Elias Djemil

Sensitive traveler of the world of stories, explorer filmmaker in search of a universal language, a photographer with a discreet eye wanting to capture reality in its most authentic forms, Elias Djemil is an artist who wants to distinguish himself by his understanding of the world we live in and the one we aspire to.

Tanin Torabi
@tanintorabi_dance | www.tanintorabi.art

Tanin Torabi (طنین ترابی) was born in 1992 in Tehran, Iran. She got her BA in Sociology in Iran, and her MA in Contemporary Dance Performance from the University of Limerick, Ireland. She works in the realm of performance, choreography and film, and enjoys exploring the connection between the three. Torabi has made several award winning dance films and performances and currently works as a dancer, choreographer and dance filmmaker in Iran and Ireland.
Her most recent works are “The Dérive”, “Invisible Point”, “Ruby”, “Beyond the Frames” and “Immensity”, collaborations with film artists Milad Sanaei, Anis Eshraqi, Andrew Roberts, Dylan O’Neill and composer Faran Fahimi. She has received more than 15 awards for her films to date in categories like: “Creative Vision Award”, “Best Artist Film”, “Best Short Film”, “Best Inspirational Film”, “Best Inspiring Woman in a Film”, “Best Experimental Films”, “Best Cinematography” and “Best Documentary”, to name a few.
Her works have been described as rebellious, creative, inspiring, unbearably elegant and affecting, emblematic and poignant, empowering to women, and with clarity and an exceptional ambition that is layered with a complexity of personal and cultural nuance, by festival directors.

Barney Cokeliss

Barney Cokeliss is a London-based filmmaker. His works reflect his talent for cinematic storytelling, emotive expression and authenticity. “I’m drawn to projects where I get to create cinematic impact and deliver something powerfully human”, he says. Barney is the writer, producer, and director of “Night Dancing”, which was recently world-premiered at the 2016 Toronto International Film Festival and is currently shortlisted for the Best British Short Film BAFTA. We are more than excited to be featuring Cokeliss’ “Night Dancing” at this year’s Lights Dance Festival on May 26th!

Virpi Pahkinen
Virpi Pahkinen’s works are full of secrets; she can be a warrior of the spirit, a spectral gardener or a shaman in metamorphosis. She offers dance as an incantation and creates a meditative atmosphere with her original choreography. As a dancer and a choreographer, Virpi has been met with critical acclaim in over 45 countries and has been awarded several prestigious prizes, such as Sweden’s Litteris et Artibus for her outstanding artistic contributions. Her film “The Seventh Salt” will be featured at this year’s Lights Dance Festival on May 26th!
Her work as a dancer and a choreographer has been met with critical acclaim in over 45 countries. She has been awarded several prestigious prizes. In 2011 she was awarded Sweden’s Litteris et Artibus for her outstanding artistic contributions.
In 2014, she received the Cullberg Prize, given to a person who has put Stockholm on the international dance map.
Pahkinen has also created works for several companies such as Ballet Poznanski, Vietnamese National Opera Ballet, North 59° and Finnish Opera Ballet among others and created dance for film and TV. She has worked for director Ingmar Bergman at the Royal Dramatic Theater in Stockholm.
In 2009 Atena Kustannus published Pahkinen’s debut book Käärmeensyöjá (Serpent holder). The Daily Newspaper, Keskisuomalainen wrote: “The wild freedom of Serpent holder’s details and the poetic visions of its prose are a source of both power and levity.” In 2013 the book was published by MBM in Sweden.
Virpi Pahkinen was born in Finland. She is classically trained in piano at the Conservatory in Helsinki and studied choreography at the University College of Dance in Stockholm.

Sven Niemeyer
Sven Niemeyer is a dancer, actor, choreographer and dance teacher based in Hamburg, Germany. He has choreographed numerous productions for TV and stage in Germany, Luxembourg, and Denmark. As a guest-teacher, he was invited to many cities across Europe, such as Paris, Amsterdam, Moscow, Oakland, Barcelona, and Prague. COLD is his first film production as choreographer and director and it will be screened at this year’s Lights Dance Festival on May 26th!

Lorna Nickson Brown (producer)
Lanre Malaolu @lanremalaolu is a director/choreographer and performer based in the UK. He has been chosen to be a choreographer on the inaugural OLD VIC 12 – a talent group supported by the Old Vic Theatre comprised of the most exciting emerging artists in the UK. He was the choreographer and movement artist on The British Council film “Dear Mr. Shakespeare”, which was selected for the Sundance Film Festival in 2017. Lanre is also a trained actor (Drama Centre London) and has worked extensively in theatre and television. His experimental dance film “Figure” will be featured at this year’s Lights Dance Festival on May 26th!
Figure is an experimental dance film about boys growing up without fathers. It explores how earlydetachment from a father figure affects emotional growth and engagement with the world.
Through a dynamic fusion of physical theatre and hip–hop dance, the film follows two young men as theysearch for answers both outside and inside themselves.

Tim Jockel

Tim Jockel is a Berlin-based director and visual artist. His artwork deals with unseen relationships of shapes, structures and the process of transformation. He has a background in traditional graphic design and his fascination for typography, abstract forms and generative systems affects his approach to motion graphics and film. His most recent work “Hypra” explores the relationship between dance and digital art and we are so excited to be screening this beautiful piece at Lights Dance Festival this year on May 26th!

Majid Kessab
Majid Kessab is the reigning Hip Hop World Champion (Juste Debout 2014 & 2017) and winner of Germany’s Got to Dance 2014.
Known under his alias MAGILLA, Majid is a self-taught, well-established Hip Hop and freestyle dancer, and successful choreographer.
Since 2009 Majid has been successfully participating in prestigious battle events – such as Juste Debout (Paris), World Dance Colosseum (Tokyo), Dance@Live World Cup Final (Taipei), Cercle Underground (Paris) or Funkin Stylez (Berlin).

Sarah Wilcoxon
Sarah is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Theatre and Dance at Missouri State University. She holds an MS in Communication from Illinois State University where she focused on dance as rhetoric and an MFA in Dance from Florida State University. Her research and creative interests include dance as rhetorical tool for social change, cross-disciplinary collaboration, and dance conditioning/injury prevention. Sarah’s choreography has been featured in musicals, commercial work, on film, and on concert dance stages throughout the U.S. And now she brings her dance film “Querencia” to Toronto! We are looking forward to presenting this wonderful piece to you on May 26th! Go to the link in our bio to grab your tickets!