The York Dance Ensemble (YDE) is the resident company of the Department of Dance. Since 1988, the YDE has been providing upper level dancers, choreographers, musicians and production crew with pre-professional experience creating, producing, performing, and touring in a company setting. Students experience a range of performance venues, from galleries, schools and other alternative sites to fully produced shows in the McLean Performance Studio and the Sandra Faire Ivan Fecan Theatre at York University.
Since its establishment, the YDE has commissioned dozens of new works by leading Canadian and international artists; has restaged classic works celebrating both Canadian and international dance heritage; has toured schools throughout Ontario, New Brunswick as well as Vancouver, Calgary and Montreal; and has launched the careers of scores of outstanding young Canadian dance artists.
History of the York Dance Ensemble
In the Ensemble’s debut season, founding artistic director Donna Krasnow staged José Limón’s classic work A Choreographic Offering. Other historical program highlights have been the Company’s premiere of Anna Blewchamp’s reconstruction of Canadian dance pioneer Gweneth Lloyd’s 1942 ballet The Wise Virgins; a production of The Shakers by American master choreographer Doris Humphrey, restaged by Mary Jane Warner and Barbara Hausler; and the renowned Montréal dance artist Françoise Sullivan’s restaging of her 1948 duet Dualité.
Complementing the Ensemble’s commitment to the preservation of modern dance heritage is its ongoing focus on the development and presentation of new work. In recent years, the Ensemble has premiered pieces by Carol Anderson, Julia Aplin, Susan Cash, Denise Duric and Bill Coleman, Matjash Mrozewski, Andrea Nann, Yvonne Ng, Harold Rheaume, Holly Small, Stephanie Thompson, and Luc Tremblay, to name just a few.
Many leading Canadian choreographers have also created exciting new works with the inspiring young dancers of the YDE. Among them:
- AMPD Department of Dance faculty members Carol Anderson, Anna Blewchamp, Karen Bowes-Sewell, Darcey Callison, Susan Cash, Donna Krasnow, and Holly Small.
- Québec choreographers, including Daniel Bélanger, Harold Rhaume, Jean-Louis Morin, and Luc Tremblay.
- Toronto choreographers, including Patricia Beatty, Peter Chin, Bill Coleman, Philip Drube, Robert Glumbek, Randy Glynn, Danny Grossman, Maxine Heppner, Terrill Maguire, Michael Sean Marye, Matjash Mrozewski, Andrea Nann, and Yvonne Ng.
The Ensemble has also worked with notable international artists such as Dalcroze Eurhythmics specialists Karin Greenhead (UK) and Gregory Ristow (US), and American choreographers Daniel Lewis, Phyllis Lamhut, Richard Haisma, Dana Reitz and Peter London.
Artistic Directors of the Ensemble
Donna Krasnow (1988-1990, 1996-1997, 2002-2003)
Anna Blewchamp (1993-1994)
Darcey Callison (1994-1995)
Luc Tremblay (1997 – 1999)
Sara Porter (2000 – 2001)
Susan Cash (2003 – 2011)
Holly Small (1990-1993, 1999-2000, 2001-2002, 2011-2015)
Susan Lee (2016 – current)