Photo credit: Jennifer Dallas, Lalibella, Ethiopia
Artistic Director/Dancer/Choreographer/Costume Designer
Jennifer Dallas is a Toronto based dancer, choreographer, teacher and costume designer. Hailing from the Canadian Rockies, Dallas began her formal dance training at a very young age in ballet and contemporary dance. She is a graduate of the School of Toronto Dance Theatre. In 2010 Dallas was the Metcalf funded intern for 10 Gates Dancing under the direction of Tedd Robinson. She performed in his R3 at the National Arts Centre in October 2010. That year Dallas was also a K.M Hunter award nominee. In 2005 Dallas received a DanceWEB scholarship for study at ImPuls Tanz in Vienna Austria. She currently sits on the board of directors for the Canadian Alliance of Dance Artists – Ontario Chapter.
Since her choreographic debut in 2005, Dallas’ work has been presented by the Nigerian festivals Truefesta and Dance meets Danse. In Toronto she has been co-presented by DanceWorks on two occasions and presented numerous productions of her own. She has created commissioned works for the Scream literary festival, The Crazyfish collective and The School of Toronto Dance Theatre.
Dallas has performed in original choreographic works by Tedd Robinson, Marc Boivin, Susie Burpee and Adedayo Liadi. She performed as a solo dancer and choreographer with Juno-nominated afrobeat band Mr. Something Something for four touring seasons from 2005 to 2009 and has presented movement workshops coast to coast.
In 2008 Dallas founded Kẹmi Contemporary Dance Projects (Kẹmi). Kẹmi is the name bestowed upon her by her mentor in Lagos Nigeria meaning She who takes care of us. In the winter of 2009, Dallas embarked on her third and most comprehensive tour of West Africa where she performed, taught and created in Nigeria, Benin, Burkina Faso and Ghana over 2 months. Dallas is currently the resident costume designer for The School of Toronto Dance Theatre and has done commissioned design work for Kaeja d’Dance, Princess Productions and Blue Ceiling Dance.
Experimentation and the search for original language characterize the collaborations of Juno-nominated composer, producer and woodwind player John MacLean. MacLean was a clarinetist with classical aspirations when a chance introduction to Charles Mingus alumnus Billy Robinson led to a fruitful mentorship and friendship. The disciplines of improvisation and creation just awakening in the clarinetist responded naturally to Robinson's living tradition and language of jazz improvisation and tenor saxophone.
Creation and originality provided the philosophical springboard for the next twenty years of musical activity at home and abroad for MacLean. Between hundreds of live performances annually he has made time to apply his collected knowledge in the recording environment as producer, arranger, and engineer of numerous albums as record label owner/operator [World Records]. Through collaborations in contemporary dance and his current co-creative endeavor, Mr. Something Something, he continues to probe the areas where stage and studio overlap for genuine expression of the human condition.
Rehearsal Director and Artistic Advisor
Andrea Roberts began her dance training at the age of three, and her formative experience spans several movement disciplines. She is a graduate of The School of Toronto Dance Theatre, where she currently works as both an administrator and rehearsal director.
Roberts was a member of the dance collective CONDUIT and has performed in works by Sonya Biernath, Murray Darroch, Terrill Maguire, Sharon Moore, and Julia Sasso. Over the past decade, she has become increasingly interested in discovering her artistic voice through improvisation and theatre training, and has participated in intensive studies with Hume Baugh, Bill T. Jones/Arnie Zane Dance Company, Katherine Duncanson, EDAM, Fortier Danse-Création, Fiona Griffiths, Michael Greyeyes, Miguel Gutierrez, Claudia Moore, Linda Putnam, Lin Snelling, Gerry Trentham, and others.
As a rehearsal director/assistant, Roberts has been involved in the creative process for both new works and remounts by more than twenty choreographers, including Massimo Agostinelli, Sonya Biernath, Marc Boivin, Sylvie Bouchard/ David Danzon (Corpus), Rachel Browne, Peter Chin, Jennifer Dallas, Christopher House, Bill James, Karen Kuzak, Louis Laberge-Côté, José Limón, Coralee McLaren, Sharon Moore, David Pressault, Tedd Robinson, Julia Sasso, Roger Sinha, Mariko Tanabe, and Michael Trent. She has worked with Jennifer Dallas / Kẹmi Contemporary Dance Projects since the company’s inception.
A recipient of The W. Lawrence Heisey Graduate Awards in Fine Arts, she recently completed a master’s degree in dance at York University, with a thesis using psychoanalytic visual art theory to discuss the dance-theatre work of choreographer Murray Darroch. She recently joined the board of the Canadian Alliance of Dance Artists.
