- digital programme -

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It is with excitement and warm hearts that we welcome you to SpringSong, marking the Young Apprentice and Core Apprentice’s return to the theatre after two years away from the stage.  The remarkable young artists you will witness perform today have been working at great lengths to share this beautiful programme of dance pieces and it is a truly special moment for all of us.  We are so grateful to the dancers for soaring into the year with energy, resiliency, and generosity; we continue to be struck and delighted by the curiosities and insights that shape our work together.  As dancers, this pandemic has taught us the value of togetherness, the way our love of dance is intrinsically linked to the joy of moving with others.  There are no words to describe the weight and palpable feeling this return to live performance brings us. 

 

Many thanks to Deborah Lundmark and Michael deConinck Smith, and all of the artists and staff at CCDT for continuing to hold space for our work to grow. We are very grateful for all of you. We also thank you, our audience, for your support and for being here with us today. Please enjoy the show!

 

Warmly,

Megan & Jane-Alison

A message from Core Apprentice Director Megan Nadain & Young Apprentice Director Jane-Alison McKinney 

Land Acknowledgement 

We are grateful for the land that we live, work, and dance on. It is with hope in our hearts that we must actively work towards a better future, towards real truth and reconciliation. We do this to exemplify better understanding and learning, especially with the young people we teach, work with, and learn from. 

 

We would like to acknowledge that the traditional territory named Tkarón:to is in the ‘Dish With One Spoon Territory’. The Dish With One Spoon is a treaty between the Anishinaabe, the Mississaugas, and the Haudenosaunee that bound them to share the territory and protect the land. Subsequent Indigenous Peoples, Europeans and all newcomers — acknowledged and unacknowledged, recorded and unrecorded — have been invited into this treaty in the spirit of peace, friendship, and respect. We acknowledge that First Nations, Inuit, and Métis peoples lived here before us and keep living here now, and recognize and respect this shared territory.

Programme

Spark of the Storm (Premiere)

Choreography: Jane-Alison McKinney

Music: Henrik Schwartz & Alma Quartet Amsterdam, Garth Stevensen

Lighting Design: Noah Feaver

Dancers: Young Apprentices

Charging into the dark with our full hearts, searching for hope, together.

The choreography of this work was created in collaboration with the dancers.

The Trixie Mattel Medley (2020)

Choreography: Megan Nadain

Music: Trixie Mattel

Lighting Design: Noah Feaver

Dancers: Core Apprentices

This dance was originally conceived and created in the fall of 2020 at what we believed to be “the end of the pandemic.” It celebrates the hope, joy and magic of dancing together to music we love. The fact that it’s taken almost two years to actually get it onto a stage only intensifies those feelings. I hope you are inspired to tap your foot along with us! 

The Sound of Dreams (Premiere)

Choreography: Megan Nadain

Music: Meredith Monk with original music by Violet Harris

Lighting Design: Noah Feaver

Dancers: Young Apprentices

Our dreams smell like smoke, mangos and ice cream, and they sound like hope.

Elysian Fields (2013)

Choreography: Nicole Nigro

Music:  Dan Romer and Benh Zeitlin
Lighting Design: Arun Srinivasan

Dancers: Core Apprentices

In hopes that we ignite a spark, one that will carry them passionately to their paradise.

~Intermission~

offbeat (2016)

Choreography: Alyssa Martin

Music: Django Django and David Bowie 

Lighting Design: Arun Srinivasan

Dancers: Core Apprentices

Girl.Rising. (2018)

Choreography: Meredith Thompson

Music: hatis noit, Illogical Lullaby 

Lighting Design: Arun Srinivasan

Dancers: Young Apprentices

“It is important for girls to understand the obstacles that lie in front of them. It is just as important that they know these obstacles are not insurmountable. That not only can they find a way to overcome them, but that they can remove those obstacles for those who will come after them...“ —Elena Favilli & Francesca Cavallo

we will be ready (Premiere)

Choreography: Megan Nadain

Music: Anoice 

Lighting Design: Noah Feaver

Dancers: Core Apprentices

Sometimes clawing for control only creates more chaos. Together we found great strength in supporting, allowing and letting go.

Spring Song

Artist Biographies

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Deborah Lundmark

Co-Founder, Artistic Director & Resident Choreographer

Deborah Lundmark, Co-Founder, Artistic Director and Resident Choreographer, has created more than 40 works for her company. These range from performance collaborations with the Danny Grossman Dance Company, Dancemakers and Toronto Dance Theatre to live co-presentations with blues artists Thompson Egbo-Egbo, Carlos del Junco and Jerome Godboo. From her Street Songs (1980) to the darkening green (2021), Lundmark has impressed audiences and critics alike with the power, precision and artistry of her unique company. She has commissioned over one hundred works from a who’s who of Canadian choreographers including David Earle, Carol Anderson, Tedd Robinson, Santee Smith, Roberto Campanella and Jera Wolfe and, from abroad, Colin Connor, Sidra Bell, Kevin Wynn, Roderick George, Jennifer Archibald and Alexander Whitley. Her company won Toronto Arts Foundation’s prestigious Arts for Youth Award and has been critically acclaimed as "a national treasure ... numbered among the ranks of Toronto’s top dance companies" by The Globe and Mail. Her dancers have gone on to perform with leading companies including the Limón Dance Company, Mark Morris Dance Group, Doug Varone and Dancers, Gallim Dance, Company Wayne McGregor and Skånes Dansteater, among many others. Most recently her film, the darkening green has won numerous international awards including the Cannes World Film Festival’s Best Dance Film and Best Original Song.

