The 3rd Annual King Edward Tea Society (KETS) Awards for Theatre, 2013

The 3rd Annual King Edward Tea Society (KETS) Awards for Theatre, 2013 were compiled on Monday, December 30, 2013, during high tea in the lobby of Le Meridien King Edward Hotel, Toronto.

aaKETS.TrophyThe jury members were Paula Citron and Lynn Slotkin.

 

THEY BROUGHT GLORY TO THE STAGE CATEGORY

Theatre by Committee Award: PASSION PLAY (by Sarah Ruhl, Convergence Theatre, Outside the March, and Sheep No Wool Theatre Company).

Flamboyant Pop Icon Award: OF A MONSTROUS CHILD: A GAGA MUSICAL (written and directed by Alistair Newton, Buddies in Bad Times Theatre and Ecce Homo).

Good in Any Language Award: LE FA LE DO (by Luc Moquin, music by Claude Naubert, directed by Mathieu Charette, Théâtre français de Toronto).

The King Lear Award: TESTAMENT (created by She She Pop and their fathers, Germany, Harbourfront World Stage).

Stellar in Every Way Award: AFTER MISS JULIE (by Patrick Marber, directed by David Ferry, kudos to producer Claire Armstrong, Red One Theatre Collective).

Disaster Done Elegantly Award: THE SACRIFICE ZONE (by Suzie Miller, directed by Jacquie P.A. Thomas, Theatre Gargantua).

The That Award: THIS (by Melissa Jane Gibson, directed by Matthew Jocelyn, Canadian Stage).

It’s All the Parents’ Fault Award: GOD OF CARNAGE (by Yasmina Reza, directed by Joel Greenberg, Studio 180 and Mirvish Productions).

The Goddess Award: VENUS IN FUR (by David Ives, directed by Jennifer Tarver, Canadian Stage).

 

THE ÜBERTALENTED THESPIAN CATEGORY

 You Can Dress Her Up And Take Her Anywhere Award: MAEV BEATTY (Queen Elizabeth I, Hitler and Ronald Reagan, Passion Play, Convergence Theatre, Outside the March, and Sheep No Wool Theatre Company).

The Double Threat Award:

STERLING JARVIS (The Whipping Man, Al Green Jewish Theatre and Obsidian Theatre Company, and Annie, Young People’s Theatre).

IAN LAKE (This is War and The Valley, Tarragon Theatre).

MICHELLE MONTEITH (Little One and The Valley, Tarragon Theatre)

STUART HUGHES (True West and Entertaining Mr. Sloane, Soulpepper).

The Triple Threat Award: LAURA CONDLLN (4:48 Psychosis, Necessary Angel, This, Canadian Stage, and The Norman Conquests, Soulpepper).

The Quietly Shining Award: DEREK BOYES (The Norman Conquests, Soulpepper).

They Almost Bared It All Award: CARLY STREET and RICK MILLER (Venus in Fur, Canadian Stage).

Teenaged Parents Award: GRAEME MCCOMB and HALEY MCGEE (Moss Park, Theatre Passe Muraille).

The Charming Shlub Award: ALBERT SCHULTZ (The Norman Conquests, Soulpepper).

Gods of Ensemble Acting Award: 

JOHN BOURGEOIS, LINDA KASH, TONY NAPPO, SARAH ORENSTEIN (God of Carnage, Studio 180 and Mirvish Productions).

DAMIEN ATKINS, PAUL DUNN, ANDREW KUSHNIR (The Gay Heritage Project, GHP Collective and Buddies in Bad Times Theatre).

CLAIRE ARMSTRONG, AMY KEATING, CHRISTOPHER MORRIS (After Miss Julie, Red One Theatre Collective).

We’d See Them in Anything Award: BRUCE DOW, CAITLIN DRISCOLL, KAWA ADA, EDDIE GLENN.

 

THEY TYPED THEIR LITTLE FINGERS OFF CATEGORY

HANNAH MOSCOVITCH (This is War, Other People’s Children and Little One, Tarragon Theatre).

MANSEL ROBINSON (Two Rooms, Théâtre français de Toronto).

MICHEL NADEAU (And Slowly Beauty…,Tarragon Theatre).

JOSEPH JOMO PIERRE (Shakespeare’s Nigga, Obsidian Theatre).

