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Friday, January 27, 2012

Jay Rankin appointed ED of Dance Umbrella of Ontario

>> by Jaimée Horn
Jay Rankin, former executive director of Ballet BC, was recently appointed as the new executive director of the Dance Umbrella of Ontario (DUO). Rankin is succeeding Christine Moynihan who has led DUO since 2002. Rankin is enthusiastic about his partnership with the arts community and organizations in the city of Toronto, and looks forward to helping dance artistry thrive in Ontario. Rankin comes to DUO having served a variety of non-profit organizations for nearly thirty-five years. He returns to Toronto after spending the past two years in Vancouver with Ballet BC, where he reshaped the company by directing its focus to new Canadian contemporary ballet work. Prior to his time in BC, Rankin spent nine seasons as the managing director of Toronto Dance Theatre where he reduced the company’s deficit. He is also the current president of the Canadian Dance Assembly. Rankin's knowledge and experience from having served arts communities across the country will enable DUO to pioneer new services to the community of dance artists in Ontario. DUO Board Chair Michael Du Maresq stated in a press release, “This is a pivotal time in DUO’s history and we’re thrilled to have Jay’s creative leadership guiding the organization.”
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Thursday, January 26, 2012

Canada loses two early RAD members

Alison Sutcliffe, 1936

Dorothy Scruton

>> by Amy Bowring
In recent months, Canada has lost two of its earliest Royal Academy of Dance (RAD) members: Dorothy Cox Scruton died on October 22nd at age 100 and Alison Sutcliffe Brigden died on December 30th at age 102. Born in Winnipeg but trained in dance in England, Scruton’s name appears in the 1931 city directory for Victoria as the principal of the Western School of Dancing; she is listed by the RAD as its first Canadian teacher in 1932. Scruton and her daughter moved to London, ON, in 1947 where she set up a school that would operate for more than sixty years; she taught ballet, Revived Greek Dance and many other areas of the performing arts. Scruton also established summer schools at Alma College in St. Thomas, ON, and Huron College in London. In 1995, Scruton was the first Canadian to receive the RAD’s President’s Award. Among her pupils are Donna Bayley and Ross Brierton … A Toronto native, Brigden studied with Leon Leonidoff and danced in his vaudeville productions in the 1920s. She performed with New York’s Metropolitan Opera Ballet for three seasons before returning to Toronto immediately after the 1929 stock market crash. She taught ballet, Spanish and modern dance for the Toronto Conservatory of Music throughout the 1930s and choreographed a number of productions at Hart House Theatre. She spent her summers training in Europe and England with Elsa Brunelleschi, Kurt Jooss, Mary Wigman and Phyllis Bedells. Bedells coached her through her elementary and intermediate RAD exams. One of her pupils was Bettina Byers, first organizer for the RAD in Canada.
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Monday, January 23, 2012

CLC to open newly renovated dance centre

>> by Cynthia Brett
On February 14th, 2012, Coleman Lemieux & Compagnie (CLC) officially opens the Citadel, a newly renovated centre for contemporary dance in Toronto's Regent Park. Located at 304 Parliament St., the former 1912 Salvation Army Citadel has been redesigned by Diamond & Schmitt Architects into a dance centre with a 1,800-square-foot studio/theatre, a 900-square-foot studio, office space for CLC and accommodation for out-of-town artists. The facility is also home to YogaBeat, which hosts pay-what-you-can yoga classes. CLC made its home in the Citadel in 2007 when co-artistic directors (and husband and wife) Bill Coleman and Laurence Lemieux moved the company from Montréal to Toronto. They soon became part of the Regent Park Revitalization Project and launched the Brick by Brick Campaign in 2009 to raise funds for renovations. The opening will include a ribbon-cutting ceremony, celebration and open house from 5pm to 6pm. February 15th through 25th, CLC presents Les cheminements de l'influence (Pathways of Influence), the Citadel's first official performance (although Company Vice Versa unofficially performed Children of the Triangle there in January). The Brick by Brick Campaign to raise funds is ongoing.
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Friday, January 13, 2012

Tune in Saturday afternoons for Evi-Dance

>> by Jaimée Horn
The Toronto-based Evi-Dance Sunday morning radio show is moving to a new spot on Saturday afternoons. As of Saturday, January 7th, the show that presents local, national and international dance coverage is now broadcast live every Saturday on 89.5FM from 2 to 3pm, following another arts show called “The More the Merrier”. Tune in live or visit their website to listen to previous podcasts discussing the creative process, dance history, funding, upcoming productions, various dance genres and more.
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Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Miriam Adams appointed to Order of Canada

Miriam Adams / Photo by Cylla von Tiedemann

>> by Cynthia Brett
Miriam Adams, Co-Founder/Director of Dance Collection Danse (DCD), was recently appointed to the Order of Canada for her contribution to Canadian dance history. Adams and her late husband Lawrence, both former dancers of The National Ballet of Canada, founded 15 Dance Lab in the 1970s and published magazines such as SPILL and Canadian Dance News. The Adamses' commitment to preserve Canadian dance was foreshadowed by the establishment of Visus Foundation in 1974, to videotape dance in Canada. They created DCD, Canada's national dance archives and publishing house, in 1986.
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