Category Archives: Uncategorized

locus plot dancer: Sahara Morimoto

And last, but definitely not least, it’s time to meet Sahara Morimoto. Over the past few weeks we’ve been getting to know each of the five dancers in locus plot. If this is your first time reading, be sure to scroll down to the beginning to meet Sarah Fregeau, Sean Ling, Kate Holden and Ric Brown.
Since joining Peggy Baker Dance Projects as Artistic Associate in 2008, Sahara has worked closely with Peggy and has taught at the August Intensive for the past four years. She participated in the Choreographer’s Trust Year Three (Unfold and Brute), and performs in Peggy’s works Aleatoria, Aleatoric Solo No. 1, coalesce, Encoded Revision, Geometry of the Circle, land / body / breath, move, Night Garden, Piano/Quartet, Split Screen Stereophonic, Sylvan Quartet, Yang and The Perfect Word.

SaharaSahara

PBDP: On your way to rehearsal, what are you listening to?
SM: I go through phases, so no one in particular. Currently I’ve been going back and forth between Damien Rice, Balkan Beat Box, and Reynaldo Hahn.

What’s your favourite snack?
I think all of PBDP dancers can agree on chocolate. Especially the dark ones:)

Where are you from originally?
Tokyo, Japan

If you could live anywhere in the world, where would it be?
Here, there, and everywhere…!

Tell me about your first dance class.
My parents didn’t want me to wear “girlish” clothes and styled me to have a chique look instead. The colour pallet of my wardrobe was mainly black, white, grey, brown, khaki, beige … no red nor pink with exception of one long sleeve red shirt, and black sweater with pink letters on it. I secretly was dreaming to dress in girly outfits but was too shy to ask for it, so I was heavenly excited in my first dance class to wear the “assigned” pink tights, pink ballet slippers, and pink leotard with skirt!!!

Be sure to catch all of our incredible dancers in locus plot, April 24 – May 3. 

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locus plot dancer: Sarah Fregeau

We only have two dancers left to meet, which means locus plot opens soon. April 24 to be exact.  Now it’s time to find out a bit more about the fabulous Sarah Fregeau. Sarah’s repertoire with Peggy Baker Dance Projects includes Aleatoria, Night GardenSplit Screen Stereophonic, land/body/breath and The Perfect Word

SarahSarah

PBDP: On your way to rehearsal, what are you listening to?
SF: Lately, Jennifer Castle’s album You Can’t Take Anymore… it’s so calming and beautiful.

Do you have any pets?
Not unless the mice in my house count 😉

What’s your favourite snack?
Homemade popcorn with LOTS of butter.

Where are you from originally?
Owen Sound, Ontario – actually I grew up outside of the town for the first five years of my life. My family lived in an old farm-house on a property between two farms. So I grew up surrounded by cows and hay bails and country roads.

If you could live anywhere in the world, where would it be?
Well that’s a tough question. I think I may end up back in the country eventually, but until then, I’d love to spend some time in Amsterdam, and to see Scotland, where my ancestors are from.

What would be the title of your biography?
I don’t think that will ever happen (writing a biography – this is not the title!)

What’s the last thing you tried to DIY?
I de-molded and re-painted my bathroom last summer.
Still no signs of mold = success!!

Tell us about your first dance class.
I can’t say I remember but I’m sure it involved a lot of running around and my poor teacher trying to get me and others to sit and point our feet in a circle.

Seeing as this is a show influenced by math – a math question! What is the square root of pi?
Well, I googled it, and in searching for the answer I discovered a baking blog called squarerootofpie.com, and that’s pretty much where my search ended. I discovered that the answer is Chocolate Chip Pineapple Banana Bread and called it a day.

Stay tuned for our final interview with Sahara Morimoto. And be sure to catch all of our dancers in locus plot, April 24 – May 3. 

locus plot dancer : Sean Ling

We’ve already met Ric Brown, and Kate Holden, two of the five fabulous dancers in locus plot, opening April 24.  Although he is no stranger to PBDB, may we now introduce, Sean Ling! Sean’s repertoire with Peggy Baker Dance Projects includes move, Aleatoria, Aleatoric Duet No. 2, Night Garden, interior with moving figures,  coalesce, Piano / QuartetSplit Screen Stereophonic and stone leaf shell skin

SeanSean

PBDP: On your way to rehearsal, what are you listening to?
SL: TRAFFIC.  I’m a commuter cyclist and keep my ears free so I have a better sense of the traffic around me.

Do you have any pets?
I have a cat and a dog. Our cat is very sweet, excellent with children who drag her around and very demanding of affection at 3 am.  Our dog is a Polish Sheepdog and excellent at sitting there and guarding.  My family calls him a marauder, because he devours food or anything that looks like food, in an instant.

What’s your favourite snack?
Pastry with an espresso.

Where are you from originally?
Summerside, PEI.

If you could live anywhere in the world, where would it be?
Canada.

