David Earle Suite
A Handbook for Ecstatic Survival
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The Ecstatic Survival
David Earle is ...
... a Canadian trailblazer, a world-renowned choreographer, beloved master teacher, writer and cultural icon. His dancers are some of the most physically eloquent, powerful, and individual artists in Canada.
David began dance training at the age of five. He spent two formative years on scholarship at the Martha Graham School – and although he is deeply faithful to the philosophies of his greatest teachers, especially Graham, he immediately struck out on his own path after leaving New York.
In England, he helped launch the first two seasons of the London Contemporary Dance Theatre, and in 1968, along with Patricia Beatty and Peter Randazzo, David co-founded Toronto Dance Theatre (appointed sole Artistic Director in 1987). During twenty-eight years of triumphant international tours, the company was adored and sometimes vilified for its provocative sensuality, theatricalism, virtuosity and emotional honesty.
Leaving TDT in 1996 to pursue an independent career, he founded Dancetheatre David Earle to support continuing creation, for the preservation of his repertoire, and to serve as a forum for younger artists whose concern is the expression of humanity in dance.
David has created over 140 works for his own companies as well as for Les Grands Ballets Canadiens, the National Ballet of Canada, the Banff Festival of the Arts, Ballet British Columbia, the Polish Dance Theatre, among others.
DtDE gave its first performance with the Penderecki String Quartet at the Elora Music Festival, and has since presented some 30 new works, including commissions from the Kitchener-Waterloo Symphony, Soundstreams Canada, Open Ears Festival, the Guelph Chamber Choir, and the Gryphon Trio. In 2003, DtDE revived Court of Miracles, a major seasonal offering involving more than 50 performers originally created for Toronto Dance Theatre in 1983.
David Earle was made a Member of the Order of Canada in 1996, being recognized as “one of the country s most inspired pioneers of modern and contemporary dance” and as “an inspirational teacher whose influence has had a ripple effect on generations of dancers”.
He is also the recipient of the Clifford E. Lee Award from the Banff Festival of the Arts, the Dora Mavor Moore Award for Best New Choreography, the Toronto Arts Award for Performing Arts (along with his TDT co-founders), the Jean A. Chalmers Award for Distinction in Choreography, an Honourary Doctorate of Laws from Queen s University in Kingston, Ontario, and the Walter Carson Prize, an award that honours career achievement in the performing arts.
David is dedicated to the beauty and musicality of dance, making him stand out in a medium that often rejects both. His openness to experiment and his willingness to challenge superficiality and cynicism mean that his work speaks forcefully to contemporary audiences. He is truly unique in his ability to reach and to move spectators of every background, whatever their familiarity with dance and its traditions.
The work of David Earle has a long history and continues to evolve, remaining true to its roots as well as responsive to the world around us.