Fire on the Water 

*click photos for a closer look

60 minutes

Sunday August 26, 2012

​Sunnyside Pavillion, Toronto

Produced by TheWaves

Artistic Director: Christie Pearson

Composer: Juliet Palmer

Choreography and Design: ADR

Dancers: Lo Bil, Dawne Carleton,  Victoria Cheong, Barbara Lindenberg, Allison Peacock

Installation and Costume: Melissa Fisher

Musicians: Brodie West, Nick Fraser, Lina Allemano, Doug Tielli, Nicole Rampersaud, Charles Davidson, Alex Samaras

I was delighted when TheWaves (Christie Pearson and Marcus Boon) invited me to participate in beach, water and architecture revival & bomb-ass DJ and art event Fire on the Water. A ton happened that day, check it out through the links below.


Tasked with choreographing the sunset ritual/ceremony/performance for Fire on the Water, I called up dancers Allison Peacock, Barbara Lindenberg, Dawne Carleton, Lo Bil and Victoria Cheong to dance with the shore, the waves, the sunset, and a really really really long piece of bright red fabric.

Visual artist Melissa Fisher created the installation-costume-ritual object. Working together on Fire on the Water at the Gibraltar Point Centre for the Arts on Hanlan's (Toronto Islands) was enchanting.

I lived in Toronto for 18 years. The whole time, I secretly longed to make something colourful, populated and joyful at Sunnyside Pavilion (built in 1922) I was especially drawn to the upper level of the Pavilion, which is usually kept locked with a giant chain, inaccessible.


Always casing places to find make site-specific dance, that lock and chain always got to me; I wanted in. I wanted to dance with those upper arched windows, I wanted to see the view.


Thanks to TheWaves, just at the moment I was leaving Toronto,  the chain came off the upper floor of the Sunnyside Pavilion. For a day and well into the night, the public romped and contemplated from the upper promenade of Sunnyside Pavilion.

Christie Pearson, "Sunnyside is an important key to our concepts and practices of culture-nature. Beneath its layers are remnants of Toronto’s dreams, from which we find seeds of a future city rich in meaning and connection".

And there  five intrepid dancers: Lo Bil, Dawne Carleton,  Victoria Cheong, Barbara Lindenberg, Allison Peacock, lead the whole busy crowd into a hush as the sun set and they fearlessly entered into, and sweetly collaborated with, Lake Ontario.

Fire on the Water Composer Juilet Palmer's music encompassed the massive performance arena, from upper the upper promenade to the sand and out into the canoe. Musicians Brodie West, Nick Fraser, Lina Allemano, Doug Tielli, Nicole Rampersaud, Charles Davidson and Alex Samaras played tirelessly.

It was satisfying to see this terrific beach re-claimation come to light, the beauty of a public space, being, well, public. People got their feet wet, bathed and played in tubs of feathers and tubs of ice, shook their booty on the dance floor, and bathed in Toronto history (if you'll forgive the wordplay).


Bathers of the world, unite!  


Fire on the Water website here.

Christie Pearson's Fire on the Water here.

Fire on the Water Composer from Juliet Palmer here.


Interview on Uma Nota's blog with Christie Pearson about Fire on the Water here.

Return to 11 Selected Works here.

Trace Dance Practice Aimee Dawn Robinson

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Kwanlin Dün and Taa'an Kwächän nations.

Gunalchéesh. Kwä̀nä̀schis. Shä̀w níthän.

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Aimée Dawn Robinson and Trace Dance Practice 2019 ©