Photo credit: Jennifer Dallas, Lalibella, Ethiopia
Artistic Director/Dancer/Choreographer/Costume Designer
Jennifer Dallas is a Toronto based dancer, choreographer, teacher and costume designer. Hailing from the Canadian Rockies, Dallas began her formal dance training at a very young age in ballet and contemporary dance. She is a graduate of the School of Toronto Dance Theatre. In 2010 Dallas was the Metcalf funded intern for 10 Gates Dancing under the direction of Tedd Robinson. She performed in his R3 at the National Arts Centre in October 2010. That year Dallas was also a K.M Hunter award nominee. In 2005 Dallas received a DanceWEB scholarship for study at ImPuls Tanz in Vienna Austria. She currently sits on the board of directors for the Canadian Alliance of Dance Artists – Ontario Chapter.
Since her choreographic debut in 2005, Dallas’ work has been presented by the Nigerian festivals Truefesta and Dance meets Danse. In Toronto she has been co-presented by DanceWorks on two occasions and presented numerous productions of her own. She has created commissioned works for the Scream literary festival, The Crazyfish collective and The School of Toronto Dance Theatre.
Dallas has performed in original choreographic works by Tedd Robinson, Marc Boivin, Susie Burpee and Adedayo Liadi. She performed as a solo dancer and choreographer with Juno-nominated afrobeat band Mr. Something Something for four touring seasons from 2005 to 2009 and has presented movement workshops coast to coast.
In 2008 Dallas founded Kẹmi Contemporary Dance Projects (Kẹmi). Kẹmi is the name bestowed upon her by her mentor in Lagos Nigeria meaning She who takes care of us. In the winter of 2009, Dallas embarked on her third and most comprehensive tour of West Africa where she performed, taught and created in Nigeria, Benin, Burkina Faso and Ghana over 2 months. Dallas is currently the resident costume designer for The School of Toronto Dance Theatre and has done commissioned design work for Kaeja d’Dance, Princess Productions and Blue Ceiling Dance.
Experimentation and the search for original language characterize the collaborations of Juno-nominated composer, producer and woodwind player John MacLean. MacLean was a clarinetist with classical aspirations when a chance introduction to Charles Mingus alumnus Billy Robinson led to a fruitful mentorship and friendship. The disciplines of improvisation and creation just awakening in the clarinetist responded naturally to Robinson's living tradition and language of jazz improvisation and tenor saxophone.
Creation and originality provided the philosophical springboard for the next twenty years of musical activity at home and abroad for MacLean. Between hundreds of live performances annually he has made time to apply his collected knowledge in the recording environment as producer, arranger, and engineer of numerous albums as record label owner/operator [World Records]. Through collaborations in contemporary dance and his current co-creative endeavor, Mr. Something Something, he continues to probe the areas where stage and studio overlap for genuine expression of the human condition.
Rehearsal Director and Artistic Advisor
Andrea Roberts began her dance training at the age of three, and her formative experience spans several movement disciplines. She is a graduate of The School of Toronto Dance Theatre, where she currently works as both an administrator and rehearsal director.
Roberts was a member of the dance collective CONDUIT and has performed in works by Sonya Biernath, Murray Darroch, Terrill Maguire, Sharon Moore, and Julia Sasso. Over the past decade, she has become increasingly interested in discovering her artistic voice through improvisation and theatre training, and has participated in intensive studies with Hume Baugh, Bill T. Jones/Arnie Zane Dance Company, Katherine Duncanson, EDAM, Fortier Danse-Création, Fiona Griffiths, Michael Greyeyes, Miguel Gutierrez, Claudia Moore, Linda Putnam, Lin Snelling, Gerry Trentham, and others.
As a rehearsal director/assistant, Roberts has been involved in the creative process for both new works and remounts by more than twenty choreographers, including Massimo Agostinelli, Sonya Biernath, Marc Boivin, Sylvie Bouchard/ David Danzon (Corpus), Rachel Browne, Peter Chin, Jennifer Dallas, Christopher House, Bill James, Karen Kuzak, Louis Laberge-Côté, José Limón, Coralee McLaren, Sharon Moore, David Pressault, Tedd Robinson, Julia Sasso, Roger Sinha, Mariko Tanabe, and Michael Trent. She has worked with Jennifer Dallas / Kẹmi Contemporary Dance Projects since the company’s inception.
A recipient of The W. Lawrence Heisey Graduate Awards in Fine Arts, she recently completed a master’s degree in dance at York University, with a thesis using psychoanalytic visual art theory to discuss the dance-theatre work of choreographer Murray Darroch. She recently joined the board of the Canadian Alliance of Dance Artists.
Born in Didyr in the province of Sanguié, Burkina Faso, Bienvenue Bazié joined a Burkinabe artistic troupe called the Bourgeon in 1993 where he studied multidisciplinary training in dance, theatre, poetry and music. With Bourgeon, Bienvenue travelled through the provinces of Burkina Faso. He later decided to focus on dance and choreography and participated in a number of intensives and training workshops offered by Burkinabe choreographers (Salia Sanou and Seydou Boro) as well as European choreographers (Claude Brumachon, Benjamin Lamarche, Mattéo Molles, Xavier Lot, and Eric Mézino).