DAMIAN ATKINS, PAUL DUNN, ANDREW KUSHNIR (The Gay Heritage Project, GHP Collective and Buddies in Bad Times Theatre).

 

THEY CREATED THE WORLD OF THE PLAY CATEGORY

CAMELLIA KOO (set and costumes, This is War, Tarragon Theatre; set, The Gravitational Pull of Bernice Trimble, Factory Theatre and Obsidian Theatre).

JOHN FERGUSON (set and costumes for And Slowly Beauty…, Tarragon Theatre).

MARTIN CONBOY (set for Moss Park, Theatre Passe Muraille).

ASTRID JANSON (set for Farther West, Soulpepper).

JUNG-HYE KIM (set for The Biographer, Tango Co.).

MICHAEL SPENCE (set for The Sacrifice Zone, Theatre Gargantua).

JOSEPH PAGNAN (design for Fortune and Men’s Eyes, Birdland Theatre Co.)

 

GOOD STUFF – STRATFORD FESTIVAL CATEGORY

Welcome News Award: ANTONI CIMOLINO (new artistic director who put the focus on text and acting, and audiences came back. Plus, he directed acclaimed productions of Mary Stuart and The Merchant of Venice).

Taking Care of the Numbers with Heart Award: ANITA GAFFNEY (executive director who arranged for the bus from Toronto to Stratford, and has also instituted one from Detroit).

The L’Chaim Award: FIDDLER ON THE ROOF (directed by Donna Feore who also recreated Jerome Robbins’ glorious choreography).

The Waiting was Worth it Award: WAITING FOR GODOT (directed by Jennifer Tarver).

The Triple Duty Award: SCOTT WENTWORTH (Tevye in Fiddler on the Roof, Capulet in Romeo and Juliet, and Shylock in The Merchant of Venice, where he saved the day replacing an ailing Brian Bedford).

The Dynamic Duo Award: SEANA MCKENNA and LUCY PEACOCK (Mary Stuart).

The Professor Knows Best Award: TAKING SHAKESPEARE (by John Murrell, directed by Diana Leblanc).

Wonderful Acting in a Non-Play Award: LUCY PEACOCK, NIGEL BENNETT, ROBERT PERSICHINI, PATRICIA COLLINS (The Thrill by Judith Thompson, directed by Dean Gabourie).

They’ve Got the Right Stuff Award: TOM ROONEY, STEPHEN OUIMETTE, RANDY HUGHSON, DEBORAH HAY, BEN CARLSON, MARTHA HENRY, DION JOHNSTONE.

 

GOOD STUFF – SHAW FESTIVAL CATEGORY

Unearthing a Treasure Award: OUR BETTERS (by W. Somerset Maugham, directed by Morris Panych).

Brilliance Across the Centuries Award: ARCADIA (by Tom Stoppard, directed by Eda Holmes).

He Hits the Right Notes Award: PAUL SPORTELLI (musical director, Shaw Festival).

The League of Nations Was Never This Funny Award: PEACE IN OUR TIME: A COMEDY (by John Murrell, directed by Blair Williams).

The Have Gun Will Travel Award: MAJOR BARBARA (directed by Jackie Maxwell).

The Revival Meeting Award: FAITH HEALER (by Brian Friel, directed by Craig Hall)

They’ve Got the Right Stuff Award: BENEDICT CAMPBELL, SHARRY FLETT, CLAIRE JULIEN, NICOLE UNDERHAY, PATRICK MCMANUS, KATE BESWORTH, GRAEME SOMMERVILLE, TARA ROSLING, CORRINE KOSLO.

 

THE ALWAYS WORTHY ODDS AND ENDS CATEGORY…

Man with a Vision and Taste Award: BRENDAN HEALY (artistic director, Buddies in Bad Times Theatre).

The Innovative High Tech Award: SPOTLIGHT JAPAN (festival of Japanese dance and drama, Canadian Stage).

It’s Impressive But Needs an Editor Award: NEEDLES AND OPIUM (by Robert Lepage, Canadian Stage).

People Who Rocked Our World Award: KIM BLACKWELL, MATTHEW JOCELYN, KIMBERLY PURTELL.

The Second Coming Hallelujah Award:

The Black and White with Shades of Gray Award: CLYBOURNE PARK (by Bruce Norris, directed by Joel Greenberg, Studio 180 and Mirvish Productions).

