> News: A year in review 2022

From the Artistic Director Marie-Josée Chartier:


Lets jump right to it with some snapshots of my activities in 2022!


(For these news with all the photos, click here)





Montreal & Ottawa: A quiet month in Montreal and Ottawa visiting friends and family. I taught some zoom classes for the School of Contemporary Dancers in Winnipeg. It is a wonderful way to stay in touch with the students.





Toronto: Intensive rehearsals with the singers from the Glenn Gould School for Handel’s baroque opera Rinaldo. Director Tom Diamond invited me to join him as a choreographer for this nearly three hour production. It was a tour de force to put this production on stage but the result was amazing; the stage, aisles and balconies of the gorgeous Koerner Hall provided a real visual and aural treat. My first foray into baroque music! A rich learning curve. Click here for a review in Stage Door.





Winnipeg: Winnipeg is becoming a second home and this time I spent 6 weeks in the city engaging in a variety of activities. Teaching dance technique and improvisation at the School of Contemporary Dancers (SCD); dance workshops for the Winnipeg’s Contemporary Dancers ( WCD).  I had the chance to finish a choreographic work for the school that had started in the fall of 2021; I stayed until the dress rehearsal of my piece court-circuit set on 3rd and 4th years and presented at the Gas Station Arts Centre. The dancers were wonderful and fully committed.


In anticipation of being in Winnipeg for a stretch of time, Natalie Sluis (graduating student at SCD) and I have applied to be part of an outdoor festival called Knock Knock Ginger produced by One Trunk Theatre. Our project proposal was selected so Natalie and I created our first work Schlauss und Chartier: détectives à la carte, a wild blend of physical antics for two very clumsy detectives (Jacques Tati meets Bill Irwin meets Mr. Bean). We performed in 10 different home locations in peoples front or backyards, in this great initiative to offer free performances to families. It was a fun experience and very appreciated by our audiences.


Saskatoon: I had a week off while in Winnipeg so I went to Saskatoon for a few days to visit the beautiful Remai Modern museum and re-acquaint myself with the city. I also spent a full day at the Wanuskewin National Heritage site which celebrates Metis and Plains First Nations Cultures.


Banff: As per the initial program of Evolution Classical in 2021 supported by the Banff Centre for the Arts and directed by the Gryphon Trio, I was invited back as a mentor in 2022 with sessions on zoom in May with all the participants (27 musicians) followed by a 3 week in person sessions and concerts in Banff. It was an incredible group of emerging and mid-career artists. My contribution to the participants included teaching movement classes in the mornings and then tailored sessions with each performance group in terms of staging, performance, text and movement. I also had the great joy to perform with Anders Astrand as we both improvised with dance and drum kit for the Faculty concert on June 28. I am returning in August 2023 and truly looking forward to meeting new artists.
>> More information on the Evolution Concert Series



July / August


Toronto: My long time collaboration with Yvonne Ng, choreographer, dancer, festival organizer has seen us working together for over 20 years. I assisted the production as an all around artistic agitator! Yvonne premiered her work Wéi at the Aki Studio July 28. Honoured to be part of this process in this unique work with five fabulous dancers: More information: princessproductions.ca/shows/wei.


I was invited back for movement coaching for the play Alphonse, and this marked my third year with the project. The production was gearing up to go to the prestigious Edinburgh fringe where it received rave reviews.

I was invited to mentor Frédérique Perron, a graduate of the School of Toronto Dance Theatre and recipient of the Winchester Prize for which her new work Deliberately is sensational premiered at the Theatre Centre in the context of SummerWorks. Strong and unique aesthetics performed by two equally brilliant dancers, Katie Adams-Gossage and Jaimee Leggett.


On a whim, I decided to run a two week summer school for 3 dancers from Winnipeg that saw their summer plans fall apart at the last minute. They travelled to Toronto and with the generous help of my partner in this venture Darryl Tracy we ran a two week intensive workshop in choreography, classes and artistic activities. SABO (Summer Arts Blast Off) culminated with a public performance in the Arcadian Room, Arcadia coop. Natalie Sluis, Alexis Taylor, Ellice Kynman were joined by STDT dancer Peter Bannister. Everyone chipped in voluntarily and we recruited 3 choreographers who graciously donated their time to create a short work with the 4 dancers: Peter Chin, Lucy Rupert and Mairéad Filgate. Darryl and I also created short works for the group. Katherine Duncanson gave an introduction to kundalini yoga and the dancers attended rehearsals of Wéi by Yvonne Ng, visited the Art Gallery of Ontario and took classes at the School of Toronto Dance Theatre. SABO will happen again in June 2023, for a group of 4 Winnipeg graduating dancers and a few from Toronto. The School of Contemporary Dancers supports their travel, per diems and accommodations.