In 2002, he joined the Kongo Ba Téria company in Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso where he participated in a number of creations, (including Nagtaba, a collaboration piece between Kongo Ba Téria and the Tché Tché d'Abidjan company). Also in 2002, he assisted choreographer Auguste Ouédraogo for the show Buudu with the company Ta. In September 2004, he collaborated with Xavier Lot's company ULAL DTO. Bienvenue danced the solo Welcome to Bienvenue, le Duio Derière les Mur/murs in 2006. In 2008, he danced in a show entitled Étrange Étranger, by the hip hop troupe, Pambè Dance Company.
Bienvenue Bazié is the co-director of Art' Dév / Cie Auguste Bienvenue, the company that he founded in 2000. He is dancer, choreographer, and creator, in collaboration with partner August Ouédraogo for all of the Art' Dév / Cie Auguste Bienvenue 's works, which include: Buudu in 2002, Tin Souk Ka in 2005, Traces in 2007, in collaboration with L'association des plasticiens, le Génie de la Bastille, Tourments Noirs in 2009, and Engagement Féminin 2009-2010 (a training, creation and performance project for West African dancers).
Joanie Audet was born in Laval, Québec where she discovered contemporary dance and theatre at Curé Antoine Labelle High School, graduating in 2004. Subsequently, she enrolled in the Professional Training Program at Le Conservatoire de Danse de Montréal and completed three years of study. To pursue and refine her dancing, she moved to Toronto the following year to attend The School of Toronto Dance Theatre. Audet has performed work by Marc Boivin, Jennifer Dallas, Dancemakers, Danny Grossman, Susanna Hood, Christopher House, Sharon Moore, and Julia Sasso.
Audet has been an assistant teacher in the Young Dancers’ Program at the School since January 2009. She greatly enjoys working with Michelle Silagy, Susan Kendal Urbach and Nadia Wright, and finds her involvement with children has influenced and informed her creative work.
Audet is a great lover of travel and combined this passion with her dance training. She had the pleasure of studying with Benoit Lachambre and Jennifer Mascall in Vancouver, Carol Prieur and Robin Poitras in Regina, Holly Johnston in San Francisco and Ruth Zaporah in New Mexico.
Ana Claudette Groppler
Ana Claudette Groppler was born in Toronto. She is a graduate from Rosedale Heights School of the Arts and recently graduated from The School of Toronto Dance Theatre. She danced in works by Marc Boivin, Dancemakers, Danny Grossman, Susanna Hood, and Sasha Ivanochko. After graduating she worked with Mélanie Demers in Montreal with TransFormation Danse performing in Montreal’s FTA Short and Sweet. In the summer of 2011 Groppler performed with Toronto Dance Heritage, dancing David Earle’s piece Miserere. She worked as a rehearsal assistant with Michael Caldwell for his piece Ash Unravel for Dance: Made in Canada. She then began working with Jennifer Dallas and Kẹmi Contemporary Dance Projects on a new work. In the winter of 2011 she traveled to Germany, taking classes and tasting the waters.
Emma Kerson began her dance training in Nova Scotia, where she became a member of The Young Company of Halifax Dance. Kerson graduated from Dalhousie University in 2008 with a B.A. in Honours English, and from The School of Toronto Dance Theatre in 2011. She is a grateful recipient of a Millennium Excellence Award, the Kathryn Ash Leadership Award, and a Nova Scotia Talent Trust Scholarship. While at school she had the opportunity to work with notable artists such as Marc Boivin, Dancemakers, Danny Grossman, Sasha Ivanochko, Lucy Rupert, and Sharon Moore. She has attended O Vertigo’s summer intensive and Transformations, where she had the joy of studying with Louise Bédard. Since graduation, Kerson has been seen dancing for Kẹmi Contemporary Dance Projects, Patricia Beatty and Toronto Heritage Dance, NewFoundDance, the Parahumans, and in a solo project with Sharon Moore.
Roelof Peter Snippe began his professional lighting design career with Toronto Workshop Productions under the direction of George Luscombe. In 1973, he began a long working relationship with Toronto Dance Theatre, creating designs for over 150 works in the repertoire. Over his long, distinguished career as a lighting designer, stage manager and technical director, Mr. Snippe has worked with major dance, theatre and opera companies across Canada and abroad. They include the National Ballet of Canada, The Danny Grossman Dance Company, Dancemakers, and numerous other Canadian companies and independent artists, including Denise Fujiwara. In 2010, Mr. Snippe was awarded the Dance Ontario Lifetime Achievement Award.
Born and raised in Toronto, Cheryl Lalonde began her career in the arts with Act IV Theatre at Adelaide Court. After two years backstage at Toronto Workshop Productions, her design debut was for the premiere production of Tomson Highway's The Rez Sisters under mentor and director Larry Lewis. Splitting her time between design and stage management has allowed her to travel the world as well as collaborate with many companies, including: Desrosiers Dance Theatre, Danny Grossman Dance Company, Fujiwara Dance Inventions, Eclectic Theatre, Alberta Ballet, Dreamwalker Dance Company, Theatre Smith Gilmour, and Kaeja d'Dance. Ms. Lalonde has been nominated for four Dora Mavor Moore Awards for design and was honored in 1997 for her design of Eclectic Theatre's Chutzpah a-go-go. She has served on the faculty of Theatre Arts at The Banff Centre for seven summers, and recently participated in a panel of Canadian Stage Managers to establish a DACUM occupational analysis for Stage Management.