HISTORY

DanceWorks began as a collective of independent dance artists in 1977 and has grown to become Toronto’s leading presenter of independent dance. Strong in the belief that dance has the power to illuminate, engage and transform all who participate, DanceWorks offers seasons of eclectic, exhilarating choreography programmed to intrigue, challenge and enthrall.

1977 - 79
Group shows support artistic risk-taking and minimize financial risk for participants.
1980 - 89
Regular programming develops an audience for new dance; educates through newsletters, program notes, curatorial statements; originates danceTALK!; features film with performance; commences video documentation; organizes first CanDance Network meeting.
1990 - 2002
Mainstage Series: curated, fee-paying opportunity presents diverse forms and world premieres on mixed programs paying production costs and moves to larger venues; in collaboration with Dance Collection Danse, institutes Carol’s Dance Notes for outreach.

U.S./Canada Performance Initiative: DanceWorks jointly initiates and manages with Dance Theatre Workshop (N.Y.) a program to promote cross-border touring and residencies in cooperation with the National Performance Network. Assumes management of Dance Ontario Association and The CanDance Network.
Late 1998-2002
Establishes annual international co-productions with Harbourfront Centre, expands CoWorks Series, enhances cooperation with CanDance Network partners expands market for Carol’s Dance Notes to five Canadian cities, relocates office to arts designated district where daily contact with other arts/dance organizations builds momentum leading to new initiatives and collaborations.
2002 - 2005
Initiates Cultural Dance Dialogues DVD’s, 15-minute conversations with artists similar format to Inside the Actors’ Studio moderated by Curator; increases outreach and student matinees; develops study guides for students and teachers; expands to include new co-presentation events.
2006 - 2011
With funding from the Metcalf Foundation, develops cohesive education/outreach programming: initially contracts an Education & Outreach consultant then subsequently hires Education & Outreach Coordinator/Manager, initiates Francophone Education & Outreach Programming.
2012 - 13
Initiates Professional Passes - affordable tickets for dance professionals and introduces Critical Response to better understand patrons’ reactions to selected works.
2014 - 19
Expands online visibility through social media (Twitter, Instagram, Facebook and blog) as well as programmatic ads; rebuilds website danceworks.ca; undertakes audience survey to collect information on audience demographics and attitudes; initiates subscriber/donor appreciation night; provides residency support to selected artists presented on Mainstage series.
2019 - 20
With support of Canada Council Digital Strategies grant, works with consultants to refine online marketing reach.
20 - Present
Launched all new digital series Moving Online to continue creating opportunities for the public to engage with professional dance artists in new ways during COVID-19 global pandemic.

STAFF

Meet the team that brings you the opportunities to engage with professional dance artists and their stories.

Mimi Beck
Dance Curator

Neetika Sharma
General Manager

Catherine Romano
Education and Outreach Manager

Arun Srinivasan
Production Manager

Sheena Bhattacharya
Graphic & Web Designer

Emma Walker
Bookkeeper

BOARD

Adam Kurnik

Co Chair/Treasurer
Manager, Corporate Finance & Investor Relations at Superior Plus Corp

Douglas Tanton

Co Chair
Senior Consultant at One Step One Step Productions

Belinda Ngai

Secretary
Sr Manager, Decision Management team, Cards Payment and Banking; Royal Bank of Canada

Mario Fasce

General Member
Senior Management and Digital Strategist, Nordicty

Alex Hsiao

General Member
Product Manager, Aeroplan at TD

ARCHIVES

The following is an alphabetical list of artists with their choreographies that have contributed to the DanceWorks experience.

Click on each letter to expand the archive of our list of choreographers and their works.

Photos:

1. large b&w photo: Jaberi Dance Theatre, No Woman’s Land, by Zahra Saleki

small b&w photos in history:

2.1977-79: Julia Sasso dances, Sporting Life, by Nicole Rivelli

3. 1980-99: Holly Small & Robert W. Stevenson, Cheap Sunglasses by Vid Inglevics

4. 1990 – 2002: Joanna de Souza, Amalgam

5. Late 1998-2002: JDdance, In Absentia

6. 2002 – 2005: adelheid, LOT X, by Jeremy Mimnagh

7. 2006 – 2011: InDANCE, Holy Cow(s)!, by Miles Brokrenshire

8. 2012 – 13: Dancers of Damelahamid, Flicker, by Derek Dix

9. 2014 – 19: Jaberi Dance Theatre, No Woman’s Land, by Zahra Saleki

10. 2019 – 20: Tribal Crackling Wind, Woven, by Jeremy Mimnagh

11. 20 – Present: Yvonne Ng/tiger princess dance projects, In Search of the Holy Chop Suey, by Cylla Von Tiedemann