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Our People


Photo of Laurence Lemieux Photo by Aleksandar Antonijevic

Laurence Lemieux

Artistic Director

As artistic director of Citadel + Compagnie for nearly two decades, Laurence Lemieux has established herself as a leader within Toronto’s dance community. Her multi-faceted experience as a dancer, choreographer, teacher and presenter has guided the company’s mandate of community outreach and engagement and given rise to C+C’s distinctive artistic voice.    

Born in Québec City, Lemieux studied dance at L’École Supérieure de Danse du Québec, and at The School of Toronto Dance Theatre. Her performance career began when she joined Toronto Dance Theatre in 1986, dancing for founders David Earle, Peter Randazzo and Patricia Beatty, and later for Christopher House. A member of the company for 8 years, Lemieux’s 1998 performance in House’s Cryptoversa earned her the Dora Mavor Moore Award for Best Performance in Dance.

Over the course of her career, Lemieux has danced for some of Canada’s most prominent choreographers, including William Douglas, Margie Gillis, James Kudelka, Benoît Lachambre, Sylvain Émard, and Jean-Pierre Perreault. Since presenting her first choreography in 1983, Lemieux has created over thirty original works, drawing deeply on personal experiences that resonate strongly with audiences and presenters alike.

As an educator, Lemieux has taught at many respected institutions including Ryerson University, York University, Concordia University, the University of Quebec in Montreal, l’École Supérieure de Ballet Contemporain and Canada’s National Ballet School. Lemieux uses her cumulative artistic experience to inform her programming choices for the company’s multiple presentation series, showcasing the work of diverse talent from emerging, marginalized and established choreographers.

In 2012, Lemieux created the Citadel Dance Program and brought high quality, accessible dance classes to children and youth living in Toronto’s Regent Park. She is a passionate advocate for the arts and is a member on the board of Daniel Leveillé Danse in Montreal.

Lemieux’s satisfaction as an artist comes from sharing her passion and talent with dance audiences and students, and as a deeply engaged and active member of the dance community.


Photo of Kaitlin Standeven Photo by John Lauener

Kaitlin Standeven

General Manager (on maternity leave)

Dancer and administrator, Kaitlin Standeven, has been C+C’s general manager since 2019, having been mentored by artistic director Laurence Lemieux over the 2018/19 season. Coming to the role with over 15 years of professional performance experience, Standeven brings with her an intimate knowledge of the Toronto dance community and personal understanding of the administrative navigation required by independent artists to support and develop their careers.

Over the last three years, Standeven has played an integral role in the development and management of many of C+C’s recent strategic initiatives including Night Shift, C+C’s Residency Program, Citadel LIVE and the redevelopment and rebranding of C+C’s website and streaming platform.

As a dancer Standeven spent eight seasons with Toronto Dance Theatre under the artistic direction of Christopher House, and has been greatly influenced by notable creators Susie Burpee, Deborah Hay, Ame Henderson and Heidi Strauss. Independently she has engaged in projects with Allison Cummings, tiger princess dance projects, Dusk Dances and Citadel + Compagnie, and aims to support, nurture and inspire through her multiple roles as a performer, teacher and facilitator. Standeven holds a BFA from Ryerson University.


Photo of Marianna Rosato Photo by Kristina Smith Photography

Marianna Rosato

Production Manager

A Toronto native, Marianna Rosato received her BFA as a graduate of Toronto Metropolitan University – where she now teaches Dance Stage Management. Marianna spent three years as the assistant stage manager for Toronto Dance Theatre before working as a freelance SM in Toronto.

During that time she stage managed works for Fujiwara Dance Inventions, Tiger Princess Dance Projects, Adelheid Dance Projects, BoucharDanse, Blue Ceiling Dance, the Older & Reckless series for Moonhorse Dance Theatre, the National Ballet School of Canada, the School of Toronto Dance Theatre, and many others. Outside of dance, Marianna spent 11 seasons as the Production Stage Manager for Mainstage Theatre Company. In 2014, Marianna began stage managing for Citadel + Compagnie, and after receiving a Metcalf internship, became the company’s Production Stage Manager in 2017.


Photo of Darynel Beckford Photo by Michael Moodie

Darynel Beckford

Digital Marketing Manager

Meet Darynel, our Digital Marketing Manager here at C+C! Darynel is a Communications Connoisseur and Digital Ninja by day and plant Dad around the clock. Although not a dancer, (but a mover) Darynel understands the importance and the role the artform plays in our society and has a deep appreciation for the discipline and its practitioners.


