The Citadel’s Residency Program builds on relationships that have been cultivated between The Citadel: Ross Centre for Dance and artists and organizations within the dance community to extend support beyond presentation, and foster creative practice through the allocation of space, time, and production and administration resources. Expanding on the company’s existing values of inclusion, collaboration, accessibility and trust, Citadel + Compagnie is furthering its impact by creating more space for more artists at its home, The Citadel: Ross Centre for Dance.
The Residency Program has been developed as part of a long-term structural transition in response to recent calls for social justice alongside adapting to the realities of investing in performance art during COVID-19. Citadel + Compagnie is excited by the program’s potential for the interlocking of communities to create an expanding network of artistic exchange within Toronto.
The Residency 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.
Syreeta Hector is a dance artist and educator in Toronto, Ontario. As a highly accomplished performer, Syreeta has worked for internationally recognized companies like Adelheid Dance Projects, Danny Grossman Dance Company, Political Movement, and Toronto Dance Theatre. She is a proud graduate of The National Ballet School’s Teacher Training Program, The School of Toronto Dance Theatre, and has achieved her Master of Arts in Dance Studies from York University.
Her work called “Black Ballerina” focuses on the dualities within one’s identity, along with Syreeta’s blackness and indigeneity in relationship to classical ballet. The short work in progress solo gained recognition at the SummerWorks Festival in 2019. Here, the piece won the Stratford Festival Lab Award for Research and Creation. The condensed version of the piece was also performed as part of Citadel Dance Mix 2019. Here, the performance was nominated for a Dora Mavor Moore Award.
The development of the full length version of “Black Ballerina” is taking place through the support of Citadel + Compagnie, Canadian Stage, and the Kaaitheatre.
“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!”
– Syreeta Hector
Photo Credit: David Leyes
Born in Changchun, China, Naishi Wang began with Chinese Classical dance and Chinese Folk dances training at Jilin College of Art. In 2004, he moved to Canada to attend The School of TDT. Subsequently, Naishi became a company member of Toronto Dance Theatre for nine years. In 2015, the award-winning performer was inspired to develop as an independent choreographer with a belief that the performing arts offer an imaginary perspective for the future. In 2018, he premiered his solo “Taking Breath” at The Citadel in Toronto, followed by a tour to Montréal, arts interculturels, and a German premiere at Monsun Theater (Hamburg, Germany). In 2019, Naishi was commissioned to create a work entitled “Free Steps” for Nostos Collective. Currently, Naishi is an artist in residency at La Serre – arts vivants in Montreal and is in collaboration with UK based artist Jean Abreu, supported by the Visiting Dance Artist program by the NAC.
“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.”
– Naishi Wang
Photo Credit: Hans Michael Lenz
adelheid creates dance and performance works centring on relationships: relationships between people, relationships with space, place and the environment, and our relationship with the current moment – the world we navigate together. We are interested in the questions dance inherently asks around human behaviour, and the potential performance has to shift perspectives, and allow for reflection. Collaborating with artists, considering audience experience, animating public space and integrating different media allows us to be constantly learning, and evolving our thinking and approach. Important to us is supporting others in our programming; we do this through Cohort (for makers integrating smartphones into creation) and re:research (for emerging dance creators).
adelheid is grateful to have had support of residencies at the Factory Theatre (2008-2012), The Theatre Centre (2013-2016), and Harbourfront Centre (2019). These opportunities gave space for Dora Award winning works like ‘this time’, and ‘what it’s like’ to be created.
“The Citadel has always felt to me like a centre for dance artists, like a home. Six months since this field was suspended by the pandemic, it feels hard to comprehend being in a space again, and surreal to imagine having a creative home at all, much less one that is providing a long overdue intersection for artistic exchange between Toronto artists. As I look ahead to the Creative Incubator opportunity, I recognize just how much Laurence Lemieux’s leadership considers generosity and community. And 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.”
