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Dovercourt House Dance Hub is Forced to Close after 21 Years 

A message from CORPUS, princess productions and Kaeja d’Dance

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Photo of Mio Sakamoto at Dovercourt House

Dovercourt House has been a vital centre for dance for over 20 years. princess productions, Kaeja d’Dance and CORPUS have been resident companies there since Allen Kaeja found it in 2000. Our three companies operated the 2nd and 3rd floors from 9am-6pm Monday to Friday respectively for two decades. The sprung floor, large windows, and huge open studios were inspiring spaces to create works that delighted local audiences and toured the world. The building not only bustled with professional dance artists all day, but burst with the energy of dance lovers in the evenings and weekends for Latin and Swing social dances as well as Urban Dance, Capoeira, yoga classes and so many more. It has been a place like no other, that supported the artistic practice and many diverse community needs of thousands of Torontonians. This was the real-life realization of the stimulative effect of the arts in a community. We are so proud and grateful for the years and the dances we shared in the Dovercourt House. 

 

The closing of our beloved spaces adds to a growing list of cultural casualties in the City of Toronto. In November, Dancemakers announced they will close their studio doors in July 2021. Between these two venues, the City is losing access to five dance studios. Losing this cultural infrastructure is not good for us, the community, or a city that benefits greatly from the social and economic impact of artists. The precarity of cultural space is not sustainable.

 

The Dovercourt House has been closed for most of the past year. The past property manager had negotiated rent relief through the Canada Emergency Commercial Rent Assistance program with the landlord. The landlord found a new leaseholder and we were informed of this fait accompli. The news came as a shock to us.

 

We have been paying the rent on time for over two decades, and subsidized rental costs at Dovercourt House for the dance community. This maintained it as one of the cheapest and largest spaces for rehearsals in the city. Community has been vital to all of us. In the early 2000’s the three companies secured a number of Ontario Trillium Foundation grants to make long-lasting renovations to the studios. We are now negotiating a gradual exit from the space over the next year with the new leaseholder, and are currently unsure of what that might look like. 

 

We will be looking for new spaces and places to continue our work. Dancers and artists are resilient folks. Please feel free to connect with any of us should you wish.

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LINK TO DANCE COMPANY TENANTS:

 

CORPUS 

www.corpus.ca

Contact: David Danzon 

Email: david@corpus.ca

 

princess productions

www.princessproductions.ca 

Contact: Yvonne Ng

Email: yvonne@princessproductions.ca 

 

Kaeja d’Dance

www.kaeja.org

Contact: Karen Kaeja    Email: karen@kaeja.org 

Contact: Allen Kaeja     Email: allen@kaeja.org

 

In the 20 years since then, Dovercourt House has been home to a number of well-respected, highly regarded and artistically talented performance companies, events, dances and dance schools. Below are some of the artists and communities that we are proud and grateful to have shared the Dovercourt House with over the years. This is not an exhaustive list; we know that Dovercourt house was a home to many more in the dance community than those listed here:

Swing Toronto (Saturday Night Swing! Dance & Classes, Workshops),

GoDanz (Salsa and Kizomba Dances, Classes and Workshops), 

Paradiso Tango (Argentine Tango Dances and Classes), 

Toronto Tango Club (Argentine Tango Dances and Classes), 

Toronto Dance Fridays (Salsa and Bachata Dances and Classes),

Bachata Me (Bachata Dances and Classes), 

Bachata Cielo (Bachata Dance Classes and Events), 

Milonga Maleva (Argentine Tango Dances and Classes), 

Bachata Rosa (Bachata Dances and Classes), 

Midday Fix (Salsa and Bachata Dances), 

The Move Collective (Expressive Dance Event), 

TO West Coast (West Coast Swing Classes and Dances), 

Araguacu Latin Dance Company (Latin Dance School), 

iFreeStyle (Latin Dance School), 

Sugar Hoops (Hoop Dancing Classes and Jams), 

Sunday Contact Jam (Contact Improvisation Classes and Jams), 

Tout En Connexion (Modern Bachata Dance School), 

Baila Toronto (Brazilian Dance Classes and Events), 
5Rhythms Dance (Dance Classes)
The Move (Weekly Dance Event)

Toronto Dance Community Love-In (Dance Collective)

Sat Dharam Kaur (Yoga Teacher Training), 

Young Yoga Masters (Children's Yoga Workshops), and many more individual and one-off renters in the arts/dance/spiritual health fields.

