It is with deep sadness that I learned last week of the passing of Tedd Robinson, my friend and artistic mentor, and collaborator with the School.
Tedd was a prolific artist, and he made a number of works with our students, and for other schools across the country. He valued the creative exchange with learners as a part of his professional practice. The pieces he created with our students met them at their stage of learning, and were exceptionally crafted. And some of this work was also brilliant. His movement vocabulary, costuming, and tasks with objects occupied dancers in such an intensive way, that personal investment was naturally woven into the fabric of the choreography. Whether working minimally or with busy intensity, his choreography’s relationship to music often created atmospheres of high drama in epic proportion. He created conditions for dancers to perform with vulnerability in a larger than life way. His work was often poignant.
As a mentor, he was rigorous and could be shockingly blunt, but he was also generous with his knowledge and resource sharing. He often invited artists to work in his space, his home, and to share his food at his table. Speaking personally, my career would look very different if I had not met Tedd. He recognized my potential as a choreographer and he was my support through many of my own creations and career passages. He encouraged me to choreograph with students, which directly led me to acquire experience and tools that I draw upon daily in my position at the School. I am forever grateful to Tedd, and I know of many other artists who were also nurtured by him.
From myself and on behalf of the School, thank you Tedd for all that you gave us. Your influence continues through our bodies and dances.
Tedd’s obituary may be found here.
Artistic & Pedagogical Director of The School of Toronto Dance Theatre
Photo by Rod MacIvor