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A New Residency Program, Digital Shifts, and Artistic Change

September 17, 2020 Illustrated drawing of The Citadel in pastel colours Image by Isaac Roberts

Citadel + Compagnie is pleased to announce the launch of its new Residency Program, developed to redistribute resources and support the work of seven local artists and organizations. Expanding on our existing values of inclusion, collaboration, accessibility and trust, the program works to further our impact by creating more space for more artists at our home, The Citadel: Ross Centre for Dance. In response to calls for social justice, along with the realities of adapting performance art during a global pandemic, the Residency Program builds on relationships that have been cultivated with artists and organizations within the dance community to reallocate resources and provide artistic and administrative support. 

“In a time of great uncertainty, urgently vibrating with the need for systemic change, our Residency Program offers an opportunity for meaningful connection and collaboration between artists and arts organizations,” says artistic director, Laurence Lemieux. 

Over the course of the season, Citadel + Compagnie will also be investing in adapting and equipping The Citadel for the filming and livestreaming of dance, made possible with the support of the Government of Canada. This investment aims to extend The Citadel’s role as a creative hub to the digital realm, an integral step as limitations on gathering continue to disproportionately affect the live performing arts. Our late-night livestreamed event Night Shift (Sept. 30 – Oct. 9, 2020) will be our first exciting venture into the digital world. 

The 2020/21 season also marks a notable shift for Citadel + Compagnie. After twelve distinguished years, James Kudelka will complete his tenure as Resident Choreographer, a position that began in 2008, shortly after the company’s purchase of The Citadel. Kudelka was instrumental in positioning Citadel + Compagnie on the local and international scene, contributing such extraordinary works as From the House of Mirth, Against Nature, Malcolm, and Four Old Legs, as well as making iconic repertoire accessible to the Toronto dance community through countless remounts of some of his greatest classics, including In Paradisum, Fifteen Heterosexual Duets, and The Man in Black. This decision, precipitated by COVID-19, will still allow Kudelka to continue to complete The Machine Stops, the third instalment of his music/dance/theatre salon trilogy initiated in 2012. 


Institutional support for artists and organizations is more important than ever. This season we will continue to elevate artists through our existing presentation platforms Bright Nights and Night Shift, and foster creative practice through our new Residency Program. We are truly excited by this program’s potential for the interlocking of communities to create an expanding network of artistic exchange within Toronto. The program is the umbrella for the following four pillars of engagement: The Creative Incubator Pilot Project, company-in-residence, presenter-in-residence and lead community partner. 

Creative Incubator Pilot Project 
The Creative Incubator Pilot Project invites four artists and organizations—Syreeta Hector, Naishi Wang, adelheid and Nova Dance—to explore and expand their artistic projects at The Citadel. This two-year pilot project will allow Citadel + Compagnie to formalize the program and create a permanent system of artistic support for the ongoing growth and development of Toronto dance artists. These artists and organizations were selected for their alignment with Citadel + Compagnie’s core values of collaboration and exceptional artistry. Following the two-year pilot, the creative incubator will open up to the dance community at large through an application process that will be announced at the end of year one. 

Syreeta Hector  
“The Citadel is the best! They supported me when Black Ballerina was a seed of an idea, and now, they are there to help me make this piece into my first full length work. I look forward to finishing the creation of Black Ballerina and am elated to have the opportunity to develop other projects through this Creative Incubator Project! Thank you for your generous, consistent, and continuous support!” 

Naishi Wang 
“Citadel + Compagnie’s Creative Incubator Pilot Project is a research, investigation and experimentation haven to me. The time to gain an in-depth understanding of my practice, a space to ignite my imagination and a realm to share my solitude with others. I am extremely grateful to be included as one of the creative forces in this project.” 

“As I look ahead to the Creative Incubator opportunity, I recognize how in this moment of global shift, being included in the revisioning of the Citadel as it commits to supporting systemic change in our sector, comes with a responsibility to be a part of that change.  I am eager for this.  I am also eager to unravel what this will mean for my own practice, artistic process, the collaborations ahead and adelheid’s path.” 

Nova Dance 
“The invitation to instigate long-term change, to collaborate on creating new possibilities for future generations, and to share passionate love for dance inspires and assists us during these challenging times.” 

Company-in-Residence: KasheDance 
After making The Citadel its home since 2017, KasheDance will officially become company-in-residence. Embodying artistic diversity in technique and choreography, KasheDance echoes in a new genealogy of Afro contemporary dance supported by presentation, outreach initiatives in communities and in education. 

Presenter-in-Residence: wind in the leaves collective 
Initiated in 2019, wind in the leaves collective will continue the presentation of its original series, allies and friends. Led by charles c. smith, wind in the leaves collective is a dynamic and diverse group of accomplished, passionate artists who come together to create rich and evocative multi-disciplinary performances that engage artists and audiences from diverse backgrounds and artistic practices. 

Lead Community Partner: Toronto Council Fire Native Cultural Centre 
Since 2016, The Citadel has hosted neighbour Toronto Council Fire’s Indigenous youth dance program, First Fire. We look forward to further developing this relationship, by providing access to film and livestream equipment for future community dance and music programming. 

More about the Residency program here!

Download the press release here!