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Toronto Dance Theatre

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Christopher House

APRIL 12.13.14, 2007
Salle Pierre-Mercure, Centre Pierre-Péladeau

“Spurred by the inventiveness of Christopher House's choreography, Toronto Dance Theatre dazzles.” (The New York Times, USA)

Danse Danse welcomes back the Toronto Dance Theatre (TDT), previously seen in Nest in 2001 and Persephone’s Lunch in 2002. The company returns to Montreal with a new work by artistic director Christopher House. The piece, created in tandem with his company’s dancers and his longstanding collaborators, has been premiered last June at the Canada Dance Festival.

Photo David Hou (Echo's Object)

"Persephone's Lunch, with its parade of ensembles, solos and duets, is an intriguing and fascinating work, and the daring partnering of the couple duets that end the piece produces some of the most beautiful and profound moments to emerge in Canadian dance in decades." (The Globe and Mail, Canada)

Nest is a thoughtful, witty and whimsical work about the creative process [that] takes on an engrossing vitality.” (The National Post, Canada)

Christopher House
Newfoundland native Christopher House studied political science and philosophy before switching to dance. After graduating with a BA from York University in 1979, he joined the ranks of the Toronto Dance Theatre. As well as creating roles in works by James Kudelka, David Earle and Peter Randazzo, Christopher House was a guest artist with the Grands Ballets Canadiens de Montréal and Peggy Baker Dance Projects.

In 1981, he was named choreographer-in-residence at the TDT and in 1994 was promoted to artistic director of the company, taking over from the Patricia Beatty/Earle/Randazzo team. He has created fifty works throughout his career as a choreographer, the bulk of them for the TDT’s repertory. House has also been a guest choreographer for companies like the Ballet Gulbenkian, the National Ballet of Canada, Les Grands Ballets Canadiens de Montréal and Ballet British Columbia, as well as for dancers Peggy Baker, Laurence Lemieux and Guillaume Côté. Recent works include Severe Clear, Sly Verb and Echo’s Object (2005) for the TDT, a solo for Guillaume Côté, Soir, espoir, an evening-length collaboration with Joel Gibb, You are the Same, and The Hidden Cameras. A new work by the TDT and Christopher House will also be presented at the Canada Dance Festival in June 2006.

Christopher House is renowned for his inventive movements, ear for music, sophistication and subversive wit.

“House’s choreography shows a fully contemporary mind at work, and a timeless love for the body in motion” (Edmonton Journal, Canada).

Journalist Paula Citron from Toronto daily The Globe and Mail comments on his talent for reinvention. “Since he began creating full-evening works in 2000, “ she writes, “each new piece he produces as artistic director of Toronto Dance Theatre keeps transforming his repertoire, and just when you think you have handle on where he is going, he turns 90 degrees in a different direction […]. [W]hatever avenues he chooses to explore are always fascinating."

In 2003, Christopher House directed his first short film, Falling Gothic Green, screened at Toronto’s Moving Pictures Festival and other festivals in Canada, Europe and Asia.

A respected teacher, House gives courses at the Toronto Dance Theatre School. He also teaches at Simon Fraser University, the Juilliard School in New York, the Ateliers de danse moderne de Montréal, Jacob’s Pillow in Massachusetts and the Rotterdam Dance Academy.

Toronto Dance Theatre
Founded by Patricia Beatty, David Earle and Peter Randazzo in 1968, the Toronto Dance Theatre is committed to creating original Canadian works. As a centre for teaching and performing modern and contemporary dance, the TDT has had a profound influence on Canadian dance. The founders, who were also the first artistic directors, presented their own works as well those of other choreographers including James Kudelka and Tedd Robinson.

In 1994, Christopher House was named sole artistic director of the company, and completely transformed it by his vision, energy and openness. The TDT became an even more exciting and creative environment for all the artists working on the productions. House involves his dancers – all 12 of them – in the choreographic process and works closely with his long time collaborators, Phil Strong for music, Steve Lucas for lighting and Jeremy Laing for costumes.

"In making choices regarding our creative activities, I look for opportunities for learning and collective growth. I strive to create a sense of adventure in the company, a core of creative excitement that will encourage each participant to realize their artistic potential."- Christopher House

The company performs regularly at Toronto’s Harbourfront Centre and its headquarters at the Winchester Street Theatre, as well as touring across Canada, the United States, Europe and Asia. The TDT also runs programs such as Four at the Winch, featuring works by up-and-coming choreographers that are geared toward experimentation and risk-taking, and The Process Revealed, a series of performances with audience discussion aimed at demystifying the creative process and making dance more accessible.

Toronto Dance Theatre also runs a dance school with a professional program that regularly turns out skilled dancers.


February 2006

Header's photo : David Hou (Echo's Object)