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Mars Project Logo. 3 red spheres, encompassed by an incomplete circle. One representing Mars, and 2 representing the 2 moons of Mars. underneath it reads The Mars Project.

The Mars Project is a dance and music feast for the soul about the first humans on Mars, from the mind of Canadian Tap Dance icon Travis Knights. It features an international cast of some of the world’s best Tap Dancers hailing from across the globe. This sci-fi show blurs the lines between theatre, concert and dance. With original music that serves as a conversation between composition and choreography, audiences will be treated to an allegory of how the first humans on Mars preserve and transform their respective cultures on the new world, to effectively become Martian.

Liftoff in fall of 2024

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The Artistic Team

Meet the Martians

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Creator & Artistic Director

Travis Knights

Born in Montreal, Canada, Travis was introduced to the rich oral tradition of Tap by his teacher Ethel Bruneau at age 10. He went on to travel the world spreading his love of rhythm across 4 continents, touring with Tap Dogs, Tapestry Dance Company, and the self-produced Tap Love Tour. He was the 2020 recipient of the Jaqueline Lemieux Prize for outstanding contribution to dance in Canada. In December 2021, in partnership with Dance Immersion, Travis, along with renowned Tap Dancer Lisa LaTouche, created and directed Legacy Series: Tap Dance Symposium which aimed to re-introduce Tap Dance to the local Black community in Toronto. In 2022, Travis toured 4 international cities with Anandam Dance Theatre’s Ephemeral Artifacts, won a Dora Award for Outstanding Performance in Dance Immersion’s Tap Legacy Concert, and became a Slaight Family Music Associate at Soulpepper. He currently lives in Brampton, Ontario and hosts The Tap Love Tour Podcast, available on spotify, soundcloud and apple podcasts, (make sure to subscribe) featuring interviews of a myriad of inspiring tap dance artists. www.travisknights.com

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Dancer & Producer

Gregory "Krypto" Selinger

Greg “Krypto” Selinger has interpreted for Solid State Breakdance Collective and choreographed the trio Still Milking the New Sacred Cow under the mentorship of Victor Quijada. Greg’s work often blends dance and spoken word. His autobiographical danced monologue A Piece of: My Heart (Breaking) has been presented in Montreal, Quebec City, Ontario, Germany, and Mexico. He is the founder of the interdisciplinary improvisation collective Body Slam. In 2016, he directed his childhood breakdance hero Jacob “Kujo” Lyons in Creative Extremist. He is currently in creation for Geneviève Duong’s The Northwest Passages and Rhodnie Désir’s Symphonie des Cœurs.

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Costume Deisgner

Diséiye

Nigerian born artist Diseiye Thompson, was classically trained at Ryerson University & The Academy of Design. Diseiye draws design inspiration from their culture, their various intersecting communities, especially the ballroom community, as well as their vast knowledge of fashion history. Their design skills and techniques have evolved from their apprenticeship with Greta Constantine to their time designing at Lea-ann Belter Bridal. Diseiye has become notable as a stylist; after styling music videos and live performances for artists like Aiza and DVSN. https://www.diseiye.com/

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Singer & Song Writer

Markus Aurelyus

Markus Aurelyus is a Singer/Songwriter with a story to tell. Based in Scarborough, Ontario he has a unique R&B vocal style that’s influenced by Gospel, Soul, Pop and Hip-Hop. Musically influenced by artists of various genres, from Busta Rhymes to Jodeci, Donny Hathaway to Missy Elliott, he has absorbed the musicality and creativity and uses these influences to inspire. Singing since he was a baby and writing since 2012, he has performed on stage with acts like Jully Black & DVSN. He has recorded with artists such as Serena Ryder, Quincy Morales, Powerhouse Fellowship Soul Choir & Katasha J. Whether singing his own original music on stage or singing background for artists around the city, this singers’ energy and presence on stage are hard to ignore. His dream is to write music and sing for artists all over the world.

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Musician

Justin McHugh

Bio coming soon

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Tap Dancer

Reona

She was born in downtown Tokyo in 1989. She started tap dancing at a young age, and was captivated by tap when she met Kazumi Watanabe in the spring of her 16th year. After graduating from high school, she went to New York for training. She won all the “Cutting Contest” held in Chicago, LA and Tokyo. She is currently working mainly on live performances with musicians in the jazz and improvisation areas. Leader band “Toto [w/ Fumio Itabashi(pf)/Takashi Seo(cb)]”, “Trio with Eiichi Hayashi(as) and Takashi Seo(cb)”, “Trio with Shinpei Ruike(tp) and Kurumi Shimizu(pf)” are in development. In order to materialize the sounds in her head with taps, she carries around tap shoes, a wooden board, iron plates, tin pot lids, stainless steel bowls, etc., and makes full use of what she has. She is currently working on a wide range of activities, breaking down the barriers between the aural and the visual, such as appearing in “LAND FES”, a walking performance event where people can watch live performances by musicians and dancers while walking around the city, and appearing in cabaret and showbiz events. In 2014, she appeared in ONWARD “Kumikyoku” 2014SS concept movie Kumikyoku ga Saku. (Masakatsu Takagi and Reona) In 2017, she performed in the show “TIRELESS” curated by Michelle Dorrance at Jacob’s Pillow Dance, the oldest summer dance festival in the US, with Reona (tap) and Takashi Seo (cb) in a DUO. They received a great response for their new expression of tap.

