Peggy Baker has been a vivid presence in contemporary dance for more than four decades, performing internationally in the work of Lar Lubovitch, Mark Morris (with Mikhail Baryshnikov’s White Oak Dance Project), Doug Varone, Tere O’Connor, Molissa Fenley, and Charles Moulton (New York City); and with Fortier Danse-Creation (Montreal); and James Kudelka, Dancemakers and Toronto Dance Theatre. She established Peggy Baker Dance Projects in Toronto in 1990, and for the first 20 years dedicated herself to solo performance, winning rapturous praise for the eloquence and depth of her dancing, and accolades for her collaborative partnerships with extraordinary choreographers, directors, musicians, and designers.
Since 2010, her choreography has focused on works for small ensemble. Over its 29‑year history, Peggy Baker Dance Projects has been presented at major festivals and dance centres in North America, Asia and Europe. Under the banner The Choreographer’s Trust she has published a series of booklets and DVDs that document six of her landmark solos, and she is the subject of a book by Carol Anderson, Unfold – a Portrait of Peggy Baker, published by Dance Collection Danse. Among her many honours are the Order of Canada, the Premier’s Award for Excellence in the Arts, the Governor General’s Award, the Walter Carsen Prize, the George Luscombe Award for Mentorship, and six Dora Awards. Baker is artist-in-residence at Canada’s National Ballet School and a 2017 fellow of the Boglisaco Foundation in Liguria, Italy.
Nicole Rose Bond is a Toronto-based dance artist who began her formal training at York University, graduating with a Bachelor of Fine Arts in 2005. Since that time, Nicole has been privileged to perform works by many esteemed choreographers including Peggy Baker, Patricia Beatty, Tom Brouillette, Susan Cash, Bill Coleman, David Earle, Danny Grossman, Ryan Graham Hinds, Christopher House, James Kudelka, Learie McNicholl, Andrea Nann, Yvonne Ng, John Oswald, Peter Randazzo, and Andrea Spaziani. Nicole has taught dance classes and workshops at York University, the Toronto District School Board, and Toronto Dance Theatre. She has also served on the Toronto Arts Council Advisory Panel and is a member of the Dance Collection Dance “Encore: Hall of Fame” Committee.
Gabriel Cropley has proudly been technical director for Peggy Baker Dance Projects since 2013. Gabriel is also a Toronto-based lighting designer and three-time Dora Mavor Moore Award nominee, with recent credits including King Arthur Panto for Port Hope Theatre Festival; Kickstart for CanAsian Dance; Return of the Dead for NAfro Dance; Styll (Nuit Blanche Scarborough exhibits) for the City of Toronto; Sounding Thunder for Festival of the Sound; Llandovery Castle for Bicycle Opera; and Category E for Coal Mine Theatre, as well as past collaborations with Alias Dance Projects, Ballet Creole, Julia Sasso Dance, dreamwalker dance, Avinoam Silverman Dance, Newton Moraes Dance Theatre, Danny Grossman, Sook-Yin Lee and Jennifer Goodwin, Tracey Norman, and Hamilton Children’s Choir.
Toronto-based Sarah Fregeau has performed with Angela Blumberg, the Canadian Opera Company, Ivanochko et cie, Julia Aplin, Kate Hilliard, Nova Dance, Red Sky Performance, TOES FOR DANCE, Valeria Calam and Jose Navas / Compagnie Flak, of which she was a member from 2009–2014. Sarah has taught technique and rehearsal-directed for Peggy Baker Dance Projects, Canadian Contemporary Dance Theatre, Danse à la Carte, Ryerson University, Quinte Ballet School, and École de danse contemporaine de Montréal. She has danced with Peggy Baker Dance Projects since 2012, creating and performing in several full-evening concert programs, as well as gallery events and all-night works for Nuit Blanche. She is a certified Pilates, ELDOA level 2, and Myofascial Stretching instructor.
Originally from Ottawa, Jeremy Gara has been a member of Arcade Fire since 2004. In the past few years he has spent his energies outside of the band collaborating with a wide variety of artists – bandmates Sarah Neufeld, Will Butler, Tim Kingsbury, as well as other artists such as Michael Feuerstack, Susanna Wallumrød, Owen Pallett, and Nedelle Torrisi to name a few. He’s also been seen filling in occasionally for Fred Armisen playing drums in the 8G Band on NBC’s Late Night with Seth Meyers. Most recently he produced and released his first solo album, Limn, a melodic dense and noisy ambient record; a collection of organized improvisations of solo creative moments in response to familiar collaborative efforts.
