ABOUT THE COMPANY
Citadel + Compagnie is an award-winning Toronto-based professional dance organization that creates, produces and presents works on local, national and international scales from its home base in a former Salvation Army Citadel in Regent Park. Since 2007, C+C has renovated, revamped and transformed The Citadel into a place where artists rehearse, create and perform and where the community learns, explores and shares.
Citadel + Compagnie is a Toronto-based professional dance organization with a mission to have a significant and lasting artistic impact on our society through creation, curation and cultivation. Under the directorship of Laurence Lemieux, Citadel + Compagnie creates, curates and cultivates dance works and community collaborations on local, national and international scales from its home base in a former Salvation Army Citadel in the Regent Park neighbourhood of Toronto.
The company purchased The Citadel in 2007, and renovated it into studio, office, and theatre space. The Citadel: Ross Centre for Dance opened in 2012, providing a home for resident choreographer, James Kudelka, and artistic director, Laurence Lemieux’s creative processes and intimate performances, while creating an open and welcoming space for artists to rehearse, create and perform and where the community can learn, communicate, and share. These strategic actions have re-energized both its neighbouring community of Regent Park, and the dance community at large.
Citadel + Compagnie encourages artistic risk and innovation through its performing arts series, Bright Nights, and delivers accessible works of contemporary dance when touring outside The Citadel itself. Equipped with a commitment to the development of the art form and backed by a small but fiscally aggressive administrative structure, C+C demonstrates fearless artistic leadership backed by real community engagement.
After nine years as artistic director of the National Ballet of Canada (1996-2005), James Kudelka was named Citadel + Compagnie’s resident choreographer in 2008. This relationship has allowed Kudelka to revisit some of his finest works and made way for challenging new contemporary creations. The presence of Kudelka’s work at Citadel + Compagnie has also expanded the company’s public recognition, and increased audiences eager to see the work of one of the country’s finest choreographers.
Artistic Director Laurence Lemieux continues to refine her choreographic vision, having created over twenty-five works including Interiors, Les paradis perdus, and Looking for Elvis. From explosive, intimate pieces like Love me out of it (which she performed with iconic Canadian punk band Teenage Head), to large scale works like Jusqu’a Vimy, that toured to France for the 100th anniversary of the battle, Lemieux continues to explore the extraordinary range of her choreographic voice through the company.
Under Lemieux’s leadership Citadel + Compagnie’s mandate of community outreach and engagement has deepened exponentially. Working with the community, the company offers free studio access to some key neighbourhood initiatives, including the Toronto Police Force 51 Division’s youth and hip-hop program, the Regent Park School of Music, and Toronto Council Fire’s Indigenous dance program, First Fire. First Fire provides traditional dance education to local First Nations youth, focusing on reconciliation and learnings of First Nations people’s culture and traditions. These collaborations build strong relationships in the community, and The Citadel has become a safe space for youth to gather and explore their creativity.
Recently, Citadel + Compagnie has been awarded four Dora Mavor Moore Awards for musical composition, lighting design and choreography. The company was named NOW magazine’s Best Dance Company in Toronto’s Readers Choice category and its performance of Kudelka’s Soudain, l’hiver dernier at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival garnered The Bank of Scotland Herald Angels Award, set to reward performers, producers, venues or artists for their achievements during the Fringe.
C+C encourages artistic risk and innovation through its performing arts series, Bright Nights, curated by Lemieux. With residencies, workshops and performance opportunities, Bright Nights is entering its fourth season and showcases diverse performances from a wide-range of Canadian dance artists from emerging choreographers like Toronto’s Michael Caldwell and Nipissing First Nation’s Penny Couchie, to established choreographers, like Serge Bennathan and Tedd Robinson. The series takes place in Regent Park, at The Citadel: Ross Centre for Dance.
Under Lemieux’s leadership C+C’s mandate of community outreach and engagement has deepened exponentially. C+C provides dance classes for children and youth through its Citadel Dance Program (and provides scholarships for Regent Park Youth) and the company offers free studio access to key neighbourhood initiatives, including the Toronto Police Force 51 Division’s youth hip-hop program, the Regent Park School of Music, and Toronto Council Fire’s Indigenous dance program, First Fire. First Fire provides traditional dance education to local First Nations youth, focusing on reconciliation and of First Nations people’s culture and traditions. Through these collaborations, The Citadel has become a safe space for youth to gather and explore their creativity.
Led by artistic director, Laurence Lemieux, Citadel + Compagnie creates, produces and presents works on local, national and international scales, engaging in the following activities:
- The creation and production of original works of dance that are both innovative and accessible to the widest public possible.
- Support and create new works by resident choreographer, James Kudelka, and artistic director, Laurence Lemieux
- The preservation of important Canadian dance work (particularly work by resident choreographer James Kudelka) through remount initiatives and passing on the repertoire to a new generation of dancers.
- The presentation of new and remounted works in Regent Park, across Canada, and abroad.
- The cultivation and rejuvenation of the contemporary dance art form through the performing arts series Bright Nights.
- The nurturing of new and emerging choreographic voices by facilitating workshops, residencies, and performing opportunities.
- The delivery of free dance education to youth living in Regent Park through the Citadel Dance Program.
- The inclusion of marginalized dance forms (traditional Indigenous dance, hip-hop, etc.) at The Citadel through free studio access.
- The prioritizing of First Nations dance development through our inclusion of Toronto Council Fire’s Youth programs.