Glinting in the Sun Award: ICELAND (by Nicolas Billon, directed by Ravi Jain, Factory Theatre).

Still All Greek to Us Award: THE PENELOPIAD (by Margaret Atwood, directed by Kelly Thornton, Nightwood Theatre).

History Repeats Itself: THE WAR OF 1812 (written and directed by Michael Hollingsworth, VideoCabaret)

 

…AND THE NOT SO WORTHY ODDS AND ENDS CATEGORY

Even in the Light It Was Murky Award: ROMEO AND JULIET (directed by Tim Carroll, Stratford Festival).

Shred That Dreary Adaptation with a Sword Award: THE THREE MUSKETEERS (directed by Miles Potter, Stratford Festival)

Yet Again Another Des McAnuff Bells and Whistles Award: TOMMY (directed by Des McAnuff, Stratford Festival).

It Looks Beautiful but Where’s the Play Award: LADY WINDERMERE’S FAN (directed by Peter Hinton, Shaw Festival).

 

ROAD KILL CATEGORY

It Came Last Award: RACE (by David Mamet, directed by Daniel Brooks, starring Jason Priestley).

 

THE JURORS AGREE TO DISAGREE CATEGORY

ARIGATO TOKYO (by Daniel MacIvor, Buddies in Bad Times Theatre).

THE VALLEY (by Joan Macleod, Tarragon Theatre).

WINNERS AND LOSERS (by Marcus Youssef and James Long, Crow’s Theatre and Canadian Stage).

THE GRAVITATIONAL PULL OF BERNICE TRIMBLE (by Beth Graham, Factory Theatre and Obsidian Theatre Company).

THE LIFE AND DEATH OF MARINA ABRAMOVIC (written by Marina Abramovic, Robert Wilson and Anthony, directed by Robert Wilson, Luminato Festival).

SARAH BERTHIAUME (playwright, The Flood Thereafter and Yukonstyle, Canadian Stage).

MEASURE FOR MEASURE (directed by Martha Henry, Stratford Festival).

DO YOU WANT WHAT I HAVE GOT? A CRAIGSLIST CANTATA (by Bill Richardson and Veda Hille, Factory Theatre and Acting Up Stage Company).

 

CITRON SAW IT BUT SLOTKIN DIDN’T CATEGORY

Better Diplomats Than People Award: DACHSHUND UN (devised by Bennett Miller, Australia, Harbourfront World Stage).

He Can Handle Poetic Language Award: SEAN SULLIVAN (Baby Redboots Revenge by Philip-Dimitri Galas, Baby Monster Productions).

The Rebellious Teenager Award: CARLEIGH BEVERLY (The Glory of Living by Rebecca Gilman, Sterling Studio Theatre Collective).

The Pride and Prejudice Award: HALLIE BURT AND KATE WERNEBURG (creators and performers, Elizabeth and Darcy, Burt & Werneburg Productions and Campbell House).

 

SLOTKIN SAW IT BUT CITRON DIDN’T CATEGORY

Towering Miniature Award: KAMP (created by Hotel Modern Theatre Company, The Netherlands, Harbourfront World Stage).

Beautifully Done In a Room With People Award: A ROOM OF ONE’S OWN (by Virginia Woolf, directed by Sarah Rodgers, performed by Naomi Wright, The Bloomsbury Collective).

Guts of a Bandit and They Are All Women Award: DIANA BENTLEY and MELISSA D’AGOSTINO (co-creators of Bob Kills Theatre which produced Savage in Limbo, and BROOKE MORGAN, artistic Director of Baro Theatre Company which produced Danny and the Deep Blue Sea, both plays by John Patrick Shanley).

Woman with a Vision and Tenacity Award: ALEX JOHNSON, a creative force behind the Playwright Project and the spunky, new Downstage Theatre on the Danforth.

Fresh Blood Paula Citron Dance Award 2013

Fresh Blood Paula Citron Dance Award 2013

Background

In 1996, Toronto dance critic Paula Citron inaugurated a prize to recognize choreographic artistry at fFIDA (fringe Festival of Independent Dance Artists). Since then, the Paula Citron Dance Award has been variously conferred on choreographers selected from Moving Pictures Festival of Dance on Film and Video, Fresh Blood, a showcase of emerging choreographers, and the biennial mini-festival dance: made in canada/fait au canada. Ms. Citron uses very subjective criteria to choose a work that compels attention, be it highly sophisticated craftsmanship, inventive dance vocabulary, or unusual subject matter.

