Night Shift 2020


Night Shift presents six boundary-pushing works in its dynamic second season

From traditional Sinhalese dance to street dance, bharatnatyam to western contemporary, this online dance event will stream live from The Citadel from Sept. 30-Oct. 9, 2020

TORONTO, ON – Citadel + Compagnie (C+C) is excited to announce the second incarnation of Night Shift, a unique livestreamed event, co-presented with Fall for Dance North. Night Shift is an innovative take on presenting dance during these uncertain, pandemic times and will feature six powerful programs by Toronto-based performers, directed by Oscar-nominated Barbara Willis Sweete, and filmed live from The Citadel: Ross Centre for Dance from Sept. 30-Oct. 2 and Oct. 7-9, 2020 and available for free at

“We were delighted by the response to our open call earlier this summer, and we have been working hard to imagine creative ways to fulfill our mission of celebrating and supporting dancers and choreographers,” says C+C artistic director, Laurence Lemieux. “We are so excited to be presenting this extraordinary lineup of dance and venturing into this new livestream format.”

Currently in its second season, Night Shift has a mandate of presenting artists working in any and all forms of dance, and providing artistic and technical consultation for its Toronto-based artists. After receiving an overwhelming 101 applications, curators Nova Bhattacharya, Jon Drops Reid and Santee Smith reviewed the work with careful consideration and have selected six outstanding works submitted by Daniel Gomez, Kalaisan Kalaichelvan, Newton Moraes, Natasha Poon Woo, Swadhi Ranganee, and Irma Villafuerte.

“We need dance now more than ever to make sense of our world.  This year’s Night Shift responds to these historic times with six stellar soloists, offering their dances to soothe our souls,” says curator, Nova Bhattacharya of Nova Dance.

“Last year, Night Shift was an immersion into forms live in the same space,” says curator Jon Drops Reid from Making Moves Creative House. “This year is a unique journey into forms created in live performance video that will shift the way we think of live experience and how dancers flow between mediums.”

For this online shift, C+C has enlisted Barbara Willis Sweete, former director of the Metropolitan Opera livestreams, who will be transforming The Citadel: Ross Centre for Dance into a film studio – bringing her unparalleled experience and vision to capture live dance on screen in these challenging times. Following each performance, C+C’s Laurence Lemieux will be sitting down with the performers for a livestreamed candid post-show discussion.

This year, C+C is proud to be co-presenting Night Shift with Fall for Dance North, working together to reach new audiences through both partnership and the digital world.

NIGHT SHIFT 2020: Sept. 30-Oct. 9, 2020

All livestreams begin at 9pm at

Wednesday September 30, 2020

Concrete Skin
Choreographer: Roderick George
Performers: Natasha Poon Woo and Roderick George

Choreographer Roderick George, in collaboration and performance with dance artist Natasha Poon Woo, combines the strict lines and courtly rituals of ballet with the precision and dynamism of hip-hop and club dancing in an ever-shifting play of contrasts and extremes. A sophisticated and thoughtful statement on today’s Black and queer experiences, Concrete Skin challenges colonial mentalities, binary thinking, and the suppression of and disconnect from mixed-race identity.


Thursday October 1, 2020

Choreographer: Daniel Gomez
Performer: Peter D’Souza

Mudable is a solo that explores one’s ability to adapt, and be capable and open to accepting change. The piece is inspired by constant change that happens in our lives. Living within street dance vocabulary, Mudable explores how we interact with different styles of music while moving through different emotions.


Friday October 2, 2020

Choreographer / Performer: Kalaisan Kalaichelvan

Impressions examines the nature of memory and meaning through Indian iconography. Choreographer and performer, Kalaisan Kalaichelvan, explores how individuals are tied to each other in relation to the world around them. 


Wednesday October 7, 2020

Choreographer / Performer: Swadhi Ranganee

Swadhi Ranganee’s Lenchinaa is an exploration of gendered aesthetics in Sinhalese traditional and contemporary dance, mapped against loose contours of a coming-of-age story as the protagonist makes her way through grace and vigour, restraint and abandon, the commonplace and the magical, finding freedom of identity in movement. 

Thursday October 8, 2020

Choreographer / Performer: Irma Villafuerte

nudoDESnudo explores the embodied memories of growing up in postwar El Salvador—unresolved, inherited grief, and unending mourning—and the duality of Irma Villafuerte’s migrant identity as a Canadian-born daughter of Salvadorian refugees.


Friday October 9, 2020

Choreographer: Newton Moraes
Performer: Pulga Muchochoma

Choreographed by Newton Moraes, and performed by Canadian-Mozambican dancer Pulga Muchochoma Ashe exposes an imperative dialogue between cultures, suggesting an intercession between Brazil, Mozambique and Canada—a clear and honest manifesto for both communication and life in these pandemic times.

