial circus work that looks at feminism, health, exorcism, trauma, and flutter-fetti. This work is raw, edgy, and bold. The piece is a combination of contemporary dance and aerial work on an aerial ladder. The ladder changes rigging configurations throughout the piece. The music ranges from the ethereal sounds of Max Richter to blues-rock of Jack Black. The costuming begins in gender-neutral mechanic jumpsuits, which are soon removed. The rest of the work takes place in woolen underwear and bras.

REV

REV is a steampunk, post apocalyptic contemporary circus and dance work. Five fierce ladies work with an aerial ladder as their fallen aircraft. They hang, swing, spin and eventually soar as they work to to finally get their aircraft back into flight.

 

Choreographed by Holly Treddenick

 

Performed by Lara Ebata, Natalie Fullerton, Diana Lopez, Angola Murdoch

 

Music by Squid Lid

 

Filmed by Eamon McMohnn
Time: 12 minutes

 

Commissioned by Harbourfront Centre for HarbourKids Circus 2018

AIRSHIP

Premiere 2011

Femmes du Feu’s Holly Treddenick and Sabrina Pringle brought back performers Lara Ebata and Natalie Fullerton to collaborate and join forces with musician James Fisher of Zirco Circus to create their new aerial dance show Airship.Inspired by the culture and esthetics of Steampunk, Airship imagines the path not taken for technology in the early explorations of flight, and reveals the inner workings of a ship powered by human movement.

Leonardo Da Vinci said “For once you have tasted flight you will walk the earth with your eyes turned skywards, for there you have been and there you will long to return”.

 

Commissioned by Harbourfront Centre for HarbourKids Circus 2018

THE PLANK

Premiere 2010

Jump into the rigging, set sail and dive into the legend and lore of women on the high seas in this aerial dance show!

Classes and Workshops

CLASSES

Femmes du Feu offers private, semi-private and group instruction in aerial silks, single point trapeze, rope and conditioning & stretching. Workshops in silks or trapeze can also be added to any event as a fun and entertaining activity for guest.

For ongoing classes and workshops, visit our sister site CIRCUS IN THE TREES!

Locally in Toronto, Joanne Galligan will be teaching for Femmes Du Feu, offering Static Trapeze classes at Pursuit OCR.  Static Trapeze is a fun, dynamic apparatus that builds strength and aerial awareness.  Session classes and workshops available.

Aerial silks are a beautiful and exciting circus apparatus requiring strength and flexibility. Students will learn how to control their body in the air and move against gravity. These skills are learned with careful coaching through conditioning and play.

Regular classes, Family classes and Conditioning classes are available. There are no prerequisites and all levels welcome.

THE BANK FAMILY DAYS

The Bank Family Days, produced by the Femmes du Feu Creations, is a series of arts & culture events engaged activities for families and people of all ages. Activities will take place digitally and at home. Registration is required, but all events are FREE! Each event will include a take home kit with supplies for the activity. Each event will include a series of online videos to watch, a craft to do at home, and an interactive Zoom meeting with the lead artist.

For more information, visit: https://thebankah.com/2020/10/15/the-bank-family-days/

DIGITAL SUMMER CAMP

August 24 – August 28, 2020
Virtual Circus Digital Summer Camp will be hosted by Holly of Femmes du Feu and will take place on August 24-28 live via Zoom from 10:30-11:30am. Each virtual class will be a mashup of circus, theatre, dance, and games – free and fun for all ages.

Class will begin with a game, include stretching, some acrobatics such as somersaults, some juggling, some dance, and a craft or drawing. Participants will be welcome to use the props suggested, but we will also bring reference to household items participants can use.

CIRCUS SESSIONS #5

June 17-29, 2019
Circus Sessions (now in it’s 5th year) is a weeklong circus laboratory and think-tank that will offer a small group of contemporary circus artists the opportunity to work with internationally renowned circus artists, instructors and researchers.  For the first time, this year’s Circus Sessions will run for two weeks – one for emerging artists and one for professional artists.

