One of Canada’s most respected dance artists and the Artistic Director of Toronto Dance Theatre (TDT), Christopher House was presented with the Silver Ticket Award at the 33rd Annual Dora Mavor Moore Awards, held Monday evening, June 25, 2012 at Toronto’s St. Lawrence Centre for the Arts in the Bluma Appel Theatre.
Since 1980, the Silver Ticket Award has been bestowed to an individual who has excelled in their own career while also nurturing the development of Canadian theatre. Presented by the Toronto Alliance for the Performing Arts (TAPA), the Silver Ticket Award winner is selected by a committee of previous winners and entitles the recipient to a lifetime of theatre tickets to any TAPA member company production.
A major contributor to Canada’s dance landscape for over three decades, Christopher House’s artistic influence has been immeasurable. Artistic Director of TDT since 1994 (rising from company dancer in 1979 and Resident Choreographer in 1981), he has enriched the Canadian dance community with his unique dance compositions and has mentored countless dancers. He is an accomplished performer, choreographer, teacher and administrator who is deeply curious about the world around him, revealing its complexities with an expressive and mature movement vocabulary that relentlessly pushes the art form of dance in new, more contemporary ways of communicating.
House has kept Toronto Dance Theatre at the forefront of the contemporary dance scene in Canada. The intelligence, passion and imagination that he brings to his prolific artistic practice is bar none. He has contributed over sixty works to the TDT repertoire including his recent choreographies Rivers (2012), Pteros Tactics (2010), Dis/(sol/ve)r (2009) and the “annotated remount” Nest Redux (2010).
At TDT, House has shown a deep commitment to the development of emerging choreographers. The choreographic development platform Four at the Winch has seen eleven installments and featured works by such artists as Peter Chin, Matjash Mrozewski, Sasha Ivanochko, Nova Bhattacharya and Andrea Nann. He has showcased new ideas and created opportunities for international collaborative exchange, with The Berlin/Toronto Project in 2009 and The Paris/Toronto Project in 2011. These initiatives offered Toronto audiences the unique opportunity to engage with innovative voices from global dance scenes.
He has created works for the ballet world and contemporary dance community, both at home and abroad including Lisbon’s Ballet Gulbenkian, the National Ballet of Canada, Montreal’s Les Grands Ballets Canadiens and Ballet British Columbia, among others, and directed two collaborations with Toronto musicians Joel Gibb and The Hidden Cameras.
As a performer, Christopher House has enjoyed a celebrated career on stage performing in the choreography of a variety of artists such as David Earle, James Kudelka, Mark Morris, Sarah Chase and Deborah Hay as well as often appearing in his own works. House has participated three times as a dancer in the Solo Performance Commissioning Project with Deborah Hay in Findhorn, Scotland. He premiered his adaptation of News by Deborah Hay in 2006, presented five performances of this solo at the Canada Dance Festival in 2008 and performed his adaptation of Hay’s At Once in London and Brighton, UK, in December 2011.
As a dance instructor and advisor, Christopher House is in demand across Canada and frequently travels to give workshops and teach. Artistic Advisor of the Professional Training Program of The School of Toronto Dance Theatre, House has taught technique, improvisation, repertoire and creative process at The School of TDT and at such institutions as the Juilliard School, Rotterdam Dansacademie, Jacob’s Pillow, and at Ryerson, Simon Fraser and York Universities. House is also an Associate Dance Artist of Canada’s National Arts Centre. He has served on the Strategic Planning Committee of the National Ballet School, and, over the past decade, has mentored two young dance interns each season, many who have been invited to join the company.
As well as three Dora Mavor Moore Awards for Outstanding New Choreography (Timecode Break, Artemis Madrigals and Green Evening, clear & warm), House has received the Muriel Sherrin Award for International Achievement in Dance in October 2009, and was made an honorary doctor of letters by Memorial University in his home province of Newfoundland in May 2010. He now becomes the first Toronto dance artist to be celebrated with the Silver Ticket Award.
The Dora Mavor Moore Awards is a program of the Toronto Alliance for the Performing Arts (TAPA). TAPA is an arts service organization that represents nearly 200 professional theatre, dance and opera companies in Toronto. In addition to the Doras, other programs and services provided by TAPA include: T.O. TIX – Toronto’s Official One Stop Ticket Shop at Yonge-Dundas Square and online at http://www.totix.ca; Toronto’s official Theatre Guide; hipTIX, offering $5 tickets to students; citySPECIAL; the Commercial Theatre Development Fund; and the Travel Retreat Initiatives Program. For more information visit www.tapa.ca and www.totix.ca