Vivine Scarlett, 2021 Finalist
Vivine is Founder, Executive Director and Curator for dance Immersion, an organization that supports dancers and dances of the African Diaspora. Her inspired journey continues to provide a variety of platforms that serve Canadian artists of African ancestry with opportunities that have laid a foundation for continued growth and representation.
We had the chance to hear more about dance Immersion's history and future goals from founder and Muriel Sherrin Award finalist Vivine Scarlett. Read more below.
You started dance Immersion in 1994. Take us back. How has the organization grown over the past 27 years?
Over the years dance Immersion has become an organization that has served Blacks in dance (arts) with a variety of platforms that have laid a foundation for continued growth and representation. We have become a launching place for connections, opportunities and growth to artists. dance Immersion continues to engage in initiatives that respond to and address the needs voiced by the community we serve.
Your organization focuses on showcasing local as well as international artists. Why is this so important?
Exposing our community to artists who are practicing like or related dance styles provides broader networking opportunities that expands our voices worldwide. Missing from our Canadian dance community, has been the continuous in-depth and ongoing training of dance forms outside of Europe. Training is an essential aspect to dance execution, expression, and evolution of movement. Companies from my community have not been able to access and utilize a continuous pool of well rounded trained dancers. International connections offer additional opportunities for networking, conversations, and collaborations needed for continued growth.
You focus not only on performance but also incubation and education. How do these three intersect?
dance Immersions programs are designed to feed each other where performance is enhanced through incubation and education giving artists the opportunity to explore and connect to resources that will assist in their development as dance artists.
You will be hosting your third International Association of Blacks in Danse (IABD) in 2023. Can you give us a sneak peek as to what you have planned for this event?
The 2023 edition of the IABD Conference and Festival focuses on highlighting Canadian content in addition to international artists and their work, bringing attention to the rich history and presence of Blacks in dance. The event will highlight the historic contributions, distinct practices, and future visions of dance artists within our global communities. Highlights include an exhibit of Canadian Blacks in Dance by Dr. Seika Boye and events to gather and spotlight Canadian dance artists of African descent from across the country. The theme "Globally Connected - What Does our Tomorrow Hold", focuses on what communities of artists need today and how we can rebuild together in a condensed live and digital format.
In your extremely accomplished career thus far, what’s made you most proud?
That dance Immersion is in the process of succession and in the hands of the next generation. It is fulfilling to watch those who continue to flourish and take their place in the arts community standing on the shoulders of those who came before them.
How does it feel to be nominated for the Muriel Sherrin Award?
I am beyond humbled and honoured to be nominated for my service. I am deeply grateful.