RE-TOURS: Deborah Dunn

The multitalented Deborah Dunn was first introduced to dance at university where she was studying visual arts. The art form immediately began to influence her drawing and painting; the body finally leaping off the canvas and leading her to dance class. She founded her company Trial & Eros in Vancouver in the early 90s and is now based in Montreal. Trial & Eros is now in its nineteenth season, operating as a not-for-profit company devoted to the research, creation and production of new dance theatre.



  • I would say I’m on tour between four and twelve weeks a year.
  • I book my shows myself. I have an administrator but she does not book tours.
  • At the beginning of my career, I responded to calls for submissions, sent unsolicited DVD/press kits and followed up, etc., but being seen by a foreign producer in my base city was the most effective in securing gigs.





  • 4 at the Winch Quebec, Toronto Dance Theatre Commission, Toronto
  • Dance on the Crimson Coast, Nanaimo, B.C.
  • UNO Festival, Victoria, B.C.
  • Live Art, Halifax, Nova Scotia
  • The Vancouver International Dance Festival, Vancouver
  • Lennoxville, Quebec
  • Dancing on the Edge, Vancouver
  • Festival of New Dance St. John’s, Newfoundland
  • High Performance Rodeo, Calgary
  • The Dance Centre, Vancouver



1) Crimson Coast Dance Society
What: Performance in regular season
Who: Holly Bright, Artistic Director
Where: Vancouver Island University Nanaimo, Canada
When: Three days in 2012. Ten years at least elapsed between the initial contact with the organization and the performance.

I knew the presenter from way back. I was on her very first program. I had great support from my rehearsal director/sound operator and James Proudfoot my lighting designer/tech director. We were also fortunate to get a Canada Council touring grant as we had three cities. I believe I will return there again. Holly did an excellent job in introducing the content of the work (T.S. Eliot’s poetry) to the audience through workshops and readings that took place before the show. This made for an alert audience, a great talkback and a wonderful workshop the next day.

2) UNO Festival
What: Performance at a festival
Who: Intrepid Theatre (Janet Munsil, Artistic Director)
Where: Victoria, Canada
When: Four days in 2012. Three years elapsed between the initial contact with the organization and the performance.

UNO has a submissions deadline. Janet already knew my work and had presented Elegant Heathens. We had very little tech time but the show looked great. I was popping pills for my knee and the houses were not huge but the show retained its beauty and I enjoyed performing it. The festival was very helpful pre-collecting our props. You get to stay at Paul’s Motor Inn that is a throwback from the 60’s. It is noisy, as the Victorians like to go vroom! Vroom! with their cars down the strip and hoot and holler a bit.

3) Live Art Dance Productions
What: Regular season performance
Who: Paul Caskey, Executive Producer
Where: Halifax, Canada
When: Five days in 2011. Three years elapsed between the initial contact with the organization and the performance.

I knew Paul from Studio 303 in Montreal. This was the fourth show I have done with Live Art. After a baby-making break, I started back with this show. I was well taken care of by my team (same as above) and the Live Art gang (basically Paul). I had to teach a class the morning after the premiere. These are always strange as you are exhausted and it is always a very mixed group that shows up. I like to teach some rep from the show. What stands out for me was the particular reaction of this place to the content of the work. That is what is always interesting about touring, feeling out the place and the culture by how the performance goes. Halifax is a rather conservative place. Someone like myself seems a little risqué there. A group of teenagers were toured through the post-show back stage malaise and seemed appropriately weary of the world they were witnessing.

Note : This Story was written in 2012.