WEEK 1
Monday, June 17 to Saturday, June 22 – Emerging Artists

  • Monica Dottor (mentor)
  • Bahia Watson (mentor)
  • Jordan Reinwald
  • Celeste Bliss
  • Elizabeth Munn
  • Nicole Malbeuf
  • Leah Skerry
  • Leïla Maillard
  • Alexandra Watt Simpson
  • Christine Conroy
  • Valerie Arthur
  • Grace Law
  • Nicole Belfer
  • Rhen Molly Miles
  • Sage Lovell (with ASL)
  • Thurga Kanagasekarampillai  (with ASL)

WEEK 2
Monday, June 24 to Saturday, June 29 – Professional Artists

  • Michelle Man (mentor)
  • Stacie Dunlop
  • Tania Marin
  • Sara Torrie
  • Samantha Halas
  • Jessie Fraser
  • Allara Gooliaff
  • Raquel Madrid
  • Coco Framboise
  • Jessica John
  • Kiki Belle
  • Winnie (Natalie Fullerton)
  • Kook (Angola Murdoch)

Alex Bulmer, blind theater artist, writer and dramaturge, will be working with each group on creative audio description and creating with a framework of “decentralizing vision”.

Audio Description will be offered Saturday June 22nd and Saturday June 29th

ASL Interpretation will be offered Saturday June 22nd.

For information about venue accessibility, parking, TTC and more, see
http://www.tocentre.com/information-theatregoers

CIRCUS SESSIONS #4

April 23-28, 2018
MENTOR: Marie-Andree Robitaille from Stockholm, Sweden

Circus Sessions participants:
Natayu Mildenberger (Toronto), Rebecca Anne Zelewicz (Toronto), Miranda S Tempest (Toronto), Jennifer Dallas (Toronto), Aude Lavergne (Montreal), Andrei Anissimov (Montreal), Noemie Beauchamps (Montreal), Giselle Mar (Montreal), Myriam Bloom (USA), Wondercabinet Weshinskey (USA), Sarah Muehlbauer (USA), Maggie B. Karlin (USA), Inka Lilja (Finland), Ida Cramer (Germany), Tina Carter (UK)

This year we have Alex Bulmer with us to work with 3 artists, Whitney Nicole (Kelowna), Erin Ball (Kingston), and Kate Kavanagh (UK), on audio description and to lead research around increasing accessibility in circus.

CIRCUS SESSIONS #3

May 15 – 20, 2017

Produced by Femmes du Feu in partnership with Harbourfront Centre as part of NextSteps 2016/17

Circus Sessions Mentor:
Sean Gandini from the UK. Sean is co-artistic director of the fantastically avant-garde Gandini Juggling. Read more about them here: http://www.gandinijuggling.com

Circus Sessions participants:
Greg Tarlin (Toronto, ON), Mighty Mike (Toronto, ON), Louis Barbier (Toronto, ON), Christel Bartelse (Toronto, ON), Manuel Rodriguez (Toronto, ON), Britt Howlett (Toronto, ON), Dominique Rabideau (Montreal, QB), Kevin Cheng (Montreal, QB), Bekka Rose (Montreal, QB), Bailey En (Montreal, QB), Antoinette Lane (Battelboro, VT), Shayna Swanson (Chicago, IL), Courtney Propokas (Chicago, IL), Ty Vennewitz (Ashland, OR)

CIRCUS SESSIONS #2

May 16-22, 2016

Produced by Femmes du Feu in partnership with Harbourfront Centre as part of NextSteps 2016/17

 

CIRCUS TALK: A day of panel discussions – Saturday May 21 10-4pm

Mentor:
Adell Node-Langlois (Paris, France).

Circus Sessions participants:
Dana Dugan (Chicago, IL), Vanessa Furlong (Halifax, NS), Leah Samelson (Quebec, QB), Yury Ruzhyev (Toronto, ON), Katelyn McCulloch (Toronto, ON), Jamie Holmes (Toronto, ON), Rachelle Ellie (Ottawa, ON), Chriselle Tidrick (Brooklyn, NY), Erin Ball (Kingston, ON), Marie-Noel Bety (Montrel, QB), Nicki Miller (Brooklyn, NY)

Circus Sessions greatly acknowledges the generous support of the Ontario Arts Council and The Canada Council For The Arts.

CIRCUS SESSIONS #1

May 11-16, 2015
Mentor: Fred Deb (Nantes, France).

