Here's to 25 More Years!

Featured Story: Kaeja d'Dance

November 2014

Photo by Diana Renelli, ‘A Wink o’Kerrs’ from Porch View Dances. Choreographed by Karen Kaeja, performed by the Kerr-Wyncoll Family

Formed in 1991 by husband-and-wife duo Karen and Allen Kaeja, Kaeja d’Dance is one of Canada’s longest-standing contemporary dance companies. The work is personal, invigorating, highly physical and exploratory. Always experimenting with new ways of performance and audience engagement, Kaeja developed the very popular site specific series Porch View Dances where neighbouring families perform choreographed dances on their front porches.

Kaeja’s involvement in site specific work led to the creation of Stability in Transition, a series of three performances held in the historic Montgomery’s Inn in September 2014. Eight choreographers worked with a total of 20 performers, who filled the Inn with dance that aimed to highlight the permanence of the over 180-year-old building in the continuously changing landscape of the City. Observers were guided throughout the grounds as they passed dancers in hallways, and watched performances within small rooms. What resulted was unique opportunity for audience members to feel, understand, and walk among a moving interpretation of the concrete walls that surrounded them. 

Stability in Transition was made possible thanks to Toronto Arts Council’s Animating Historic Sites and Museums Strategic Iinitiatives grant. The program was created in partnership with City of Toronto Museum Services to provide opportunities for artists to engage with site-specific histories and local communities in unique and inspiring spaces.

Kaeja d’Dance has received operating funding from Toronto Arts Council since 2000, and the company continues to thrive; this year marks their 25th anniversary. In addition to developing new work, Kaeja is currently working hard on expanding their outreach activities for new and current audiences. We look forward to seeing more from Kaeja d’Dance over the next 25 years.