The Bentway presents Dérives, a site-specific performance by Noémie Lafrance, June 7-8, 2019

For Immediate Release: May 1, 2019 • Please include in your listings/announcements

THE BENTWAY presents
A Site-Specific Performance by
June 7 & 8, 2019

The Bentway presents Dérives, a site-specific dance performance celebrating the repurposed architecture of The Bentway, by acclaimed Canadian choreographer Noémie Lafrance. Dérives will have its world premiere at The Bentway, open and free to everyone, on June 7 & 8, 2019 at 6pm and 7:30pm each night.

Commissioned by The Bentway, Dérives is conceived and choreographed by Noémie Lafrance, in collaboration with Ayelen Liberona and the performers, with vocals/live sound design by Anais Maviel. The performance will encompass the full length of The Bentway with 60 dancers and audience members drifting through the site.

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

Dérives emerges from collectively scripted instructions, enacted by the performers and the public as a group experience of navigation. Community engagement is at the heart of this performance and these instructions were developed as part of a series of community workshops that continue until May 14. The workshops invite people of all ages including professional dancers, actors, members of the community at large, and future audience members to take part in the creation of the final piece. An exercise in psychogeography, Dérives empowers the participants and audiences with freedom and creativity and the opportunity to explore The Bentway in an entirely new way; in a manner not considered before.

“The process has been a deep learning and therapeutic experience, like in a playground, where we all come for an individual journey and ultimately create a communal expression that shifts and ripples outwards.” – Delano Brown, Dérives workshop participant

For more information and to register to participate in future workshops (pre-registration required), visit

Noemie Lafrance is known for her innovative approach to public space interventions. Her company Sens Production has produced numerous site-specific works in public spaces in New York City and internationally. Lafrance’s work includes Agora, which reclaimed the abandoned 50,000 square feet McCarren Park Pool in Williamsburg, Brooklyn, and Rapture, staged on the architecture of Frank Gehry. Her work was presented as part of the Whitney Biennial, Festival de Cannes, and Festival TransAmerique. She has choreographed for artists such as David Byrne, Feist, Justin Timberlake, Carly Rae Jepsen, Snow Patrol, and Amanda Palmer.

The Bentway has an exciting Spring / Summer 2019 Season of programming planned, informed by the theme Communitas: The Spirit of Community! Through the lens of culture and recreation, The Bentway explores Toronto’s changing landscape as well as opportunities to unite diverse communities through shared experiences.

Communitas brings together artists, urbanists, innovators, and community activators within the connective space of The Bentway to engage in radical experiments in collaboration, co-creation, and cohabitation: all of which are key to the future of Toronto.

The Bentway presents
Conceived and Choreography by Noémie LaFrance
in Collaboration with Ayelen Liberona and the Performers
Voice / Live Sound Design by Anaïs Maviel

Majero Bouman, André Ricardo De Angelis, Rodney Diverlus, Mairi Greig, Tafiya Itiaba-Bayah, Karen Kaeja, Junia Mason, Aline Morales,
Tanveer Alam, Juliana Belinko, Delano Brown, Marley Reville Brown, Michael Caldwell, Rebecca Chan, Aviva Chernick, Calla Dunrose-Moya, Sarah Fregeau, Melissa Hart, Nyda Kwasowsky, Mika Lillit Lior, Ben Marchal, Janis Mayers, Sebastian Oreamuno, Michelle Park, Slava Sapershteyn, Samantha Schleese, Angela Sun, Minh Toan.

June 7 & 8, 2019
Two performances each evening at 6pm and 7:30pm
Admission is Free, RSVPs Requested

Rain Date June 9, 2019

 For more information, please visit
Social Media: 
FacebookTwitter and Instagram using @TheBentway and YouTube
#TOBentway            #Communitas          #Dérives

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

The Bentway’s summer season is supported by the City of Toronto, Billy Bishop Toronto City Airport, Ira Gluskin & Maxine Granovsky Gluskin, Richard M. Ivey and the Ivey Commissioning Fund, Donald K. Johnson, O.C. & Anna McCowan-Johnson, Langford Family Foundation at Toronto Foundation, Northwood Family Office, and Diamond Corp.

Dérives is also supported by the Hal Jackman Foundation and Fort York National Historic Site.

Photo of Dérives rehearsal by Noémie Lafrance

click here to download media release (pdf)

Media Contact: FLIP PUBLICITY, 416.533.7710 • Carrie Sager,

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. Since opening to the public in January 2018, The Bentway has welcomed over 150,000 visitors to experience free year-round programming including public art installations, performances, festivals, recreational activities, and much more. 

The initial phase of The Bentway stretches 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 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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