Stage Door News
Toronto: Toronto Dance Theatre unveils its 2023/24 season
Thursday, August 10, 2023
Toronto Dance Theatre (TDT) is thrilled to unveil an eclectic and playful season of creative programming for 2023/24 that throws open the historic theatre’s doors to new artists and audiences more than ever before.
Anchored around two mainstage double bills showcasing vanguard new works from thrillingly diverse artists, the 2023/24 season includes curated performance events, an expansive program of artist development initiatives, and fresh invitations to the community to explore the Winchester Street Theatre.
“This season at TDT reflects on the idea of sharing space,” says TDT Artistic Director Andrew Tay. “We are interested in artists working alongside each other, occupying stages together, and considering how the company can foster possibilities for the exchange of knowledge and resources. The season features two eclectic double bills, specially curated performance events, and new initiatives that open up TDT’s physical space to more independent artists and Torontonians than ever before – including our commitment to a sliding scale ticket model, so that everyone can have the opportunity to experience dance and live performance. I invite everyone to come and be in space together with us!”
The season begins in early October with the first of two curated performance events, REFRACTING GIANTS, curated by Leelee Oluwatoyosi Eko Davis. A culmination of Leelee’s expressive residency at TDT, this performance event is inspired by the creative exchanges and discoveries cultivated from Leelee’s research with the TDT ensemble last season and a curated group of artists they worked with in 2021’s Praxis of Possibility micro-residency.
Late in October, TDT will literally throw opens the doors of the Winchester Street Theatre with an invitation to the community to celebrate the 2023/24 season at an Open House on October 21. Guests can explore and learn about TDT’s historic dance hub, enjoy mini-performances, and attend an all-ages movement class.
Mainstage presentations begin in February with a winter double bill featuring FACE RIDER by Fran Chudnoff paired with ODD-SENSUAL by Andrew Tay, both made in collaboration with members of the TDT ensemble. Chudnoff’s first commission for TDT, FACE RIDER will feature styling by costume designer Angela Cabrera, exploring internet aesthetics, gender deviance, and social auras to offer a luminous communal experience. Tay’s ODD-SENSUAL is a unique performance project featuring solos created on members of the TDT ensemble, with a view to create an intimate environment that considers the individualities and artistic interests of each dancer involved.
In April, TDT offers a second mainstage double bill featuring new works from Yuichiro Inoue and KINAJ. A long-time company dancer, Inoue choreographs his first full piece with members of the ensemble. Artistic duo KINAJ (AJ Velasco and Kin Nguien) will share a piece that incorporates their cross-genre practices in street styles and contemporary dance.
In the summer of 2024, TDT presents a second curated performance event, SHORT&SWEET. Back by popular demand, the iconic live performance party returns to Toronto with a large roster of artists from an eclectic range of styles and aesthetics who have the freedom to create whatever they want. But there’s a catch: each artist will only have three minutes on stage. If they go over the allotted time, a timekeeper will cut them off immediately! A fun way to see artists try something new, take risks, and challenge what can be accomplished in 3 minutes, following the performances, the night will wrap up with everyone on the dance floor!
Throughout the season, TDT will host recreational adult dance classes leading up to company productions – another invitation to audiences to experience TDT anew. Non-dancers are welcomed into the studio to learn, have fun, and enjoy a first-hand look at the artists and contemporary dance practices featured in the season.
RESIDENCY & COLLABORATION
In 2023/24 TDT continues and expands upon their investment in artistic development with a variety of residency offerings and new programs for independent artists.
In November of 2023 and March of 2024, TDT offers artists the opportunity to showcase 10 minutes of new material with a new works-in-progress series, EYES ON BEGINNINGS. Audiences can play a role in the development process while discovering nascent creative propositions and artists benefit from facilitated audience feedback sessions.
Also new this year, TDT is introducing both a Technical Residency program, offering two 1-week residencies aimed to help artists holistically integrate technical elements of their work with their artistic ideas; and an innovative ARTIST AFFILIATE program where the company will make a 2-year commitment towards the career development of a local choreographer. The ARTIST AFFILIATE program will guarantee a living wage salary to support an artist in the creation of a new project with TDT, while also enabling them to pursue their independent research and work. On top of dedicated hours of studio time and development support, this program offers an independent artist access to the stability, health benefits, and working conditions that are usually only available at large dance companies.
The PILOT EPISODES residency program returns for a fourth iteration, in which six choreographers or creators will have their first experience collaborating with TDT company dancers during an immersive, one-week residency in the spring. TDT also brings back and expands upon their popular PLUG-N-PLAY RESIDENCIES, which consist of week-long, half-day residencies in the studio free-of-charge. Twelve choreographers and creators in body-centred practices will have dedicated time to dig deeper into a current project or idea while having the space to experiment with collaborators.
Tickets for REFRACTING GIANTS are now available and the double bill productions will go on sale on a later date in Fall 2023. For more information, visit www.tdt.org or call 416-967-1365, x123.
TORONTO DANCE THEATRE 2023/24 SEASON
A co-devised dance theatre performance
Curated by Leelee Oluwatoyosi Eko Davis
Created by the Praxis Of Possibility creative team & cast
October 5 - 7, 2023
Winchester Street Theatre
As a culmination of Leelee’s expressive residency at TDT, this 3-night only run is inspired by the creative exchanges and discoveries that were cultivated from Leelee’s research with the TDT ensemble last season and a curated group of artists that Leelee began working with in 2021’s Praxis Of Possibility micro-residency.
