Winnipeg Contemporary Dancers, Rachel Browne, Stephanie Ballard
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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 comprehensive vision.

 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.

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