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Bakari Ifasegun Lindsay

As we approach the 20th anniversary of Older & Reckless, we remember the senior dance artists who have joined us over the years, including the masterful BAKARI IFASEGUN LINDSAY

BaKari by Irina Popova


I am always transfixed by BaKari’s dancing. Inside his powerful physicality, a fierce passion and clear commitment fuel every move he makes. He never fails to reveal a deep place in the human soul. It was an honour to present his stunning solo Ancestral Calling at Older & Reckless in Toronto (2012, 2016) and in St. Catharines at First Ontario Performing Arts Centre (2018). In my opinion, it is one of the masterworks of contemporary dance” - Claudia

BaKari has lit up the Toronto dance scene since the late 1980s with his compelling presence, whether interpreting Danny Grossman’s gruelling Curious Schools of Theatrical Dancing, or his own Dora-nominated Ancestral Calling. Images of BaKari burn bright – brave, generous, strong, honest, fiercely fine, elegant in essence.

BaKari notes, of his artistic research: “The essential body dominating most African dances is based on a key principle, rather than well-defined positions. This key principle is The Natural Bends of all body joints. The degree of each joint bends depends on the natural physical ability of each individual dancer. Thus the essential body position in African dance emerges in endless variations, but the common principle is The Natural Bends. The advantage of this genial principle is that the natural bends provide the dancer with freedom in their choice of movement, drawn from a large repertoire of natural movement. Moreover, the natural bends allow each individual in the community to perform up to their ability.”


BaKari IfaSegun Lindsay was born on the sunny isle of Trinidad, West Indies. He is a dancer, choreographer, researcher, singer, musician, costume designer/maker and father. He studied at the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater, the School of Toronto Dance Theatre (STDT) on scholarship, and with various teachers from the Caribbean and the African continent. He holds a Master’s degree in dance ethnology and a Bachelor of Education degree from York University. BaKari developed a physical language for training in West African and diasporic African dance culture entitled A-Feeree – The Physical Language.

Co-founder of COBA (Collective of Black Artists), BaKari has danced for Danny Grossman Dance Company (DGDC), Artcho Danse Repertoire (Haiti), Jubilation Dance Co. (USA), Toronto Dance Theatre, National Dance Company of Trinidad and Tobago (T&T), Les Enfants Dance Co (T&T) and independent choreographers in Canada, the United States and the Caribbean. He also appeared in the original performing cast of Canada's production of Disney's The Lion King.

BaKari choreographed more than 30 works on COBA. He has choreographed and taught across Canada in professional, community and educational settings including the TDSB and on the faculties of Ryerson University, York University and Humber College. BaKari’s work has been informed by his personal artistic vision to develop a harmonious balance between artistic practice and traditional culture.


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