Winnipeg's Contemporary Dancers Turn 40 in 2004
Throughout its 40-year history, Winnipeg’s Contemporary
Dancers has made a distinctive contribution to the
evolution of contemporary dance in Canada. WCD has produced
numerous dance artists, choreographers and teachers who
have established distinguished careers in the field of
contemporary dance. WCD has also been instrumental in
introducing scores of artists to audiences in Winnipeg,
Canada, the U.S. and Mexico.
Founding Artistic Director Rachel Browne continues to
maintain a close connection to the company. Her
significant contributions to the art form and Winnipeg
cultural life have been recognized with her appointment as
a Member of the Order of Canada in 1997, her receipt of the
prestigious Jean A. Chalmers Award for Creativity in Dance
in 1995, the Canada Council for the Arts’ Jacqueline
Lemieux Prize in 2001 and the Great-West Life Lifetime
Artistic Achievement Award in 2001.
A highlight for the company was
the founding of the Professional Program of the School of
Contemporary Dancers (SCD) in 1972. Currently in its
29th year, SCD has fed the local and national dance
community by providing young dance artists of exceptional
calibre, while at the same time offering superior teaching
and training methodologies.
Tom Stroud joined the company in
1991 as Artistic Director, and since that time has ensured
the company has continued its legacy as a vital part of the
Canadian dance community. Today, as a
multi-choreographer multi-task company, Winnipeg’s
Contemporary Dancers has evolved into a company with clear,
focused artistic objectives that weave together to form a
Over the past ten years, Stroud’s
artistic plan has resulted in a number of exciting
collaborative projects, including ARTHUR HILL (1993) with
the Randy Glynn Dance Project, JOE (1994) with the
Fondation Jean-Pierre Perreault (Montréal) and Dancemakers
(Toronto); and SHIFT (1995), with the Winnipeg Art Gallery.
Noted for his emotionally charged
choreography, Stroud has added a number of new works to
WCD's repertoire: SONGS (1992), BROKEN SYMMETRY (1993),
COMPANY (1994), R & J ... 21 SCENES FOR ROMEO AND JULIET
(1995), THE LAST SLEEP OF THE VIRGIN (1995), SHIFT (1995),
THE RAFT (1997), ARROWS (1997), THE GARDEN (2001), EL RÍO
(2002) and in May 2003, VUELTA.
On June 1, 2002 Winnipeg's
Contemporary Dancers moved into a new home in the Exchange
District’s historic Ashdown Hardware Building, establishing
the organization’s permanent place within the cultural
fabric of Winnipeg.
2004 is the 40th Anniversary of
WCD. Highlights include performances of Stroud’s stunning
2001 success THE GARDEN, and GRANDES DAMES IN DANCE,
featuring recent works by Founding Artistic Director Rachel
Browne and long-time WCD Associate Stephanie Ballard.