Is it our instinct to attack, or are we conditioned to think that?


Would we surrender in order to survive?


Gridlock is an exploration of why and how people fight


Physically electric, intelligent, and relevant


This is a must-see Larchaud production!

Founded in 2004, Larchaud Dance Project combines breakdance aesthetics with contemporary technique to create repertoire based on strength, agility, and gravity-defying movement.  Pioneers of this hybrid dance form; their  highly stylized partnering is now recognized as Larchaud Technique.  This Toronto based company guarantees to captivate audiences with high voltage athleticism, compelling presence, and a unique approach to dance art.  Under the Artistic Direction of Jennifer Robichaud, a dynamic performer, choreographer, and educator, Larchaud Dance Project has been recognized for its vibrant workshops, cutting edge choreography, and multimedia performances.

Choreography: Jase Cozmic, Jennifer Robichaud, Raoul Wilke
Collaborators: Patrizia Ferlisi, Amy Hampton, Ryan Lee
Rehearsal Direction: Marie France Forcier, Jesse Dell
Lighting Design: Siobhan Sleath
Stage Management: Gillian Lewis

When: June 11-13, 2015 and June 18-20, 2015 at 9pm
Where: Artscape Youngplace – 180 Shaw St., Toronto*

*Please Note: This is a site-specific performance that will travel throughout the building. Box Office will be inside the main entrance to the building.


Tickets: $22 in advance, $25 at the door (cash only)
$20 students/seniors/CADA
Tickets are sold through TO TIX.

Tickets can be purchased in person at the TO TIX Booth in Yonge Dundas Square or online at T.O.TIX online accepts Visa, MasterCard, American Express, and Interac Online. The T.O.TIX Booth accepts cash, Visa, MasterCard, and Interac.

We don’t need another hero

DanceWorks Co-Works with Stand Up Dance

stand up 5

Inspired by the Occupy movement and the battle between action and inertia, Hero is an interdisciplinary performance, a communal catharsis and an experiential spectacle. Art can be R&D for society. Hero looks at how we interact with the world as individuals, in couples, and in community. I think we are often good at two out of three. Hero attempts to integrate them all.

stand up 3

This project is a call, an invitation to experience, action, and new perspective. Through dance duets, solo dance-theatre with audience participation and a bilingual translator, and immersive sonic experience Hero asks the audience to decide where truth lies: heart, head or guts and to use that as a frame through which to make choices about what to stand up for and how to come together.

stand up 2

Hero is created and performed by Meagan O’Shea, along with composer/choir director Christine Duncan (Celebrated vocalist and co-leader of the Element Choir Project), sound designer Debashis Sinha (Knuckleduster; Dancemakers; Theatre Passe Muraille; Theatre Gargantua), dancers Christine Birch (Skindivers Dance Company; Frog In Hand Dance; Soft Matter/Meryem Alaoui), Nicole Rose Bond (Danny Grossman Dance Theatre, Toronto Dance Theatre, Christopher House’s Rivers & Eleven Accords), Brodie Stevenson (Toronto Dance Theatre, Throwdown Collective), Dora Award Winner Linnea Swan (Road Trip; Bravo!FACT videos Slip, Sahara Sahara, and La Revue) and Dora Award Winner Brendan Wyatt (this time, aldheid/Heidi Strauss; The Dietrich Group; Andrea Nann/Dreamwalker Dance Company; Bouchardanse) and outside eye Andrea Spaziani (Dancemakers TWObyFOUR; Hub 14’s Under a Paper Moon; Toronto Love-In’s PS: We are all here) with Finnish assistant Suvi Kemppainen  (North Karelia College Dance program, Finland), and renowned improvisational group The Element Choir.

We Don’t Need Another Hero

The Theatre Centre

PERFORMANCE DATES (each performance is partially translated into a different language)

Wednesday, April 8, 8pm (French)
Thursday, April 9, 8pm (Finnish/Swedish)
Friday, April 10, 1pm (Japanese)
Friday, April 10, 8pm (French)
Saturday, April 11, 2pm (Hungarian)
Saturday, April 11, 8pm (Tamil)
Sunday, April 12, 2pm (French)

For tickets visit:

Box Office: 416-538-0988

Old Stories

Maxine Heppner’s newest dance show OLD STORIES reveals myths shared by a community of storytellers and the private world of a woman living amongst them.

old stories

In the ensemble work “Old Story”  the audience literally becomes guests at the tables of an extraordinary cast who, through dance, share tales of birth, love, loss, and reunion, and of sustaining energies that are universal. Participate by writing a short story, a very short story (25-250 words) real or imaginary, that encapsulate one of these moments in time for you. Write it as easily as a text message or craft it more carefully if you like.
All ages welcome. All languages welcome. Send to oldstories (at)


At any moment a person lives simultaneously inside one’s own experience, in relationship with the people around, and in context with the public and history.  No one is passive. The heart of our living is our moving breathing person; the dance impulses within us are the roots of our stories that branch out to include everyone around us.” – Maxine Heppner


DanceWorks Co-Works

Across Oceans

February 5, 6, 7 at 8pm
February 8 at 3pm

Pia Bouman School for Ballet and Creative Movement (6 Noble St.)