Circus Sessions participants: Lara Ebata, Angola Murdoch, Diana Lopez Soto, Emily Hughes, Molly Keczan, Diane McGrath, Greg Tarlin, Zita Nyarady, Airin Dalton, Gabrielle Martin, Jimmy Tommy, Noa Lara Meir, Leda Davies, Esther de Montflores, Lou Poirier

Circus Talk – A Day of National discussions on Contemporary Circus
Saturday, May 16 from 10am to 4pm

Panel discussions with circus artists and organizations from across the country including En Piste, Canada Council for the Arts, TOHU, Firefly Theatre & Circus, Allison Collins of the Vancouver Circus Festival, Circus Stella, and more. Free.

 

Cross Canada glance featuring

  • Yannki- Circus Stella (Moncton, NB)
  • Christine Bouchard- En Piste (Montreal, QB)
  • Samuel Tetrault- En Piste, 7 Doigts De La Main (Montreal, QB)
  • Nadia Drouin- TOHU (Montreal, QB)
  • Allison Collins- Vancouver Circus Festival (Vancouver, BC)
  • Annie Dugan- Firefly Theatre (Edmonton, AB)
  • Brandy Leary- Anaandam Dance Theatre (Toronto, ON)
  • Connections between Canada and the rest of the world: Autopiste, touring (Nadia Bouchard and Samuel Tetrault)

AER TIME

Jun 15, 2014; Nov 1, 2015; Jan 10, 2016; Mar 3, 2016; June 5, 2016
Aer Time (founded in 2012 by Natasha Danchenko and Holly Treddenick) is a performance forum for professional and youth contemporary circus artists who are exploring, creating, and pushing the boundaries of their work. Each showcase features 5 artists and is followed by an artist/audience talk back session facilitated by a senior dance artist.

News and Press

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Holly Treddenick

Artistic Director, Project Lead

Originally from Winnipeg, Holly moved to Toronto in 1995 to study at The School of Toronto Dance Theatre.

Holly has been dancing since she could walk, and has been in circus for more than 16 years.

Holly is artistic director and co-founder of Femmes du Feu (founded in 2003), under which she produces several sector development projects including Circus Sessions (since 2014), Aer Times (since 2010) and teaches workshops.

Through Femmes du Feu, Holly has been performing and creating new contemporary circus works and presenting them across Canada and the USA. She is passionate about community and art, both as a creator and interpreter. She believes art can inspire, educate, build community and catalyse transformation. Holly is also an osteopath (DOMP), and a mother of two beautiful girls.

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Lindsay Goodtimes

Artist, Collaborator, Co-Founder

Lindsay Goodtimes has been entertaining audiences for the past two decades. After graduating from Toronto Dance Theatre in 1998 she spent many years performing and choreographing in the US, Canada and abroad. Her travels took her to South East Asia where Lindsay trained at the Thai fire school.  It was there she was first introduced to the circus arts. Upon returning from her travels she was impassioned with a great desire to incorporate fire arts in dance, it was at that time that Lindsay co-founded Femmes Du Feu with Holly Treddenick as a vehicle to explore this fusion.  Lindsay was honoured to be a part of the Circus Orange team for many years and participated in their trade mark spectacle performances at JFL Montreal, Winterlude Ottawa and Cavalcade Toronto to name a few. She began her aerial training with Sabrina Pringle in 2006 and is thrilled with the new direction that Sabrina and Holly have guided FDF into.  A women of many interests, Lindsay has been a member of multiple bands over the years from Punk Rock to Kindie, Lindsay utilizes different types of performance mediums to explore human expression with the ultimate goal of entertainment.

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Peter Benedetti

Technical Director

With over 70,000 hours of experience working with clients such as Cirque du Soleil, The Elgin and Winter Garden Theatre Centre, Veld, Burton Cummings, and Rock of Ages.

Peter has extensive expertise in turning even the wildest dreams into highly-detailed reality.