Photo of Mateo G. Torres Photo by German Prieto

Mateo G. Torres

Artistic Producer

Originally from Colombia, Mateo G. Torres is a multidisciplinary dance artist, choreographer, interpreter, educator and producer based in Toronto. He started his dance training in Bogota at an early age, and deepened his studies in the USA, Cuba, and Canada. As an interpreter, he has worked with a wide array of directors and choreographers, for live theatre, voice over and film. Since 2018, Mateo has worked with Aria Evans, Charles Smith, Danny Grossman, Debra Brown, Jacob Niedzwiecki, Kaeja d’Dance, Kathleen Rea, Larchaud Dance Project, Peter Quanz, Nico Contreras, Sashar Zariff, Symphony Nova Scotia, Trevor Copp, The School of Cadence Ballet, and most recently the Stratford Festival.

Mateo has performed in Canada, Colombia, Cuba, Germany, Mexico, and Panama. As an educator, he has taught in multiple schools across Canada. Most recently, Mateo became faculty at the School of Toronto Dance Theatre. As a choreographer and creator, he has presented work in many Canadian cities including Montreal, Toronto and St John’s. His most recent work I:POLITICAL was presented by Citadel+Compagnie as a hybrid cinematic theatrical film. Mateo’s work is highly influenced by his Latin American background, often politically charged, and inspired by social subject matters. He fuses his eclectic movement training within his choreography creating a distinct movement quality.

On top of producing his own choreographic work, Mateo has helped shape works by different choreographers and companies such as Kaeja d’Dance, Michael Caldwell and Chimera Dance Theatre. He is now the Artistic Producer at Compagnie de la Citadelle.

Mateo is the founder and artistic director of GUETCHA GUARITCHA, a dance and performance company, whose call is “to find our essential truth, to connect with it, honour it, and to express ourselves from it”


Photo of Sierra Chin Sawdy

Sierra Chin Sawdy

Citadel Dance Program and Night Shift Coordinator

Sierra Chin Sawdy (she/her) is an independent dance artist and arts educator based in Tkaronto. Since graduating from Toronto Metropolitan University’s (formally Ryerson University) BFA Dance program, she has had the opportunity to work and perform with Alysa Pires Dance Projects, BoucharDanse, Brodie Stevenson, Citadel + Compagnie, Dancetheatre David Earle, Dusk Dances, Emma Kerson, Hanna Kiel, Peggy Baker Dance Projects, Aria Evans/Political Movement, Tiger Princess Dance Projects, and Toronto Heritage Dance. She has toured throughout Canada, China, Europe, Mexico and the UAE. To further develop her abilities, Sierra has trained across Canada, the United States, Israel, and Italy, working and creating with world-renowned artists.

She has toured throughout Canada, China, Europe, Mexico and the UAE. To further develop her abilities, Sierra has trained across Canada, the United States, Israel and Italy, working and creating with world-renowned teachers and choreographers.


Photo of Simon Rossiter Photo by David Leyes

Simon Rossiter

Financial Director

Simon Rossiter is primarily a lighting designer who occasionally designs scenery. A long-time collaborator with C+C, Simon Rossiter’s previous design work for the company includes A Perfect Day, Four Old Legs, #lovesexbrahms (Dora Award), Looking for Elvis (Dora nomination), and From the House of Mirth (Dora nomination). 

He has created more than 250 original designs, including works with Ballett am Rhein; Citadel + Compagnie; CôtéDanse; the National Ballet of Canada; Soulpepper Theatre Company; Théâtre français de Toronto; Toronto Dance Theatre; and he is the Lighting Director of Fall for Dance North. The recipient of three Dora Mavor Moore awards and nine nominations for Outstanding Lighting Design, Simon is also Business Agent for the Associated Designers of Canada, IATSE Local ADC659.


Photo of Rachana Joshi Photo by Nancy Thavaruban

Rachana Joshi

Box Office and Outreach Coordinator

Rachana Joshi is an emerging dance artist based in the GTA. After fourteen years of training, she completed her Bharatanatyam arangetram under the tutelage of Lata Pada in 2017. Rachana is currently a company dancer and teacher with Sampradaya Dance Creations and Academy. In 2019, she graduated from York University’s B.F.A program in Dance with honors and received training in Limon and Graham modern techniques through the program.