About Citadel + Compagnie

Citadel + Compagnie (C+C) is a dance organization with its home, The Citadel: Ross Centre for Dance, embedded within the Regent Park community of downtown Toronto. Through its creation, curation and cultivation of contemporary dance, C+C’s mission is to make a significant and lasting contribution to dance in Canada. The company’s vision is for exceptional dance to reach diverse communities and audiences and foster ongoing dialogue between artists and the public.  

Led by Artistic Director, Laurence Lemieux, the organization supports the artistic activities of its dance company, its performing arts series, and its training program. At its core, the company commits to the creation and production of innovative and accessible original works of dance. Through remount initiatives, the company dedicates itself to the preservation of important Canadian dance work, making available iconic repertoire to a new generation of dancers.  

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.  

Night Shift is produced with the support of the City of Toronto through Toronto Arts Council, and made possible (in part) by the Government of Canada.  

Night Shift is co-presented with Fall for Dance North.

Download the press release: PDF


Barbara Willis Sweete / Photo by Cylla von Tiedemann

Barbara Willis Sweete, director

Barbara Willis Sweete is an Oscar-nominated film industry veteran and Founding Partner of Rhombus Media, specialists in Performing Arts Films. Now with Artemis Pictures, Barbara produces and directs films and tv programs in all genres. Her work has been shown at major international film festivals and has received many top awards, including an Oscar nomination, four Emmys, three Grammy nominations and many Geminis, Genies and Canadian Screen Awards.  

Barbara has directed  several notable dance films and has collaborated with such choreographers as  James Kudelka (Four Seasons, Firebird), Mark Morris (Falling Down Stairs, Dido and Aeneas), Lar Lubovich (Fandango), Doug Varone (The Planets), Mark Godden (The Tale of the Magic Flute), Santee Smith (I Lost My Talk) and  David Earle (Romeos and Juliets). 

Over the last decade, Barbara has directed more than 30 Live in HD Operas that were transmitted live from New York’s Metropolitan Opera to 2600 cinemas in 76 countries. 

Nova Bhattacharya, curator

,A groundbreaking and award-winning dancer, choreographer and cultural leader, Nova Bhattacharya crafts vivid images that invite the viewer on a journey of heart and mind. Her creative inspiration is found in her Bengali culture, Bharatnatyam practice, Scarborough rock’n’roll roots, painting, photography, literature, film, nature, rituals and the unending cycles of life and death.

Her critically acclaimed works have toured Canada, Germany, India, Japan, the United Kingdom and Uganda.  Her choreography has been commissioned by several dance and theatre companies and she is the recipient of multiple awards and nominations for artistic achievement and contributions to community, including the 2012 Victor Martyn Lynch-Staunton Award for Outstanding Artistic Achievement. 

Nova believes that dance expresses the essence of our humanity and has tremendous transformative power to bring us together.

Jon Drops Reid, curator

Jon Drops Reid has worked to mobilize dance community throughout his professional dance and administrative career. His dance work specializes in Bboy / Breaking battles, theatre, performance, production, education, curation and choreography, but Jon has also been at the frontier of animating connections between a spectrum of dance communities and arts institution’s membership, and services to support much-needed access to resources for dancers.

Jon Drops is a member of the world famous Supernaturalz Crew, Marketing & Communications Manager at the Dancer Transition Resource Centre (DTRC), co-founder of Making Moves Creative and co-curator of Nightshift annual dance festival presented by Citadel + Compagnie. He has previously worked as Dance Outreach Consultant for Canadian Actors Equity Association (CAEA) for 3 years, as the Dance Director at Manifesto Festival of Arts and Culture for 7 years, Marketing Director of Back to the Underground (B2DU) as well as co-founder and co-Artistic Director of Break It Down Dance Initiatives. Collaboratively he has also produced some of the nation’s biggest urban dance events with international partners such as World of Dance Canada (WOD) as co-producer for two years, Keep on Dancing Canada (KOD) as lead producer, and many other projects that helped to grow the urban dance community since 2000.


Santee Smith is a multidisciplinary artist from the Kahnyen’kehàka Nation, Six Nations. She trained at Canada’s National Ballet School, completed Physical Education and Psychology degrees from McMaster University and a Dance MA from York University. Santee premiered her inaugural work Kaha:wi in 2004 and later founded Kaha:wi Dance Theatre which has grown into an internationally renowned company. Her body of work includes 14 productions and numerous short works and collaborations. She is a sought after teacher and speaker on Indigenous performance and culture. Through embodied storytelling and performance her work speaks to Indigenous identity and continuance. Smith is the Chancellor of McMaster University. 