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Sabrina Pringle

Chair

Sabrina is a mover, creator, entrepreneur, and community maker. Her career has spanned performing, choreographing, rigging and teaching hundreds of students over the last 3 decades. Sabrina has worked with all sorts of people in hugely diverse scenarios. Choreographing within complex rigging, set, and site specific designs is an ongoing feature of her work. This range includes tall ships, tall buildings, sides of buildings, outdoor structures, circus tents, small winding intricate rooms…rarely a blank stage. Some highlighted past collaborators include The Caravan Stage Barge, Circus Orange, DNA Theatre, Company Blonde, and she was the co-artistic Director of Femmes Du Feu 2008-2012. Since 2013 Sabrina has spent much of her efforts on the creation of Circus In The Trees, a rural circus school in Southwestern Ontario.  

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Jackie Houghton

Writer, Social Media Manager

Circus has taken on an ever-expanding role in Jackie’s life for over a decade now. She has grown from a student learning to navigate the silks in a small Toronto studio and is now a more accomplished student and performer of various apparatus, including silks, lyra, and hula hoop. Several years ago Jackie realized that she could utilize her journalism background as a means to amplify the Ontario circus community here and abroad. Since, she has written about circus and provided circus critique for The Circus Diaries (UK), Circus Talk (USA), My Entertainment World (Canada), and of course, Femmes du Feu Creations (Canada). What once seemed a dream, is now an integral part of her personal and professional development that she hopes to continue to build on as a part of the Femmes du Feu team.

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Angola Murdoch

Artist, Collaborator

Angola’s childhood was spent mostly upside down, dancing and doing gymnastics while growing up on her family farm in Grey County, Ontario. She has trained and performed in a multitude of movement disciplines including over fifteen years of capoeira, aerial circus and acrobatics.  Her strength is creating new aerial equipment that make sense in a theatrical setting. Angola is an international performer. Some highlights include: Cirque Pacifica (Maui), Waiting for Calder (Art Gallery of Ontario), Planet Power (HarbourKids, Toronto), Maravilla (Second City, Toronto), Granmercy Theatre (NYC), Command Performance (Europe), and Zip Zap Circus (South Africa). Angola has graduated from the National Circus School in Montreal where she obtained the highest level of coaching certification for circus arts.  She has taught all over the world offering social circus workshops and her unique master classes. Angola is thrilled and honoured to be part of the Femmes Du Feu team.

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Sara Porter

Artistic Collaborator, Creative Coach, Dramaturge

Sara Porter is a contemporary choreographer, multi-disciplinary dancer, performer, writer, mentor and teacher based in Toronto. Creator of over 30 works since 1990, her one-woman show Sara does a Solo – about returning to dancing after having 3 kids – premiered in 2014 and toured Canada and internationally. Her work is feminist, theatrical, quirky and engages a wide audience. Sara’s dance writing has been published in print and online in Canada and the UK for 30 years. She has taught contemporary dance theory and practice at colleges and universities in Canada and Scotland and is currently developing a practice melding memoir & movement that she teaches in-person and online internationally. Her one-woman show Getting to know your fruit – investigating the potential of queer memoir – was CoVid cancelled and is being revisioned as a film.

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Alex Bulmer

Accessibility Consultant, Dramaturge

With 30 professional years across theatre, television, film, radio, and education, Alex Bulmer is dedicated to inclusive collaborative art practice, fuelled by a curiosity of the improbable and deeply informed by her experience of becoming blind. She is activated by obstacles, well exposed to the absurd, and embraces the disciplines of generosity, listening, time, and uncertainty within her artistic and personal life. Alex is currently part-time Artistic Director of Common Boots Theatre, co-founder and artistic director of Cripping The Stage with The British Council, and the lead curator of Brave 2021 Festival: CoMotion, an international disability arts festival produced by Harbourfront Centre.