What would be the title of your biography?
Other people’s dances.

Which actor would play you in a movie?
The bald one.

What’s the last thing you tried to DIY?
Replace an electrical switch on a lamp.  It worked.

Tell us about your first dance class.
Me, adult beginner age 18, in a class of 12 year-year old girls. Teacher with her hand between my knees, telling me that I should have my legs so tight together that she wouldn’t be able to pull her hand out.  I have very ticklish knees.

Seeing as this is a show influenced by math – a math question! What is the square root of pi?
I am not good at math. My answer would be sweet potato pie in a square pan. Yum.

Stay tuned for interviews with, Sarah Fregeau and Sahara Morimoto. And be sure to catch them in locus plot, April 24 – May 3. 

locus plot dancer: Kate Holden

locus plot, Peggy Baker Dance Projects upcoming main stage show will open April 24. Before it begins, let’s get to know our dancers a little more! Last week we met Ric Brown. Next up is Kate Holden. Kate’s repertoire with Peggy Baker Dance Projects includes Brahms Waltzes, coalesce, Night Garden and land / body / breath

KateKate

PBDP: On your way to rehearsal, what are you listening to?
KH: I only listen to something if I have to travel during rush hour – to try and give myself a barrier from other people’s stress and rush. Recently I’ve been on a podcast kick and following a new NPR show called “Invisibilia“. If I’m travelling at other times of the day I prefer to listen to the city.

Do you have any pets?
My husband and I have a funny little dog named Sam. She’s a poodle mutt and ball full of love. She’s ridiculously affectionate and more than  a little neurotic.

What’s your favourite snack?
Healthy: handful of a really good dried fruit and nut mix,
Unhealthy: chips chips chips!

Where are you from originally?
Toronto. Bloor West Village to be specific.

If you could live anywhere in the world, where would it be?
By the ocean somewhere a little warmer.

What would be the title of your biography?
I think someone else would come up with a better title – they’re writing it anyway right?

Which actor would play you in a movie?
Kirsten Dunst (whom I’ve been mistaken for a number of times) – but I think she would need a dancer double for the big dance scenes.

KateKirsten

What’s the last thing you tried to DIY?
I re-purposed/retrofitted some light fixtures for our apartment.

Tell us about your first dance class.
I don’t remember it as it was some movement and music class when I was really young- but when I started learning ballet, Pia Bouman was my first teacher, when her space was on Queen West close to Roncesvalles in an old church hall.

Seeing as this is a show influenced by math – a math question! What is the square root of pi?
I just looked this up on Google and found that Pi is irrational and so does not have a definitive square root but can be estimated at 1.77……. it is also transcendental and you can’t square a circle. Which I may have known at one point in my life but I certainly didn’t recall it. I used to be at least competent in math at school but I admit to being awfully slow at some pretty basic functions now. There are too many other interesting things to work at being good at. I love that a number can be irrational and transcendental.

Stay tuned for interviews with Sean Ling, Sarah Fregeau and Sahara Morimoto. And be sure to catch them in locus plot, April 24 – May 3. 

locus plot dancer: Ric Brown

In preparation for locus plot, we wanted to get to know each of our fabulous dancers a little bit more. First up is Ric Brown. Ric’s repertoire with Peggy Baker Dance Projects includes move, Night Garden, Piano/Quartet, Split Screen Stereophonic, stone leaf shell skin, and land / body / breath

RicRic

PBDP: On your way to rehearsal, what are you listening to?
RB: On my iPod I flip from, Linda Ronstadt: Greatest Hits vol.2, Duffy: Rockferry, Cyndi Lauper: She’s So Unusual, Kim Stockwood: 12 Years Old, Susan Boyle: Someone to Watch Over Me, Lady Antebellum: Need You Now, Gwen Stefani: Love Angel Music Baby

Do you have any pets?
No pets, love dogs.

What’s your favourite snack?
Addicted to Lays plain potato chips.

Where are you from originally?
I was born in Sarnia Ontario, grew up in Wallaceburg Ontario, parents still live in same house I grew up in.

If you could live anywhere in the world, where would it be?
I love living in Toronto, always wanted to be a part of the Stratford Festival doing Shakespeare so I would love to live there. Also I lived in New York for a summer and would definitely live there again.

What would be the title of your biography?
Biography, Just Ric, (cuz I dropped the Hard)

Which actor would play you in a movie?
Daniel Craig, because I love him!!!!

What’s the last thing you tried to DIY?
Re-covered 2 chair seats.

Tell us about your first dance class.
Took jazz in London Ontario in a studio in the basement of an old Biway store. music for going across the floor was Rhythm is a Dancer.

Seeing as this is a show influenced by math – a math question! What is the square root of pi?
Square root is 1.77 blah blah blah, there is no end. Actually wanted to be a math teacher until I took my first theatre class in grade 10, then I wanted to be an actor doing Shakespeare!!!!