The recipient of the Fresh Blood Paula Citron Dance Award 2013 is Emilio Colalillo.

Emilio Colalillo’s Avidità

In Italian, “avidità” means greed or thirst for wealth. In his eponymous duet, Colalillo has transferred the word to a romantic relationship where the hunger is for control or possession. Colalillo is still an emerging choreographer, so he is in the process of learning his craft, particularly in creating movement that expresses a theme or a concept. What makes Colalillo a worthy winner of this award, however, is the skill in partnering that Avidità displays.

Partnering is almost the last element to kick into place for a choreographer. In their early stages, many dancesmiths come to partnering through contact improv, for example, using weight-bearing as the tool. For his part, Colalillo has gone for the jugular, and that is what is impressive about Avidità. He has crafted difficult lifts that entangle his body with that of partner Samantha Raymond. Collectively these lifts show a shifting flow of control from one partner to another. More to the point, Colalillo has made great strides in ensuring the smooth transition from one lift to the next. The underlying edgy music augments the tension between the dancers, yet it is clear, from a structural point of view, that the duo must be firmly in control of both the flow of physicality, and the balance between the two bodies, in order to execute this gravity-defying performance.

It is for this reason that Emilio Colalillo wins this year’s Fresh Blood Award, notably, for the fluid motion of his seamlessly dangerous lifts.

Previous Recipients

2012 Anjelica Scannura

2010 Paul Charbonneau

2009 Erin Cowan

 

 

The 2012 KETS Awards for Theatre

The 2012 King Edward Tea Society (KETS) Awards for Theatre were compiled on Sunday, December 23, 2012, during high tea in the lobby of Le Meridien King Edward Hotel, Toronto.

 

The jury members were Paula Citron and Lynn Slotkin.

 

THEY BROUGHT GLORY TO THE STAGE CATEGORY

It’s All Greek to Us Award: THE PENELOPIAD (by Margaret Atwood, directed by Kelly Thornton, designed by Denyse Karn, sound score by Suba Sankaran, lighting by Kim Purtell, particular kudos to choreographer Monika Dottor, Nightwood Theatre)

Tyrant of the Year Award: THE LESSON (by Eugène Ionesco, directed by Soheil Parsa, Modern Times Stage Company)

Parent-Teacher Interview from Hell Award: JORDI MAND for her play Between the Sheets (directed by Kelly Thornton, Nightwood Theatre)

Still Wonderful the Second Time Around Award: THE LITTLE YEARS (written by John Mighton, directed by Chris Abraham, Stratford Festival, 2011; Tarragon Theatre, 2012)

Always Listen to Your Mother Award: RAVI AND ASHA JAIN for their play A Brimful of Asha (Why Not Theatre)

Can You Please Repeat That? Award: EINSTEIN ON THE BEACH (by Philip Glass and Robert Wilson, Luminato Festival)

Kids Can Be Really, Really Scary Award: MR. MARMALADE  (written by Noah Haidle, directed by Mitchell Cushman, Outside the March Theatre Company)

 

THE ÜBERTALENTED THESPIAN CATEGORY

Fast Talker Award: RON PEDERSON (Extinction Song), Voodoo Theatre Company, SummerWorks)

The Wife Meets the Mistress Award: SUSAN COYNE AND CHRISTINE HORNE (Between the Sheets), Nightwood Theatre)

Neighbourhood Watch Award: ENSEMBLE (Clybourne Park, Studio 180 Theatre)

He Broke Our Hearts Award: STUART HUGHES (The Crucible, Soulpepper)

She’s Got Balls Award: NATASHA GREENBLATT (The Neverending Story, Young People’s Theatre)

They Could Teach the Youngsters a Thing or Two Award: R.H. THOMSON AND DAVID FOX (No Great Mischief, Tarragon Theatre)

You Don’t Want to Meet Him in a Dark Alley Award: MICHAEL HANRAHAN (High Life, Soulpepper)

He Showed The Other Side/Turn the Other Cheek Award: Eddie Glen (Bloodless: The Trial of Burke and Hare, Theatre 20)

Cross Dressing Award: ROSS PETTY (Snow White, Ross Petty Productions)

