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Toronto Dance Theatre was founded in 1968 by dancer/choreographers Peter Randazzo, Patricia Beatty and David Earle. The company quickly became a major force in Toronto's arts scene with charismatic dancers and a repertoire of original work created in collaboration with important Canadian composers and designers. TDT soon began to tour across Canada, with visits to Europe and the USA.
In the mid-eighties, under the artistic direction of Kenny Pearl, the reputation of the company grew after significant successes in New York and Great Britain. David Earle followed as Artistic Director from 1988-94, creating large-scale works and leading TDT into its milestone twenty-fifth anniversary.
Christopher House, resident choreographer since 1981, was named Artistic Director in 1994. Highlights during his tenure have included several visits to the Joyce Theatre in New York City, a six-city tour of India, a sold-out season at the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden, participation in the Opening Ceremony of the Pan Am Games in Toronto and performances at the Canada Dance Festival in Ottawa and the Festival TransAmériques in Montreal.
Under House's direction, the company has opened its doors to collaborations with leading international artists such as the iconic American choreographer Deborah Hay. Initiatives beginning with the Berlin/Toronto (2009) and continuing with choreographers from Paris, Brussels and New York, have brought stimulating new perspectives to the Toronto arts scene and inspired dialogue across borders. The solo showcases On Display and Singular Bodies have asked visual artists and new theatre practitioners to take on the role of choreographer with TDT's dancers, and experimental projects with choreographer Ame Henderson, composer Matt Smith and playwright Jordan Tannahill have further contributed to an expanded definition of choreography.
TDT's dancers today are unique artists who play an integral role in the creative process. Adept as both soloists and virtuoso ensemble players, they often produce their own work and collaborate with a diverse range of artists and organizations.
Toronto Dance Theatre performs annually at Toronto’s Harbourfront Centre and at the company’s own Winchester Street Theatre in Cabbagetown, where it shares a home with the affiliated School of Toronto Dance Theatre. The 51st season features a Northern Ontario tour, four Toronto programs and the 25th anniversary of Christopher House as Artistic Director.
TDT's annual Creation Residencies provide free rehearsal space in the Winchester St. Theatre, while the biennial Emerging Voices Project is an intensive creative incubator for emerging choreographers. The discussion series Into the Work facilitates an exchange of ideas between artists and audiences, while TDT's Education program provides young people with an immersive experience of contemporary dance.