Newton Moraes Dance Theatre

Brazil, the Land of Tears and Soul

February 4 to 7, 2015 at 8:00pm
Winchester Theatre
80 Winchester Street, Toronto ON

September 11 to 14, 2013
at the Betty Oliphant Theatre - Canada's National Ballet School
404 Jarvis St. Toronto, ON



Meet the Cast



Newton Moraes

Newton was born in Porto Alegre, Brazil. At an early age he started dancing samba, and then studied physical education at the Unisinos University in Porto Alegre. Later, he studied Afro-Brazilian dance, jazz and street dancing. In 1991, he moved to Toronto where he studied modern and contemporary dance in The School of Toronto Dance Theatre's Professional Training Program. Since his arrival in Canada in 1991, Moraes has choreographed more than fifty works, both for himself and other dancers. Newton has collaborated with choreographers Patrick Parson, Terrill Maguire, Alejandro Ronceria and Gregorio Trejo, among others. In 1997, Newton founded Newton Moraes Dance Theatre. He has toured Brazil, Colombia, the U.S. and Germany. Some of Newton's mentors include Jean Sasportes, Fred Traugth, David Earle, Patricia Beatty, Danny Grossman, Patrick Parson, Marcelo do Nascimento and José do Nascimento (Brazil). Newton was a board member of Dance Ontario for more than six years and is a member of the Canadian Alliance of Dance Artists (C.A.D.A.). He has also received Ontario Arts Council “Artists in Education” grants to teach in schools across Ontario.



Nickeshia Garrick was born in Toronto and has been performing since the age of six. She received her dance training at the National Ballet School of Canada, The School of Toronto Dance Theatre and Carousel Dance Centre and was a vocal major at Eastwood Collegiate Institute. Nickeshia has trained with Bakari E. Lindsay, Arsenio Andrade, Rob Kitsos, Peter Bingham, Christopher House and Day Helesic, and has performed with Toronto Dance Theatre, T.I.L.T. Sound and Motion, Kaeja d’Dance, Serge Bennathan, James Kudelka and COBA. Nickeshia has performed the Canadian National Anthem at the Rogers Centre, made her opera debut as a soloist in Obeah Opera, has made vocal appearances with the Vancouver-based reggae band MaCronix and the renowned Burning Spear. She is a recipient of the Kitchener/Waterloo Arts Award and has a BFA from Simon Fraser University. She has recently joined the emerging music collective called Ajoyo.


Falciony Patiño was born in Funza, Colombia. He began his training in Colombian folk dance at age seven with the group Zaquesazipa, in Funza. After finishing high school, Falciony was accepted into the Superior Academy of Arts of Bogota (ASAB) to study contemporary dance. During his time at ASAB, he was part of the folk dance group Orkeseos. In 2009, he moved to Toronto to join Ballet Creole as a student and company member. Two years later, he was invited to perform Men u Zin, with Toronto’s Dilan Dance Company. He also performs with Pollux Dance and performed in their 2012 Ottawa Fringe Festival show Heterollectual, love and other dumb ideas. In the spring of 2012, Falciony created Cabildo, a group that explores a contemporary approach to Colombian folk dance. Falciony is constantly experimenting with different dance styles from folk dance to contemporary to afro, urban dance, capoeira and parkour.


Marco Placencio was born in Sao Paulo, Brazil. He originally wanted to be a circus performer and attended circus school, Circo Spacial, where his training included acrobatics, trapeze and contortion. At the same time, he continued his music education in piano and the electric bass. At 14, he left the circus school and began taking jazz dance lessons. Over four years, he participated in various dance competitions in Sao Paulo state and worked with teachers and choreographers Adriana Celi Castelo and Magda Torquato. In 2010, he came to Canada to improve his English. After taking classes at various dance studios in Toronto, he was accepted into The School of Toronto Dance Theatre’s Professional Training Program. He has had the privilege of working with Massimo Agostinelli, Marc Boivin, Robert Desrosiers, Coralee McLaren, Newton Moraes, Sharon B. Moore, and Darryl Tracy. He begins his third and final year of school in September.