A Fantastic Christmas/Channukah Gift Award: MIRIAM MARGOLYES, LONDON (Dickens’ Women, Soulpepper Word Festival)

Most Surprising Debut Award: ASHA JAIN (A Brimful of Asha, Why Not Theatre)

There Always Has to Be a Yanna McIntosh Award (Toronto): YANNA MCINTOSH (Speaking in Tongues, Company Theatre/Canadian Stage)

We’d See Them in Anything Award: Maev Beaty, Evan Buliung, David Ferry, Gregory Prest, Maria Vacratsis

They Caught Our Eye Award: RAQUEL DUFFY (The Royal Comedians, Alligator Pie)d, CARA GEE (The Jones Boy, The Rez Sisters, Stitch), MATTHEW GORMAN (This Lime Tree Bower), HALEY MCGEE (The Story), DANIEL KARASIK, playwright (The Innocents, Haunted

 

GOOD STUFF – STRATFORD FESTIVAL CATEGORY

 Welcome News Award: ANTONI CIMOLINO (incoming artistic director promising to put the focus on text and acting)

Put On Your Dancing Shoes Award: 42ND STREET (directed and choreographed by Gary Griffin)

Dashing and Sexy Award: SEAN ARBUCKLE (42nd Street)

True to the Man Award: HIRSCH (written by Paul Thompson and Alon Nashman)

A Match Made in Heaven Award: MIKE SHARA and JOSH EPSTEIN (The Matchmaker)

There Always Has to Be a Yanna McIntosh Award (Stratford): YANNA MCINTOSH (Elektra)

Sweeping Visionary Award: THOMAS MOSHOPOULOS, director, and his creative team (Elektra)

We’d See Him in Anything Award: Tom Rooney

 

GOOD STUFF – SHAW FESTIVAL CATEGORY

Unearthing a Treasure Award: A MAN AND SOME WOMEN (by Githa Sowerby, directed by Alisa Palmer)

It’s Way Better the Second Time Around Award: RAGTIME (directed by Jackie Maxwell)

Coal Is Gold Award: THOM ALLISON (Ragtime)

Quiet Ache Award: Corrine Koslo and Ric Reid (Come Back, Little Sheba, directed by Jackie Maxwell)

 The Book of Revelations Award: MARTHA HENRY, director (Hedda Gabler)

All the News that Fits, We’ll Print Award: HIS GIRL FRIDAY (directed by Jim Mezon)

Wonders When You Least Expect It Award (A Tie): JAY TURVEY (director, Trouble in Tahiti) and PATTY JAMIESON (Mother, Ragtime)

They’ve Got the Right Stuff Award: Benedict Campbell, Sharry Flett, Jennifer Phipps, Nicole Underhay

 

THE ALWAYS WORTHY ODDS AND ENDS CATEGORY…

No Neighsaying Here Award: HANDSPRING PUPPET COMPANY, SOUTH AFRICA (War Horse, Mirvish Productions)

Guts of a Bandit Award: THEATRE 20 (producing Bloodless: The Trial of Burke and Hare by Joseph Aragon, in tough times for musical theatre)

Best Whimsy Award: MISS CALEDONIA (written and performed by Melody Johnson, Tarragon Theatre)

He Can Handle Armies Marching Award: Joseph Ziegler (director, You Can’t Take It With You, Soulpepper)

Double AwardEye-catching Theatrical Values and Potent Agro-Docudrama: SEEDS (written by Annabel Soutar, directed by Chris Abraham, set by Julie Fox, lighting by Ana Capppelluto, Porte Parole, Montreal/Crow’s Theatre)

Best Transition to Mainstream Award: TERMINUS, from SummerWorks to Off-Mirvish Series (written by Mark O’Rowe, directed by Mitchell Cushman, Outside the March Theatre Company)

A Most Intriguing Dialogue Concept Award: SPEAKING IN TONGUES (written by Andrew Bovell, Company Theatre/Canadian Stage)

Tableaux and Pageantry Award: THE STORY (designed by Catherine Hahn, lighting by Glenn Davidson, Theatre Columbus)

Most Breath-Taking Fusion of Live Action and Visual Technology Award: LA BELLE ET LA BETE: A CONTEMPORARY RETELLING (created by Michel Lemieux and Victor Pilon, Lemieux Pilon 4D Art, Montreal, Luminato Festival)