 

Dovercourt House has also provided a safe space to many other dance companies and artists for rehearsals, classes and events. Among them are:

Ada Ho

adelheid dance projects

Against the Grain

Alexandra Elliot

Alex Samaras

Alias Dance Projects

Alicia Grant

Allison Cummings

Allison Toffan

Aluna Theatre

Amanda Acorn

Amanda Meadows

Ame Henderson

Ana Groppler

Andrea Bussinger

Andrew McDougall

Andrew Seok

Angela Blumerg

Angela Morra

Angela Schubot

Angelica Zuenko

Andrea Nann

Anita Young

Ann Trepanier

Aria Evans

Arzoo Dance Theatre

Ayelen Liberona

Bee Pallomina

Ben Kamino

Bethany Lee

Bianca Heuvelmans

Bill Coleman

Brad Cherwin

Bree Wasilenko

Brendan Jensen

Brendan Wyatt

Caroline Fraser

Carlynn Reed

Caryn Chappell

Catherine Murray

Celia Green

Chartier DanseChimera Project

Christine Moynihan

Christy Stoeten

Cinematoscape

City of Markham

Cloud 9

Colleen Costello

Corpus

Craig Chambers

Dancetheatre David Earl

Daniella Pagliarello

Danielle Baskerville

DAREarts

Daryl Vineberg

Dasein Dance Theatre

David Norsworthy

Deanna Bowen

Debra Brown

Diana Rose

Diana Tso

Diane Bruni

Dianne Montgomery

Domanique Grant

Dreamwalker Dance

Dusk Dances

Elanne Virginia Boake

Elke Schroeder

Ellen Denny

Emily Law

Emma Culpeper

Eric Cazdyn

Fabien Maltais-Bayda

Fernando Camacho

First Things First

Gavin Law

Gennie Brukner

Grimm Pictures

Hammer Pictures Inc

Hanna Kiel

Heather Hermant

Heather Mills

Holly Small

Ian - Movement Reserach

Inhabit Pilates

Irma Villafuerte

Janaki Banting

Jane Alison McKinney

Jasmyn Fyffe

Jean-Michel Brodeur

Jen Hum

Jennifer Dallas

Jennifer Dick

Jennifer Hurley

Jesse Dell

Jessica Gomes

Jessica Runge

Jillian Peever

Jim Patel

Joanna Householder

Jolyane Langlois

Julia Male

Julia Ray

Julia Sasso

Julia Wyncoll

Kari Pederson

Karissa Fyrrar

Kate Franklin

Kate Nankevis

Katie Ewald

Katie Ward

Keepers (Martha Randall)

Kemi Contemporary Dance Projects

Kiri Figueirido

Kirsten Rosenkrantz

Krista Lin

Krista Newey

Kristin Fung

Kylie Thompson

Lance Johnson

Laura Bolton

Lauren Cook

Lauren Runions

Laurence Siegel

Liisa Smith

Lilia Leon

Lindsay Cochrane

little red theatre

Liz Peterson

Lo Bil

Lorenzo Queano

Lucy Rupert

Lukas Malkowski

Mairéad Filgate

Marie-Josée Chartier

Mary Louise Albert

Mateo Galindo-Torres

Mathieu Trepanier

Matthew Huether

Meaghan O'Shea

Melissa Shaw

Meredith Anderson

Meryem Alaoui

Michael Caldwell

Michaela St. Pierre

Mikaela Demers

Mikaela Orford

Mio Sakamoto

Mix Mix Dance Collective

MJ Shaw

Mocean Dance Society

Molly Johnson

Moonhorse Dance Theatre

Nadine Villasin

Naishi Wang

Natasha Powell

Nathan Cyprys

Neena Jayarajan

Newton Moraes

Nicole Faull

Nova Dance

Olivia Arcangeli

Oriah Wiersma

Pam Johnson

Pablo Perez

Parul Gupta

Patricia Allison

Peter Kok

Pia Bouman School

Prajakta Dravid

Public Recordings

Reason d'etre

Rhodnie Desir

Robert Kingsbury

Rufi Rodriguez

Sabrina Mercado

Samantha Polzin

Sanja Dejanovic

Sanjay Pavone

Sarah Puja-Jones

SAS Productions

Sashar Zarif

Savannah Hoag

Seeking Bridge Collective

Series 8:08

Shawn Bracke

Simon Threlkeld

Sinha Danse

Sofi Gudino

Stephanie Tremblay

Steven Smith - The Garage

Subtle Vigilance Collective

Supriya Nayak

Susanna Fournier

Susanna Hood

Suzanne Liska

Sydney Hayduk

Sulvie Desrosier

Syreeta Hector

Tanya Crowder

Teresa Nguyen

Theatre Smith Gilmour

The Looking Sea Collective

Throwdown Collective

Tina Fushell

Tom Brouillette

Toronto Dance Community Love-In

Toronto Rhythm Initiative

Tracey Norman

Tribal Crackling Wind

Twelfth House

Ulla Laidlaw / Jenn Forgie

Valerie Calam

Vivek Patel

Volcano

Whitney Hevitt

William Yong

Zata Omm Dance Projects