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Tour Diary: Richmond Hill 2024

Canadian Contemporary Dance Theatre's spring tour hit the road this April with a stop at the Richmond Hill Centre for the Performing Arts. Company dancer Ayla Vandenberg reflects below on the tour process, and what the performance experience meant to her. Thank you to the lovely staff at RHCPA and to all the audience members that made the experience such a success.

 

As I sit in the quiet moments upon returning from our Richmond Hill tour I am filled with immense love and gratitude for the experience and the people I shared it with. As we are back in the studio I can’t help but constantly reminisce about our tour. The 3 days from our dress run until our return blends into a time of excitement, laughter, and movement. 


Performing on this tour was an extremely gratifying experience. All the hard work we had put into these pieces for the past few months was worth it. The dedication and passion that we all possess for our craft was evident as we stepped onto that stage. We put our heart and souls on that floor and it was so fulfilling to see all of our hard work come to life. 


One rewarding moment from our first show was during our bows, we received a standing ovation and from the front row someone was yelling, “Bravo!” and “You’re all so beautiful!”. What that person had said to us reflected part of the dialogue in Alyssa Martin's that infinite feeling, which was part of our program. The dialogue was, “We’re up here looking at you and you are all so beautiful.” There was something so special about that parallel. 


I had the joy to be able to celebrate my sixteenth birthday on this tour and it was truly special. Performing and being surrounded by people I love was so heartwarming. A core memory was on my birthday when we were warming up on the stage and suddenly the power went out. Everyone started singing happy birthday and I made a wish on Steph’s flashlight. That moment was something so beautiful and it holds a special place in my heart. After our school show Michael had bought delicious gourmet cookies for all of us to celebrate my birthday. The day was filled with moments of celebration and I truly felt all the love. 


I am eternally grateful for the guidance of our brilliant and talented rehearsal director Steph. They have mentored us the whole way through emotionally and physically, from classes to rehearsals, in studio and out. Thank you Steph for the love, care and support you give to us. A huge thank you to Deborah and Michael—without your love, leadership, guidance, and support none of this would be possible. I am especially appreciative for your presence in my life and dance career. Last but certainly not least, a special thank you to the Company members. I thank the universe for bringing us together because I can’t picture a world without loving you all. It is so beautiful to witness your artistry and movement on a daily basis. Your talent, love, support, and souls are something I am forever grateful to know. 


 

Make sure to catch the second leg of CCDT's 2024 spring tour in Burlington on May 2. Tickets and information can be found at www.ccdt.org/touring.

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