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Highlighting the Achievements
of Blacks in Dance

By Paulette Wilson-Chambers

In mid-January earlier this, CBC Radio One played an ad for the 19th annual IABD (International Association of Black In Dance) conference. On hearing that ad, one could not help but be proud and amazed at the accomplishments Vivine Scarlett has made in bringing dances of the African Diaspora to the forefront of Canadian Culture.

What was so moving about the ad, was not it was played on CBC Radio One, but that the ad actually played in Canada to a Canadian audience. This is the first time since its inception that the IABD conference is held outside the United States of America. IABD has been preserving and promoting dances by people of African ancestry or origin. And has been assisting and increasing opportunities for artists to develop and showcase their talents. The conference is always held US. That is until 2007 when Vivine acted upon on dream of broadening the visibility to the world, the talent and depth that exist in Canada in the area of African dances.

Born into a musical family, Vivine was gifted with dancing. She started her dancing career at the age of seventeen and has been increasing the visibility of blacks in dance ever since. She has been able to garner phenomenal performances and showcased spectacular talents during her tenure as curator and choreographer of Dance Immersion.

Through her ability to envision greatness, Vivine has provided a yearly venue for dancers to showcase their talents. The yearly showcase at Harbourfront brings to the stage performances from all across the Globe where commissioned works get premiered. The 2006 showcase presented diverse repertoire which included an array of urban, contemporary, traditional African and Caribbean based dance styles.

And it is this forward thinking that has made bringing the IABD conference to Toronto and Canada a reality. In her own words: “I want to bring IABD conference here because it offers so much to the individual. Plus I want them (IABD) to know that we are doing great things here.” And you are Vivine.


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