ABOUT THE COMPANY
Citadel + Compagnie is an award-winning Toronto-based professional dance organization that creates, produces and presents works on local, national and international scales from its home base in a former Salvation Army Citadel in Regent Park. Since 2007, C+C has renovated, revamped and transformed The Citadel into a place where artists rehearse, create and perform and where the community learns, explores and shares.
Led by artistic director, Laurence Lemieux, C+C’s repertoire is intimate and emotionally honest productions and features some of Canada’s greatest dancers and choreographers.
After nine years as artistic director of the National Ballet of Canada (1996-2005), James Kudelka was named C&C’s resident choreographer in 2008. This relationship has allowed Kudelka to revisit some of his finest works and made way for challenging new contemporary creations. The presence of Kudelka’s work at C+C has expanded the company’s public recognition, and increased audiences eager to see the work of one of the country’s finest choreographers.
Originally named Coleman Lemieux & Compagnie, founded by Bill Coleman and Laurence Lemieux in 2000, the company was renamed Citadel + Compagnie in 2017 to
better reflect the stabilizing effect the ownership of The Citadel has had on the organization. The change also signifies a maturing of the organization, from a husband-and-wife run company to a company with a renewed mandate of fostering cultural participation and nurturing creative excellence.
Recently, C+C has been awarded four Dora Mavor Moore Awards for musical composition, lighting design and choreography. The company was named NOW magazine’s Best Dance Company in Toronto’s Readers Choice category and its performance of Kudelka’s Soudain, l’hiver dernier at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival garnered The Bank of Scotland Herald Angels Award, set to reward performers, producers, venues or artists for their achievements during the Fringe.
C+C encourages artistic risk and innovation through its performing arts series, Bright Nights, curated by Lemieux. With residencies, workshops and performance opportunities, Bright Nights is in its third season and showcases diverse performances from a wide-range of Canadian dance artists from emerging choreographers like Toronto’s Michael Caldwell and Nipissing First Nation’s Penny Couchie, to established choreographers, like Serge Bennathan and Tedd Robinson. The series takes place in Regent Park, at The Citadel: Ross Centre for Dance.
Under Lemieux’s leadership C+C’s mandate of community outreach and engagement has deepened exponentially. C+C provides dance classes for children and youth through its Citadel Dance Program (and provides scholarships for Regent Park Youth) and the company offers free studio access to key neighbourhood initiatives, including the Toronto Police Force 51 Division’s youth hip-hop program, the Regent Park School of Music, and Toronto Council Fire’s Indigenous dance program, First Fire. First Fire provides traditional dance education to local First Nations youth, focusing on reconciliation and of First Nations people’s culture and traditions. Through these collaborations, The Citadel has become a safe space for youth to gather and explore their creativity.
C+C’s mission is to make a significant contribution to Canadian dance through the following activities:
- The creation and production of original works of dance that are both innovative and accessible to the widest public possible.
- The presentation of these works in Regent Park, across Canada, and abroad.
- The nurturing of new and emerging choreographic voices by facilitating workshops, residencies, and performing opportunities.
- The delivery of free dance education to youth living in Regent Park through the Citadel Dance Program.
- The cultivation and rejuvenation of the contemporary dance art form through the performing arts series Bright Nights.
- The preservation of important Canadian dance work (particularly work by resident choreographer James Kudelka) through remount initiatives and passing on the repertoire to a new generation of dancers.
- The inclusion of marginalized dance forms (traditional Indigenous dance, hip-hop, etc.) at The Citadel through free studio access.
- The prioritizing of First Nations dance development through our inclusion of Toronto Council Fire’s Youth programs.