Backstage Pass to Porch View Dances: Mimico

Welcome to your backstage pass into a series of all the fun access to what’s happening in preparation for the final performances this June. You can look forward to meeting the choreographers and the community dancers. Gain sneak peeks to their practices and much more…

Porch View Dances: Real People Dancing In Real Spaces (PVD) is giving Etobicoke – Lakeshore communities more of an opportunity to connect and engage with their neighbours through the beautiful art form of dance. Learn more about the PVD Mimico, HERE!


House One

Concept & Choreographer: Julia Aplin
Community Dancers: Laura Pong, Charlotte Pong, Kieran Pong, Marion Jenson, Ken Jenson

House Two

Concept & Choreographer: Michael Caldwell & Louis Laberge-Côté
Community Dancers: Jesse, Wendell, Rowena Fox, Anne Ostrom

House Three

Concept & Choreographer: Karen & Allen Kaeja
Community Dancers: Aldona Renalli, Hugh Ranalli, Irene Yelovich, Cheryll-Ann Yelovich, Joseph Yelovich

Festival Emcee

EmmaClaire Brightlyn

Vignette Dancers

Renée Greneway, Clara Rose Isgro, Eryn Finlay, Samantha Hughes, Serena Watson, Susie Strachan

Porch View Dances Rehearsals Photos

Meet House #1 – All the In Between

Choreographer: Julia Aplin

Julia has been dancing and creating dances for as long as she can remember. She has created a dance for theatres, rivers, boxing rings and cyberspace. She won the Dusk Dances 2014 Audience Choice Award for “Inner City Sirens Part 2”. She performed around the world with Dancemakers, under the Artistic Direction of Serge Bennathan for 15 seasons. As well as her work in Canada,  Julia has worked with choreographers Damien Munoz from Spain and Kim Itoh from Japan. She continues to explore her fascination with the human body in motion through dance, healing and teaching. Julia has a private practice to help people love their body and love moving.

Community Dancers #1: Team Stanley

Laura Pong, Charlotte Pong, Kieran Pong, Marion Jenson, Ken Jenson

Ken and Marion Jenson of 26 Stanley Avenue have been married for 60 years and have lived in Mimico their whole lives. The Pong’s (Steven, Laura, Charlotte, and Kieran) at 22 Stanley Avenue moved to Mimico in 2009, but have called Etobicoke home forever.

Ken and Marion and their children attended the same schools: GR Gauld, John English and good old Mimico High School. Charlotte and Kieran also attended John English.

Ken had a long career in the electrical field and Marion was a school secretary, with her last school being David Hornell Junior. Ken is the oldest resident on this block of Stanley Avenue and Kieran is the youngest, but that doesn’t stop them from playing cars together and sharing stories of how Mimico has changed. Marion taught Charlotte how to knit and Charlotte loves to sit with Marion on her porch and tell her all about her day.

Mimico has gone through many growing pains with amalgamation, the constant struggle to accept change, and despite it all, it proudly remains the best place to live. The Jenson‘s and the Pong‘s are participating in Porch View Dances Mimico this year to celebrate the progression of life and it’s opportunities and the special connection these two families have. Oh, and Laura needs to return a cake pan.

Team Stanley rehearsing for this weekend’s performance!

Meet House #2 – The Plunge

Choreographers: Michael Caldwell & Louis Laberge-Côté

Michael Caldwell

photo credit: Marlowe Porter

Michael Caldwell is a Toronto-based choreographer, performer, curator, and arts advocate. He has performed/collaborated with over 50 of Canada’s esteemed dance creators/companies, performing across North America, Europe, Asia, and Australia. His performances have earned him two (2) Dora Mavor Moore Awards for outstanding performance in dance. Caldwell is a two-time K.M. Hunter Charitable Foundation Artist Award finalist. He is the executive producer at Fall for Dance North, and associate artistic director at Festival of Dance Annapolis Royal in Nova Scotia, and sits on the board of directors at the Dancer Transition Resource Centre, and the advisory committee at Citadel + Compagnie and Dancemakers.

Louis Laberge-Côté

photo credit: Maxine Bergevin

Louis Laberge-Côté is a Toronto-based dancer, choreographer, teacher, and rehearsal director. An acclaimed performer, he has danced nationally and internationally with over thirty companies and has been a full-time member of Toronto Dance Theatre (1999-2007) and the Kevin O’Day Ballett Nationaltheater Mannheim (2009-2011). He has created over eighty choreographic works, which have been presented and commissioned in Canada and abroad. His work has garnered him a Dora Mavor Moore Award for Outstanding Choreography, as well as eight other individual and ensemble nominations for Performance or Choreography. A sought-after pedagogue, he has taught classes and workshops all across Canada and has been recently appointed Assistant Professor of Dance at Ryerson University. He holds an MFA in Creative Practice from the University of Plymouth (UK).