Patrizia Gianforcaro studied dance in Unionville High School’s arts program while training and competing in dance at a local studio in Woodbridge, Ontario. At 18, her desire to study dance steered her to Ryerson University’s Dance Performance program. She graduated in 2007 and began working on touring shows, films, industrial and live theatre performances with notables like Cirque Du Soleil, Mia Michaels, Travis Wall, Cadence Contemporary Ballet, Toronto Fringe Festival, Roberto Campanella, Debra Brown and Eld Films. Patrizia teaches and choreographs jazz, contemporary, improvisation and hip hop for students of all ages and levels. In 2009, she co-founded Lady Luck Productions Arts and Entertainment Group and has choreographed four full-length productions. Patrizia has also created choreographies for Induo Dance Works and Jasmyn Fyffe Dance. She is a 2014 Master of Fine Arts candidate at York University in the Choreography and Dramaturgy program.


Geanderson Mello was born in Brazil in Barbacena, Minas Gerais. He began classical ballet and contemporary dance in the non-profit cultural association Fabrica de Movimentos (Movement Factory). At 15, a choreographer saw the qualities of a dancer in Geanderson’s Taekwondo practice, and he began dance studies at Brazil’s "CEFAR - Palacio das Artes" in the captial of Minas Gerais state. Geanderson’s professional career began in 2008 when he joined the Young Ballet Company of the Palacio das Artes. He went on to become a member of the corps de ballet of the Brazilian Conservatory of Dance. Geanderson moved to Toronto this year.


Mikhail Morris was born in Kingston, Jamaica. He discovered his passion for dance at age eleven and pursued training and performance throughout high school. He was a competitor for five years with the Jamaica Cultural Development Commission and went on to place second in the televised competition ‘Dancing Dynamite’ in 2008. Subsequently, Mikhail was awarded scholarships to attend the Edna Manley College of the Visual and Performing Arts where he trained for two years in modern, classical ballet and traditional dance forms and graduated with a Dance Certification in 2009. He has performed with Toronto’s Ballet Creole and COBA (Collective of Black Artists) and haschoreographed and worked with some of Jamaica’s top reggae and dancehall artists such as Elephant Man, Mr. Vegas, Bennie Man, Tarrus Riley, Tifa and RDX. He is the new Assistant Director of the Children and Youth Dance Theatre (C&YDT), where he helps children pursue their talent as young artists.


Bokgabane Rakeepile
Hailing from the streets of Soweto, South Africa. Bokgabane Rakeepile is now home based in Buffalo NY, & has started his company MDASP CULTURE which was founded in South Africa May 5th 2012. He came to Toronto with the Soweto Marimba Band twice, and in 2008 he stayed in Toronto and was given the opportunity to train, dance, & tour with Ballet Creole from 2008-2011. He also performed with Newton Moraes Dance Theatre in “Saudades do Brasil”. Bokgabane was called back home to continue to study his traditional ancestral roots thus MDASP CULTURE was born, Now that he is back in North America his plans to tour internationally. He wants to educate the world about culture awareness and that South Africa stand as an individual country.

Megan Rakeepile a passionate artist born and raised in Buffalo NY, Megan Rakeepile has study in various styles of dance for 23 years, such as Tap, Jazz, West African, Ballet, and many styles of modern dance. She graduated for Buffalo Academy for Visual and Performing Arts with a dance degree in 2008, then set her sights on Toronto to dance professionally and entered into the professional training program (PTP) at Ballet Creole from 2008-2010. Then after went back to the States to dance with Garth Fagan Dance Co. For a years but she found her passion is with the youth and community back home, and started a nonprofit organization for the arts and artist called Step Together Collective in 2012.

Shakeil Rollock is a highly motivated and passionate Toronto-based performer whose passion for dance extends beyond the studio. Studying at The School of Toronto Dance Theatre, he has trained in ballet, contemporary, and modern technique. His training also includes urban styles such as hip-hop, step, house, and dancehall. Having experience at the School’s summer intensive program, the Kaeja intensive, as well as a year at York University (Bachelor in Fine Arts in Dance) he does plan to continue his education in dance upon graduating from the School. Rollock has also had the opportunity to create his own work for some pre-professional and professional performances. Given his many opportunities in school, he is more than honoured to have worked with choreographers such as Allen and Karen Kaeja (Kaeja d’Dance) Louis Laberge-Côté, and Nova Bhattacharya (Nova Dances). Beyond the School, Rollock has also worked with Draico (Step Up Franchise), Hollywood Jade, (Jully Black Entertainment), Kevin Ormsby (Kashedance) and is in his first season with Newton Moraes Dance Theatre.