Laurence Lemieux / Photo by Bruce Zinger

Laurence Lemieux, artistic director for Citadel + Compagnie 

As artistic director of Citadel + Compagnie for nearly two decades, Laurence Lemieux has established herself as a leader within Toronto’s dance community. Her multi-faceted experience as a dancer, choreographer, teacher and presenter has guided the company’s mandate of community outreach and engagement and given rise to C+C’s distinctive artistic voice.  

Born in Québec City, Lemieux studied dance at L’École Supérieure de Danse du Québec, and at The School of Toronto Dance Theatre. Her performance career began when she joined Toronto Dance Theatre in 1986, dancing for founders David Earle, Peter Randazzo and Patricia Beatty, and later for Christopher House. A member of the company for 12 years, Lemieux’s 1998 performance in House’s ‘Cryptoversa’ earned her the Dora Mavor Moore Award for Best Performance in Dance. 

Over the course of her career, Lemieux has danced for some of Canada’s most prominent choreographers, including William Douglas, Margie Gillis, James Kudelka, Benoît Lachambre, Sylvain Émard, and Jean-Pierre Perreault. Since presenting her first choreography in 1983, Lemieux has created over thirty original works, drawing deeply on personal experiences that resonate strongly with audiences and presenters alike. 

As an educator, Lemieux has taught at many respected institutions including Ryerson University, York University, Concordia University, the University of Quebec in Montreal, l’École Supérieure de Ballet Contemporain and Canada’s National Ballet School. As curator of C+C’s presentation series Bright Nights, Lemieux uses her cumulative artistic experience to inform her programming choices, and showcases the work of diverse talent from emerging, marginalized and established choreographers. 

In 2012, Lemieux created the Citadel Dance Program and brought high quality, accessible dance classes to children and youth living in Toronto’s Regent Park. She is a passionate advocate for the arts and sits on the steering committee of Ontarians for The Arts, and is President of the board of Daniel Leveillé Danse in Montreal. 

Lemieux’s satisfaction as an artist comes from sharing her passion and talent with dance audiences and students, and as a deeply engaged and active member of the dance community. 


Right-click to download

Natasha Poon Woo / Photo by Drew Berry

Roderick George / Photo by Jubal Battisti

Peter D’Souza / Photo by Pedro Rosa

Daniel Gomez / Photo by E.S. Cheah

Kalaisan Kalaichelvan / Photo by Sreedhar Vaidya

Kalaisan Kalaichelvan / Photo by Jananie Basharan

Photo courtesy of Swadhi Ranganee

Swadhi Ranganee / Photo courtesy of the artist

Irma Villafuerte / photo by Ulices Garcias

Irma Villafuerte / photo by Kevin Jones

Pulga Muchochoma / photo by David Hou

Newton Moraes / Photo courtesy of the artist


Roderick George
NYC-based Roderick George is the Founder, Artistic Director, and Choreographer of kNonAme Artist. Outside of his company, his work has been presented by Cedar Lake Contemporary Ballet, Ballett Basel, the Goteborg Operan DansKompani, Springboard Danse Montreal, and Youth American Grand Prix, in addition to commissions by companies and conservatories worldwide. As a performer, Roderick has danced the works of choreographers including Marie Chouinard, William Forsythe, Sharon Eyal, Jiří Kylian, and Ohad Naharin, among many others.

Natasha Poon Woo
Natasha Poon Woo has performed in Toronto with Canadian Contemporary Dance Theatre, The Dietrich Group, The Platform/Ryan Lee, Benjamin Landsberg, and Little Pear Garden, among others, and is a Dora Award-winning performer with Rock Bottom Movement. She has also performed works by international choreographers Doug Varone, Twyla Tharp, Kevin Wynn, and Conny Janssen. She is CCDT’s Associate Artistic Director and the Rehearsal Director for CCDT and Human Body Expression.

Daniel Gomez
Nominated for Outstanding Ensemble Performance at the 2018 Dora Awards, Daniel Gomez is professional street dance artist. At the age of 16, Daniel took deep interest in Hip-Hop Culture and he fell in love with the art of street dance and took on the method of Popping. Daniel also has extensive training in styles of Locking, House, Dancehall and both Hip-Hop Freestyle and Choreography.

Daniel is currently a performance artist for Toronto based dance companies including Gadfly Urban Dance Company and Citadel + Compagnie, and is a part of the dance crew Twisted Ankles. Daniel’s career has led him to theatre performances and battle competitions in France, U.K., Spain, Cuba, Japan, Arizona, Chicago and New York. Daniel has also worked on several commercial projects including a NoFrills Commercial, Netflix series ‘Grand Army’, TV movie ‘Disney Zombies 2’ and TV miniseries ’Salt-N-Pepa’ Biopic.  Daniel’s passion for dance and performance are everlasting.

