World Premiere
October 30-November 2, 2019
Choreographer: Aria Evans / Political Movement
Presented by Citadel + Compagnie through Bright Nights


Citadel + Compagnie launches 2019/20 Bright Nights Season with the World Premiere of Aria Evans’ In The Abyss

The Toronto-based mixed race (Mi’kmaq, Black, settler) choreographer explores perceptions around relationships and intimacy from Oct. 30-Nov. 2

TORONTO, ON  Citadel + Compagnie launches its fifth Bright Nights season with the world premiere of Aria Evans’ In The Abyss, an intimate and collaborative work taking place October 30-November 2 at The Citadel: Ross Centre for Dance.

In The Abyss applies choreography and metaphor to an exploration of the mysteries of life on earth and is the first full-length work of award-winning, emerging artist Aria Evans.

“Aria Evans is a vital and powerful emerging choreographic voice in Toronto, and we are thrilled to be presenting her first full-length work at The Citadel. ” says Artistic Director, Laurence Lemieux.

When she couldn’t see herself represented in the stories she was asked to tell as a young mixed-race dancer, Evans knew she was ready to start telling her own stories, weaving together the ideas of other underrepresented folks into collective visions and drawing on her experiences as a woman of mixed race—Mi’kmaq, Black, settler.

In The Abyss was born out of the scientific fact, and beautiful metaphor, that we are all made of stardust – and about what, as a population, we have in common. The piece grapples with how to live with purpose, find meaning in one’s journey, all the while colliding honest explorations of loneliness with our innate need for connection.

Please note: Evans has open rehearsals available for media and press during the week of Oct. 21, 2019.


In The AbyssOctober 30-November 2, 2019 at 8pm
World Premiere
Choreography: Aria Evans / Political Movement

In The Abyss, a full-length dance theatre piece, applies choreography and metaphor to a heart-driven exploration of the mysteries of life on earth. It explores common expressions of humanity as it intersects with the science that situates us within the universe. Using the scientific theory that everything is made of stardust, it dives into the inescapable physics of the galaxies beyond us in relationship to our earth-bound lives. It grapples with how to live with purpose, find meaning in one’s journey, all the while colliding honest explorations of loneliness with our innate need for connection

Irvin Chow
Ana Claudette Groppler
Syreeta Hector
David Norsworthy

Set designer: Rachel Forbes
Sound designer: Babak Taghinia
Writer: Liam Zarrillo
Costume Designer: Kinoo Arcentales

Lighting designer: Sarah Mansikka

“… powerful message and flawless execution …” – Mooney on Theatre

Evans would like to thank the Canada Council for the Arts, Ontario Arts Council, Toronto Arts Council, and Native Earth Performing Arts for support.

Tickets for Citadel + Compagnie’s season are on sale at

Performances take place at The Citadel: Ross Centre for Dance, located at 304 Parliament Street, Toronto, at Dundas and Parliament.

More info at: 


This project has been made possible (in part) by the Government of Canada.

Download the press release: PDF


Lindsay Zier-Vogel


Right-click to download

Photo by Aria Evans

Photo by Aria Evans

Aria Evans / Photo by Shakeil Rollock

Artistic Director and curator: Laurence Lemieux / Photo by Bruce Zinger. Bio here.


Citadel + Compagnie is a Toronto-based professional dance organization with a mission to have a significant and lasting artistic impact on our society. Under the directorship of Laurence Lemieux, Citadel + Compagnie creates, curates and cultivates dance works and community collaborations on local, national and international scales from its home base in a former Salvation Army Citadel in the Regent Park neighbourhood of Toronto.

The company purchased The Citadel in 2007, and renovated it into studio, office, and theatre space. The Citadel: Ross Centre for Dance opened in 2012, providing a home for resident choreographer, James Kudelka, and artistic director, Laurence Lemieux’s creative processes and intimate performances, while creating an open and welcoming space for artists to rehearse, create and perform and where the community can learn, communicate, and share. These strategic actions have re-energized both its neighbouring community of Regent Park, and the dance community at large.

C+C encourages artistic risk and innovation through its performing arts series, Bright Nights, late-night showcase, Night Shift, and additional collaborations, and delivers accessible works of contemporary dance when touring outside The Citadel itself.

After nine years as artistic director of the National Ballet of Canada (1996-2005), James Kudelka was named C+C’s resident choreographer in 2008. With C+C, he has revisited some of his greatest works and developed challenging new contemporary creations. Kudelka’s presence at C+C has elevated the company’s profile, and offered audiences a new platform to experience the work of one of the country’s finest choreographers.

Artistic Director Laurence Lemieux continues to refine her choreographic vision, having created over twenty-five works including Interiors, Les Paradis Perdus, and Looking for Elvis. From explosive, intimate pieces like Love me out of it (which she performed with iconic Canadian punk band Teenage Head), to large scale works like Jusqu’a Vimy, that toured to France for the 100th anniversary of the battle, Lemieux continues to explore the extraordinary range of her choreographic voice through the company.

Under Lemieux’s leadership, C+C has had a marked impact on the local community, offering free studio access to key neighbourhood initiatives: Toronto Police Force 51 Division’s youth and hip-hop program, the Regent Park School of Music, and Toronto Council Fire’s Indigenous dance program, First Fire. These collaborations have built lasting ties within the community, and as a result, The Citadel has become a sought-after safe space for youth to gather and explore their creativity.