Toronto Dance Theatre
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)
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
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."-
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.
Header's photo : David Hou (Echo's Object)