Lights Dance Festival began with its inaugural event held at the Drake Hotel on June 18th, 2017, and was a collaboration between Choifilms, and Momentum Dance Toronto. Its mission was to bridge the gap between creators and lovers of dance, and between dance and cinema. We opened to a full house in the Drake Underground, and screened a mixture of five short films and eight dance performances.

Lights Dance aspires to celebrate dance in its diversity and endless possibilities, through live performance, but also the cinematic medium. The festival began as a way to bridge our love for both of these mediums, and having gone through its first iteration, is ready to evolve.

Lights Dance wants to make dance more accessible to all. We are passionate about creating a stronger dance community here in Canada by equipping choreographers, dancers, and filmmakers through education, mentorship, and building a stronger network. It is imperative for us to strengthen the voices and craftsmanship of everyone who desires to tell stories through dance, whatever their background or identity may be.

We are a not-for-profit community initiative looking to build connections and make space for vibrant dance cultures in Canada. 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 Toronto. 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, Sarah made a leap of faith by moving to New York City in 2010 to study documentary filmmaking. She returned to Toronto in 2017, and began reaching out to the creative community here. She is fascinated by the world of dance and loves to narrate stories through them. Sarah won the Best Director Award in the Short Documentary category for 26 & Never Been Kissed at the Atlanta International Documentary Film Festival in 2012.

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.

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.