STATEMENT: NAC Flags Fly at Half-Mast in Honour of Renowned Choreographer, performer and Mentor Tedd Robinson

It was with great sadness that the National Arts Centre (NAC) learned of the death of Tedd Robinson, a beloved figure in Canada's dance community, creative innovator in the performing arts, treasured mentor, and artistic consultant to innumerable dance artists in Canada and abroad. 


Tedd Robinson’s enduring legacy is the extraordinary body of work he created over his 45-year career. In addition to its strong imagery, his work probed universal themes, and yet displayed a deeply touching intimacy and vulnerability. He was committed to seeing the stage as a platform where the performer could communicate delicately and indirectly, where solemnity was sometimes laced with unexpected flashes of humour. Always spectacle, and, in his words, a "minimal circus," his highly anticipated performances won the hearts of audiences across Canada. 

Robinson's work off stage was equally remarkable. Under the guidance of Peter Boneham, he learned to develop his style of artistic consultancy and mentorship. He was as much the student as the teacher, latterly opening himself to receiving new perspectives from younger artists. 

"He will be remembered as a caring and inspiring guide whose distinctive humour, openness, curiosity and keen intelligence were always generously shared. His absence will be deeply felt by the dance community," said Cathy Levy, Executive Producer, NAC Dance.  

The NAC’s flags will fly at half-mast this week in honour of Tedd Robinson.

LINK: Tedd Robinson Obituary

Tedd Robinson was born in Ottawa and studied at York University, the School of Toronto Dance Theatre, and with eminent British visual theatre artist Lindsay Kemp. He first rose to prominence as Artistic Director of Contemporary Dancers in Winnipeg (1984-1990), where he created highly theatrical ensemble works. After returning to Ottawa in 1990 to pursue a solo career, he became firmly established as a choreographer, educator, and solo artist whose critically acclaimed, award-winning works won him a multitude of commissions, touring, and teaching engagements across Canada and abroad. His collaborations over the past 25 years embraced projects with both emerging and established artists, including Louise Lecavalier, Margie Gillis, Peggy Baker, Ame Henderson, Yvon "Crazy Smooth" Soglo, Mako Kawano, and his long-time creative partner, composer/performer Charles Quevillon. He was most at home performing in intimate theatres and unusual spaces. He presented An Autopsy of an Archive, his final work for the stage, at Ottawa Dance Directive to sold-out audiences in February 2020. His work was influenced by his six years of study as a monk in the Hakukaze soto zen monastery in Ottawa. 

Robinson was Artistic Director of 10 Gates Dancing Inc., a non-profit company formed in 1998 to promote the development, appreciation and performance of contemporary dance-theatre creations. Through 10 Gates, he created, performed, consulted, hosted residencies, experimented with new models of collaboration, and nurtured the next generation of dance artists.  

Tedd Robinson was an NAC Associate Dance Artist, winner of the 2014 Walter Carsen Prize for Excellence in the Performing Arts, and recipient of the Chalmer's Award for his seminal work Rokudo: six destinies in three steps. His work was regularly co-produced by NAC Dance, and presented on the NAC Dance Season, at the Canada Dance Festival, and in partnership with the Ottawa Dance Directive.  



Carl Martin
Senior Advisor, Strategy and Communications National Arts Centre


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