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SummerWorks International Development Strategy

Starting with new co-leadership in 2023, the SummerWorks International Development Strategy fosters long-term and sustainable engagement with diverse international artists and companies from specific countries or geographic regions.

International artists attend the SummerWorks Performance Festival in Year 1, establishing connections and forging relationships with the local Toronto performance community, while sharing their artistic practice and creative research. The same international artists return in Year 2 to present their work at the Festival in a more fulsome presentation, while simultaneously deepening their relationships with local artists, through ongoing conversations and potential collaborative projects.

The SummerWorks International Development Strategy firmly plants relationship-building and ongoing collaboration at the centre, while offering audiences an opportunity to follow an artist’s creative journey over a two-year cycle. This Strategy specifically supports independent artists and small companies/collectives in live performance, and provides SummerWorks with more time and additional opportunities to actively seek funding from a variety of local, national, and international partners and sponsors.

Scroll down to learn more about the international artists at the 2024 Festival!


2023: Taiwan (Year 1)

2024: South Korea (Year 1) // Taiwan (Year 2)

2025: TBD (Year 1) // South Korea (Year 2)

Taiwan Focus: SummerWorks 2024

The 2024 SummerWorks Performance Festival features boundary-pushing contemporary works from three of Taiwan’s most celebrated movement-based artists and companies.

Wu-Kang Chen (HORSE), Fangas Nayaw & I-Fen Tung (Fist & Cake Production), and Pin-Wen Su (Kua-bo Dance Theater) each focus on the moving body in unique ways: as a site for exploring the intricacy and intimacy of the bones; as a space for family tradition and the emergence of play; and as a place for questioning the role of gender in today’s society.

The Taiwan Focus at the 2024 SummerWorks Performance Festival is generously supported with funding from the Taipei Cultural Center in New York.

Girl's Notes III

Su PinWen / Kua-bo Dance Theater

Girl’s Notes III is the only creation based entirely on Pin-Wen’s personal experience in 2020. Pin-Wen pays attention to females who have retreated from public to private space because of the isolating effects of the COVID-19 pandemic; especially those who live alone. Now in a post-pandemic world, the work resonates even more acutely. When gender loses the eyes of the social gaze, how are their bodies moving and how is gender performed?



Three Dots

Fangas Nayaw & I-Fen Tung / Fist & Cake Production

In this multifaceted world premiere performance about the constant flow of personal emotions within a Taiwanese family, two adults and one child intertwine themselves into an inseparable large polyhedron, as they sing, dance, talk, and play games together on stage.

The first Dot, a Taiwanese Indigenous (Amis) man;

The second Dot, a Taiwanese Hokkien woman;

The last Dot, the newest life mixture of Taiwanese people.

This is a family. A three-dimensional body looking from the individual to the group, from society to the family, from the world back to Taiwan, to re-understand the world.



Meet the Bones

Wu-Kang Chen / HORSE

Inspired by the function of the bones. Fascinated by their beauty.

This work is a study of bones, and of its metaphor. And techniques inspired by the bones.

In this subtle and nuanced performance offering, four individuals develop new ways of using their bodies through the accumulation of Kleinian techniques. “Klein Technique” is a cohesive movement system that connects the body and the mind. Through its practice, you can understand the workings of the body more delicately, thereby exploring more possibilities for creation and performance.



South Korea Focus: SummerWorks 2024

The South Korea Focus features intriguing collaborations between Canadian and South Korean artists that boldly push past traditional understandings to explore new ways of working and making art together.

Two unique projects will be shared within the SummerWorks Exchange, and serve as initial introductions to the artists, and the ideas, approaches, and practices that inform the early stages of their collaborative work.

Festivals Are Strange, Scary and Eerie

Baram Company x Emily Jung & Theresa Cutknife

Festivals are explosive, exhaustive, overwhelming — just like the impending climate crisis.

Two artist collaborator groups (one based in Tka:ronto and one in South Korea) have spent the last several months trying to research and create processes using “eco-dramaturgy”: an attempt to decenter human voices in storytelling.

In this current exchange, Korean, Canadian, and Indigenous artists and collaborators come together to investigate the concept of “festivity”, and attempt to share answers and tell stories about climate change from the perspective of 맹꽁이, Sancheoneo, Butterfly, frigatebird, Blue Heron, and Lost Creek.

This is a presentation of the process, with short scripted readings, followed by a conversation.



in-between space lab / 인-비트윈 스페이스 랩

He Jin Jang / Marie France Forcier / Heidi Strauss

You are invited to a sharing hosted by in-between space lab, a cross-cultural creative research initiative integrating Canadian and Korean perspectives. Over a ninety-minute session, choreographers/researchers Marie France Forcier, He Jin Jang, and Heidi Strauss will reflect on initial development phases and workshops toward navigating uncertain terrain with generosity, an audience-attentive methodology for amplifying co-presence.

Their collaborative practice attempts to connect with self, space, time, and encounters with uncertainty via the felt-body. Allowing the senses as a guide to converse with the (un)familiar, their work searches for understandings of trust. They will walk through where the process has taken them, offer a participatory element, and share archival material, documentary footage, perspectives they are gaining, and plans for the project’s future.