Choreographer – Thirst
Tedd Robinson is a Canadian choreographer, performer and educator, best known for his idiosyncratic solo works, including the Chalmers’ award-winning Rokudo: six destinies in three steps. After graduating with a Bachelor of Fine Arts from York University and studying at the School of Toronto Dance Theatre and with eminent British visual theatre artist Lindsay Kemp, his career trajectory first took him to Winnipeg, where he created highly theatrical ensemble works as artistic director of Contemporary Dancers from 1984-1990. Having returned to Ottawa in 1990 to study with Peter Boneham and pursue a solo career, his critically acclaimed works soon won him a multitude of commissions and an international schedule of teaching and touring. In 1998, he formed 10 Gates Dancing Inc. to promote the development and performance of contemporary dance creations. As artistic director, he has created repertoire for some of the most renowned dance artists in Canada alongside establishing choreographic consulting services for the milieu that have benefitted over 40 choreographers. From 2005-2012, Robinson took up residence in the Pontiac Region of Quebec, where he created La B.A.R.N., a rural venue for creation, residencies and performance. In 2013, he established Centre Q: A Centre for Questioning, a research space for dance and music in Canada’s national capital region. His collaborations have included creation with dance artists Louise Lecavalier (2003-2006), Margie Gillis (2003-2004 and 2012), Ame Henderson (2011-2013), and composer/performer Charles Quevillon (2010-2013), Tedd Robinson is a founding member of Projet BK and a National Arts Centre Associate Dance Artist. His work is influenced by his six years of study as a monk in the Hakukaze soto zen monastery in Ottawa.
Dancer – Thirst
Choreographer/performer, Michael Caldwell has collaborated with many of Canada’s esteemed dance creators/companies, including Peggy Baker, Sylvie Bouchard, Guillaume Côtè, Danny Grossman, Maxine Heppner, Sasha Ivanochko, James Kudelka, Louis Laberge- Côtè, Tedd Robinson, William Yong, Coleman Lemieux & Compagnie, Corpus Dance Projects, Dusk Dances, Kaeja d’Dance, Kaha:wi Dance Theatre, Signal Dance Theatre, among others, and has performed across Canada and the United States, in Europe, Asia, and Australia. Michael was an interpreter at Le Groupe Dance Lab, studying with the iconic Peter Boneham. He has also initiated a solo-commissioning project, performing in the work of established choreographers, Danny Grossman and Karen Jamieson.
Michael is quickly emerging as a skilled, and critically acclaimed choreographer. His recent works include: Ash Unravel, an acclaimed solo based on his journey to Vietnam, The Horologium, a whimsical group piece created for Dusk Dances, Boogie Back, a community work for non-dancers in Porch View Dances, and Mary, a dynamic new solo for Stèphanie Tremblay Abubo. With a bachelor’s degree in film and art history from Syracuse University, Michael seeks to incorporate cinematic sensibilities in all his work. Upcoming, Michael will begin creation on a new duet for the Can Asian Kick Start program His recent works include: Ash Unravel, an acclaimed solo based on his journey to Vietnam, The Horologium, a whimsical group piece created for Dusk Dances, Boogie Back, a community work for non-dancers in Porch View Dances, and Mary, a dynamic new solo for Stèphanie Tremblay Abubo. With a bachelor’s degree in film and art history from Syracuse University, Michael seeks to incorporate cinematic sensibilities in all his work. Upcoming, Michael will begin creation on a new duet for the Can Asian Kick Start program in 2014 and a new group choreography, based on loneliness and isolation for 2015.
He currently sits on the board of The School of Toronto Dance Theatre, is the co-chair of the Canadian Alliance of Dance Artists – Ontario Chapter, and is the associate curator for Older & Reckless.
Composer – Thirst
Charles Quevillon completed his studies in classical guitar and composition at Cégep de St-Laurent in 2008. Since then, he has concentrated on electroacoustic and instrumental composition under the guidance of Yves Daoust and Serge Provost at the Conservatoire de musique de Montréal. He participated twice in the Sound Creation Program of the Orford Arts Centre to perfect his work with masters such as Gilles Gobeil, Natasha Barrett, Jean-François Laporte, Lori Freedman, Hans Tutschku and Véronique Lacroix. In addition to his interest in the sonic exploration of the guitar through different mediums such as improvisation and performance, he has also worked in multiple projects in collaboration with directors and choreographers. Recently, he has taken part in the creation of a new stringed instrument (called Cluster #70) that he ordered from Thierry André, a luthier from Montreal. This instrument features in the last four compositions he did for Tedd Robinson’s choreographies , including Sticks, nominated at the Dora Awards 2011 in the Outstanding Sound Design/Composition category. Moreover, his work Frette appears on the Cache 2009 compilation and was presented in France the same year. In 2010, he won the first prize of the Jeux de Temps/Time’s Play (JTTP) Competition, organized by the Canadian Electroacoustic Community (CEC), as well as the third prize (Hugh-Le Caine) of the SOCAN Foundation with his piece Au Boute. Thanks to these prizes, this same work was radio broadcasted numerous times and presented in Mexico in May 2011. Most recently he has collaborated and performed in the work Charles and Tedd doing things with Sticks with Tedd Robinson, which became a trio involving Ame Henderson called Room with Sticks and performed at the Canada Dance Festival 2013 and will be touring to Vancouver in 2014. He also was commissioned by Magnitude 6, a brass quintet, for a new work to be performed in the festival Montréal en Lumiere. Charles Quevillon is composer in residence at Centre Q: a centre for questioning in Quyon, Quebec.
Dancer – Time Now
Joanie Audet was born in Laval, Québec where she discovered contemporary dance and theatre at Curé Antoine Labelle High School, graduating in 2004. Subsequently, she enrolled in the Professional Training Program at Le Conservatoire de Danse de Montréal and completed three years of study. To pursue and refine her dancing, she moved to Toronto the following year to attend The School of Toronto Dance Theatre. Audet has performed work by Marc Boivin, Jennifer Dallas, Dancemakers, Danny Grossman, Susanna Hood, Christopher House, Sharon Moore, and Julia Sasso.
Audet has been an assistant teacher in the Young Dancers’ Program at the School since January 2009. She greatly enjoys working with Michelle Silagy, Susan Kendal Urbach and Nadia Wright, and finds her involvement with children has influenced and informed her creative work.
Audet is a great lover of travel and combined this passion with her dance training. She had the pleasure of studying with Benoit Lachambre and Jennifer Mascall in Vancouver, Carol Prieur and Robin Poitras in Regina, Holly Johnston in San Francisco and Ruth Zaporah in New Mexico.
Ana Claudette Groppler
Dancer – Time Now
Ana Claudette Groppler was born in Toronto. She is a graduate from Rosedale Heights School of the Arts and recently graduated from The School of Toronto Dance Theatre. She danced in works by Marc Boivin, Dancemakers, Danny Grossman, Susanna Hood, and Sasha Ivanochko. After graduating she worked with Mélanie Demers in Montreal with TransFormation Danse performing in Montreal’s FTA Short and Sweet. In the summer of 2011 Groppler performed with Toronto Dance Heritage, dancing David Earle’s piece Miserere. She worked as a rehearsal assistant with Michael Caldwell for his piece Ash Unravel for Dance: Made in Canada. She then began working with Jennifer Dallas and Kẹmi Contemporary Dance Projects on a new work. In the winter of 2011 she traveled to Germany, taking classes and tasting the waters.
Dancer – Time Now
Emma Kerson began her dance training in Nova Scotia, where she became a member of The Young Company of Halifax Dance. Kerson graduated from Dalhousie University in 2008 with a B.A. in Honours English, and from The School of Toronto Dance Theatre in 2011. She is a grateful recipient of a Millennium Excellence Award, the Kathryn Ash Leadership Award, and a Nova Scotia Talent Trust Scholarship. While at school she had the opportunity to work with notable artists such as Marc Boivin, Dancemakers, Danny Grossman, Sasha Ivanochko, Lucy Rupert, and Sharon Moore. She has attended O Vertigo’s summer intensive and Transformations, where she had the joy of studying with Louise Bédard. Since graduation, Kerson has been seen dancing for Kẹmi Contemporary Dance Projects, Patricia Beatty and Toronto Heritage Dance, NewFoundDance, the Parahumans, and in a solo project with Sharon Moore.
Composer – Time Now
Vocalist/pianist Elizabeth Shepherd arrived on the international scene in 2006 when her debut album Start To Move was voted one of the top jazz albums of the year by the listeners of the influential Gilles Peterson Show on BBC Radio Worldwide. Since then, the Toronto-based soul-jazz innovator has released two widely acclaimed records and toured extensively in North America, Europe and Japan. She has sold out legendary clubs from Tokyo to Detroit, played festivals like Montreal and North Sea Jazz Festivals, shared the stage with Victor Wooten, Branford Marsalis and Christian McBride, and opened for Jamie Cullum at The Hollywood Bowl.
Elizabeth is the only jazz vocalist to ever have been long listed for the Polaris Prize – Canada’s most prestigious music prize. The two-time JUNO nominee (Canada’s Grammy equivalent) has received widespread praise for her original compositions, but on her fourth album Rewind Elizabeth showcases her skills as an arranger and interpreter, breathing new life – and soul – into songs both familiar and forgotten. Rewind will be released worldwide through Linus Entertainment (eOne) and on JVC in Asia.
Roelof Peter Snippe began his professional lighting design career with Toronto Workshop Productions under the direction of George Luscombe. In 1973, he began a long working relationship with Toronto Dance Theatre, creating designs for over 150 works in the repertoire. Over his long, distinguished career as a lighting designer, stage manager and technical director, Mr. Snippe has worked with major dance, theatre and opera companies across Canada and abroad. They include the National Ballet of Canada, The Danny Grossman Dance Company, Dancemakers, and numerous other Canadian companies and independent artists, including Denise Fujiwara. In 2010, Mr. Snippe was awarded the Dance Ontario Lifetime Achievement Award.