Get tickets here:

Co-works with BoucharDanse

BoucharDanse, in collaboration with Théâtre la Tangente, presents

L’Implorante and L’éternel voyage

as part of Harbourfront Centre, NextSteps 2014-15 season, a DanceWorks CoWorks Series Event.

Harbourfront Centre Theatre (formerly the Enwave Theatre)
231 Queens Quay W
October 23 – 25, 2014 @ 8pm, Oct 25 @ 2 pm


L’éternel voyage

In L’éternel voyage, Sylvie Bouchard continues her quest to reveal human dilemmas. Three characters learn to trust the beating of their own hearts as they move forward on a journey, both individually and together. The trio explores an ethereal landscape residing in an in-between space, bringing forth the mystery of the unknown, undiscovered places and new territories. Where do we begin, and where do we end? How do we comprehend the incomprehensible? Calm and dazzling winds, sudden gusts and tornadoes accompany this group on their voyage. L’éternel voyage is a hymn to life and a call to fully savour the moments that are precious to each of us.



Misunderstood and alienated, Camille Claudel’s genius was terrifying. Auguste Rodin described her as “his most extraordinary disciple.” Of sound mind and in full possession of her magnificent talent, Camille was committed in 1913 at 49, and finally succumbed, depressed and unrecognizable, after 30 years of continuous confinement.

What inspires us? What moves us to create? Here lies the basic theme of L’Implorante. This production puts movement and immobility in opposition, in both a literal and figurative sense. While on tour in Europe, a choreographer (played by Sylvie Bouchard) visits the Rodin Museum in Paris. She comes upon an autobiographical sculpture by Camille Claudel (Rodin’s student and mistress), on her knees begging him not to leave her. The work, entitled L’Âge mûr (Mature Age), disturbs the choreographer so that she becomes obsessed by its emotive power and even more so by ‘L’Implorante’, the third figure in the group.

Desperate to understand the emotional charge within this sculpture, she begins a frantic search through Camille’s personal correspondence. She works on movements in suspension, like Claudel worked on a piece of clay. Absorbed in Camille’s quest to liberate from the earth a woman in her own image, the choreographer finds her own “self” through movement, while accompanied by the letters Claudel wrote to her brother Paul and to Rodin.

An original idea by Claude Guilmain, based on letters between the artists Camille Claudel and Auguste Rodin, this stage adaptation directed by Guilmain and Louise Naubert will be presented in French, with English in-ear translation. Please note that the text in this production is minimal. L’Implorante has received many accolades from press, media and audiences both in Ottawa, and for the in-progress showing at Glendon College.

For tickets visit the NextSteps website
Choreography: Sylvie Bouchard
Directed by: Claude Guilmain and Louise Naubert
Performers: Sylvie Bouchard, Bernard Meney, Louise Naubert, Mairéad Filgate, Meredith Thompson, and Brendan Wyatt

That’s A Wrap!

DanceWorks wrapped up the 2013-14 Season this past weekend. Thank you to our Mainstage artists firstthingsfirst productions, 605 Collective, Signal Theatre, Robert Glumbek and Kevin O’Day, and Bboyizm Dance Company. Here are some photographic highlights of the past season.

605 Collective
Greyeyes1robt & kevinBboyizm MCO

{Photo Credits from top to bottom: Jeremy Mimnagh, Robert Sondergaard, John Lauener, unknown, unknown}


Also, a special thank you to our CoWorks artists Hanna Kiel/Human Body Expression, Lua Shayenne & Company, and Find the Floor Dance Collective.

Hanna Kiel Rehearsal 3Lua ShayenneJillPromoFinal-1-1

{Photo Credits from top to bottom: unknown, Rema Tavares, unknown}

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Small Town To Big City: Jillian Peever and Shannon Roberts Interview


From small town Ontario ballet exams, to Toronto Dance Theatre and graduate school at York Univesity, Jillian Peever and Shannon Roberts prepare to present Perception: A Way of Seeing and What We Do on July 18 and 19 at the Dancemakers Centre for Creation in the Distillery District.

