- digital programme -
It is with great excitement and warmth that we welcome you all to Wintermission 2023. The work the Young Apprentices and Core Apprentices have put in this fall to bring these works to the stage is nothing short of heroic. Each of these incredible young artists has brought so much curiosity, generosity and energy into the studio each week which has provided such a positive environment for us to build and remount these pieces together. It has been such a pleasure to spend these weekends together reconnecting with familiar faces and welcoming new dancers to our companies as we revisit, reimagine and expand these works. None of this would be possible without the unwavering support of the incredible families and the many (many!) rides to and from the studio. We remain truly humbled by the dancers and their families commitment to our work together at CCDT. We are thrilled to invite you to witness the moment this hard work becomes magic on stage today during Wintermission.
Many thanks to Deborah Lundmark, Michael deConinck Smith, Steph Harkness, Natasha Jorge-Moore, Kathryn Fallowfield 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!
—Megan Nadain, Core Apprentice Program Director
& Jane-Alison McKinney, Young Apprentice Program Director
Young Cardinals (2023)
Choreography: Megan Nadain (with the dancers)
Music: The Cinematic Orchesta & The London Metropolitan Orchestra, Hauschaka, Lele Marchitelli
Dancers: Young Apprentices
A dance of hope, found family and connections. And just like with cardinals which I now see all over, these things can be found all around us when we take the time to look.
Of Being Us (2023)
Choreography: Megan Nadain (in collaboration with the dancers)
Music: The King’s Singers (U2), Das Mörtal, New Order
Dancers: Core Apprentices
Examining, sharing and celebrating the quirks and oddities of growing up and being us.
Living in the joy of the uncomfortable; the beauty of the awkward.
And finding connection in the togetherness and inevitability of it all.
"This is happening. I am here... I can see it. You are alive. And you stand up and see the lights on the buildings and everything that makes you wonder. And you’re listening to that song, and that drive with the people who you love most in this world. And in this moment, I swear, we are infinite.” ― Stephen Chbosky, The Perks of Being a Wallflower
Star Dreamer (2011)
Choreography: Santee Smith
Music: Cris Derkson
Star Dreamer celebrates the traditional story of the Seven Dancers and significance of the Pleiades to the Iroquoian Midwinter Ceremonies. During the winter solstice Shooting Star dreams the Seven Dancers into existence. Dancing and swirling in unison, they transform into the brightest stars in the sky while he falls back to Earth.
Les Petits Monstres (2023)
Choreography: Jane-Alison McKinney
Music: Henrik Schwarz & Bugge Wesseltoft - DUOII
Dancers: Young Apprentices
A serious dance for serious people... but in all seriousness, it's about the power of being yourself.
Memory Container (2023)
Choreography: Ryan Lee
Music: Paddy Mulcahy
Dancers: Core Apprentices
Thanks to Dana MacDonald for her contributions.
Co-Founder, Artistic Director & Resident Choreographer
Deborah Lundmark has created more than 40 works for her company. These include collaborations with the Danny Grossman Dance Company, the Toronto Children's Chorus and Toronto Symphony Youth Orchestra and blues artists Thompson Egbo-Egbo and Jerome Godboo. From her Street Songs (1980) to Dancing Day (1989), Precipice (2010) and Alien Grace (2018), Ms. 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 and Ofilio Sinbadinho and from abroad, Colin Connor, Sidra Bell, Kevin Wynn (USA) and Alexander Whitley (UK). Her company has 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 many of the world’s leading companies including the José Limón Dance Company whose recent 70th anniversary CCDT helped to celebrate with performances of José Limón’s The Winged at New York City's Joyce Theater.
Photo by Gary Ray Rush
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
Core Apprentice Director & Choreographer
Megan Nadain (she/her) is a Toronto-based dancer, choreographer and dance educator originally from North Vancouver, BC. She is a graduate of The School of Toronto Dance Theatre where she the recipient of the The Hnatyshyn Foundation Developing Artist Grant. She is a company member with Dancetheatre David Earle and has worked independently with Darryl Tracy, Nicole Nigro, inDANCE, Toronto Heritage Dance and Miranda Abbott.
She has the pleasure of being on faculty at The School of Canadian Contemporary Dance Theatre and directing CCDT’s Core Apprentice Program. She is also a faculty member at The School of Toronto Dance Theatre teaching in The Professional Program and The General School. She has also taugth at The National Ballet of Canada InStuio program, York University and facilitates the dance programs at several secondary schools in Toronto. Two projects that she has been involved with recently and that she is exceptionally passionate about are Bridging Generations Through Dance with Dancing with Parkinson’s and Moving together: Choreographic mappings of children with diverse dis/abilities and their neurological responses to a dance-play event with Coralee McLaren.
Photo by Dancetheatre David Earle
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
Canadian Contemporary Dance Theatre presents
CCDT and the School of CCDT Founders & Directors
Deborah Lundmark & Michael deConinck Smith
Company Rehearsal Director
Director, Core Apprentice Program
Director, Young Apprentice Program
Aiden Bushey, Eva Teece-Soter, Jamarie William, Larissa Christoff, Marie-Elena LeBlanc Bellissimo, Shaina Momeni, Tristyn Murray, Zada Britton, Zoe Houpt
Understudies: Akin Mponjika, Lucy Dolenko, Mia Vogel-Alexiou
Core Apprentice Dancers
Melina Christopoulos, Maya Greenwood, Violet Harris, Olivia Langley, Alexis Perritt, Eve Pittendreigh, Nayanne Rayner, Maxine Robert, Kyra Simm-Smith, Alice Whyte-Lewis
Young Apprentice Dancers
Avielle Cole-Kim, Petra de Villiers, Adele Hawke, B Lee, Kate Li, Serena McGinley, Annabeth Seedhouse, Freya Von Hahn, Catherine Wang
Apprentice Program Accompanists
Raphael Roter, Stich Wynston
Manager, School of CCDT
Director, Marketing & Outreach
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, both 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
Ashley & Mark Dela Cruz
Laura Ziemba & Kevin Lee
Erin & Jason Vandenberg
Anne-Sophie Ramette & Thomas Robert
Karen & Jeffrey Seedhouse
Susanna Chwang & Kevin Harris
Sarah Jane Burton
Emilie & Jim McGinley
Jackie Huang & Jia Hao Wang
Tae Hee Kim & James Perritt
Farah Ali & Cale Pittendreigh
Kaija Vogel & Vassilios Alexiou
Rubina Khan & Thomas Tyson
Michael Bellissimo & Christine LeBlanc
Sharon Whyte & Andrew Lewis
Sonya Teece & Andy Soter
Marsha Josephs-Britton & Leslie Britton
Lara & Thomas Christoff
Rosemary Li-Houpt & Simon Houpt
Helen Kula & Michael Dolenko
Naakai Garnette & Tai Simm-Smith
Linda Van Den Brink & Etienne De Villiers
Freya & Cecil von Hahn