With the support of the Ontario Arts Council’s Skills and Career Development grant, Rachana was able to broaden her professional career with the guidance of Nova Bhattacharya, and she is now a company dancer with Nova Dance. She also had the opportunity to work as Bhattacharya’s Staging Assistant for Citadel + Compagnie’s production of Red & Yellow in 2019 and participated in Ukai Project’s Migration Online Residency in 2020 on behalf of the company. In 2021, Rachana was selected to take part in Peggy Baker Dance Project’s ACTION LAB online, and was fortunate to receive choreographic mentorship from Peggy Baker to develop and explore her creative practice during the pandemic. Rachana is currently focused on broadening her choreographic skills by creating own dance works and building multidisciplinary artistic collaborations for the future. Aside from Bharatanatyam, she is trained in various movement disciplines such as kallari, hip hop, bollywood, improvisation techniques and contemporary dance. Rachana joined the Citadel + Compagnie team in 2021 and currently acts as the Box Office and Outreach Manager for the company.


Photo of Tyler Gledhill Photo by Susan Czyzo

Tyler Gledhill

Development and Touring

Tyler Gledhill trained at Canada’s National Ballet School, The Pacific Northwest Ballet School and The Dutch National Ballet School. He began his career in The Netherlands, dancing for Introdans, followed by The Göteborg Ballet and Cullberg Ballet in Sweden. 

Now a freelance performer in Toronto, Tyler dances on stage and in film. He is a regular collaborator with Citadel + Compagnie, Hit & Run Dance Productions, Opera Atelier, Stacey Tookey’s Still Motion Dance, and The Dietrich Group, to name a few.

Tyler has been the development and tour manager since 2018, negotiating the company’s tours. He handled social media promotion up until 2021.


Photo of Morgyn Aronyk-Schell  Photo by Morgyn Aronyk-Schell

Morgyn Aronyk-Schell 

Bookkeeper

Morgyn (She/They) is a freelance contemporary dance artist and an arts educator for youth and seniors through Tiger Princess Dance Project’s ‘Moving Stories’, and ‘Swallowing Clouds’ programs. They are a co-creator of ‘Blank Space’, a series of movement-based community workshops.

She moved from Edmonton, AB to T’karonto to study at the School of Toronto Dance Theatre’s professional training program, graduating in 2019. Following graduation, they travelled to Mexico for a residency with La Escuela Profesional de Danza de Mazatlán. Since then, she has worked with Frog in Hand, Human Body Expression, Kaeja d’Dance, Peggy Baker, the Citadel + Compagnie, the wind in the leaves collective, and Tiger Princess Dance Projects, and has performed in Nextfest, the Toronto and Edmonton Fringe Festivals, InSitu, Dance Ontario DanceWeekend, SummerWorks and the Festival des arts de Saint-Sauveur. 


Photo of Kéïta Fournier-Pelletier Photo by Juliette Coleman

Kéïta Fournier-Pelletier

Facility Manager

Kéïta Fournier-Pelletier (she/they) is a queer, Métis, Franco-Manitoban dance artist currently based in Tkaronto, Ontario. They are discovering what these intersecting identities mean to them, and the role they play in her art.

They have performed and choreographed for festivals like the Skylines Film and Dance Series (2018), Toronto Fringe Festival (2019), SummerWorks Dance Festival (2020), Bloom Festival (2021) and Covid Dance Hug TO (2020). She has worked with artists like David Norsworthy, Aria Evans, Marc Boivin, Jennifer Dallas, Peggy Baker, Riley Sims, Marie Lambin-Gagnon and other distinguished artists. Kéïta has travelled to attend intensives like Dance Italia in Lucca, Italy, and the Rubberband Dance Intensive in Montreal. After graduating from the School of Toronto Dance Theatre, they joined SQx Dance Company, working with youth across Canada and internationally in Santa Maria, Azores, Portugal. She is also completing her BFA in dance at York University. They are excited to explore the world of freelancing as a choreographer and performer.


Photo of Barbara Simms Photo by Aidan Tooth

Barbara Simms

Communications Manager

Barbara Simms (she/they) is a dancer and performing artist currently based out of Tkaronto.

She has a strong desire to absorb as much knowledge as possible, and to deeply understand a variance of teachings and methodologies. Barbara is a 2021 graduate of the Performance Dance program at Toronto Metropolitan University. She is the co-founder of Off Course Footing, which operates with the goal of bringing site specific work out of the studio and to the general public.