Andrew Tay, Artist – Toronto

Andrew Tay, Artistic Director of Toronto Dance Theatre, is a multi-hyphenate performance curator, choreographer, and DJ. His creative practice seeks to destabilize pre-conceived notions of queerness, spirituality, and identity politics through choreographic strategies. His work, Make Banana Cry, a subversive runway performance that troubles the Western gaze by confronting Asian stereotypes, is currently touring internationally. He was the first curator of the CCOV in Montreal, received the Risk and Innovation Award from the Summerworks Performance Festival, and was named on the list of “50 under 50 shaping tomorrow” by Concordia University. The Toronto Dance Theatre presents a Spring Double Bill featuring work by Yuichiro Inoue and artistic duo KINAJ this weekend and next.

  1. A Standard Sunday

This recurring day-to-night event at Toronto’s Standard Time venue on Geary Lane features DJs playing from 3pm to 1am. I’m really into longform DJ sets cuz they allow you to get deep into a vibe and experience moods not possible in the typical one-hour club set format. I attended a recent edition from Detroit’s Theo Parrish that reaffirmed my faith in life, LOL. Plus it’s so cool to feel the lighting gradually shift from daylight to darkness while dancing with friends.

  1. Sticky Rice Magazine

This online magazine that reflects on contemporary expressions of Canadian Asian identity is always a great read. Past editions have centered on topics like queerness and family. The most recent volume, entitled RE_GENERATION, contains articles reflecting on death, grief, and their relationship to futurity – topics I’ve been thinking about a lot in terms of the shift in the dance and performance scene since the pandemic.

  1. Faye Driscoll’s Weathering

I had the privilege of being part of presenting this incredible performance work from the Brooklyn-based choreographer to the Toronto community, and it had a major impact. A moving human sculpture made of bodies, sounds, scents, liquids, and objects enacts a morphing “tableau vivant” on a mobile raft-like stage spinning increasingly towards disaster. If you’re into dances that push performative ideas of time, intimacy, and proximity to the audience, go see this work when it plays near you!

  1. Asian disco

There is a special place in my heart for disco music and re-edits! I’ve been doing a deep dive recently into disco music made in Asia in the seventies and eighties. I’ll be DJing a special set in Montreal on May 31st after the Short&Sweet performance event, presented by Festival Accès Asie, where I’ll play lots of current fave tracks like 뜬소문 by the Hee Sisters (Korea) and Annie Batungbakal by Filipino group Hotdog.

  1. Dailo

Coming up on its ten year anniversary, this resto on College Street in Toronto is a fave of mine, and not just because the Chef De Cuisine is my brother Dennis Tay! (Also of Top Chef Canada Fame.) Blending traditional Asian cooking techniques with French, the result is an adventurous and sophisticated menu that doesn’t ever feel gimmicky. Dailo continues to be listed on many top restaurant lists. Some dishes I always come back to are the fried watermelon and whatever seasonal dumpling they might be serving at the time.