Lights Dance Festival began with its inaugural event held at the Drake Hotel in Toronto on June 18th, 2017. A collaboration with Momentum Dance Toronto, we opened to a full house and offered a hybrid program that interweaved cinematic and live-dance components.

Lights Dance aspires to celebrate dance in its diversity and endless possibilities through live performance and the cinematic medium. Our mission is to foster a stronger dance community across and beyond the Americas.

Lights Dance wants to make dance more accessible to all. Our vision is to create a safe space for those who want to learn and encounter dance in a fresh way whilst providing a platform on which underrepresented artists can collaborate and showcase their work. With the belief that dance is a connecting force, capable of forging new relationships and hope, we strive for ways to evolve and increase our community engagement.

Lights Dance is a not-for-profit community initiative looking to build connections and make space for vibrant dance cultures. If you would like to work with us, please drop us an email.


TEAM

Sarah Choi // Executive Director

Sarah Choi is an independent Korean-Canadian filmmaker born in Seoul, currently based in Seattle. Growing up in various cities in Korea, America, and Canada, Sarah developed a nomadic sense of identity and a passion for diversity, art, and justice. After graduating from university with a degree in Biology, she made a leap of faith by moving to New York City to study documentary filmmaking. Sarah won the Best Director Award at the Atlanta International Documentary Film Festival in 2012 and Best Documentary Film at the 2020 Davis Feminist Film Festival. She recently produced Shanawdithit VR in collaboration with Tapestry Opera and directed Bird, Man, Water (2021).

Warren Chan // Marketing and Outreach

Warren Chan has been supporting arts organizations through marketing and communications-related roles for the past 10 years. In the past, he has worked with the Vancouver International Film Festival, DanceHouse, the Vancouver Fringe Festival, and a variety of Vancouver-based dance companies. Currently, Warren is working towards his MA at York University, where he is researching the use of A.I.-generated images in experimental video art. He also dabbles in video art; his past works include This Is DVD (2018), and his current ongoing projects include two experimental documentaries about Vancouver and Toronto.

Janet Tran // Festival Coordinator

Janet Tran is a Toronto based interdisciplinary artist currently creating immersive installations that examine multiculturalism, racism, feminism, mental health, and cultural identity in the Canadian context. Interested in exploring the transformation of space with furniture, found objects, light, and sound; as well as further experimenting with methods of storytelling by appealing to senses beyond visual and aural. Tran identifies as a Canadian of Chinese and Vietnamese descent. Born and raised in Ontario, she majored in Integrated Media at Ontario’s College of Art and Design University, receiving her Bachelors of Fine Arts in 2017.


PAST TEAM MEMBERS

Gabbie Pangan // Marketing and Outreach

Gabbie is a Maker Educator with interest in graphic design and dance. She attended her first dance class at STUDIO II, a Ryerson extracurricular group that aims to create an inclusive learning environment for all styles and levels of dance. From there, she became interested in exploring the fundamental techniques used in different dance styles. She has taken part in various training programs, introducing her to house, contemporary and hip hop styles. Gabbie is a proud member of the School Of Groove training program and FOREAL Dance Company.

Jasmine Gui // Festival Coordinator

Jasmine Gui is the founder of Project 40 Collective, an interdisciplinary pan-Asian artist collective based in Toronto and managing editor at LooseLeaf magazine. Coming from a marketing background in grassroots and community arts, she currently also works as a freelance arts administrator and has collaborated on festivals with VIBE Arts, and Regent Park Film Festival. She is an avid lover of dance and dance films, but also dabs in the literary scene as a poet.