The Toronto Caribbean Carnival and the intersection of emancipation, history and dance: With Ronald A. Taylor & Collette ‘Coco’ Murray (Part 1)


Live on CIUT 89.5 FM

Airing Date: July 20, 2022
Hosted By: Nicole Inica Hamilton

Featured Guest(s): Ronald A. Taylor & Collette ‘Coco’ Murray

On this episode, guests Ronald A. Taylor and Collette ‘Coco’ Murray open up about the Toronto Caribbean Carnival, and the intersection of emancipation, history and dance.

About Ronald A. Taylor:

Ronald A. Taylor is the Artistic Director of the Toronto-based company Ronald Taylor Dance (formerly known as Canboulay Dance Theatre) founded in 1993. Taylor’s talent was first nurtured by the late Astor Johnson of the innovative Repertory Dance Theatre (Trinidad). After leaving Trinidad and Tobago, the birthplace of internationally acclaimed dance pioneers Geoffrey Holder and Beryl McBurnie, Taylor enrolled in the renowned The Juilliard School – Dance division in New York. Under Héctor Zaraspe, international ballet master and private teacher to Rudolf Nureyev and Margot Fonteyn, Taylor graduated with a BFA in Dance. His stay with Dance Theatre of Harlem (DTH) afforded him two prestigious awards – the DTH Scholarship Award and the Maxwell and Muriel Bluck Scholarship Award.  Taylor moved to Canada in the early ’90’s and emerged as a leading force in Black Dance. During that period, he turned his focus on training new graduates in theater and dance, at the same time collaborating with the umbrella of dance organization “Dance Immersion”. True to his Caribbean roots, his work fuses Modern with Folk, and traditional Ballet in a distinctive style which Taylor describes as “Contemporary Caribbean”. Ronald has successfully pursued a Master of Arts degree at York University. In his capacity as dance educator, Taylor taught at York’s Faculty of Fine Arts and at designated school programs across Ontario, Western Canada, Belize, USA and parts of the Caribbean. He was also selected to be part of The Djerassi Resident Artists Program in California, a program internationally recognized as one of the eminent artist residency programs for artists of superior talent, who are chosen from a diverse range of backgrounds and geographical locations. | Instagram: @ronaldataylordance


About Collette ‘Coco’ Murray:

Collette ‘Coco’ Murray is a dance educator and cultural arts programmer with a performance background in Caribbean Folk, traditional West African and other diasporic dance styles with Toronto-based companies.  Murray holds a Master of Education and Specialized Honours BA in Race, Ethnicity and Indigeneity from York University, and a Sociology BA from University of Toronto. Her graduate research centered on perspectives of Black arts educators’ experiences using culturally responsive teaching in Ontario, Canada.   Her artistry includes teaching, arts education, mentorship, research, and community arts engagement. This award- winning artist is recognized as one of 100 Accomplished Black Canadian Women honourees in 2020, 2019 recipient of the Toronto Arts Foundation’s Community Arts Award and Canadian Dance Assembly’s 2013 recipient of the “I love Community” Award.  Along with Miss Coco Murray, her mobile, dance education business, Murray also is the Artistic Director of Coco Collective, an intergenerational group offering culturally-responsive projects to connect participants, organizations, and schools to African and Caribbean arts.  Murray is a contributing writer published in dance media and academic journals. Her advocacy includes serving on the National Council for Canadian Dance Assembly, the Board of Directors for Arts Etobicoke, and Dance Umbrella of Ontario (DUO) to bring an equity, education, and inclusion lens to their organizations.  Murray currently pursues a PhD in Dance Studies at York University with a focus on dance education and pedagogies to support the Canadian Afro-diasporic dance sector. | Instagram: @misscocomurray


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