“Creation for me is about making things - crafting the unknown into something tangible.” War and conflict, borders and displacement, have often inspired the work of celebrated director and choreographer, Crystal Pite. Concerning the language of dance, Crystal says, “There are ways that our bodies move when experiencing acute emotions. This physical language is elemental, recognizable, and familiar - it’s a wordless language that people speak fluently, and understand deeply.”
“I’m inspired by things that can’t be measured or understood. What interests me is the human spirit and how we connect to each other.”
Born in Terrace, British Columbia and raised on the Canadian West Coast, choreographer and performer Crystal Pite is a former company member of Ballet British Columbia and William Forsythe's Ballett Frankfurt.
Pite’s choreographic debut was in 1990, at Ballet British Columbia. Since then, she has created works for Nederlands Dans Theater I, Cullberg Ballet, Ballett Frankfurt, The National Ballet of Canada, Les Ballets Jazz de Montréal (Resident Choreographer, 2001-2004), Cedar Lake Contemporary Ballet, Ballet British Columbia, Alberta Ballet, Ballet Jorgen, and several independent dance artists; most recently Louise Lecavalier.
Crystal is Associate Choreographer of Nederlands Dans Theater and Associate Dance Artist of Canada's National Arts Centre in Ottawa. In November 2013 Crystal was appointed an Associate Artist at Sadler's Wells in London, UK.
In 2002, she formed Kidd Pivot in Vancouver. Integrating movement, original music, text, and rich visual design, Kidd Pivot’s performance work is assembled with recklessness and rigour, balancing sharp exactitude with irreverence and risk. The company’s distinct choreographic language – a breadth of movement fusing classical elements and the complexity and freedom of structured improvisation – is marked by a strong theatrical sensibility and a keen sense of wit and invention.
Kidd Pivot tours nationally and internationally, performing such highly-demanded and critically acclaimed works as Dark Matters and Lost Action. Kidd Pivot's residency at the Künstlerhaus Mousonturm in Frankfurt (2010-2012) provided Pite the opportunity to create and tour her most recent work, The You Show and The Tempest Replica.
Pite is the recipient of the Banff Centre’s Clifford E. Lee Award (1995), the Bonnie Bird North American Choreography Award (2004), and the Isadora Award (2005). Her work has received several Dora Mavor Moore Awards (2009, 2012), and a Jessie Richardson Theatre Award (2006). She is the recipient of the 2008 Governor General of Canada’s Performing Arts Award, Mentorship Program. Most recently, she was awarded the 2011 Jacob’s Pillow Dance Award, the inaugural Lola Award in 2012, and the Canada Council’s 2012 Jacqueline Lemieux Prize.