March 20 , 2006
Toronto Dance Theatre to conjugate ‘Sly Verb’ in Schwartz
BY Sally Corbett
The Emory Dance Program will present the Toronto Dance Theatre (TDT), March 23–25, performing the Atlanta premiere of the company’s 2004 evening-length work, “Sly Verb,” as part of the Emory Coca-Cola Artists in Residence and Flora Glenn Candler series.
TDT founders Peter Randazzo, Patricia Beatty and David Earle formed the company in 1968. Each was a talented dancer, choreographer and teacher. Together they created a company committed to three unifying principles: celebrating the power of human imagination, elevating dance as a medium for artistic expression in Canada, and teaching dance to aspiring professionals.
The three founders adopted Martha Graham’s school of dance as the core of TDT’s professional training program, and the company is credited with transforming dance not only in their own country but far beyond Canada’s borders. The 12 dancers of today’s TDT are acclaimed for their virtuosity and physical daring. TDT’s performance home in Toronto is Winchester Street Theatre, but the dancers often perform in the city’s Harbourfront Centre and through international tours.
Christopher House, artistic director of the ensemble since 1994 and one of Canada’s top choreographers, has a long history with the organization. He first danced with TDT in 1979; two years later, TDT’s founders named him resident choreographer.
House was raised in St. John’s, Newfoundland, studying dance with Elizabeth Langley in Ottawa and Nikki Cole and Alfredo Corvino in New York. He has a political science degree from University of Ottawa and a bachelor’s of fine arts from York University.
House has choreographed more than 50 TDT works and also develops pieces for many leading international ballet companies. His teaching credits include work with The Juilliard School, The Jacob’s Pillow Dance Festival and the Rotterdam Dansacademie. Under House’s leadership, TDT has established an array of innovative choreography projects and performance series, including “The Process Revealed” and “Four at the Winch.” “Four at the Winch” provides choreographers in the early stages of their careers with a breakthrough opportunity to work with the professional company and its resources.
House’s recent work, “Sly Verb,” is a provocative effort on human sensation and perception. Connections and barriers between the dancers are explored through fluid, organic movement. “Our skin is the surface layer of our brain—without the sense of touch, we have no relationship with the present moment. Touch is the mother of the senses,” House said. “‘Sly Verb’ is about perception, the human gaze and the flesh of the world. It was inspired by Deane Juhan’s seminal text, ‘Job’s Body,’ David Abram’s ‘The Spell of the Sensuous,’ and the remarkable life energy of my collaborators.”
Performances will be held March 23–25 at 8 p.m. in the Schwartz Center’s Dance Studio. A post-concert reception, supported in part by the Canadian Consulate in Atlanta, will follow the Thursday night performance. Tickets are $20, $15 for Emory employees and alumni, and $5 for Emory students. To order or for more information, call 404-727-5050 or visit www.arts.emory.edu.