Amanda Todd's mom surprised by dance piece based on teen's story
Carol Todd says she was never notified of upcoming dance performance in Winnipeg
Royal Winnipeg Ballet students are set to perform a dance piece that is inspired by the story of Amanda Todd, but Todd's mother says she was left in the dark about the upcoming performance.
The RWB School's professional division is presenting Caution; Children At Play, a contemporary dance work choreographed by Gabriela Rehak, as part of a showcase featuring students from its aspirant program.
The showcase is taking place Thursday and Friday at the University of Winnipeg Asper School for Theatre + Film in downtown Winnipeg.
The ballet school says Caution; Children At Play was inspired by Rehak's reaction to Todd's experiences with bullying and cyberbulling that led to the 15-year-old's suicide in October 2012.
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"We can all relate to it in some way — either we've been bullied or we've seen it, we've witnessed it, we've done nothing — and I think we need to bring an awareness," Rehak said.
"If it reaches someone and makes a difference, great…. But I just wanted to share her story, so that was my intention."
But Carol Todd, Amanda's mother, said she only learned of the RWB production when CBC News contacted her on Tuesday to ask what she thought of it.
Carol Todd's website lists numerous links to artistic works and performances that show how much her daughter's story has touched others.
Even the Vancouver Opera is planning an anti-bullying performance set for this fall.
Todd said she's always happy to raise awareness of bullying, but she would appreciate it if those planning to use Amanda's story would give her a head's up.
"I appreciate it when people ask and share that information with me, because then … I can promote their piece of work," she said.
Rehak admitted that she did not consult Carol Todd before going ahead with the piece.
"I definitely don't want her to be upset by it. I'd like her to be honored," she said. "I'm dedicating this piece to her daughter, so it's from a good place."
Last month, RCMP in B.C. announced that a 35-year-old Dutch citizen faces charges in connection with the online sexual extortion of Amanda Todd.
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Both Rehak and Todd agreed that they want to continue raising awareness of bullying.
"Amanda hasn't just been forgotten … it wasn't just another news story," Todd said.
"If we can continue this and use the tragedies to turn it into something positive, as a mom, I couldn't ask for anything more."