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Musician

Victor Xu

bio coming soon

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Choreographer

Lisa LaTouche

As a proud Canadian and New Yorker, Lisa’s credits are world renowned. She was an original cast member in Broadway’s Shuffle Along, choreographed by Savion Glover and Directed by George C. Wolfe, where she received both the Fred Astaire Award and the Actor’s Equity Award for Outstanding Broadway Chorus. Her TV credits include the 70th Annual Tony Awards and Amazon’s Original “Z, The beginning of everything”. Previous highlights have also included touring with the Savion Glover production, Stepz, and also performing with both New York's Off-Broadway and the North American touring casts of STOMP. Since 2010 she has run her own performance company Tap Phonics and has been commissioned to present for such organizations such as The Brooklyn Museum, 92Y, Gibney Dance and Fall For Dance North. As an educator and Professor she has taught for PACE University, NYU, The School of Jacob’s Pillow, University of Calgary, Decidedly Jazz Danceworks, Rosie’s Theater Kids and member of the creative council for the American Tap Dance Foundation. Her most recent endeavor has been writing and directing her debut film TRAX encompassing her journey back to Alberta while discovering important local black history. Above all, her proudest achievement greatest inspiration, is the gift of being a mom.

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Composer & Musical Director

Dwight Jones

Dwight Jones is a Barbadian born Toronto based musical creative and multi - instrumentalist improviser. When Dwight is not at home serenading his unsuspecting neighbours with his soundscape experimentation, he can be found playing around the city of Toronto alongside some of your favourite musicians and exploring opportunities globally.

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Singer, Song Writer & Tap Dancer

Brinae Ali

Alexandria “Brinae Ali” Bradley, born and raised in Flint, Michigan is an interdisciplinary artist who believes in using the power of the arts to transform the conditions of the human spirit. When she is not traveling and performing, she is giving back to young people and grass roots organizing. Currently Bradley is the artistic director of Tapology, Inc. a youth based outreach program in Flint, that believes in preserving the art of tap and jazz culture through education and performance. As an educator she has collaborated with After School Activities Partnership, East Park Revitalization Alliance, Philadelphia Clef Club of Performing Arts, Raise It Up! Youth Arts and Awareness, Flint Youth Theatre, Mural Arts of Philadelphia, Young Audiences of New Jersey, Queens College, Long Island University, Ping Chong and Company, New Jersey Performing Arts Center, and was an artist in residence at the Carol Morgan School in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic and Apollo Theater Education with Wadleigh High School in Harlem NYC. She has also served as an adjunct professor at Queens College and Long Island University. Internationally Bradley has traveled and performed around the world in countries such as, France, Germany, China, and Brazil. She also travelled with a team of tap dancers to Russia for a tour in 5 cities working with the U.S. Embassy for its cultural exchange program celebrating National Tap Dance Day. Her broadway and off-broadway experience has gained her positions as assistant dance captain for “Shuffle Along: the 1921 Sensation And All That Followed” choreographed by Savion Glover and directed by George C.Wolfe, company member of NY and Touring cast of STOMP, special feature in the “Cotton Club Parade” which later became “After Midnight” under the musical direction of Wynton Marsalis, New York City Center Off -Center production of “Don’t Bother Me, I Can’t Cope” directed and choreographed by Savion Glover and was a part of a two week tour in Italy celebrating Ella Fitzergerald’s centennial. As a playwright and songwriter she has also created award winning works such as Best Short Play at the Downtown Urban Theater Festival for her one woman show “Steps” and the Vox Populi Independence Music Award for “Destination Forever: Vol.1 EP.” Currently she is developing a work in progress with trumpeter Sean Jones called “Dizzy Spellz” fusing tap, Bebop, Hip Hop, and Afro Cuban music to articulate the African American experience through the music of Dizzy Gillespie from a afrofuturistic lense.

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Singer & Song Writer

Joanna Majoko

Toronto-based vocalist, composer, and bandleader Joanna Majoko has established a reputation for herself as one of Canada’s most exciting young singers, and is a regular presence on the bandstand with some of the country’s top musicians. Born to German and Zimbabwean parents, Majoko spent her childhood in Zimbabwe. She is equally at home singing neo-soul, orchestrating a jazz standard and playing the caxixi and the claves. In 2021, Majoko released her debut EP, No Holding Back, an astonishing, powerful statement on her personal history, the fruitful collaborative relationships of her musical present, and her vision for the future to come.

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Tap Dancer

Thomas Moon

Thomas is a traveling singer and tap dancer. From 2010-13 he was a principal dancer with Tapestry Dance Company in Austin, Texas. 2013-19 he was living out of a suitcase; based briefly in Barcelona, Rome, and Reykjavik. 2020-23 Thomas was leading various jazz groups in Australia in addition to studying a Bachelor of Fine Arts at Monash University. Tap dancers of the past are a big inspiration as is the music of the River Delta and New Orleans. He likes to read and cook, and the sun. Currently on tour performing in music venues, jazz clubs, and festival events.

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Musician

Vennie Tu

bio coming soon

Lift Off in

2024

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