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Dante Alighieri Academy Arts Department offers a comprehensive program that allows students to fully develop their artistic potential in the areas of Dance, Drama, Media Arts, Music, Photography and Visual Arts. Encouraged to perform on multiple intellectual, analytical, empathic and expressive levels, students learn and develop lifelong skills and values that will uniquely enrich their future.
Our Arts Department has produced a number of prominent graduates in the performing and visual arts fields and has maintained a rich array of local and provincial awards in all areas. A team of enthusiastic faculty whose love for teaching and artistic talents have inspired generations of Dante students continues to stimulate the young, while nurturing their individuality and creativity.
Mrs. Pilaf, Head Department
Dante Alighieri’s Dance program is delivered in an inclusive, creative environment, rich in aesthetic experience that encourages self-expression and collaboration. Students develop technique and creative skills through the study of the elements of dance and composition in a variety of performance situations. They identify various personal and interpersonal practices related to dance processes and production. By covering genres such as hip-hop, jazz, modern dance, musical theatre and ballet, our students get the opportunity to participate in the process of creating choreographies.
Students advance their skills and confidence by performing in various dance events, including Dance Night and Christmas Showcase at Dante, Toronto Catholic Schools Dance Festival, National Dance Day organized by the Canadian Dance Assembly and broadcasted by CP24 and Canadian Varsity Dance Challenge at York University where Dante students received top awards. Given the inclusive nature of the program, we encourage students of various skill levels to enrol and discover the love of dance!
The Dramatic Arts at Dante is an award winning program that is concerned with developing the whole student—imaginatively, emotionally, socially, physically and intellectually. Whether students are simply looking to gain personal confidence or ready to become the school’s next star, both in class and extra-curricular programming allow students to meet their goals. From theatrical performances to student inspired writing to improvisation in the classroom, students discover their talents and explore their potential as creator, actor, director, technician, writer and critic.
The Dramatics Arts Program at Dante has seen many students accepted into various theatre programs and has a long list of outstanding achievements including performances at the Toronto Luminato International Arts Festival, Toronto SummerWorks Festival, Toronto Fringe Festival and the Sears Ontario Drama Festival (at which Dante students have won over 50 awards of Merit and Excellence). As both an art form and a medium for learning, the Dramatics Arts provide students with dynamic opportunities to develop skills they will use throughout their lifetime!
Media Arts is an exciting, innovative and award-winning multimedia program in which students work towards the creation of highly creative, unique and original works of media art while at the same time exploring the arts through a variety of disciplines.  The program is set up to give students as much freedom in terms of choice and creativity in order to allow them a chance for a fuller and deeper expression of their collective imagination. Building upon cooperative skills and creative collaboration, students work within the culture of ‘ensemble’ and experience the creative dynamics of a production company.  This program emphasizes the development of the knowledge and skills required for the production of media art works (e.g., music videos, short film, animation with synthesized sound, image manipulation).
All student produced creations are given the exciting opportunity to exist and inspire others outside of the classroom.  Our students work has been featured in a variety of media-related arts festivals and claimed regional and provincial awards. These have included a silver medal at the Ontario Skills Competition, silver medal at the Work Place and Insurance Board of Ontario video competition and 2nd place in the LiveGreen Toronto video contest.
Our Music Program is focused on inspiring students to gain a life-long love and appreciation for all forms of musical expression. Music Instrumental, Music Vocal, and Music & Computers courses are designed to both challenge and inspire young musicians.
Dante Alighieri's Instrumental Music Program is diverse and built to accommodate students’ interests in various genres. Students can pursue the study of music on instruments of their choice and enroll in any of the three courses offered: Instrumental Band, Guitar and/or Small Ensemble. Students participate in various large and small ensembles. They play in concert bands, jazz combos, show and/or stage bands, rock and/or metal bands and perform in annual school concerts and Rock Night shows, community/school events, and festivals (Ontario Band Association Concert Band Festival, Wonderland Music Festival, and TCDSB Music Festival). In addition, our musicians have the opportunity to collaborate with the Dante Singers, dance and/or drama students. They perform and record their own original compositions, and attend performances throughout the city as field trips.
The Vocal Music Program is open to anyone who wants to pursue voice, to grow as soloist, to be part of a vocal/music ensemble or to improve their overall musicianship. Singers work on vocal technique, learn microphone technique, and explore singing in a wide-range of musical styles including traditional choral music, contemporary, pop, rock and musical theatre.
The program fosters collaboration between singers and instrumentalists as to strengthen their ability to “sing what you play, and play what you sing”. Students have the opportunity to improvise using the voice, create original songs and perform them with an instrumental group at their choice. Dante Singers has a standing tradition on performing in their annual concerts, as well as in various school/community events, festivals and many other performance venues. Individual singers have participated in many singing contests; they have been broadcasted on local TV and even released albums.
Music & Computers at Dante Alighieri is a very exciting program where our students learn song writing and digital recording. They create original music for animation, movie trailers, and video games or remix their favorite tunes. In addition, students enrolled in this course are encouraged to create and record their own original instrumental background/sound effects for songs and/or pieces performed by Dante Singers and instrumentalists. Each student works with an individual MIDI workstation, which consists of Mac computer and M-Audio keyboard. Students analyze peer music compositions, visit recording studios and/or participate in concerts and shows.
There are two photography courses at Dante: Digital Photography and Black and White Photography. Both courses give students an opportunity to enjoy taking pictures from many perspectives and in many styles. Black and White Photography emphasizes the technical side of photography through the study of light, printing of images in the darkroom and of course knowledge of the camera, while Digital Photography focuses on literacy of images, construction of images, and the artistic development of an image.
Students will graduate with photography portfolios of their own artwork on DVD’s. For Black and White Photography, the portfolios will be made of printed photos. It is important to know that photography expands students’ focus on the world of images as well as it expands students’ artistic vision and quality of interaction with other students. Photography students go to photograph on locations and get to know as a result the city of Toronto.
Dante Alighieri’s Art program allows students to explore the world of art from grade nine
to twelve through the following: Creating Art, Practicing Art Criticism, Being an Art Historian, Communicating through Art and Connecting with other Disciplines. These areas allow students to understand and apply media, techniques and processes of Art. By grade twelve, each student will also have created a portfolio, a collection of artworks, which is essential when applying to various universities or colleges.
Catholic Faith formation is an important focus in the Catholic Secondary School.
All students in the art classes are expected to participate in various aspects of Dante’s religious life through different art media. Drawings, paintings, sculptures and murals by students can be seen around our school. They promote and encourage student participation and excellence. This is tied in a meaningful way to the expectations in the Curriculum.
Students in the Visual Arts have participated in various art shows such as “Introspections: Student Art Show” hosted by Arts Etobicoke at Sherway Gardens and the “Illuminato Festival” at the Columbus Centre Art Gallery. This provided students participating the opportunity to display their works of art as part of a public exhibition. Professional artists were also on site to offer one on one critiquing. For their efforts, Dante Alighieri Academy has been awarded Exemplary Practice Awards in the Visual Arts.
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