Let’s Hear It For the Hometown Booster Award: THEATRE PASSE MURAILLE’S ORIGINAL TORONTO-BASED FALL SEASON PLAYBILL

People Who Rocked Our World Award: ALAN DILWORTH, director; MICHAEL RUBENFELD, writer, director, actor, producer; RED ONE THEATRE COLLECTIVE; ROSEMARY DOYLE, actor, producer, and her RED SANDCASTLE THEATRE

 

…AND THE NOT SO WORTHY ODDS AND ENDS CATEGORY

Is It a Bird? Is It a Plane? What the Hell Is It? Award: LUMINATO FESTIVAL (for the second consecutive year)

Come Back When It’s Ready Award: PLAYING CARDS 1: SPADES (directed by Robert Lepage, Luminato Festival)

Make Up Your Mind Already Award: STRATFORD FESTIVAL, formerly STRATFORD SHAKESPEARE FESTIVAL, formerly STRATFORD FESTIVAL

He Keeps Trying Award: JORDAN TANNAHILL (writer, director, Feral Child, Suburban Beast)

 

ROAD KILL CATEGORY

A Plague on Both Their House, and We Wish Them Both the Best Award: BOARD OF DIRECTORS, Factory Theatre, and KEN GASS, late of Factory Theatre

Exceedingly Poor Judgment, or, Why Do This At Stratford? Award: YOU’RE A GOOD MAN, CHARLIE BROWN (directed by Donna Feore)

Self-Indulgence Award (A Tie): ALLIGATOR PIE (Soulpepper), and ANTHONY RAPP’S WITHOUT YOU (Off-Mirvish Series)

Cluttered Set Award: PIRATES OF PENZANCE (designed by Anna Louizos, Stratford Festival)

Most Invisible New Theatre Space, or, It Sounds Like a Surgical Instrument Award : DANIELS SPECTRUM

Smoke and Mirrors Award: DES MCANUFF (director, Henry V, Stratford Festival)

Film Ain’t the Stage Award: ATOM EGOYAN (director, Cruel and Tender, Canadian Stage)

Forsooth, Shakespeare Ain’t Your Forte Award: AARON KROHN (Henry V, Stratford Festival)

What Have You Done to the Play? Award (A Tie):  WOOSTER GROUP, NEW YORK (with what was once Vieux Carré by Tennessee Williams), and MATTHEW JOCELYN (director, The Game of Love and Chance, Canadian Stage)

Not Ready for Prime Time Award: SOULPEPPER ACADEMY (young actors not up to the task in The Royal Comedians and The Crucible)

Putting It in Perspective, or, Wait for the Fall Out Award: DES MCANUFF’S TENURE (artistic director, Stratford Festival)

 

THE JURORS AGREE TO DISAGREE CATEGORY

MOYA O’CONNELL, actor (Shaw Festival); MUCH ADO ABOUT NOTHING and CYMBELINE (Stratford Festival); PENNY PLAIN (Factory Theatre); PROUD (self-produced by Michael Healey); STOCKHOLM (Seventh Stage Theatre Productions/Nightwood Theatre); TEAR THE CURTAIN (Canadian Stage); THE BEST BROTHERS (Stratford Festival); THE GOLDEN DRAGON (Tarragon Theatre)

 

The Tenth Annual Paula Citron FFIDA Award – Now The Paula Citron TIDF Award.

About the Award

In 1996, Toronto dance critic Paula Citron inaugurated a prize to recognize the accomplishments of independent choreographers. She chose as the annual recipient, an artist participating in the fFIDA International Dance Festival because the event is the largest gathering of its kind in Canada. Ms. Citron has elected to carry over her award to the new curated Toronto International Dance Festival, and has donated a cash prize of $500. The honouree will come from among the dance artists participating in the ticketed events.

Ms. Citron prefers the word “recipient”, rather than “winner” because this award is not about the first among equals. Rather than separating out “the best” dance piece, Ms. Citron’s very subjective criteria has been to choose a work that compels attention for any number of reasons—an impressive first choreography, highly sophisticated craftsmanship, difficult or unusual subject matter, innovative dance vocabulary, and so on. The object of the Paula Citron TIDF Award is to congratulate a choreographer on his or her artistry in a world where recognition for dance artists is few and far between. Ms. Citron also hopes that the award will act as an encouragement for the choreographer to carry on in the lonely, and often difficult, pursuit of his or her craft.