Community Dancers #2: Fusion

Jesse, Wendell, Rowena Fox, Anne Ostrom

Wendell and Jesse are a fun-loving, open-minded, couple who have lived in Mimico for 7 wonderful years. Well-rounded entrepreneurs, they run their own global business while still enjoying a simple life filled with the creative pursuit of art, design, and philosophy. Warm, multicultural & multilingual world- travellers, music is their passion. They enjoy time outdoors, often on their bicycles and e-bike. They love new friends and challenges and believe in exploring their boundaries.

Mimico was to be the starter home for Anne and her young family.  25 years on and she is still here, enjoying the roar of the lake on a windy day, the rumble of the streetcar and the friendship of good neighbours. Rowena grew up in Mimico and was drawn back to the lake to start her own family and business years later. Both lovers of the written word, Anne and Rowena met at book club. An adventurous spirit has sparked both women to tell their own story in dance.

Meet House #3 – Burning Bright

Choreographers: Karen & Allen Kaeja

photo credit: Zhenya Cerneacov

Kaeja d’Dance bridges dance art and the public. Co-Artistic Directors Karen & Allen Kaeja are two of Canada’s most sought-after dance artists. Their work is personal, sensual, and highly physical, revealing stories, lives lived and risks we take as human beings in dance performance, film, and site works. They break ground and combine professional dance artists with community people in exclusive creative partnerships including Downtown Dances Moncton, Wedding Brigade, Flock Landing, Just Dance J/F, and Porch View Dances, which won CDA’s “I Love Dance Community Award”. Recipients of the Clifford E. Lee and Bonnie Bird awards, Kaeja has toured widely both across Canada and internationally.

Community Dancers: Effervescence

Aldona Ranalli, Hugh Ranalli, Irene Yelovich, Cheryll-Ann Yelovich, Joseph Yelovich

Two families, one household.

In the Winter of 2011, two families bonded by sisters, who once shared a different name, united. Aldona Ranalli, a strong and intelligent woman, and her husband Hugh, an adult bundle of childish wonder, opened their lives and hearts to embrace the compassionate Irene Yelovich and her two youngest musketeers: Cheryll-Ann, artist by day and vampire by night, and Joseph, strongest of them all and self-proclaimed super-geek. Mimico is where they all chose to make their home, filling it with a love of art, drama, and dreams of a blue box. After years and tears, struggles and celebrations, fire hazards and Viking trials, and far too many puns and PDAs, these two families truly became one.

One family, one home.

Meet PVD Mimico’s Emcee

EmmaClaire Brightlyn

Photo Credit: Dahlia Katz

EmmaClaire Brightlyn is an actress and theatre-maker based in Toronto, Canada and Glasgow, Scotland. With an MA in Classical and Contemporary Text Performance from the Royal Scottish Academy of Music and Drama, EmmaClaire has spent the last 8 years performing and making work in the UK. She is currently the Artistic Associate at Solar Stage Theatre and a company member with Ipdip Theatre, creating engaging work for under 4-year-olds and the big people who come with them. EmmaClaire loves to connect with communities in all sorts of ways, whether telling stories, making films, or having a boogie! EmmaClaire also works internationally as a Fight Director and Instructor.

Check out more of her work at
Follow her on Instagram: @emcbrightlyn

Our Porch View Dances Mimico Host

Meet PVD’s Mimico Vignette Dancers

Photo Credit: Adrienne

(Top: Left to Right) Renée Greneway, Serena Watson, Clara Rose Isgro, Eryn Finlay,
(Bottom: Left to Right) Susie Strachan, Samantha Hughes

Renée, Clara, Serena, Susie, Samantha, and Eryn are grade 11 and 12 dance majors attending Etobicoke School of the Arts (ESA), who are also part of the school’s modern dance company, DancESAtion. ESA is a specialized, public arts-academic high school located in Toronto, and has the distinction of being the oldest, free-standing arts-focused high school in Canada. Students can major in dance, drama, film, band, strings, music theatre or contemporary arts. Through ESA, they have worked with numerous artists including Kaeja d’Dance, Gabby Kamino, Ryan Lee, Alyssa Martin, Kristen Carcone, Ballet Bob, and many others. They are ecstatic to perform with Lakeshore Arts and to be part of the Porch View Dances community!

The Vignettes Practicing in front of Mimico Library
The Vignette Dancers having fun

Porch View Dances Rehearsals Photos

We are gearing up for Porch View Dances Mimico. After months of planning and preparation, everything is started to come into place. We are thrilled to share with our community an event to remember!

Stay tuned for more backstage access coming soon…