September / October


Winnipeg: One week of teaching dance technique at The School of Contemporary Dancers.


Montreal: At the invitation of singer Sarah Albu, I spent a week working with the Phth Ensemble during a residency at the Goethe-Institut in Montreal starting to sketch the choreography and staging of Claude Vivier’s Love Songs. The 7 incredible singers were also preparing for the recording of all the complex songs to become the soundtrack for the filming that took place in December. The film will premiere March 15, 2023 at the Festival de Films sur L’art in Montreal. Click here for more information.


Nuit Blanche / Toronto: Shannon Litzenberger’s production of World After Dark was being presented as part of Nuit Blanche at the Meridian Arts Centre on October 1. I have been involved since its inception leading to the premiere in 2019 as an artistic collaborator and we had a chance to revisit this work for a brand new audience. More info here: shannonlitzenberger.com/world-after-dark.


Toronto: Baroque opera is calling me back and this time for a staged version of Venus and Adonis, with the singers of the Glenn Gould School. Director Derek Boyes and I collaborated on this production presented at the Mazzoleni Hall in Toronto on Nov 4-5. A great learning experience as I dive more into the world of baroque music peppered with some shakespearean scenes, playfully imagined by Derek to be inserted into the opera.


I was hoping to have a rather quiet time after this, but it only lasted a few days. I was called last minute to join the cast of Older&Reckless for the celebration of its 20th anniversary at Harbourfront Centre. I joined a group of 20 dancers over the age of 50 years old for a new work You See Us by Peter Chin. Unfortunately Covid invited itself to rehearsals and our group fluctuated between 20 to 9 and back to 12 as the final number of performers for the three show run Nov. 4-5. It was also the occasion for a heartfelt farewell to Claudia Moore, artistic director of Moonhorse Dance Theatre. It was so good to be back on stage and performing with some of my long time colleagues. Click here for more information.


Speaking of anniversaries, Arraymusic is celebrating their 50th anniversary in the 2022-2023 season. For this occasion, Array is presenting several concerts showcasing the music of various Arraymusic Artistic Directors over those decades. I wanted to celebrate my late husband and composer Michael J. Baker in an evening of selected works. In tandem with Array’s AD, David Schotzko, I conceived and co-produced a program of works to be performed at the Array studio space. We had a full house filled with long time friends, family members, colleagues and a younger generation of musicians having a chance to hear Michael’s music for the first time. Here is a link of the full concert version and digital programme.





USA: A FOOTBALL ROAD TRIP with my dear brother Danny. A full week visiting Buffalo, Cleveland, Akron, Canton (NFL Hall of Fame Museum) and Pittsburg (for a Steelers game) was a blast. My football education continues, my throws are getting better but I cannot thread the needle yet. I had my first experience at a tailgate party outside the Acrisure Stadium. Contemporary art museum visits a must plus American Football with good junk food were the perfect combo!


Peterborough: I was invited by quadruple threat artist Kate Story (writer, actor, director, dancer), to assist in choreography and dramaturgy for her new solo play Anxiety premiering at The Theatre on King. Her writing and tour de force performance were phenomenal. Click here for more information.





Montreal and Laurentides: Love Songs, the film. As mentioned in the September section, we resumed with the filming in the Laurentians and in Montreal. We spent hours outside in the cold, day and night times with a few shoots indoors in a house and studio. All the performers and crew were totally devoted as we faced some weather and electrical power breakdown challenges!



At last, some restful and quiet holiday time in Toronto gearing up for 2023.

I am super grateful for all of these artistic opportunities; I do not take them for granted. They give me the chance to continue to grow artistically and challenge myself in so many unexpected ways.








Find more information by perusing our archived newsletters






Chartier Danse would like to thank the following councils

for their support through project and production grants.