Matthew Cuff is a graduate of the School of Toronto Dance Theatre. With over 6 years of Ballet Contemporary, and Hip Hop Dance training, Matthew has performed in numerous events across Toronto. Matthew has also worked with established choreographers including Christopher House (TDT), Sean Cheesman (SYTYCDC), and Luther Brown (SYTYCDC). With his versatility and passion for dance and choreography, Matthew strives to strengthen the community of dance and is in his first season with Newton Moraes Dance Theatre.


Julia Consentino is a Toronto based dance artist. In 2012, she received her BFA Honours Degree in Dance from York University. Since graduating, Julia has performed with various companies, including ProArteDanza, Hit and Run Dance Production, Lady Luck Productions, emiMOTION, and Rock Bottom Movement. Recently, she travelled with Creativiva to Dubai, UAE, to perform in The Adventure of Pinocchio and also performed inaugural season with Jasmyn Fyffe Dance. Julia is also a founding member of the Toronto dance collective, The Garage. She has appeared on the TV Series Reign, and is a certified instructor of the Extension Method. This is Julia’s inaugural season with Newton Moraes Dance Theatre, and is grateful to be part of such an eclectic group of dancers.


Gabriella Parson is an accomplished dancer of 16 years. She studied at the Etobicoke School of the Arts, Ryerson University, and under the direction of Patrick Parson at Ballet Creole. Gabbie performed with Kids Creole Ensemble and was one of its founding members. Her talents have been showcased on TV Ontario programming on several occasions and she has performed in such events as Caribana and Kick Up Your Heels. As a Ballet Creole member, Gabbie tours and performs with the company throughout Ontario and Canada. In the summer of 2012, Gabriella danced in Los Angeles, California as a student/apprentice, with Lula Washington Dance Theatre. In 2014 she was in Montreal with Zab maboungou/Compagnie Danse Nyata Nyata. Currently Gabbie is experiencing her 3rd year as a member KasheDance, a Toronto based contemporary company on the rise. This is Gabriella Parson first season with the Newton Moraes Dance Theatre.


Gabriel Cropley, Lighting Design

Gabriel is a graduate of Ryerson Theatre School, Technical Director of the Winchester St. Theatre, and a freelance Lighting Designer. Gabriel has been resident lighting designer for The School of Toronto Dance Theatre since 2008 and has had the privilege of working with such distinguished choreographers as Marc Boivin, Allison Cummings, Paul-Andre Fortier, Margie Gillis, D.A. Hoskins, James Kudelka, Mitch Kirsch, Louis Laberge-Côté, Sharon Moore, Julia Sasso, Darryl Tracy, Heidi Strauss, and William Yong. He has also toured as lighting director for TDT’s Timecode Break to New York City, London UK, and across Canada. Gabriel has also designed for Toronto Masque Theatre, HCA DanceTheatre, Art of Time Ensemble, Four Chambers Dance Project, Pia Bouman, and Forcier StageWorks.

Solange Escosteguy Cardoso, Set and Costume Design

Sculptor, painter and designer, Solange Escosteguy participated in the 60’s of the Brazilian New Objectivity Exhibit, a landmark for the visual arts in Brazil, in the Rio de Janeiro Museum of Modern Art. She has lived and exhibited in several cities in Italy, the United States, Uruguay, Argentina, Chile, Ecuador, Brazil and now Canada.

Leonardo Tenan, Videography

Leonardo is producer and audiovisual director of BRAFFTv Brazilian Film & TV Festival of Toronto. His work as videographer within the Brazilian community includes clients such as The Consulate General of Brazil in Toronto/ Ministry of Culture, Brazil Day Canada, Expressions of Brazil, Uma Nota Festival, Pink Latino Diversity, NTVC, Aline Morales & Maracatú Baque de Bamba, Maracatú Mar Aberto, Batucada Carioca, Palhaço Amarelo, Lusco Fusco and Salviano Pessoa, among others. He directed the documentary #HopeForCristina, integrated with an ongoing social media campaign to raise awareness of bone marrow donation around the world.

Cylla von Tiedemann, Photography

Cylla von Tiedemann is a German-born photographer living in Toronto. First trained in black and white photography, she has embraced video, stage design and fine art photography. Throughout her dynamic career, her camera has been seduced by the performing arts: dance, theatre, music and film. Since the early 1980s, Cylla has collaborated with artists in France, Germany, India, Japan and the USA. She’s also presented creative workshops at various universities in Canada and is now teaching regularly at Pitko in Toronto.The Dance Photographs of Cylla von Tiedemann, a publication of the National Arts Centre, recognizes her vast contribution to dance photography.