Celebrating the 33rd annual International Conference and Festival of Blacks in Dance: With Vivine Scarlett and John Alleyne


Live on CIUT 89.5 FM

Airing Date: January 25, 2023
Host/ Producer: Nicole Inica Hamilton

Assistant Production Manager/ Editor:  Amber Downie-Back

Featured Guest(s): Vivine Scarlett and John Alleyne

On this episode, Vivine Scarlett, founder of dance Immersion opens up about IABD’s 33rd annual International Conference and Festival of Blacks in Dance, it’s beginnings, and how it supports dancers and dances of the African diaspora.  This broadcast also features celebrated choreographer John Alleyne, who will be one of five individuals who will be honored at the event. Each year IABD honors and celebrates dance leaders who have significantly impacted and influenced the art form, while enhancing its rich cultural landscape and legacy. The 33rd annual conference and festival is hosted by IABD and dance Immersion in Toronto, Ontario from January 25-29, 2023.

About Vivine Scarlett:

Vivine is an administrator and choreographer whose artistic goals and aspirations  are rooted in the love of dance. She is Founder and Executive Director for  dance Immersion, an organization that supports dancers and dances of African  ancestry with a number of diverse programs. Vivine’s contributions to the field of  dance are generated from an energy that has fuelled her direction leading her on a  journey for over 38 years of giving and serving through the arts. Drawn to all kinds  of dance expressions and movement, Ms. Scarlett’s passion has manifested many  experiences that have served Canadian artists of African descent with opportunities  that have laid a foundation for continued growth and representation.

As former Artistic Director and performing member of Usafiri Dance & Drum  Ensemble, Vivine created and presented works in both traditional influenced African  and contemporary African dance styles. Over her career, Vivine has been the recipient of many awards, some of which include: the Muriel Sherrin Award, the Dance  Ontario Lifetime Achievement Award, Planet Africa Heritage Award, and a Dora Mavor  Moore award for her choreographic endeavours in “The Adventures of a Black Girl in  Search of God”.

Her efforts to connect international Blacks in dance to Canada has resulted in dance  Immersion hosting the prestigious International Association of Blacks in Dance (IABD)  Conference & Festival twice and is scheduled to co-host this event again in January  2023. Relationships in the UK have resulted in partnerships assisting to organize two  Re:generations conferences which included the participation of Canadian artists.  International connections have also included bringing two youth companies to perform  in Ghana West Africa along with facilitating a Canadian contingency of artists to  participate in the 2019 Panafest Festival, BEYOND 400 YEARS: REACHING  ACROSS CONTINENTS INTO THE FUTURE in Cape Coast, Ghana .  Vivine continues her journey, connecting opportunities with a variety of artistic communities around the world.


About John Alleyne:

Born in Barbados, John immigrated to Canada with his family in 1965. He was accepted to the professional ballet program, joining NBS in 1971 as the first Black Canadian student at the School. After graduating from NBS in 1978, he joined the Stuttgart Ballet where he began his choreographic career. John returned to Canada in 1984 and joined The National Ballet of Canada as a First Soloist, accepting the position as the company’s resident choreographer from 1990to1992. John was appointed Artistic Director of Ballet BC in 1992. His leadership marked the beginning of a creative and prosperous period in the company’s history. John implemented assertive outreach strategies for strengthening the company’s identity locally, nationally and internationally. Over the past 37 years, numerous internationally-respected companies, festivals and institutions have commissioned new choreography from John. He is the recipient of many prestigious awards acknowledging his outstanding contribution to the world of dance, including the first-ever honorary Doctorate of Fine Arts from Simon Fraser University (2003), the Exceptional Achievement Award in the Performing Arts from the Black Historical and Cultural Society of British Columbia (2005), the African-Canadian Achievement Award for Excellence in the Arts and Entertainment (2016), among many others.

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