Peter D’Souza
Dancing since the age of seven, Peter D’Souza’s passion for performing arts has led him to pursue a career as a dancer, choreographer and actor. Starting off in Richmond, B.C., and eventually moving to Toronto, Peter has trained and competed in all disciplines of dance with Hip-Hop as his main focus and passion.

He has already had the opportunity to work with renowned choreographers such as Luther Brown, Mandy Moore, Tony Testa, Tanisha Scott, Tatiana Parker, Emma Portner and many more. Peter’s professional career has enabled him to work and share the stage with artists such as Janet Jackson, Ariana Grande, July Talk, Meghan Trainor, Blake McGrath, Anjulie and PSY. He has also been featured in live performances including iHeartRadio Much Music Video Awards (MMVAS), CityTV’s New Year’s Eve Bash, WeDay, Divers/Cité (Montréal), and the PanAm Games. Film and Television Credits include The Next Star (YTV) Backstage (Family Channel) Make It Pop (Nickelodeon) and most recently a Disney Channel Original “Zombies” choreographed by Christopher Scott.  Peter was also casted in the Monsters of Hip Hop Show in Los Angeles where he got to work with Rhapsody James, Parris Goebel, Luam Keflezgy, Nick Demoura, Jillian Meyers and many more.

Peter is always looking for a new challenge; he is constantly improving and taking his dance vocabulary to the next level. He is known to be a very dedicated and high-spirited dancer, teacher and choreographer.

Kalaisan Kalaichelvan
Kalaisan Kalaichelvan began his training in Bharatanatyam in Toronto, Canada and is a disciple of Guru A. Lakshmanaswamy from Chennai, India. Kalaisan is active as a dancer, choreographer, composer and musician. Having worked across many disciplines and communities of thought, he seeks to bring incongruous institutions together to build novel structures that reflect his interdisciplinary upbringing. Kalaisan has been presented at prestigious festivals across India, the USA and Canada. He has had the privilege of working with many of the industry’s most celebrated troupes, dancers and choreographers such as Akram Khan, Brandy Leary, Hari Krishnan, Janak Khendry, Lata Pada, Mavin Khoo, and Menaka Thakkar. Kalaisan was invited by the National Ballet of Canada in the fall of 2019 as a guest choreographer to work with the company dancers in residence. He was also recently invited by the Akram Khan Dance Company for its inaugural classical intensive.

Swadhi Ranganee
Swadhi Ranganee is a performance artist specializing in Sri-Lankan/Sinhalese traditional (udarata/pahatharata), folk, and modern dance, which she has been practicing for over 20 years. She has additional experience in other South Asian styles, as well as jazz and contemporary, musical theatre, and Latin dancing. She has danced in numerous local events, festivals, and private functions across Ontario and Quebec. Recent artistic highlights include dancing in Expect Theatre’s dance and spoken word production for Nuit Blanche Toronto (2015), as well as developing and facilitating a community dance program funded by the Platform-A Emerging Artist program (2016). She is also engaged in researching and writing about Sinhalese performance arts, as she is passionate about bringing these traditions to wider recognition.

Irma Villafuerte
Irma Villafuerte is a first-generation daughter of refugees and dance artist from Nahuat Pipil Territory, also known as El Salvador, based in Tkaronto. She is a graduate of George Brown Dance. She has performed in various arts festivals across the Americas, including Dance Matters, The Rhubarb Festival, Aluna Theatre’s Panamerican RUTAS Festival, Panamania 2015, Biennial de la Habana 2015, Vanguardia Dance Projects, International Dance Meeting in Guantanamo, CounterPulse Performing Diaspora in San Francisco. She has performed in works by Santee Smith, Alejandro Ronceria, Roshanak Jaberi, Victoria Mata, Karen Kaeja, Arsenio Andrade, and Sharon B. Moore. Irma’s passion for social justice and political performance art is the driving force for her choreographic and performance work. Her artistic mission is embodying cultural, social-political and migrant narratives of oppressed and marginalized communities through performance.

Newton Moraes and Pulga Muchochoma
Newton Moraes and Pulga Muchochoma have mutual respect and admiration of each other, deeply connected with their heritage, culture, music, dance and soccer.  Similar up bringing coming from working class families and influenced by their ties with their parents and their roots. One, a straight black man who is married and a new father, the other a proud LGBTQ person of colour, and both speaks Portuguese.

Muchochoma is a phenomenal performer member of Toronto Dance Theatre for eleven years under the artistic director Christopher House and has performed works by incredible choreographers in Toronto.

Moraes is the founder, artistic director, choreographer and researcher for the Newton Moraes Dance Theatre and his focus includes the examination of cultures and the development of new forms of contemporary artistic expression. Moraes is greatly influenced by his late partner Anthropologist Robert Shirley, and his mentor Jean Sasportes from Pina Bausch.