Originally hailing from Penticton, BC, Mairi Greig is a graduate of the School of Toronto Dance Theatre. Greig began working with Toronto Dance Theatre in 2010, where she has performed and created works with Christopher House, Jeanine Durning, Deborah Hay, Thomas Haeurt, Ame Henderson, Lena Cruz, Jean-Sebastién Lourdais, Emmanuelle Vo-Dinh, and Heidi Strauss. She has danced with Bill Coleman on numerous site-specific performances, and with the Danny Grossman Dance Company, and she collaborates with visual artist Aleesa Cohene as well as with filmmaker Sook-Yin Lee. Drawing Thinking of You Dancing, Greig’s dance-comic collaboration with cartoonist Jason Kieffer, was published in 2015 by Old Boot Comics. She also works with textiles and is beginning to dabble in the world of costuming.
John Heward was born in Montreal in 1934, and was internationally recognized as a percussionist in “free jazz.” As a painter and sculptor, he exhibited his work in Canada, the United States, Europe, and China. In 2006, he had a retrospective exhibition at the Musée nationale des beaux-arts du Québec that travelled to Montreal, Toronto, and Sherbrooke. In 2012, he was awarded the Prix Paul-Émile-Borduas.
Award-winning dance artist Kate Holden has had the pleasure of interpreting the works of many esteemed Canadian choreographers, with performances across North America, Europe, and Asia. A former company member of Dancemakers and Danny Grossman Dance Company, she has had the great pleasure of working with Peggy Baker since 2001. Holden is a graduate of the School of Toronto Dance Theatre and is very active in the Toronto dance community as an interpreter, rehearsal director, teacher, creator, and producer. Parallel to her work as a dance artist, she has a deep interest in holistic health; she currently practices Cranial Sacral Therapy and Reflexology.
Benjamin Kamino is a dance artist whose work has been presented nationally and abroad. His most recent collaborators include Lars Jan, Clara Furey, Sook-Yin Lee, and Virgil Baruchel. As a dancer, he has been fortunate to work under the direction of Michael Trent, Ame Henderson, Marie Chouinard, Sasha Kleinplatz, Aszure Barton, Jennifer Mascall, Peggy Baker, and Robin Poitras. Kamino was curator at Dancemakers Centre for Creation in Toronto alongside colleague Emi Forster. He is the recipient of the 2016 Toronto Arts Foundation Emerging Artists Award, the 2013 Audience Choice Award at the Dance:MIC festival, and the 2009 DanceWeb Scholarship. Kamino holds a BFA in Dance from the Tisch School of the Arts and an MA in Choreography from DAS Choreography.
James Kendal is a freelance technician, carpenter, and artist currently working in Toronto. His career in performance began as a youngster with classical training in voice and violin, and 10 years as a classical ballet dancer. Throughout the past decade, Kendal has expanded his skillset into the realms of lighting, audio and video design, and carpentry along with stage and production management. Recent projects include Noor by Generous Friend at the Aga Khan Museum, Jungle Book Kidoons/WYRD Productions US tour, and Monkey Queen with the Red Snow Collective among others. He is pleased to be working with the cast and crew of who we are in the dark on this cross-Canada tour.
Fides Krucker has sung and created award-winning contemporary opera and interdisciplinary work in Canada and abroad for 35 years. Her company, Good Hair Day Productions, produced the ground-breaking electroacoustic monodrama Girl With No Door On Her Mouth (Bartley/Carson); CP Salon, an R&B disability love show with Kazumi Tsuruoka, now an NFB film; Julie Sits Waiting (Dufort/Walmsley), a sexual catastrophe opera nominated for five Doras; and In This Body, a collection of Canadian songs amplified through dance (Baker/Lemieux/Strauss), which premiered in 2018 at Canadian Stage. In 1991 Fides founded the interdisciplinary performance ensemble URGE; their final work was published by Playwrights Canada in 2016. Fides has written a book on women, culture, and voice.
Matthew Lederman is a Toronto-based music producer and audio engineer. Spending his musical formative years in Montreal, he was exposed to a wide range of musical styles and genres. There, he co-created the experimental music series Moondata LABprojects, which over the span of its run had more than 100 participating musicians (including both Sarah Neufeld and Jeremy Gara). Since moving to Toronto, Lederman has been an integral part of numerous productions, including Luminato Festival (2016), the Canada 150 celebrations (2017), and Polaris Prize (2018), as well as touring with a variety of artists. He continues to produce music and mix records out of his studio, Solaris Sound.