Photo by Gary Ray Rush

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Michael deConinck Smith

Co-Founder & Managing Director

Michael deConinck Smith has directed the staging of over three hundred CCDT productions including five appearances at the Canada Dance Festival. In 1988 he conceived and produced CCDT’s acclaimed collaboration with the Toronto Boys Choir and the Hanson Singers, the original WINTERSONG – dances for a sacred season, now a three-decade-old tradition. In 1990, Michael led CCDT’s first international tour to the People’s Republic of China, and the following year the premiere of SONGS of INNOCENCE and of EXPERIENCE, featuring commissions by ten leading choreographers, realized one of his long-cherished dreams. From 1997 to 2000 he planned CCDT’s extensive tours of Northern Ontario, and in 2002 led the company’s return to Southeast Asia with performances in Singapore, Kuala Lumpur and Johor Bahru, Malaysia. In 1994, Michael oversaw the purchase and renovation of CCDT’s 509 DANCE studios, now an intergenerational crossroads for Canadian dance. For fifteen years Michael has led his company’s Ontario Community Residencies Program introducing more than 300,000 young people to contemporary dance in theatres throughout Ontario. Most recently, he produced CCDT’s Scotland tour to the Commonwealth Youth Dance Festival followed by the company’s inaugural appearances at the storied Joyce Theater in New York City as part of the José Limón Dance Company’s International Dance Festival in celebration of their 70th Anniversary.

Photo by Gary Ray Rush

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Megan Nadain

Core Apprentice Director & Choreographer

Megan Nadain, a native of North Vancouver, British Columbia, is a Toronto-based dancer, choreographer and dance educator. She is a graduate of The School of Toronto Dance Theatre, for which she received scholarships from the School, the Hnatyshyn Foundation and the BC Arts Council. She is a company member with Dancetheatre David Earle, and has worked independently with Darryl Tracy, inDANCE, Toronto Heritage Dance and Event Horizon Dance. In the summer of 2014, she performed with Dancetheatre David Earle in Dusseldorf, Germany at the tanzmesse dance festival. 

In addition to directing the Core Apprentices, she is also an active teacher at the School of Canadian Contemporary Dance Theatre. She is on faculty at  The School of Toronto Dance Theatre, and she facilities workshops in several of Toronto’s independent schools. As a choreographer, her work has been presented across Canada.

Photo by Dancetheatre David Earle

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Jane-Alison McKinney

Young Apprentice Director & Choreographer

Jane-Alison McKinney, originally from New Brunswick, is a dancer, choreographer, producer, and teacher. A graduate of The School of Toronto Dance Theatre, she has performed the works of a variety of contemporary dance artists in Canada and Internationally. In 2016, she was awarded a Metcalf Foundation Internship Grant in Artistic Direction with adelheid under the mentorship of Heidi Strauss, whose close mentorship has played a profound impact on Jane-Alison’s artistic development. She has also worked with adelheid as a dancer, emerging choreographer, and producer. Jane Alison’s choreography has been supported nationally by a variety of festivals and residencies; most recently her solo work ‘There she was’ was presented by Tangente in Montreal. Jane-Alison has also taught classes and workshops across Canada for organizations such as The School of Toronto Dance Theatre, the Good Women Dance Collective, Jamii, Quinte Ballet School, and the National Ballet of Canada (amongst others). She continues to be inspired by the remarkable artists she works with as Director of the Young Apprentice Program at CCDT.

Photo Courtney Gallery

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Nicole Nigro

Choreographer

Nicole Nigro is an international dance|theatre artist. Nigro is a graduate of The School of Toronto Dance Theatre (CA), holds an Honours BFA from York University (CA), a Diploma in Dance Teaching Studies with The Royal Academy of Dance (UK), and an MFA with Accademia dell’Arte (IT) and Mississippi University for Women (US). She has had the privilege of interpreting as a guest artist with Anandam Dancetheatre, Broken Jump Theatre, The Danny Grossman Dance Company, Divadlo Continuo, Dance Theatre David Earle, Peggy Baker Dance Projects for Nuit Blanche, Die Wolke Art Group, Diyar Dance Theatre and several independent choreographers. Her work has been presented in Canada, the United States, Europe, Mexico and the Middle East. She was a longtime faculty member at The School of Toronto Dance Theatre’s General School and Canadian Contemporary Dance Theatre (CCDT), as well as the Artistic Director of CCDT’s Core Apprentice Company. Nigro is a member of Canadian Alliance of Dance Artists and the Dancer Transition Resource Centre. She has been a residency artist at Ponderosa (DE); Artscape (CA); Earthdance (US); La Macina di San Cresci (IT); Kulturfactory (IT); and Švestkovy Dvur (CZ). In June of 2016, Nigro relocated to Europe to pursue an MFA in Physical Theatre at Accademia dell'Arte. The 2.5-year graduate program took place in Italy, Germany, and the Czech Republic. 