We asked Jillian and Shannon to share some insight into their creative partnership and the inspiration behind the new work.

Can you describe how the two of you came to know each other and work together?


This brings us back to around 2001 when we were both young dance students in our respective small towns, Shannon in Stayner, Ontario, and me in Gravenhurst, Ontario. Each month I would travel the 1.5 hours to a studio in Collingwood to train for my ballet exams. After graduating high school, unbeknownst to each other, we both moved to Toronto to further our dance training – Shannon at Ryerson University and me at the Teacher Training Program at Canada’s National Ballet School. We actually bumped into each other on the street!

I began to take an interest in what Shannon was working on choreographically and went to see her M.A. performance at York University, while I was studying at the School of Toronto Dance Theatre. When I began experimenting with my own choreography I asked her to be a part of the work and she said yes! From then on, we realized that we had been working on similar themes and  had similarities points of view, both having come from small towns. By pooling our different skill sets and connections acquired from four different training institutions , we felt that joining forces was the best plan of action in getting our choreography out there.


Our first experience working together dates back to 2002 when, as young ballet students, our dance instructors brought us together to train on occasion. After moving to Toronto to train at separate dance institutions, unaware of each other’s career choices, we literally crossed paths on the street. I originally asked Jillian to be a part of my thesis work at York University but she had other commitments, she did however attend my show. Afterward, she asked me to work on a piece with her. We discovered our works were both inspired by similar themes of femininity and the roles women play in society, and this is when we decided to create Perception: A Way of Seeing and What We Do.

Can you describe your creative process? What are some of the challenges? What are some of the inspiring moments?


This year I have been studying with Sasha Ivanochko as a choreographic mentor. Through working with Sasha my process has been flipped, shattered, and rearranged. So I’d have to answer this by saying that my creative process is taking a new shape of it’s own. I am working much more collaboratively and therefore am reliant on my dancers’ creativity. Because I am in the work, the most challenging thing is that I can’t see the work until I go home and watch the video. That being said, I do sit out and direct the group at times during rehearsal. These are the times when I am inspired by the uniqueness of the artists I work with. I see my ideas coming to life and go into places I wouldn’t have imagined. Those moments excite me.


This project has stemmed from my thesis work at York University based on choreographing with a specific image. At the time it was Edvard Munch’s A Woman in Three Stages. I have taken a solo from its original form and developed it further into a duet based off of several other images. My goal is to study these images, seek out how they inspire movement and enhance what I would like to communicate to my audience. It has been a challenging process, as this year I have been living in Newfoundland and didn’t have access to my dancers regularly. A lot of my research and exploration has been on my own, however, now it is coming together nicely in rehearsal with Rhonda Baker and Kiri Figueiredo.

Over Christmas I explored the idea of a male and female duet but over time I realized that the piece was meant to be two females. It was a challenge to take a step back and start over because it set back my process, but it was worth discovering what did not work in order to know what does. I have been inspired by the #Yesallwomen movement, articles I’ve read on how women are viewed in society such as John Berger’s Ways of Seeing and personal stories of friends and family. It has been most inspiring working along side Jillian Peever because she has been an amazing sounding board for my ideas and a positive voice when I need it.

The works focuses on ‘women’s search for self-definition’, can you describe why you decided to explore this subject matter?


I came to realize that my failures were as much a part of my self-definition as were my accomplishments. This lead me to consider the human pain in life and it’s role in creating a person’s identity. Society often requires us to conceal our pain and even ignore the pain of those around us in order to appear successful, confident, happy, beautiful. Suffering is a sacred component of life. It informs who we are. I want to give people the opportunity to see and maybe even appreciate their pain as a core part of their being.


It is tough to sift through what a woman is thought of to be historically, and what a woman really is today. I think we have all at times gotten confused as to what societies expectations are of us and what our own expectations are. I know many women who ask themselves ‘Why are we still allowing ourselves to be objectified and defined by the male spectator? Does our sexuality give us power or alienate us? How do I let my younger sister know that self-definition is not about pleasing another, looking a certain way, acquiring material items?’. There is a big difference between how I feel as a woman compared to what I am made to think by society standards. I think it is important to explore why self-definition, a person’s identity, isn’t coming from within ourselves as often as we would like to think.

Perception: A Way of Seeing and What We do will be performed July 18, 8pm and July 19, 7pm and 8:30pm at the Dancemakers Centre for Creation located at 9 Trinity Street in the Distillery District.Tickets can be purchased at the door and online.

