Dancemakers animates a space where contemporary dance creation, presentation and development provoke unexpected discoveries, sensations and meanings.
Dancemakers invites artists and publics - locally, nationally and internationally - to engage in dance that mines the relationships between bodies, environments, sounds and images, all starting from the here and now.
Dancemakers works through a rigorous meeting of collaborators who investigate the collision between dance, other fields and the questions that inform them.
Driven by the vision of Artistic Director and Resident Choreographer Michael Trent, Dancemakers draws on the diverse talents and individual strengths of its artists to create contemporary dance works that provoke and entertain.
At its core is the desire to promote new works rooted in contemporary aesthetics, cross-disciplinary dialogues and collaborative engagement.
For almost four decades Dancemakers has been on the leading edge of dance in Canada and in 2002 established its current home in the Distillery Historic District. At the Distillery, Dancemakers built a state-of-the-art 98-seat performance venue and a second rehearsal studio named after the late composer Michael J. Baker.
In its new home, Dancemakers founded The Centre for Creation, a place where creativity and creative exchange are fostered and nurtured, where dynamic encounters between artists and public enrich and develop contemporary dance.
Along with making bold contemporary dances, the organization promotes and encourages contemporary practice through the Dancemakers Presents series, an annual series showcasing national and international artists; Youth Outreach activities and a series of professional development events and activities including daily dance classes, masterclasses, residencies and choreographic labs.
YESTERDAY, TODAY, TOMORROW
In 1974, a group of
dancers, led by founder Andraya Smith, joined together to create and perform new choreography. Peggy Baker and Robert Desrosiers were among the early company members. In the 70s and 80s, artistic directors such as Anna Blewchamp, Carol Anderson and Bill James led the company in pushing the boundaries of creation. Under the artistic direction of Serge Bennathan from 1990 to 2006, the company's reputation has continued to spread throughout Canada, the Americas and Europe.
2002 was a monumental year for Dancemakers, with a major move to the new Dancemakers Centre for Creation in the Distillery Historic District. Establishing the Centre gave the company permanent physical roots in one of Toronto's newest and most dynamic cultural settings.
It has now been three decades, and Dancemakers remains on the leading edge of contemporary dance in Canada.
In August 2006, award-winning dancer/choreographer Michael Trent was invited to take the lead as the Company's and Centre's Artistic Director and Resident Choreographer.