Stay tuned for interviews with Sean Ling, Kate Holden, Sarah Fregeau and Sahara Morimoto. And be sure to catch them in locus plot, April 24 – May 3

Explore the soundscapes of land/body/breath at the August Intensive

If you joined us at the AGO for our performances of land | body | breath, you heard the beautiful soundscapes created by vocalist Fides Krucker. As the August Intensive quickly approaches, Fides shares her overwhelming experience of working with Peggy and the dancers, and what she will be exploring with the participants in her Vocal Exploration workshop.

Eight dancers are moving through the intimate galleries of the Thomson Canadian Collection at the AGO – following the trail of folk songs that Ciara, my singing partner, and I are leaving behind. The acoustic is incredible and sung notes hang in the air forever, spreading and amplifying.

Sean Ling dances land / body / breath. Photo by Makoto Hirata.

Sean Ling dances land / body / breath. Photo by Makoto Hirata.

I am looking at some very famous paintings as I sing; I am honoured to be in the company of true celebrity. And as I move from room to room I see the unique and communicative topography of Sahara, and of Rick and of Andrea, as they inhabit space and gesture. I am finding it overwhelming to be this open…my breath and sound expanding…while taking in so much beauty. I try hard not to cry… but my job is to access all the resonators used in crying in order to sing! I want to touch paint and performer and public with my sound.

The piece is land | body | breath. Peggy has culled and curated choreographic phrases from her vast repertoire and they are the terrain the dancers are to inhabit and which we, the singers, will traverse. I marvel at the geography we all share. The Canadian wilderness, now muscle and bone and skin; breath flowing in and out, wind following the contour of northern shield and prairie grass.

Photo of Ben Kamino by Makoto Hirata

Photo of Ben Kamino by Makoto Hirata

Sarah, Kate, Sean, Ben, and Jessica join Andrea, Rick and Sahara in making sound. Spread through eight rooms they are now imitating the calls of birds – chirping, squawking, hearing each other, near and far. Pausing in their movement phrases to let their voices ring out. Birdsong turning the gallery into forest.

The coldness Canada is famous for is something to celebrate too. It tempers our daily experience and lives in our cellular inheritance. The dancers offer words along with with abstract ‘pioneer’ work gestures – frozen toes, red cheeks, mittens and gloves, avalanche, snowshoes, snowflakes, hot chocolate, snow angels, skates, fresh sparkling snow, snow, snow. Ecstatic winter.

They moan and lunge their way into the central gallery. Ciara and I have been waiting for them in this cathedral to Lauren Harris’ genius. We have howled like wind, and will continue as mosquitoes and babbling brooks, watching the dancers like hawks, melding our voices with their movement language, eventually providing some boreal beauty through a looped and luscious version of Gordon Lightfoot’s Railroad Trilogy. Thirty minutes later we have arrived at the essence of Canadian landscape sharing a gentle throat singing pattern that takes us into Neil Young’s Helpless.

Sarah Fregeau in land/body/breath.  Photo by Makoto Hirata.

Photo of Sarah Fregeau by Makoto Hirata.

There is a town in north Ontario,
With dream comfort memory to spare,
And in my mind
I still need a place to go,
All my changes were there.

Blue, blue windows behind the stars,
Yellow moon on the rise,
Big birds flying across the sky,
Throwing shadows on our eyes.
Leave us…Helpless, helpless, helpless

Baby can you hear me now?
The chains are locked
and tied across the door,
Baby, sing with me somehow.

In this summer’s intensive I will use the vocal material of land | body | breath as building blocks of improvisation. To get there we will learn how breath and voice function, explore our internal human geography, discovering what is unique to each person. We will construct families of sound, co-creating tableaus. Our work will join with Peggy’s work in the repertoire stream and we will have the opportunity to perform excerpts of land | body | breath for saturday night’s showing. Through this we can explore how voice and movement accompany one another in a variety of ways.

Fides Krucker has been an innovative interpreter of vocal music in Canada and abroad for 25 years. Her workshop in Vocal Exploration is offered as part of the Body & Breath Stream, or as an individual course in the August Intensive. Visit peggybakerdance.com to sign-up today.  Classes are filling up quickly!

Meredith Potter celebrated for leadership in arts administration!

mpheadshot2010We are THRILLED to announce that our incredible manager, Meredith Potter, is the 2014 recipient of the Leonard McHardy and John Harvey Award for Outstanding Leadership in Arts Administration.

Meredith has been a vital force for PBDP since 1999, and is an astounding administrator, mentor, and volunteer. In Peggy’s words, “I consider Meredith to be a primary collaborator. We dream, brainstorm, plan, organize, and work together on every facet of the company’s activity as true professional partners. Meredith’s commitment, imagination, and expertise has been crucial to the success of Peggy Baker Dance Projects.

THANK YOU, Meredith, for everything you do – and congratulations!

You can read the full press release about our fabulous manager at tapa.ca.