Toronto-based costume designer Robyn Macdonald is passionate about creating wardrobe that reflects the inner life of a character. Her work explores the nature behind why we wear what we wear and seeks to give layered nuance to a character's personality. She has worked with Peggy Baker on Krishna’s Mouth, and locus plot and is thrilled to be designing the costumes for who we are in the dark. Her latest work includes costume design for Lua Shayenne Dance Company’s Frontiers, Kolo, Tales & Dances around the Baobab, and the upcoming Kira, the Path; Mateo Galindo Torres’ i:political, i variations, and blue(dot)political; Wildling Pictures’ indie feature Cardinals; Riddle Films’ docudrama Dreaming of a Jewish Christmas; and Fulldawa Films’ upcoming feature Heavy.
Jeremy Mimnagh is a Toronto-based photographer, filmmaker, and projection designer for performance. His stills collections and film work have been shown across Canada and won awards internationally. Film credits include: girl in mourning and a settling haze (co-created with Heidi Strauss), Jamaican, From Gentle Ashes and a short film for Bravo! called Floating Construct (co-created with Peter Chin).
Sarah Neufeld is an internationally renowned violinist and composer based in Montreal and New York City. Best known as a long-time member of Arcade Fire, she is also a founding member of the instrumental ensemble Bell Orchestre. Sarah began developing pieces for solo violin in a formal sense in 2011. Violin-driven, emotive, and minimalistic, her influences range from Bartok, to Aphex Twin. Neufeld’s acclaimed debut album Hero Brother, produced by Nils Frahm, was released in 2013.
In 2015 Neufeld released JUNO Award-winning Never Were the Way She Was with celebrated saxophonist and collaborator Colin Stetson. In 2016, Neufeld released her second solo album, The Ridge, featuring Jeremy Gara of Arcade Fire on drums.
David Norsworthy is a Toronto-based dancer, choreographer, and educator. He has performed with Peggy Baker Dance Projects, Toronto Dance Theatre; Dancenorth (Melbourne); ZviDance, Brian Brooks (New York); Skånes Dansteater (Malmö) and Andersson Dance (Stockholm). David's choreography has been presented at the KickStart Festival (Toronto), Wave Rising (New York), Our Voices (Stockholm), and OnSite/InSight (Winston-Salem). Commissions include Lamondance (Vancouver) and Point Park University (Pittsburgh). A graduate of The Juilliard School, David was the recipient of the 2016 Ron Lenyk Award (Mississauga) and one of three finalists for the Toronto Arts Foundation’s 2018 Emerging Artist Award. David is a co-director of TOES FOR DANCE, a non-profit organization that produces workshops and performances across Canada.
Marc Parent has worked as a lighting designer for 30 years, creating designs for many choreographers in Montreal’s contemporary dance scene, as well as for theatre and opera. Since 1990, Marc has lit most of Peggy Baker’s solo work and all of her ensemble dances. He is currently resident lighting designer for Les Grands Ballets Canadiens de Montréal. Marc’s extraordinary work with Peggy Baker Dance Projects has garnered Dora Mavor Moore Awards in lighting design for two Toronto seasons: Split Screen Stereophonic (2013), and Phase Space (2016).
Jarrett Siddall is a Dora-nominated artist who started his performance career in Edmonton dancing for the Ukrainian Shumka Dancers and Citie Ballet. Jarrett entered The School of Toronto Dance Theatre in 2009 and was awarded the Hnatyshyn Foundation Developing Artist Grant in Contemporary Dance in his first year. Graduating in 2012, Siddall joined Toronto Dance Theatre for five seasons and now works with various independent choreographers and companies including Peggy Baker Dance Projects, Vazari Dance Projects, and Frog In Hand. Jarrett also works as an actor in film and television, primarily using his experience with movement research and creation to develop as a creature actor.
Calder White is a freelance artist based between Vancouver and Toronto. Calder joined Toronto’s Canadian Contemporary Dance Theatre in 2011 and spent three seasons with the company. He has originated roles in work by Kora Radella (BOOMERANG), Colin Connor (José Limón Dance Foundation), Santee Smith (Kaha:wi Dance Theatre), and Alexander Whitley (Alexander Whitley Dance Company). In the spring of 2018, White graduated from the Department of Dance at Ohio State University. During his time at Ohio State, he was fortunate to study under Bebe Miller, Crystal Perkins, and Eddie Taketa, and he also choreographed and presented his own work in and around Columbus, Ohio. He is currently in his first season with Shay Kuebler/Radical System Art.