The Choreographers is Katie Ward, Thea Patterson, Peter Trosztmer and Audrée Juteau, a group of four Montreal dance artists who banded together in 2008. Since their inception in 2008 they have collectively create two full works: Man and Mouse and Oh ! Canada. The Choreographers also have a mandate to support the individual projects of each of its members. www.thechoreographers.ca
TOURING EXPERIENCE ( IN A NUTSHELL )
- We work on 2-6 remounts of performances each year, as well as a new creation approximately every year and a half. Travelling time varies amongst the four of us. This year Peter was travelling for 4 months, the rest of us about 6 weeks or so, including a 4-week residency in the UK.
- We find and book all our performances and tours ourselves, without an agent or administrator, but with the help of places like Studio 303 who invite us to showcases that have been organized for presenters to come.
- We got some of our early out-of-town residencies and performances from several sources, mostly through presenters seeing our work live at festivals and showcases.
SELECT PERFORMANCES AND RESIDENCY EXPERIENCES
- Dance4 (creation residency), Nottingham, UK
- Triptych (creation residency – Peter Trosztmer), Circuit-Est, Montreal and Opera Estate Festival Veneto, Bassano, Italy
- Festival Exit/Maison Des Arts de Créteil (Katie Ward), Créteil, France
- Nottingham Contemporary/Dance4 (Katie Ward), Nottingham, United Kingdom
- Festival Via (Katie Ward), Le Manège, Maubeuge, France
- Centennial Theatre (Katie Ward), Lennoxville, Québec
- Guelph Contemporary Dance Festival (Thea Patterson), Guelph, Ontario
- Centennial Theatre, Lennoxville, Québec
- Festival of New Dance/Neighbourhood Dance Works, St. John’s, Newfoundland
- Performance Mix/New Dance Alliance, Joyce Soho, New York City
- Correspondanse, Quebec City, Quebec
- Bus Stop Theatre, Halifax, Nova Scotia
- Sappy Fest, Sackville, New Brunswick
1) Festival Exit
What: Performance at a festival
Who: Maison des arts de Créteil (Gilles Bouckaert, Coordinator of artistic projects)
Where: Créteil, France
When: Four days in March 2012. A year and a half elapsed between the initial contact with the organization and the performance.
I participated in the first Spark showcase at Studio 303 and made a connection with Didier Fusillier who invited me to present my work at two of his festivals – Festival Exit in Créteil (outside of Paris) and Festival Via in Maubeuge, in the north of France. The programming style of this festival and the one in Maubeuge are so-called “Avant Garde” – they seem to be looking for shows that are popular and sell tickets yet are challenging to the audience.
I received a good fee from this festival and very good housing conditions for the touring team. The support staff was very well organized – and while there was an immense amount of paper work to be done, the staff helped me through all of it. The technical team was excellent as well.
There have been no further opportunities that have come out of this at this point. (Katie Ward)
2) Festival of New Dance
What: Performance at a festival
Who: Neighbourhood Dance Work (Calla Lachance, Executive Director)
Where: St John’s, Newfoundland
When: We applied one year prior to spending a week at this festival in July 2009. However, we had been in touch with the festival well beforehand – I had been there as a dancer three years before, when Peter and Thea were also there presenting their own work.
Three of us were already familiar with the festival and had had a wonderful experience, so we were keen to present Man and Mouse which we had created in 2008 during a summer residency at Studio 303. The call for submissions is open and accessible, you just have to know about it. The organisers saw the proposed work on video and invited us! (Audrée Juteau)
3) Guelph Contemporary Dance Festival
What: Performance at a festival
Who: Catrina von Radecki, Co-Artistic Director/ General Manager
Where: Guelph, Ontario, Canada
When: Four days in June 2010. Selection for this festival was from a call for submissions. Roughly one year elapsed between the initial contact with the organization and the performance.
As this opportunity was through a call for submissions, it was based on video rather than having seen the work live. The programming style seems to range from very accessible to moderately accessible. Guelph is a small city and they have to consider the capability of their audience to accept new and possibly more challenging topics. It would seem they try to strike a balance by choosing work that can bridge the two. They do a lot of their performances outside. They paid a fee, and they covered transportation and accommodation. Overall it was a very positive experience. From this event specifically I was invited to present the work in Toronto at Harbourfront in an event called Bad Ass Dance Fun, curated by Eroca Nichols. Unfortunately due to schedule conflicts I was unable to participate, but will continue to develop the contact with Eroca. (Thea Patterson)
4) Centennial Theatre
What: Performance in regular season
Who: Luce Couture, Director
Where: Lennoxville, Quebec
When: Man and Mouse in November 2009 and Rock Steady in September 2011. About a year elapsed between the initial contact with the organization and the performance.
Luce saw Man and Mouse when it was presented as part of a CanDance showcase in Montreal programmed by Dena Davida and Miriam Ginestier. She was very enthusiastic immediately, and this was one of those rare occurrences where she expressed her desire to present the work then and there, but from that point it took about a year to come to fruition. Based on this initial presentation and the success of the work, as well as continued dialogue with Luce (keeping her informed of our activities, etc.), we then also booked Katie’s piece Rock Steady for the next year. Judging from the season program, it seems that Luce programs a number of established companies and then a couple of riskier works: shows that are not as well-known and might not sell as well, but cost her less and perhaps are things she would like to support. We received a flat fee for the performance and divided it up amongst ourselves and a lighting technician, who we brought with us. Centennial Theatre is associated with Bishop’s University and as such is a teaching platform. The technical crew is made up of students learning the ropes, therefore the technical installation tends to be quite slow, which one needs to account for in their planning. Also, the theatre is very large. Our work tends to require a more intimate setting, therefore we used only the stage, that is we set the seats up on the stage itself. This worked perfectly, and suited the work much better. It is a good thing to keep in mind if one is considering presenting at the Centennial Theatre. (Peter Trosztmer)
Note : This story was written in 2012.