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Diana Lopez-Soto

Artist, Collaborator

I am a mother, land caretaker and a Mexican/Canadian multidisciplinary artist (producer, director, choreographer, rigging designer, performer and visual artists) My work explores the relationships between ecology, body and performance art with a focus on process, decolonization and sustainability. I was born and raised in Mexico and hold a BFA from Emily Carr University. I have participated, exhibited, presented and performed my work in France, Panama, Mexico, Costa Rica, USA and Canada. I work in collaboration with other artisans, knowledge keepers, sculpture artists, dancers and riggers. I am a member of Vanguardia Dance Projects, work for Circus Orange and also collaborate with Ana Prada, Alejandro Ronceria, Femme Du Feu, Flying Solo, Hercinia Arts, Fly with Me and Look up Theatre.

www.dianalopezsoto.com

www.willowind.ca

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Natalie Fullerton

Artist, Collaborator

Natalie Fullerton is a classically trained dancer who also holds a BFA in dance from York University. After completing her degree she discovered the circus arts and has never looked back. In addition to co-directing her own fire and aerial company, Goodness Gracious…, she has also performed across Canada, the USA, Europe and Asia with various companies and choreographers. Most recently she has been working with Circus Orange, Femmes du Feu, Les Coquettes and Lady Luck Productions on selected events including, Airship with Femmes du Feu as part of the 2011 Rhubarb Festival, City of Toronto Wintercity Festival 2010, Femmes du Feuʼs production Head First, winner of Toronto Fringe Festival 2009 Best of Fringe award and Patronʼs Pick, The Calgary Stampede 2008 and Just For Laughs 2006 (Montreal), 2007 (Toronto) with Circus Orange, as well as an ongoing residency at Revival with Les Coquettes.

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Tanis MacArthur

Costume Designer

Tanis Sydney MacArthur has been an independent costumier for performing artists for more than 25 years. She is also an interpretive dance artist, choreographer, aerialist, stilt walker, prop maker and large scale inflatable sculpture artist. Clients of note include Femmes du Feu, Hamilton Aerial Group, Aeris Korper, Fly With Me Aerial Dance, Steel the Sky Aerial Arts, Team T&J, Mabel Moon, Learie McNicolls, Red Betty Theatre, Aoucheva Dance Studio, Defining Movement Dance Company, Hamilton Dance Company, MacDancers, Parahumans, the Acromaniacs and Artword Theatre.  She executed wardrobe and creature design for the independent short film The Sail Tree by Radha Menon. She placed third nationally in the Smirnoff International Fashion Awards 1994 and regularly contributed original designs to Fashion Cares. She served as designer and key wardrobe for the film A Windigo Tale by Armand Garnet Ruffo.  She designed and built The Arctic Fox and Inspired by Icebergs, outdoor installations of multiple 16′ tall inflated sculptures in collaboration with Cobalt Connects.

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Sara Torrie

Costume Designer

Sara Torrie is a Canadian artist exploring the regenerative potential and ingrained intelligence found in textiles and objects. She is currently organizing her fashion project, Sartoria, to make more space for costume and installation work. her involvement with Femmes du Feu has included a number of costuming contracts/invitations including the great privilege to be part of Circus Sessions, in May 2019.

http://www.saratorrie.xyz

http://www.sartoria.ca

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Lara Ebata

Artist, Collaborator

Lara has been a dancer for over 25 years. Her formative training began with ballet with the Royal Academy of Dance. An insatiable appetite for dance has led to studies in modern, jazz, Indian dance, Afro-Caribbean, hip hop, Latin ballroom, tap, fire dance, stilts, and various aerial apparatus. Since graduating from the York University Dance Program in 2000, Lara has performed across North America in festivals such as the Toronto Fringe Festival of Independent Dance Artists, Dusk Dances, the Toronto, Ottawa, London, & Hamilton Fringe Festivals, the Yonge St. Festival, Just for Laughs (Montreal & Toronto), Cavalcade of Lights, the Calgary Stampede, Wintercity, the Rhubarb Festival, and the Second City Late Night Cabaret. Lara has had the opportunity to work with Toronto circus companies such as Circus Orange, Femmes du Feu, A2D2, and Suspended Animation, and is co-artistic director of her own small fire dance company, Goodness Gracious…

Contact us for more information, or to book a performance!

 

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Femmes du Feu Creations acknowledges the land we are on is the traditional territory of the Haudenosaunee and Anishinaabe peoples, many of whom continue to live and work here today. This territory is covered by the Upper Canada Treaties and is within the land protected by the Dish With One Spoon Wampum agreement. Today this gathering place is home to many First Nations, Métis, and Inuit peoples and acknowledging reminds us that our great standard of living is directly related to the resources and friendship of Indigenous peoples.