October 22, 2021 update on live performances and events at the NAC.

Peggy Baker Dance Projects

who we are in the dark

It’s such an honour to bring to Ottawa a vast world of dance, shaped by some of the most gifted and innovative artists working across a broad spectrum of styles and influences. As we continue to search out the best and brightest dance companies to present to you, our wonderfully receptive and enthusiastic audience, we invite you to explore the new and the familiar on this extraordinary journey of life in motion!

 Peggy Baker is one of Canada’s most esteemed dance artists, and it’s wonderful to welcome her back to the NAC. Her insatiable curiosity and drive to explore the world through dance has led to numerous remarkable creations, many of which have graced our stages over the years. This ambitious new group work piqued my interest from the get-go, not only because of Peggy’s symbiotic relationship with music but also because of her desire to delve into universal ideas surrounding the theme of darkness. I’m thrilled to support this creation through NAC Dance and in association with the NAC Creation Fund. NAC Dance is honoured to bring you these performances on the traditional, unceded territory of the Algonquin Nation, and we gratefully acknowledge them as past, present, and future stewards of this land. Enjoy! 

Choreographer’s Note

In 2015, violinist Sarah Neufeld and I premiered fractured black – a brief, blazing duet that opened with the lyrics “who we are in the dark.” With a fierce appetite to continue creating together, we zeroed in on that opening line as the starting point for a new work exploring the alluring darkness of night, intimacy, sexuality, the unconscious; the creeping darkness of uncertainty and malice; the confounding darkness of bafflement, secrets, the unknown; the dreadful darkness of cruelty, suffering, grief; the comforting darkness of condolence and contemplation. 

I have worked from text as a primary source for movement invention. The words of Rainer Maria Rilke, Sylvia Plath, Jean Genet, Jeanette Winterson, Pablo Neruda, Henri Michaux, and Roger Greenwald are deeply seeded in the choreography. This work is the creation of a collaborative team: stellar artists working with movement, sound, light, projection, pigment, and fabric. The dancers are primary collaborators, and each of them has left an indelible imprint.

I’ve known the work of John Heward since the 1980s, and the idea of incorporating a group of his paintings hit me like a thunderbolt. This is the first time John’s images have been seen on a stage, and I take the trust he put in me fully to heart. John Heward’s death on November 6, 2018, shook us all, and we share the grief of his loss with his family, friends, and colleagues. This work is dedicated to his memory.


Peggy Baker Dance Projects’ season supporter is the BMO Financial Group. We also acknowledge our funding partners the Canada Council for the Arts and the Ontario Arts Council. Peggy Baker Dance Projects is company-in-residence at Canada's National Ballet School, and we thank them for their support.

who we are in the dark is a co-production of The CanDance Network Creation Fund, Danse Danse, the National Arts Centre, The Banff Centre for Arts and Creativity, and Fall for Dance North, in partnership with Canadian Stage and supported by the Canada Council for the Arts. This work is being developed with support from the National Arts Centre’s National Creation Fund.

We acknowledge the support of the Canada Council for the Arts.

Our work is possible only through the generous support of our donors and partners. We extend our heartfelt thanks to the extraordinary individuals and organizations who make our work possible.

Special thanks to Barbara Frum, Ilter Ibrahimof, Matthew Jocelyn, and Sylvia Safdie, and to our donors – without them none of this would be possible. 

Lead Underwriters: Anonymous, Martha Burns, Lynda Hamilton, Jerry and Joan Lozinski, James and Sandra Pitblado, The McLean Foundation, The McLean Smits Family Foundation, Murray and Rean Smith. 

Supporting Underwriters: Faye Cohen and Stacey Hersh, Robert Sirman and the Metcalf Foundation, Norma Smith. 

Ensemble Supporters: Roger Greenwald, Zella Wolofsky and Douglas Wright. 

Supporters: Cheryl Belkin Epstein, Richard Beninger, Rachel Cameron, Patrick Cardarelli, Judith Davidson, Kevin Garland, Eileen Farrow, Susan Farrow, Yvonne and David Fleck, Rina Fraticelli, Sally Hanon and Howard Barton, Wando Ho, Stephanie Hutchison, Sheena MacDonald, Susan Macpherson and Robert Steiner, Tess McLean, Blake Murray and Nancy Riley, Serena Richardson and Kurt Weinheimer, William A. Scott and Yvonne Iten-Scott, Marianne Teminski, Richard Teminski, Sara and Graeme Thomson, Margaret Torrance, Kathleen Ward, Devon and Gary Wolfe.