Students have opportunities to perform special commissions or remounts of work by acclaimed Canadian choreographers; works by Christopher House from the repertoire of Toronto Dance Theatre; works by talented emerging creators; and classic dances by significant international choreographers.
The School presents a series of performances in our home theatre, including winter and spring programs that involve the entire student body and a third year show for graduating students in a distinctive program of solos, duets, and small ensemble repertory.
Third year students present their own choreographic work as a culmination of the Creative Process course, designed to guide them through the choreographic process, from conception through creation and rehearsal, and finally to performance. More informal student-run Coffee House performances regularly present original student choreography.
In rehearsal and in performance, dancers are immersed in the act of creation, re-creation, and interpretation. They experience different choreographic processes, learn valuable performance skills, and are prepared to become the most versatile of instruments as professional dancers.
All of the above performances take place in our home theatre, the Winchester Street Theatre. In 2020-21, performances have shifted online.
Special Additional Performances
Graduating classes have appeared at the Canada Dance Festival (CDF) since 2006, performing with students from a nationwide consortium of contemporary professional training programs. Additionally a renowned choreographer has worked separately with each school, assembling the final piece in Ottawa. Tedd Robinson and Ginette Laurin have created past work for the consortium; in 2012, graduating dancers performed repertory by Jean-Pierre Perreault. In 2014, Tedd Robinson once again created a stunning new work which was performed on the National Arts Centre Theatre stage. The choreographer for the 2016 graduating class was Robert Desrosiers. In 2018, Harold Rhéaume was commissioned to create a new work; as the CDF was on hiatus that year, the work was presented instead at the New Blue Festival in Toronto, to great acclaim. Future graduating classes will have the opportunity to continue this tradition, in these or other festivals.
Various projects have involved students in special additional performances, including Tribute to Rachel Browne at the Fleck Dance Theatre, in Jean-Pierre Perreault’s Joe et Rodolphe at the National Arts Centre Theatre in Ottawa, and Paul-André Fortier’s October Sky at Nuit Blanche in Toronto. They have also performed in excerpts from Serge Bennathan’s The Trilogy of Sable/Sand in the Abilities Arts Festival celebration of the Neat Strange Music of Ahmed Hassan at the Betty Oliphant Theatre, and in works by Rachel Browne, Danny Grossman, Bill James, Kaeja d’Dance, Ginette Laurin, Julia Sasso, and Gerry Trentham.
Additionally, our students have participated in performances of the Old and Young and Reckless Together series in Toronto, featuring remounts of classic works by senior choreographers, most recently the work of Paul-André Fortier.
Since 2018, our students have had the opportunity to perform at the SummerWorks Performance Festival, in works which have won the School’s Winchester Prize. Through the generosity of Lindy Green and Sam Chaiton, this prize is presented for choreographic distinction and perceived potential for creative development. In 2018, three of our dancers performed in Kristen Stambolic’s prize-winning work One for Five, and in 2019, seven dancers appeared in two new works; The Nine Brains of the Human Mind, by Tanveer Alam, and those, on the surface, by Kari Labrentz. In 2020, Haley Dimeck and María Isabel Salgado were chosen as winners of the Winchester Prize. They were mentored in their creation period by the respected senior choreographer Denise Fujiwara.
It’s really exciting to remember all the pieces we’ve danced together; we’ve created completely different worlds in different pieces. Everyone has grown so much; we came in not knowing very much, and we are about to leave knowing quite a lot. – Marco Placencio, graduate, from Sao Paulo, Brazil