Photo by Faith Sullivan 

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Alyssa Martin

Choreographer

Alyssa Martin is a choreographer, director and performance maker. She founded Rock Bottom Movement in 2012, and the group has since been named “the quirky weirdos of Toronto’s dance/theatre world” (Toronto Star). She creates absurd dance theatre works through radical and intensely committed play alongside her most brilliant friends. Alyssa has been acclaimed with multiple Dora Mavor Moore Awards and the Canadian Stage Award for Direction. She has worked in residence at The Banff Centre and The Stratford Festival Lab, recently premiered her first feature-length dance film with Toronto Dance Theatre and was an Emerging Director in Residence at Canadian Stage. 

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Meredith Thompson

Choreographer

Meredith Thompson first began leaping about in her hometown of Huntsville, Ontario before moving to Toronto to continue her studies and dance training. In 2000 she graduated from York University with a B.F.A. (Dance) and a B.Ed. This year marks her sixth season appearing as a dancer with the Danny Grossman Dance Company, performing in a number of Mr. Grossman’s signature works, as well as that of David Earle, Anna Sokolow, Paul Taylor, and the Clichettes. Over the years she has also played an integral role in the development and delivery of the Company’s educational programs and more recently she has found herself in the role of rehearsal director for the staging of Grossman works at various dance training institutions. Meredith has also had the great pleasure of working with Dancetheatre David Earle on many occasions, dancing in both new works and the revival of some of Mr. Earle’s classics. Independent dance endeavours have brought her together with Allison Peacock, Patricia Beatty, Seika Boye, CORPUS, Denise Duric, Janet Johnson, Barbara Lindenberg, Lydia Wagerer, and others. Fond of teaching and young people, Meredith has also worked extensively as a teaching artist with the Toronto District School Board and on faculty at George Brown Dance.

Canadian Contemporary Dance Theatre presents

Spring Song

2021/2022 Season

 

CCDT and the School of CCDT Founders & Directors

Deborah Lundmark & Michael deConinck Smith

 

Rehearsal Director

Ryan Lee

Director, Core Apprentice Program

Megan Nadain

 

Director, Young Apprentice Program

Jane-Alison McKinney
 

Core Apprentice Dancers

Alice Berman, Tallis Coleman, Calia Hill, Eve Mullan, Nayanne Rayner, Elisabeth Ranger, Sanora Souphommanychanh, Eva Teece-Soter, Mia Vogel-Alexiou, Alice Whyte-Lewis

Young Apprentice Dancers

Lucky Bai, Avielle Cole-Kim, Maya Greenwood, Violet Harris, Olivia Langley, Serena McGinley, Alexis Perritt, Eve Pittendreigh, Kate Li, Alexandra Combeer

 

Apprentice Program Accompanists

Ian Wright & Gabe Girard

 

School of CCDT Administrator

Kathryn Fallowfield

 

Director, Marketing & Administration

Jane-Alison McKinney

 

Director, Outreach & Administration

Natasha Jorge-Moore

Thank you

Canadian Contemporary Dance Theatre is profoundly grateful for the generous support from the friends and family of our aspiring artists. It is thanks to donations from people like you that we are able to foster artistic growth within these young dancers, in the studio, and live onstage. 

Thank you to our CCDT Board of Directors

 

Gerry Maddison, President/Chairperson

Philip Akin, Vice-President/Vice Chairperson

Tom Sheppard, Secretary/Treasurer

Paula Prociuk Blacklock, Officer

and a special thank you to our individual contributors

Jennifer Zhang

Angela Cole-Kim

Tara Norton & Bruce Greenwood

Susanna Chwang & Kevin Harris

Sarah Jane Burton

Emilie McGinley

Tae Hee Kim & James Perritt

Farah Ali & Cale Pittendreigh

Ying Xu

Liz Simmie

Rubina Khan & Thomas Tyson

Kathi Atamanuk

Iolanda Aiello & Rocco Chiappetta

Stephanie & Clive Cohen

Bernie & Tony Costa

Karen & Chris Fritz

Rebecca & Tobias Haensel

Michael Bellissimo & Christine LeBlanc

Sandra Cruz

Garvin Richards

Andrea Arnedt

Carolyn Chui & Michael Kern

Shibani Hemmadi & Abhaya Kulkarni

Nicole Butler & David Berman

Coralee McLaren

Marcela Quintana & Sean Hill

Kelly & Paul Mullan

Anyeli Lopez Garcia

Jennifer Rayner

Vivian Wong

Julie Yip

Sonya Teece & Andy Soter

Kaija Vogel & Vassilios Alexiou

Sharon Whyte & Andrew Lewis