Freedom is a twenty-six-episode documentary series that takes the viewer into the subculture of Canadian dance through the exploration of work by leading-edge dance artists. Robert Desrosiers’s innovative approach complements the edgy, contemporary, cinematic offering. His insightful interviews and participation in the rehearsal process provides a candid behind-the-scenes look at the contemporary dance landscape from Vancouver to Toronto to Montreal to the Yukon Territory.
ROBERT DESROSIERS, brilliant dancer in his own right, gained international renown as a choreographer of startling imagination and originality. He studied at Canada’s National Ballet School and danced briefly with The National Ballet of Canada before continuing to perform and train in France, England, the U.S. and Canada.
He was unwilling to settle long in any one company and instead began to develop his own choreographic ideas, which found full expression in the creation of Desrosiers Dance Theatre in 1980. Desrosiers’s work was quickly acclaimed for its unique blend of movement, décor, music, film/video, song, speech and inventive stage effects. In 2001, the Danny Grossman Dance Company revived Desrosiers’s Bad Weather from 1982.
Desrosiers has been a guest artist with Ryerson Theatre School and in 2007 he premiered Rendezvous, a commission from Ballet Jörgen Canada with a score by Eric Cadesky. Desrosiers won the Jacqueline Lemieux Prize in 1980 and the Jean A. Chalmers Award in Choreography in 1985. In 2012 he worked with the School of Toronto Dance Theatre as a guest artist.
Freedom with Robert Desrosiers
26 programs at 24 minutes each
- THE HOLY BODY TATTOO – Based in the West Coast, The Holy Body Tattoo’s performances are highly charged, physically challenging, and sexually raw.
- LOLA DANCE – Prior to her death, Lola MacLaughlin’s Vancouver-based company was celebrated throughout North America. MacLaughlin’s academic background and attention to detail have had clear influences on her choreographic style.
- CORPUS – Sylvie Bouchard and David Danzon bring their combined theatrical and dance backgrounds to the stage to entertain audiences around the world.
- PETER CHIN – Peter Chin’s combined talents in choreography, classical piano and art direction have made him a highly respected
member of the international dance community.
- RUBBERBANDANCE – Victor Quijada, founder of RUBBERBANDance, has successfully melded his love of hip hop with classical ballet to create a dance form that is as much at home on the street as it is on the stage.
- LES 7 DOIGHTS DE LE MAIN (THE SEVEN FINGERS OF THE HAND) – This talented group of ex-Cirque de Soleil performers collectively directs and choreographs an interactive theatrical
experience involving some highly acrobatic dance performances.
- LE FILS D’ADRIEN DANSE – Harold Rhéaume, dancer and choreographer with Le Fils d’Adien Danse, plays an active role in championing the Québec City dance community, which has earned him recognition both locally and nationally.
- SYLVAIN ÉMARD – A veteran of Montreal’s vibrant dance scene, Sylvain Émard’s meticulous attention to movement and set design has won him the affection and loyalty of audiences from around the world.
- LINK – Based in Whitehorse, Gail Lotenberg’s works are inspired by her perceptions on man and nature and have won over arts lovers in one of Canada’s most northern communities.
- PRO ARTE DANZA – Roberto Campanella, the creative force behind ProArteDanza, combines his classical training and street smarts to choreograph work that has a super-charged element of passion.
- KAEJA D’DANCE – Pushing the envelope on stage, in film and in life, Allen and Karen Kaeja have succeeded in merging their business prowess and dance skills to create Kaeja d’Dance.
- KIDD PIVOT – Crystal Pite’s imaginative works have taken the art of dance into the realm of theatre with dramatic and comedic twists and turns.
KOKORO – Based on the Japanese performance art of butoh, Jay Hirabayashi and Barbara Bourget have developed a company whose works mesmerize audiences.
- SANTEE SMITH/KAHA : WI – Santee Smith has combined ballet and traditional aboriginal dance to create a hybrid of breathtaking choreography based on her passion for storytelling.
- LOUISE BÉDARD DANSE – Louise Bédard, a veteran of Montreal’s dance scene, brings a multilayered sense of depth to her choreography, creating a form of “human collage.”
- LE GROUPE DANCE LAB – Peter Boneham, at an age when most people were well into retirement, tirelessly continued to encourage emerging talents to push their choreographic boundaries.
- ANNE TROAKE – Anne Troake, a Newfoundland-based choreographer, uses her home and keen sense of humour as inspiration for her highly original work.
- BATTERY OPERA – Lee Su-Feh and David McIntosh mesh modern dance, martial arts, folk songs and opera to create their own unique
- JENN GOODWIN – Jenn Goodwin, Toronto-based choreographer, explores political and social themes in the context of environmental
- WILLIAM YONG – Toronto-based dancer, William Yong’s dynamic range of experience provides inspiration for his choreographic work.
- MICHAEL TRENT – Dancer/choreographer Michael Trent has spent two decades building a career that includes over twenty works. He
continues to contribute to the Toronto dance community as the artistic director of Dancemakers.
- SASHA IVANOCHKO – Sasha Ivanocko was described as “one of the powerhouses of the Toronto Dance Theatre” and is now regarded as a stellar choreographer in her own right.
- YASMINA RAMZY – Yasmina Ramzy’s belly dance company, Arabesque, fuses the ancient style with contemporary esthetics.
- JENNIFER ROBICHAUD – Jennifer Robichaud combines her love of both contemporary and break dance in her choreography for Toronto-based dance company, Larchaud Dance.
- ROGER SINHA – Roger Sinha’s Montreal-based Sinha Danse takes inspiration from the martial arts in providing a dynamic and physical dance experience.
- PIERRE-PAUL SAVOIE – Multi-disciplinary artist, Pierre Paul Savoie