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Upcoming CoWorks Show by Lua Shayenne

Lua Shayenne

Our upcoming CoWorks’ show,, is a 60-minute program filled with explosive contemporary and traditional West African dance, and live drumming and music. The presentation features two compelling works choreographed by Lua Shayenne: Landed Immigrant, based on the experience of newcomers to Canada and Hybrid, which explores identity through a fast-growing multi-racial and multicultural prism. runs May 29-31 at 8pm and June 1 at 2pm, at the Harboufront Centre Studio Theatre, 235 Queens Quay West. Tickets can be purchased by calling 416.973.4000.

Want to see more from DanceWorks?

Follow us on twitter @DanceWorksTO, friend us on Facebook, and check out our exciting 2013-2014 season.

Hanna Kiel’s Project L, December 12-14


Upcoming CoWorks show, Project L, choreographed by Hanna Kiel hits the stage from December 12-14, 8pm at The Citadel. Featuring dancers Erin Poole, Tyler Gledhill and Anisa Tejpar, with lighting design by Mikael Kangas, the work explores how the past shapes our experience. From curiosity to learning and adapting, Hanna’s first full length piece looks at our journeys throughout the span of a lifetime. Says Kiel: “Project L investigates the ways in which we are able to see truth and find answers in our darkest moments, which is an ongoing journey for each human being. ”



Tickets to Project L, choreographed by Hanna Kiel, are available by emailing

Want to see more from DanceWorks?

Follow us on twitter @DanceWorksTO, friend us on Facebook, and check out our exciting 2013-2014 season.

Dora Nominations 2013

Mimi Beck works very hard, often for years in advance, to curate the Mainstage season.  It is gratifying when those productions are recognized by the Dora Jury with nominations.  The Toronto Alliance for the Performing Arts’ Dora Mavor Moore Awards are a wonderful way to celebrate a year of performances gone by.

Mimi Beck and Heidi Strauss at the 2008 Dora Awards
Mimi Beck and Heidi Strauss at the 2008 Dora Awards

We are very proud that dancer/choreographers Nova Bhattacharya and Louis Laberge-Côté (Akshongay), alongside Susie Burpee and Linnea Swan (Road Trip) were recognized for their artistry in both the choreography and performance categories.    In addition, Marc Parent and Phil Strong received nominations for their creative work on Akshongay.

Every season, Mimi Beck programs CoWorks performances as a way to support the independent dance community with self-presentations.  This year, Molly Johnson’s performance in Marie France Forcier’s Lab Rats was nominated for Outstanding Performance by a Female Artist.  Belinda McGuire was also recognized in the same category for her performance in the Heist Project. It has been a good day.

Congratulations to all the Dora Award Nominees!

Did you ever want to be a CoWorks?

Call for Proposals for the 2013/14 DanceWorks CoWorks Series

DanceWorks is accepting applications for the 2013/14 DanceWorks CoWorks Series. Self-presenting professional dance artists and companies, events and festivals working in any contemporary dance form are invited to apply.

The CoWorks Series provides production support and marketing benefits to a limited number of professional dance events each year, primarily in Toronto, Ontario. Preference will be given to applicants who clearly explain the nature of their work, identify the community they work within,   and show how they will engage with audiences.

For a fee of $300 (plus HST; $339.00 total), a DanceWorks CoWorks Series event receives

any or all of the following:

  • photo and listing in the DanceWorks season brochure
  • listing on season DanceWorks Display Boards
  • ticket sales through the annual telemarketing campaign
  • listings in DanceWorks programmes and promotional materials where possible
  • consultation on fundraising, production and media relations
  • access to electronic press list

This service is available for an additional fee:

  • access to third person liability insurance coverage

The package is flexible and subject to availability.

If you want your event to be part of the 2013/14 DanceWorks CoWorks Series, please send a proposal with the following information:

1) project description

2) artists’ resumés or biographies

3) performance dates

4) name and address of venue

5) budget for creation and production

6) how you plan to reach and engage with audiences

6) examples of choreographic work on DVD disc format or by weblink

To:                   DanceWorks

15 Case Goods Lane

Studio #304

Toronto, ON, M5A 3C4

Email:              mbeck@danceworks.caFax:                 (416) 204 1085

For CoWorks Series events taking place between August 1, 2013 and July 31, 2014, the latest date to apply is April 30, 2013.  Applicants will be notified of programming decisions by June 3, 2013.

For more information, contact Mimi Beck, Dance Curator at (416) 204-1082 or visit: