There is a place in the city of Toronto, where people of all races and religions, ages and abilities, come together once a week to dance salsa. What takes place while the music is playing and people are moving is touching lives and changing the very face of our city one dance move at a time.
The Toronto Salsa Practice: A Model for a City in the Making, documents the power of dance to bridge divides and bring our vast cultural diversity together in ways rarely seen before. Diversity is Toronto’s strength but until now we haven’t truly tapped into and brought forth our full potential. The documentary pays homage to the Practice itself, the incredible community it has built and the ability of salsa to bring us together in ways that allow Toronto to realize its immense innovative capacity. It also documents the complex identity the Practice is helping to create, giving greater definition, cohesion and connection to a city coming of age and into its own.
The coming of age story of a city on the cusp of something big! DOCUMENTARY RELEASE DATE: January 24th, 2015.
There’s an attitude in the air that’s burning a hole in this city and it goes a little something like this; “Toronto is not a city for the world’s starry-eyed dreamers. It’s one resigned to the demands of practicality”. Stated in a goodbye letter to the city, author Michelle Dean explains her reasons for rejecting our more fair than fine city as a place contented with a lackluster and passionless existence. Devoid of the drive and desire to make something more of itself, Toronto is cited as not only lacking in great expectation, it suffers from a historic inability to even inspire it. Harsh words and ones that, despite having been written some time back and published in Toronto Life , still hang heavy, the points piercing and still unaddressed. So, although slow in coming, its time we set the record straight and put a stop to the negative persona our city has taken on and clarify what seems to be going amiss for so many.
Why is it for example, that cities like New York and many lesser known outposts are happy to toot their own horn but we Torontonians can’t muster up enough city-pride to get behind ourselves in a similar way? Are we truly the passionless, work obsessed and complacent ridden city we’re said to be? And if so, why on earth are more of us not protesting on the streets? Truth be told, our lack of outrage lends weight to the criticisms laid against. Not all is done and said for however, there is still far more to our story and we owe to ourselves to get the little ditty straight.
What we stand for, our identity and our association to it matters. How we feel and act towards our city has the power to impact the place we live for good or bad and works to shape our future fate as either the place of our dreams or just another stop on the road to somewhere else. The answers to the questions Ms. Dean’s letter raise is what in part sparked the making of a documentary examining a very special place that breaks the mold Ms. Dean criticizes and rejects us for. The documentary is titled; The TSP: A Model for a City in the Making, and its a tale of a city coming of age and Part II of conversation follows here.