– Heidi Strauss, Artistic Director, adelheid
Dancers Naishi Wang, Anna Finkel, Pulga Muchochoma and Lukas Malkowski
Photo Credit: Jeremy Mimnagh
Nova Dance brings new ideas to stages and sites, re-inventing the possibilities of the artform. The company breaks down conventions, encourages new talent and works with artists from many art forms and a multitude of backgrounds to create a community that celebrates the life-force of art in our lives.
The company presents critically acclaimed works and arts events, creating a context for an array of dance artists to take space with their art. Equity is in the DNA of Nova Dance, and we believe that bringing differences together always leads to greater things. The company is dedicated to creating meaningful points of intersection for dance and audiences; supporting artists; and celebrating the role of the arts in a vital society.
Founded by Nova Bhattacharya in 2008 the company has established a body of work that has garnered awards, international recognition, and most importantly made connections with audiences and communities.
“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.”
– Nova Bhattacharya, Artistic Director, Nova Dance
Dancers Neena Jayarajan, Sapna Sehravat, Supriya Nayak
Photo Credit: Dahlia Katz
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. The company creates within a three-pronged CRP model where Creative / Research / Presentation, is supported by further creative inquiry with the Critical Response Process pioneered by Liz Lerman and grounded in Collaboration, Representation and Partnerships. KasheDance finds inspiration from visual arts, music, mixed media and spoken word and is creatively and socially curious about how dance can fuel focused and progressive conversations around our practice while situating people and audiences in cross-cultural engagement. KasheDance’s production FACING Home: Love and Redemption was voted in Top 10 2015 performance in Madison, Wisconsin, in collaboration with the University of Wisconsin Madison Dance Department and has toured to ten cities in US, Canada and the Caribbean. The work was the featured performance event of the USVI, St. Croix Pride 2019.
“The relationship between Citadel + Compagnie came at an important milestone for KasheDance and also a moment of transition. The infamous question “How can we help” became a relationship that was seeded and growing over the past four years. KasheDance through this relationship, has found a space for sustained development, creative machinations, presentation; a home that greets all our international guest artists / choreographers. We are ecstatic at the organizational and creative potentials that can come from our relationship with Citadel + Compagnie.”
– Kevin A. Ormsby, Artistic Director, KasheDance
Photo Credit: Christopher Cushman
wind in the leaves collective
A relationship initiated in 2019, wind in the leaves collective will continue the presentation of its original series allies and friends.
The ‘wind in the leaves collective’ has developed a significant body of work over the past decade. Our unique approach to multi-disciplinary performance takes its lead from the artistic director’s poetry which is explored and choreographed by dancers, musicians and video artists. This collaboration across disciplines has been successful in engaging audiences and building a profile for this type of performance. The ‘collective’ is now staging performances with other artists that involve similar elements, i.e., connecting poetry with dance and music in creation and performance.
As the Presenter-in-Residence at The Citadel, selected artists will share the stage and advance the notion of poetry and dance as a seamless art form practiced by racialized and Indigenous artists and drawing from historic pre-colonial practices made contemporary.
“Citadel + Compagnie provides an accessible, intimate theatre space where artists explore the boundaries of performance that explore dance and its intersections with other disciplines. The Citadel has assembled an amazing artistic community that brings together diverse practices and exceptional performances by Indigenous, Black, People of Colour, Queer, disabled and other artistic practices. In valuing and supporting such creative expressions, the Citadel has taken the lead in staging beautiful, powerful and relevant works that speak to a wide-range of excellent artistry.”
– charles c. smith, artistic director, ‘wind in the leaves collective’
LEAD COMMUNITY PARTNER
Toronto Council Fire Native Cultural Centre
Citadel + Compagnie is deeply committed to working in partnership with its local community. Since 2016, The Citadel has hosted neighbour Toronto Council Fire’s Indigenous youth dance program, First Fire. Citadel + Compagnie looks forward to further developing this relationship, by providing access to film and livestream equipment for future community dance and music programming.
Toronto Council Fire Native Cultural Centre is an autonomous, vibrant cultural agency that involves and serves the Indigenous community with confidence for and commitment to their well-being. Council Fire’s mandate is to provide counselling, material assistance and other direct services to First Nations people as well as to encourage and enhance spiritual and personal growth.