Previous Recipients

2005 Christiane Bourget, Montreal
2004 Samara L. Thompson, Toronto
2003 Louis Laberge-Côté and Keiko Ninomiya, Toronto
2002 Kazuyo Hide, Japan
2001 Malgorzata Nowacka, Toronto
2000 Nicole Mion, Calgary
1999 Viv Moore, Toronto
1998 Rebecca Todd and Eryn Dace Trudell, Toronto
1997 Michael Trent, Toronto
1996 Monique Trudelle, Toronto

The 2006 Paula Citron Tidf Award Recipient Sashar Zarif And Holly Small, Toronto

In recognizing the magnificent solo In the Letters of My Name, the award plays tribute to several important aspects of dance. First and foremost, the piece represents the new Canadian dance hybrid, unique to the country’s multicultural cities. This collaboration could only have happened in a vibrant cultural mosaic like Toronto where the traditional arts of immigrants new to the country merge with Euro-American dance influences to create a whole new art form. Secondly, the award honours two senior artists, as well as the experienced masters of their creative team who helped to fashion the dance. Only wisdom and knowledge of life could have produced this powerful work. While dance is predominantly an art form of the young, we must not forget the generation who has gone before, and continues to give us their artistic riches.

Take a superbly expressive and charismatic dancer (Zarif), and an intellectual and seasoned choreographer (Small), and the result is a haunting portrayal of the horrors of war in the old country and the struggles of the immigrant experience in the new. This piece, with its cunning mix of text, movement and evocative soundscore by acclaimed composer John Oswald is as profoundly moving as it is provocative. Kudos also to director Soheil Parsa as dramaturge and Katherine Duncanson as voice coach. Together this quintet of artists embrace countless years of artistic integrity and daring. We must also not forget Dance Ontario who commissioned the work for its annual Dance Weekend, and so continues to enrich the repertoire of dance.

The wellspring of the piece is the 38 letters of Zarif’s full name which constitutes six different names in three different languages – Arabic, Persian and his native Azerbaijani. In impulses of movement and text, we get impressionistic glimpses of a life turned upside down, of a young boy who survived revolution, war, and a refugee camp. Horrors are intimated, but never explained. The choreography, much of it based on real life physicality, swings between graphic emotion and whimsical surrealism. The dancer is rendered completely vulnerable, whether executing tiny baby steps, absurd in a grown man, or crying out in passionate outbursts that are almost embarrassing in their naked anguish. This is a work which opens up the guts of an artist and exposes the raw soul. It is dance storytelling at its best, because it raises more questions than it answers.

Paula Citron Dance Award

About the Award

In 1996, Toronto dance critic Paula Citron inaugurated a prize to recognize the accomplishments of independent choreographers. She chose as the annual recipient, an artist participating in the fFIDA International Dance Festival because the event was the largest gathering of its kind in Canada. The chosen artist was given a cheque equal to his or her fFIDA entrance fee.

With the demise of fFIDA in 2007, the award went into hiatus. In 2009, choreographer Malgorzata Nowacka curated an evening called Fresh Blood that featured emerging choreographers. Ms. Citron was asked to resurrect the Paula Citron Dance Award, and the winner, chosen by Ms. Citron. received a monetary prize.

In the same mode, Ms. Citron also funded the Paula Citron Dance Award for Best Choreography for the Camera as chosen by the jury at the Moving Pictures Festival of Dance on Film and Video. Alas, that festival is no longer in existence either.

Ms. Citron always preferred the word “recipient”, rather than “winner” because these award were not about the first among equals. Rather than separating out “the best” dance piece in an egalitarian festival, Ms. Citron’s very subjective criteria was to choose a work that compels attention for any number of reasons—an impressive first choreography, highly sophisticated craftsmanship, difficult or unusual subject matter, innovative dance vocabulary, and so on.

The object of the Paula Citron Dance Awards was, is and perhaps will be, to congratulate an independent choreographer on his or her artistry in a world where recognition for the “indie” is few and far between. Ms. Citron also hoped that the award would act as an encouragement for the choreographer to carry on in the lonely, and often difficult, pursuit of his or her craft.

Ms. Citron is willing to bring either of these awards back to life should any opportunity present itself.