Fresh Blood Paula Citron Dance Award 2013

Fresh Blood Paula Citron Dance Award 2013


In 1996, Toronto dance critic Paula Citron inaugurated a prize to recognize choreographic artistry at fFIDA (fringe Festival of Independent Dance Artists). Since then, the Paula Citron Dance Award has been variously conferred on choreographers selected from Moving Pictures Festival of Dance on Film and Video, Fresh Blood, a showcase of emerging choreographers, and the biennial mini-festival dance: made in canada/fait au canada. Ms. Citron uses very subjective criteria to choose a work that compels attention, be it highly sophisticated craftsmanship, inventive dance vocabulary, or unusual subject matter.

The recipient of the Fresh Blood Paula Citron Dance Award 2013 is Emilio Colalillo.

Emilio Colalillo’s Avidità

In Italian, “avidità” means greed or thirst for wealth. In his eponymous duet, Colalillo has transferred the word to a romantic relationship where the hunger is for control or possession. Colalillo is still an emerging choreographer, so he is in the process of learning his craft, particularly in creating movement that expresses a theme or a concept. What makes Colalillo a worthy winner of this award, however, is the skill in partnering that Avidità displays.

Partnering is almost the last element to kick into place for a choreographer. In their early stages, many dancesmiths come to partnering through contact improv, for example, using weight-bearing as the tool. For his part, Colalillo has gone for the jugular, and that is what is impressive about Avidità. He has crafted difficult lifts that entangle his body with that of partner Samantha Raymond. Collectively these lifts show a shifting flow of control from one partner to another. More to the point, Colalillo has made great strides in ensuring the smooth transition from one lift to the next. The underlying edgy music augments the tension between the dancers, yet it is clear, from a structural point of view, that the duo must be firmly in control of both the flow of physicality, and the balance between the two bodies, in order to execute this gravity-defying performance.

It is for this reason that Emilio Colalillo wins this year’s Fresh Blood Award, notably, for the fluid motion of his seamlessly dangerous lifts.

Previous Recipients

2012 Anjelica Scannura

2010 Paul Charbonneau

2009 Erin Cowan