509 Parliament Street Toronto, ON M4X 1P3
... where aspiring young dancers come to grow
The School of Canadian Contemporary Dance Theatre was founded in 1983 by Artistic Director, Deborah Lundmark, to provide a creative home for young bodies, minds, and spirits. Ms. Lundmark’s over thirty years of experience guiding young dancers from first steps to stage premieres has helped make the School of Canadian Contemporary Dance Theatre one of Canada’s leading dance training centres.
The School’s expert faculty seeks to make an art of the natural joy of movement found in every child, providing a unique alternative to competition based training. Encouraging students from the recreational to the pre-professional level, the School’s objective is to foster not only the “thinking dancer” but also the self-directed and physically confident young person. Our pre-professional program incorporates our resident Company’s vision of strong ballet and modern training, leading to a well-rounded dancer able to perform the work of diverse choreographers, and to succeed in a wide range of post secondary training opportunities.
Full-time students considering entry into performing arts schools and post-secondary training are assured of receiving precisely the required preparation.
About the School of CCDT
The School of Canadian Contemporary Dance Theatre was launched in 1983 by Artistic Director Deborah Lundmark.
Lundmark’s vision in founding her school was to develop non-competitive training that reflected the values of her CCDT performing company, founded in 1980 with partner, Michael deConinck Smith. Her company brought together creative young people in a co-operative setting to make contemporary art, and so she focused her school on developing that same company-like ethos, calling it performance training.
While her students were undertaking ballet training according to the international standards of the Royal Academy of Dance, Ms. Lundmark’s choreography for the young company was increasingly influenced by the extraordinary local modern companies of the day, foremost among these, Toronto Dance Theatre (TDT). To prepare the dancers for her choreography, she developed a modern technique training program and quickly found that it beautifully complemented their ballet training. In 1983 this synergy found its perfect home in TDT’s studios and the School of CCDT was born.
In the late 1980s Donna Krasnow, a leading Limón technique master, arrived in Toronto from New York, bringing an encyclopaedic knowledge of the José Limón modern dance technique to the School. She developed a unique training syllabus and immersed CCDT students in a vocabulary and artistic vision that proved ideally suited to young physiques and minds. Within a decade Carla Maxwell, Artistic Director of the Limón Dance Company, the world’s oldest modern company, was coming north to audition the School’s dancers, concluding, “I was overwhelmed by what I saw and experienced”. Ms Maxwell hired School of CCDT graduate Kristen Foote at 19 as the youngest dancer ever to join the company, to be followed by Belinda McGuire, Frances Samson and guest artist Julian Nichols. The relationship reached a high point in 2015 when the CCDT performing company was invited to perform at The José Limón International Dance Festival in New York’s storied Joyce Theater.