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“A 25th Anniversary celebration – a double bill of a work by Karen and another by Allen. Karen looks back to childhood and Allen looks at the now. How can two partners, both artistically and in marriage, work together and each retain their own voice in the work they create onstage?”
– Lynanne Sparrow, Artistic Associate – Dance
Kaeja d’Dance kicks off its 25th anniversary year with world premieres by both Karen and Allen Kaeja that play with notions of fate, coincidence and choice. Karen Kaeja’s new quintet elicits an enigmatic and provocative take on the road map to love. It’s about coupling and the constant search for that perfect match – short term, long term and anything in-between. What makes us fall in and out of love — choice, timing or some mysterious random pattern of attraction? Taxi! embraces hope, laughter, hesitation, conflict and desire. Allen Kaeja’s .0 (point zero) is immediate. The result of any decision has a myriad of consequences. Are we ready? .0 is haunting. Continually rebounding and finding stability in a volatile environment. .0 is unpredictable. Supporting the impulsive, five dancers propel, distract, interfere and encourage each other’s choices through partial set choreography and partial improvisation. The distinction is erratic. .0 is now.
View Kaeja d’Dance’s season brochure here.
The core of Kaeja d’Dance is driven by the creation of new and original dance through the interconnected mediums of live performance, educational/community programming and dance on film. Led by Karen and Allen Kaeja, works address universal qualities of life and investigate the power of dance to elevate and unite the human spirit against physical, social and environmental obstacles.
We remain committed to social and artistic exploration, and utilizing the language of choreography — and the interrelated tributaries of performance, education and film — to incite a passion for movement and nurture a new appreciation for the richness of the human experience. The relentless core of passionate joy, stimulating ideas and intrigue inhabited by Karen and Allen Kaeja, inspires our vigorous commitment to the profession and community of dance. This is reflected in our consistent search to inform and invigorate the Kaeja d’Dance vision, and the future of dance and dance audiences, through educational projects for youth, professional dancers and educators, and through outreach activities for new and current audiences.
We believe our performances, screenings and education and outreach programs intrinsically weave together, contributing significantly to the artistic and organizational development of the Company, to the professional careers of our dancers, and to the education and enjoyment of our most important community partner, our audiences.
Dora Award-nominated performer, Karen Kaeja is co-artistic director of Kaeja d’Dance with Allen Kaeja. Her awards include the CDA “I Love Dance” Community Award for her vision of Porch View Dances and the Paul D. Fleck Fellowship for Innovation. A performer for stage and film, choreographer, educator and project instigator, Karen has been commissioned and presented by festivals and performance series around the world. Karen was appointed as the first resident dance artist for the Guelph Contemporary Dance Festival (2012) as well as Memorial University/Dance NFLD (2014), where she conceived, directed and completed many inspiring creations, collaborations and performances. Karen has been invited to participate in academic symposiums and conferences dialoguing the topic of dance as an avenue to move through trauma.
Allen Kaeja is an internationally recognized, award winning choreographer and filmmaker. Invited in 1981 by the Ontario Olympic Wrestling Federation to compete for “the team,” he chose dance as his career instead. He has created over 120 stage works, written two books and directed/choreographed for 26 films. Allen is Co-Artistic Director of Kaeja d’Dance with his wife Karen and co-founder of the CanAsian Dance Festival. He teaches master workshops in Kaeja Elevations worldwide, and his dances have been presented in festivals around the globe. Allen has received dozens of national and international commissions, including in Norway, Sweden, UK, India, USA, and Mexico. His Norwegian commission, Jericho, has been touring Scandinavia for two years. Allen was the International Guest Choreographer and judge for Mexico’s Canal22 “SYTYCD”: OperaPrima. Allen and Karen were finalists in the NOW Magazine “Best Local Choreographer 2011” poll and Canadian Dance Assembly I Love Dance National Awards for Innovation and Community, of which they won the latter.
"Kaeja d'Dance, co-founded by husband and wife Allen and Karen Kaeja in 1991, is certainly not a fragile company. The Kaejas' choreography has always stood firmly and boldly in space."
– The Globe & Mail
"The most moving choreography of 2012, exploring the very essence of what makes us human."
– The Globe & Mail
"An original, powerful and artful masterpiece. They offer to their audience a freedom of expression where boundaries cease to exist."
– Mooney on Theatre
"Truly leaves an indelible impression... real substance, choreographic intelligence and nuanced, layered meaning… compact dance that delivers."
– Toronto Star