By Mary Jane Warner
In May, 1822, a newspaper advertisement in the Town of York, Upper Canada, later to become Toronto, informed readers that Mrs. Cockburn, would be including dance in her school's curriculum.
Over the next 100 years, dance would evolve through a fascinating array of styles and techniques ranging from fancy dress balls, to enthusiastic physical culturists, to an energetic ballet scene and the beginnings of modernism.
The 1917 Bolshevik Revolution changed ballet as defectors emigrated and Canada got its share of these Russian dancers/teachers whose influence permanently established ballet as a profession.
Author Mary Jane Warner uncovers the evolution of dance in Toronto - typical of many Canadian cities in the 19th and early 20th centuries. From Halifax to Victoria dance had its exponents and was held in high social regard until the fin de siècle when "rag time" and vaudeville turned the tables. Pavlova returned dance to respectability and into "art". A surprising read. Warner has clearly identified the dance teachers who laid the groundwork for today's bustling dance scene.
About the Author
Mary Jane Warner is a professor in the Department of Dance, Faculty of Fine Arts, York Univesrity, Toronto. She teaches courses in dance education, history and movement analysis. Among her many research projects, Dr. Warner has developed the CD-Rom Shadow on the Prairie: An Interactive Multimedia Dance History Tutorial with colleague Norma Sue Fisher-Stitt.
Toronto Dance Teachers: 1825-1925
Softcover, 8" x 10", 100 pp., 47 illustrations and photographs, Index, and list of 102 dance teachers in Toronto