Winter Double Bill
ft. FACE RIDER by Fran Chudnoff and Odd-Sensual by Andrew Tay
February 8 - 17, 2024
Pay-What-You-Can tickets will become available in Fall 2023
Winchester Street Theatre
Vibrant, colourful aesthetics and unique collective experiences shape TDT’s first mainstage production of the 2023/24 season, a double bill featuring new works by Fran Chudnoff and Andrew Tay in collaboration with TDT ensemble members.
For their first commission with the company, Toronto-based choreographer Fran Chudnoff will premiere FACE RIDER. Initially created as a solo dance film during their 3-year research residency at Dancemakers Centre for Creation with multidisciplinary creator Driftnote (Omar Rivero), Fran is now developing FACE RIDER into a full-scale ensemble production with styling from costume designer Angela Cabrera. As their practice works in conversation with internet aesthetics, gender deviance, and shaping a “social aura,” audiences will be drawn into a luminous, communal experience at the theatre.
The second portion of the Double BIll is a unique performance project featuring solos created on members of the TDT ensemble in conversation with Artistic Director Andrew Tay. Odd-Sensual seeks to create an intimate environment that considers the individualities and artistic interests of each dancer involved in the project. The individual solos created from the process will all come together to create a colourful and sensorial playground for both dancers and audiences to experience.
Spring Double Bill
ft. new works by Yuichiro Inoue and KINAJ
April 4 - 13, 2024
Pay-What-You-Can tickets will become available in Fall 2023
Winchester Street Theatre
TDT is thrilled to present a double bill where company and guest dancers will share the stage through two new enticing works. Long-time Company Dancer Yuichiro Inoue will choreograph his first full piece with members of the ensemble, reflective of his virtuosic career with TDT. Following this work, artistic duo KINAJ (AJ Velasco and Kin Nguien) will share a piece that incorporates their cross-genre practices in street styles and contemporary dance, building upon the ideas and conversations they began during their 2022/23 Pilot Episodes residency at TDT.
Short&Sweet: Toronto Edition
Back by popular demand, the iconic live performance party returns to Toronto next summer! Short&Sweet features a large roster of artists from an eclectic range of styles and aesthetics who have the freedom to create whatever they want. But there’s a catch: each artist will only have three minutes on stage. If they go over the allotted time, a timekeeper will cut them off immediately!
Originally created in Montreal by Andrew Tay and Sasha Kleinplatz, Short&Sweet is a fun way to see artists try something new, take risks, and challenge what can be accomplished in 3 minutes. Following the performances, the night will wrap up with everyone on the dance floor!
Tickets will be released at a later date. Stay tuned!
2023/24 DEVELOPMENT INITIATIVES
Affiliate Artist Program
A Long-Term Artist in Residency
Deadline to Apply: Thursday September 7, 2023, at 11:59 p.m. ET.
For the first time at TDT, the organization will make a 2-year commitment towards the career development of a local choreographer through its Affiliate Artist program. The program provides a guaranteed living wage salary for a choreographer to create a project with TDT while simultaneously pursuing their independent research and work. On top of dedicated hours of studio time and development support, this program offers an independent artist access to the stability, health benefits, and working conditions that are usually only available at large dance companies.
Applications are now open for this residency program, with the selected artist starting in the fall of the 2023/24 season.
Eyes on Beginnings
A Works-In-Progress Series
November 2023 & March 2024
It is always an inspiring moment when a new creative idea sparks, and with TDT’s new Works-In-Progress Series, you can be in the studio where it happens. Occurring once in the fall and spring, Toronto artists have the chance to share 10 minutes of new material followed by a facilitated audience feedback session. Come to discover fresh choreographic propositions and play an important role in the development of artistic works in our community by offering your perspectives!
If you are an artist with a dance or movement-based practice, stay tuned for TDT’s call to participate in one of these gatherings!
November & December 2023
Application Deadline: Wednesday September 13 at 11:59 p.m. ET
Six creators will have their first opportunity to collaborate with TDT’s company dancers in the fourth edition of TDT’s Pilot Episodes. A series of immersive one-week residencies, each creator will get to experiment and take artistic risks in the studio without the pressure of producing a finished work.
This style of residency is great for creators who are looking to challenge their choreographic practices or who may not normally have the chance to create work on a larger cast of dancers. Applications are now open for this program.
Throughout the Season
TDT is bringing back its Plug-N-Play Residencies after last season’s success! With the goal of sharing our space at the Winchester Street Theatre with more independent artists in the community, TDT is expanding the size of the program to support even more projects throughout the 2023/24 season.
Consisting of week-long, half-day residencies in the studio free-of-charge, Plug-N-Play is beneficial for choreographers or creators in body-centred practices who are looking for dedicated time to dig deeper into a current project or idea, or who are seeking access to a large space that allows them to experiment with collaborators. Stay tuned for when TDT reveals the selected Plug-N-Play resident artists.
Are you creating a new work, and looking for a way to experiment with the technical elements before it is performed? To address the rarity of technical residencies in Toronto, TDT is presenting a new initiative where artists can have the space and resources to develop technical aspects of their work, such as lighting and sound design. Consisting of two 1-week residencies this season at the historical Winchester Street Theatre, this program aims to help independent artists in the community holistically integrate the technical elements of their work with their artistic ideas, all with the goal of heightening production values of independent artists' work in the community.
If you are currently working on a project where you would like to explore and expand upon its technical production elements, keep an eye out for the Call to Artists, which will be posted in August 2023.
About Toronto Dance Theatre:
TDT is the legendary artistic home and collaboration hub where, since 1968, curious creators, ensemble performers and audiences inspire each other to create and celebrate new explorations of dance – playful to provocative, from near and far – that reflect our times, our diverse cultures, and communities. Ever fresh and adventurous, TDT is one of Canada’s leading innovators in contemporary dance while being one of the very few dance companies in the country with an ensemble of dancers.
Photo: Andrew Tay.