The Bentway announces a site-specific dance commission from Noémie Lafrance, Jun 7-8, 2019

For Immediate Release: February 12, 2019 • Please include in your listings/announcements


The Bentway Announces
A Site-Specific Dance Performance
Created by World-Renowned Choreographer
Noémie Lafrance
World Premiere June 7, 2019

The Bentway is proud to announce the premiere of a new commission from world-renowned site-specific choreographer Noémie Lafrance and her company Sens Production.  Following a full year of development and several on-site public workshops, four public performances using 60+ dancers will be presented, as part of The Bentway’s 2019 Spring/Summer Season, on June 7 & 8, 2019.

Noémie Lafrance is an acclaimed choreographer, film director, conceptual artist, writer and producer—Canadian-born, Montreal-based via New York City—known for her innovative work reclaiming public spaces and engaging in public interventions. Agora, performed in an abandoned public pool, was seen by over 15,000 people and ultimately reopened the McCarren Park pool site in Brooklyn. The award-winning Descent was staged in a stairwell in a New York city criminal court house; and Noir was performed in a public parking garage with the audience seated in cars as part of the 2004 Whitney Biennial.

Lafrance’s new work, commissioned by and created specifically for The Bentway, explores how the navigation of architecture and urban infrastructures in a city is ‘choreographed,’ and investigates the political, social and cultural influences those choreographies have on the human, and the social, body. The performance explores the full length of the Bentway with dancers and audience members roaming the site from end to end.   

I am thrilled to create a site-specific work for The Bentway.  In a way, the Bentway is already a site-specific work because it reuses, re-envisions and re-purposes existent architecture, and to create a site-specific work for it means to add another layer of transformation to this already reimagined space. What inspires me about The Bentway is that in order to really experience it, you need to navigate it, to physically travel through the space and it is from that experiential and relational perspective that I am approaching this work.” – Noémie Lafrance

Leading up to the creation of this new epic work, Lafrance will hold a series of public creative process workshops, inviting professional dancers, actors, members of the community at large of all ages, and future audience members to participate in round table discussions, collective writing exercises and group physical improvisations in movement and voice. (pre-registration required).

This new commission for Noémie Lafrance is part of The Bentway’s 2019 Spring/Summer Season, which is focused on the theme of Communitas, exploring notions of the common and the communal: from shared spaces and assets, to collective experiences and movements born of mutual ideas. The 2019 Spring/Summer Season will officially launch on May 11, 2019.

For more information about the workshops and to register to participate, visit

Access to The Bentway is Always Free and Accessible
Enjoy free WiFi Courtesy of Beanfield

For more information, please visit
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The Bentway’s summer season is supported by the City of Toronto and PortsToronto. 

Noémie Lafrance’s performance is also supported by Ira Gluskin & Maxine Granovsky Gluskin, Richard M. Ivey, Donald K. Johnson, O.C. & Anna McCown-Johnson, Langford Family Foundation at Toronto Foundation, Northwood Family Office, and Diamond Corp.

Media Contact: FLIP PUBLICITY, 416.533.7710 • Carrie Sager,

click here to download media release (pdf)

About The Bentway
The Bentway is a unique and innovative public space that transforms 1.75km underneath Toronto’s Gardiner Expressway into a new gathering place for our city’s growing population.

The Bentway knits together seven local neighbourhoods with over 70,000 residents, becoming a gateway to the waterfront, while providing access to important attractions and destinations – from Fort York National Historic Site, Ontario Place and Exhibition Place to Harbourfront Centre and the CN Tower. The Bentway offers year-round activities and events, including gardens, a skate trail, recreational amenities, public markets, public art, special exhibitions, festivals, theatre and musical performances, and more. The initial phase of The Bentway is open to the public. Stretching from Strachan Avenue in the west to just east of Bathurst Street underneath the Gardiner Expressway, this section of The Bentway is located on the lands of Fort York National Historic Site, recognized by the Government of Canada as a site of national significance.

The Bentway is maintained, operated, and programmed by The Bentway Conservancy. The project was made possible through the collaboration of a range of city-builders and experts, including the City of Toronto, Waterfront Toronto, Judy and Wilmot Matthews, Ken Greenberg Consultants, PUBLIC WORK, Fort York National Historic Site, and Artscape. The Bentway is a proud member of the High Line Network, an international network of projects that transform underutilized infrastructure into new urban landscapes.

About Fort York National Historic Site
Fort York National Historic Site is one of 10 Toronto History Museums operated by the City of Toronto. Since 1793, Fort York has been an important military location and is where Toronto was founded as an urban place. Located in the heart of downtown Toronto, this 43-acre heritage conservation district is home to Canada’s largest collection of original War of 1812 buildings. Fort York offers permanent exhibits and immersive multimedia displays at the Visitor Centre, ongoing programming and events, site tours, military displays, historic cooking demonstrations, and the annual Indigenous Arts Festival. Fort York National Historic Site is also home to the first phase of The Bentway. For more information, visit


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