Canadian Contemporary Dance Theatre's repertoire consists of more than 80 dances created by Resident Choreographer Deborah Lundmark and by Resident and Visiting Guest Artists. The Company also remounts many dances originally premiered by others including Dancemakers, Lars Lubovitch Dance Company, Karen Kuzak and Rachel Browne. At their best, resulting programs both refresh audiences with a rainbow of choreographic possibility and glimpse an astonishing legacy-in-the-making by three generations of contemporary Canadian choreographers.
"What all the works share is substance and artistic integrity. "-- Paula Citron
Click below for video excerpts from prior performances.
URBANalchemy is a 50 minute selection of four contemporary dance works designed primarily for young audiences from 10 to 18 years of age and adaptable to family and post-secondary audiences. Its centrepiece is Ofilio Portillo’s 30 minute Street Dance-inflected choreography, Anomykz, commissioned by Harbourfront Centre. The performance opens with a new creation by Artistic Director Deborah Lundmark (which gives the program its name) and closes with Colin Connor’s ARENA. The Artistic Director introduces each of the dances and talks about the company and contemporary dance. She also facilitates a Q&A with the audience and the company members.
As the title suggests, the program plays on the transformative possibilities presented by our increasingly large, diverse and interdependent urban dynamic. Within this context, the choreographers apply their alchemical arts to the world as it is in search of the world as we want it to be. What does it mean “to be normal” and how many “normals” can co-exist (Anomykz)? Are there sympathetic “human vestiges” to be found in the high pressure cuisinart of a corner office or street corner (ARENA)? Is it still possible, through live physical art, to reach out and really connect with strangers in a cooling digital-defined universe (URBAN alchemy)?
CCDT launches its 30th Anniversary season with WINTERSONG – dances for a sacred season, featuring a world premiere by Colin Connor and favourites from Carol Anderson, Kim Frank and Artistic Director, Deborah Lundmark.
New dance ultimately succeeds to the extent that it touches and challenges CCDT's dancers whose artistic instinct invariably forecasts audience response. Among the most memorable… David Earle's communal epic Chichester Psalms (1988), an overwhelming expression of love's power to redeem, propelled by two choirs, timpani and organ; Carol Anderson's Garden (1989), a misted recollection of childhood paused at the Garden's gate, whose exquisite poised-on-the-brink solo danced by Patricia Quevedo during a star-studded Dancers for Life gala, crystallised that event's essence; Holly Small's Attack of the Small Ones (1989) whose quirky unpredictability set much of China (including a shipful of naval seamen) to uncontrollable giggling during CCDT's 1990 far-eastern tour; and Deborah Lundmark's Sweet Spirit (1999) which releases a quartet of young women to exuberantly test-fly the rather astounding gifts of youth, beauty and grace with which they discover themselves so resplendently endowed.
Each season, three to four dances are added to the repertoire and ten to twelve existing dances are remounted. These are divided between two programs, TEASING GRAVITY- dances for the young and fearless and WINTERSONG - dances for a sacred season. TEASING GRAVITY is CCDT's primary touring program from February to July and contains five or more popular dances which perform well for all audiences in all venues. During the Company's TEASING GRAVITY May showcase at Toronto's Winchester Street Theatre several new, experimental dances are added. The most successful of these enter the active repertoire.
WINTERSONG is constructed similarly but is more thematically and seasonally specific. It is produced in November and December and draws upon the world's rich winter solstice traditions- all echoing the motifs of light and life reborn from darkness- for its endless inspiration. WINTERSONG also is inspired by the season's great choral music, often employing children's choirs and musicians from the communities where it plays.
For two decades the Canadian Contemporary Dance Theatre has premiered dance by young dancers though not only for young audiences. Its exploration of this uncharted field has provoked some extraordinary creations by some adventurous dance makers. The Company looks forward to many more seasons of developing its unique role in that most magical of human traditions, drawing people together to reflect on one another in darkened halls.