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PEGGY BAKER'S 50TH ANNIVERSARY Celebrates A Transformational Dance Career

Peggy Baker Dance Projects to wind down in 2023.

PEGGY BAKER'S 50TH ANNIVERSARY Celebrates A Transformational Dance Career

This year Peggy Baker, one of the most influential dancers and choreographers of her generation, celebrates 50 years of performing and creating extraordinary dance in Canada and around the world. Ms. Baker will present a new major production in the fall of 2022 and will then wind down her company, Peggy Baker Dance Projects, in 2023.

After arriving in Toronto in 1971 from Edmonton, Ms. Baker had her first professional contract with Toronto Dance Theatre (1973); was one of 5 founding members - and later Co-Director - of Dancemakers (1974-1980); and moved to New York City where she danced with Lar Lubovitch followed by the White Oak Dance Project led by Mark Morris and Mikhail Baryshnikov. She returned to Canada in 1990 to launch her own company, Peggy Baker Solo Dance which became Peggy Baker Dance Projects in 1996. For over thirty years, her company has built a varied repertoire of solo and ensemble work created by Ms. Baker and commissioned from outstanding choreographers including Molissa Fenley, Paul-André Fortier, James Kudelka, Tere O'Connor, and Doug Varone.

"It is with a profound sense of gratitude to the Canadian dance milieu, and to the Toronto community in particular, that I move toward the closure of the organization that has supported my artistic development over the past three decades. My creative life has been nurtured by my teachers, by the superb choreographers in whose work I performed, and by my extraordinary colleagues and collaborators. Every artistic encounter was a privilege.

I could not have proceeded in my professional life without the generosity of Canada's National Ballet School and without the magnificent individuals who have managed Peggy Baker Dance Projects, served on the board, and rallied around us to make the financial contributions that allowed us to move forward. I am indebted to the presenters who have brought my work into the public sphere, and to the audiences who have supported us by witnessing our offerings.

I have enjoyed a deeply fulfilling career. At this pivotal moment, I believe that the most significant action I can take is to free up space and resources in order to contribute to an environment in which artists who have been historically marginalized can thrive. I have always framed my work in dance within the context of community, and I see the wind down and closure of my company as the very best way for me to support the vitality and evolution of the art form and community I believe in so ferociously." - Peggy Baker

In September 2022 the company will end on a high note with the production of Beautiful Renegades, a play commissioned from Michael Ross Albert inspired by 15 Dance Lab, an artist-run performance space that was the locus of dance anarchy in Toronto in the 1970's. This major new work will premiere at The Theatre Centre in the Franco Boni Theatre with a series of 3 commissioned site-specific works created by new generation artists.

Alongside Peggy's announcement, the Chair of Peggy Baker Dance Projects' Board of Directors, Jacqueline Mackey today launched the CELEBRATING Peggy Baker fundraising campaign:

"Every member of the Board feels so honoured to be working with Peggy as we celebrate her esteemed career in dance. Over the next 18 months, the Board will be raising funds to support the completion of Peggy Baker Dance Project's final work Beautiful Renegades, as well as two projects that celebrate Peggy's incredible legacy. "

The first project supporting the growth of new generation dancers is the Peggy Baker Prize for Performance, to be awarded annually to a 3rd year student at the School of Toronto Dance Theatre from 2023 onwards; and the second is The Creation Catalogue, Peggy Baker Dance Projects' Online Archive of over 30 years of dance creation, production, touring, and professional development. This searchable website and permanent resource will be created over the next two years and available for dance students, scholars and the public as a dance history resource highlighting Peggy Baker's work and the extraordinary artists she has collaborated with over the course of her career.

The target for the Celebrating Peggy Baker campaign is $300,000 and donations can be made at online at peggybakerdance.com.

For information about upcoming activities and professional development initiatives, please visit peggybakerdance.com.


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