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Three Distinguished Hosts and an Astounding Cast of Toronto’s Dance Luminaries Pay Tribute to the 25th Anniversary and Grand Re-Opening of the Premiere Dance Theatre

TORONTO, August 21, 2008Harbourfront Centre is excited to announce the line up and programme for 25, the Premiere Dance Theatre's 25th Anniversary, presented by BMO Financial Group. For three days, September 25-27, 2008, the Premiere Dance Theatre will host a veritable who’s who of Toronto’s leading dance artists in a weekend of completely original performances in the newly refurbished theatre.

Harbourfront Centre is also thrilled to announce three exceptional hosts for this once-in-a-lifetime celebration. Karen Kain, Director of the National Ballet will host the Gala Performance on Thursday, September 25 with Albert Schultz, Artistic Director of Soulpepper Theatre to host Friday, September 26 and Christopher House, Artistic Director of Toronto Dance Theatre to host Saturday, September 27. All performances start at 8:00 p.m. Tickets for each performance are available for $25 through the Harbourfront Centre box office by phone at 416-973-4000 or online at

Twenty-five of Toronto’s world-class artists are scheduled to perform throughout the weekend, an unprecedented gathering of the city’s foremost dancers who have called the Premiere Dance Theatre their home over the last quarter century.

The incredible artists confirmed to perform for the three day tribute are just as unique and culturally diverse as the city of Toronto. With Margie Gillis, Michael Trent of Dancemakers, Peter Chin of Tribal Crackling Wind, Esmeralda Enrique of Esmeralda Enrique Spanish Dance Company, Charmaine Headley from the Collective of Black Artists (COBA), Allen Kaeja and Karen Kaeja of Kaeja D’dance, Toronto Dance Theatre alumni Graham McKelvie and Learie McNicolls, Lata Pada of Sampradaya Dance Creations, Menaka Thakkar of Menaka Thakkar Dance, Patrick Parson of Ballet Creole, Martine Van Hamel of NDT3 and David Earle of Dancetheatre – just to name a few. With artistic luminaries of this calibre, these monumental performances will surely become the foundation for the legacy of the Premiere Dance Theatre to maintain its place at the summit of contemporary dance in Toronto.

From the Horse’s Mouth Artistic Directors, Toronto native Jamie Cunningham and New Yorker Tina Croll, in partnership with Harbourfront Centre, will pool curatorial and artistic resources to create stunning, one-of-a-kind performances with these outstanding dancers and choreographers of all ages and traditions to commemorate the legacy of the venue by telling their respective personal stories through dance.

In each performance 25-30 dancers of all ages participate. Each dancer tells a brief personal story from their life and performs a 16-count movement through a loose framework called “structured improvisation”, occasionally following direction by means of notes that they read on stage. The stories range from humorous to poignant and reveal personal moments of loss, joy, frustration, and triumph. Small groups of four dancers perform in turn, speaking, shuffling and interacting before the next group takes the stage.

Harbourfront Centre gratefully acknowledges the generous support of the Department of Canadian Heritage in the refurbishment of the Premiere Dance Theatre.


Media Contact: Cary Mignault | 416-973-4655 |

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