Uptown Moves


Happening in the Lyric Theatre

in association with dance Immersion


Nov. 16 & 17, 2019


Uptown Moves features dance works by Montreal’s world-renowned Zab Maboungou/ Compagnie Danse Nyata Nyata in the Toronto premiere of Mongozi, alongside Shameka Blake’s Toronto company Artists in Motion with a Canadian premiere of their latest work Earth. This powerful double-bill performance examines our connection to time through contemporary explorations of the dance and music of the African diaspora.


The performance weekend includes a masterclass workshop with Zab Maboungou, a pre-show lecture and demonstration with dance performer, instructor, mentor and cultural arts programmer Collette Murray, a post-show artist talk, and a Saturday Dance Night Out premium ticket that includes the dance performances, a screening of the documentary African Dance: Sand, Drum, and Shostakovich that explores African contemporary dance through eight modern dance companies from Africa, Europe and Canada that participated in the Festival International de Nouvelle Danse in Montreal, Canada in 1999, along with an authentic Jamaican dinner catered by Beryl’s Pepper Pot.




A: NOVEMBER 14, 2019

Workshop with Zab Maboungou (for experienced dancers, ages 16+)         $15 

7:00 PM    Workshop – Register Here


B: NOVEMBER 16, 2019 

Dance Night Out: Documentary/Dinner/Dance Performance Package    $75 

5:00 PM    Documentary Screening 
6:00 PM    Dinner 
7:00 PM    Double-Bill Dance Presentation


C: November 16, 2019

7:00 PM    Double-Bill Dance Presentation Only    $40 (students $15)

+ Pre-show lecture/demonstration by Coco Collective beginning at 6:15 PM


D: November 17, 2019

3:30 PM    Double-Bill Dance Presentation Only    $40 (students $15)

+ Post-show discussion with the artists from both companies






African Dance: Sand, Drum, and Shostakovich by Ken Glazebrook and Alla Kovgan

This documentary explores African contemporary dance through the lens of eight international dance companies, including Zab Maboungou/Compagnie Danse Nyata Nyata, that participated in the 1999 Festival International de Nouvelle Danse in Montreal.

Investigating interactions between tradition and modernism and the consequences of colonization and urbanization, the film is an inspiration for artists, historians, critics, and those interested in African culture.


2002, 70 minutes, French with English subtitles.





Choreographed by Zab Maboungou, Mozongi (Return) is about the physics of time. The step is weight, and weight is time. Not repetition, but persistence. The structure of the piece unfolds through the contrasts of movement and of immobility, of the one and of the many, to give shape to a primordial conflict – that of time which consumes space. 50 minutes.

Emerging artist Shameka Blake opens the show with a debut of her urban-inspired piece, Earth – A Creation Story, set on her company Artists in Motion. With a primordial origin story as an inspirational backdrop, the artists explore their individual connections to the beginning of time and the present day through powerful experimentation with energy, physicality, and musical dialogue. 30 minutes.


Zab Maboungou/Compagnie Danse Nyata Nyata

Zab Maboungou/Compagnie Danse Nyata Nyata is a unique contemporary dance company. Its artistic director, senior choreographer, thinker, and renowned performer Zab Maboungou has asserted her firm commitment to producing choreographic works throughout the world, on and off stage. Zab teaches the techniques of African dance to help develop international audiences and takes an active part in the institutional renewal of policies concerning the arts field.


Artists in Motion

Artists in Motion Dance Company is a multidisciplinary Toronto dance company incorporating a fusion of dance genres including West African, hip hop, dancehall, jazz and Western contemporary. The company consists of gifted young dancers dedicated to elevating the art of urban dance.

Led by Shameka Blake, 2015 Black Canadian Award recipient for Best Urban Dance Act, Artists in Motion has worked the stage with Lady Gaga, Snoop Dogg, Divine Brown, Deborah Cox, Hilary Duff, Nelly Furtado, Flo Rida, Jully Black, Victoria Duffield, and Hedley. The company won MuchMusic’s New.Music.Live. Best Dance Crew, choreographed the Victory Celebration of the 2015 Pan Am Games, and has participated in the MuchMusic Video Awards, World Partnership Walk, Toronto International Film Festival, and Toronto Pride Festival.




Presented by




November 16, 20195:00 pm
November 16, 20197:00 pm
November 17, 20193:30 pm