Michael Caldwell is a multiple Dora Mavor Moore award-nominated, Toronto-based choreographer, performer, curator, and arts advocate. An 'intense dynamo on stage' (Scene4) with 'exceptional interpretive skills' (Globe & Mail), Caldwell has performed/collaborated with over 45 of Canada's esteemed dance creators/companies, and has performed across North America, Europe, Asia, and Australia. His more recent work explores the intersection of movement, sound, and visual art in contemporary performance. Caldwell is quickly garnering critical acclaim for his 'daring and powerful' (Bateman Reviews) choreography. In his current role as Artistic Producer for the Fall for Dance North Festival, Caldwell seeks to contribute to Canada’s cultural landscape with curated dance programming of the highest artistic quality. With a bachelor’s degree in film/art history from Syracuse University, Caldwell sits on the artistic advisory committee at Dancemakers.
Zhenya Cerneacov is from the Republic of Moldova. He moved to Canada in 2006 where he quickly became an active member of the contemporary dance scene performing with companies including Kaeja d’Dance, Danny Grossman Dance Company, Coleman&Lemieux Compagnie, Corpus Dance Projects, Peggy Baker Dance Projects and many more. Zhenya is co-founder and co-choreographer for the “Throwdown Collective” with which he co-created three critically acclaimed commissions for Dusk Dances, and a stage piece which won the Dora Mavor Moore Award for Outstanding Original Choreography and 3 other nominations. In 2011 Zhenya co-founded “The School of Cadence Ballet” with partner Courtnae Bowman with whom he shares artistic direction. For the past 10 years Zhenya has been a member of the core ensemble of Dusk Dances.
Karen Kaeja is an award winning performer, choreographer, educator, community builder and project instigator. Co-Artistic director of Kaeja d’Dance with Allen Kaeja, she thrives on developing performance platforms provoking collaborative relationships between dancers, everyday people and the body. “The mastermind behind Porch View Dances” Toronto Star, she integrates public participation through community and participatory arts practices. Her awards include the CDA “I Love Dance” Community Award and the Paul D. Fleck Fellowship for Innovation. Her recent work Crave received 4 Dora Mavor Moore nominations. Distinguished in The Canadian Who's Who, her other nominations include a performance Dora, American Choreography and Banff World Television Awards. She was a finalist for the TAF Muriel Sherrin Award, CDA Innovation Award, NOW Mag’s Best Local Choreographer and Best Dance Company. Commissioned and presented by performance series around the world from NFLD to Japan. she was the first resident dance artist for MUN/Dance NL and the Guelph Contemporary Dance Festival. Read Karen's complete bio.
Mateo Galindo Torres is a dance artist, born and raised in Columbia, with side projects in film, photography, and music editing. As an independent artist, Torres has performed professionally in Canada, Colombia, Cuba, Germany, Mexico, and Panama. Torres is a Co-Artistic Director and Founding Member of Form Contemporary Dance Theatre. With Form, Torres has choreographed and presented multiple pieces in different Canadian cities. Torres’ work is often politically charged, inspired by social subject matters, and fuses his eclectic movement background.
Ana Claudette Groppler was born in Toronto. She discovered her love of dance at Rosedale Heights School of the Arts, and pursued her training further, graduating from The School of Toronto Dance Theatre in 2011. Groppler has worked with Toronto Heritage Dance, Kemi Contemporary Dance Projects, Nancy Latoszewski, Signal Theatre, Fiona Griffiths, Kaeja d’Dance, Peggy Baker Dance Projects, The Go To Company, and Social Growl Dance. Groppler has performed her own work in shows with Dance Matters, Nextfest, the Parahumans and Magpie Dances. She toured across Mexico with Kaeja d’Dance in 2016.
Stéphanie Tremblay was born in Montreal. At an early age, she became immersed in the figure skating scene, having been on the junior national team for three years, going on to become the 2002 novice Canadian champion. She went on to study dance at The School of Toronto Dance Theatre, where she graduated in 2010. Professionally, Tremblay has danced choreographies by Allen and Karen Kaeja (Kaeja D’dance, since 2010), Ginette Laurin (Overtigo, Montreal), Peggy Baker, Suzie Burpee, Michael Caldwell and many more. She is now based in Montreal, where she continues to work as an independent dance artist and yoga teacher.
Edgardo Moreno, Composer, is a Hamilton based composer that has been commissioned for projects in Canada, Venezuela, Mexico, Sweden, Argentina, England and USA. He has written scores for films produced by CBC, Bravo, City TV, NFB, OMNI, Ontario Arts Council, History Channel, TVO. He has worked extensively with choreographer Allen Kaeja creating sound design and musical scores. He is presently working in creating video and live sound pieces that are part of his Fireflyproject.
Sarah Shugarman, Composer/Sound Designer/Musical Director, is a multi-instrumentalist and composer whose music has accompanied dance, theatre, and internationally award-winning film. Sarah holds degrees from the School of Contemporary Arts at Simon Fraser University and the University of Toronto. Her compositions for dance include commissions for Kaeja d'Dance (Crave, Taxi!), Toru Shimazaki (Japan/Netherlands), Hari Krishnan (InDance), Jen Goodwin (Company Blonde), Naoko Murakoshi (Older and RecklessToronto/Japan), Maxine Heppner (Across Oceans), Colin Connor (Limon Co. NY), Dreamwalker Dance Co., Chelsea O’Brian, and the Canadian Contemporary Dance Co. Her recent works have been heard in performances throughout Mexico, at the Redcat Disney Hall Theatre (LA), Summer Stage (NY), Matusuoka Ballet Theatre (Japan), and Simon Fraser University (Vancouver).
Bruce Barton, Dramaturge, is the AD of Vertical City Performance as well as a playwright, dramaturg, director, and scholar. His stage plays have been produced across Canada on stage and CBC radio, been celebrated with multiple award nominations, and published. Bruce works extensively as a writer, dramaturg, and collaborator with physical theatre, devising, and dance performance companies such as Ghost River Theatre, Zuppa Theatre, Theatre Gargantua, bluemouth inc., and Kaeja d’Dance. He has also directed professionally for over two decades, most recently with Vertical City (All Good Things, YouTopia, Trace) Hopscotch Collective (Swimmer ), and Kaeja d’Dance (Rogue Show).
ABOUT KAEJA D'DANCE
Kaeja d’Dance is an award-winning contemporary dance company known for innovation, choreography, performance, site-specific work ("Best Site Specific Work” Globe and Mail), and groundbreaking community engagement projects ("I Love Dance Community Award" Canadian Dance Assembly).They thrive on developing professional performance platforms, collaborations with partners, peers and performers of all ages and abilities, while aiming to bridge the gap between professional artists and everyday people.
At the heart of Kaeja, are Co-Artistic Directors, Karen and Allen Kaeja, with over 140 works including commissions and performances, both here in Canada and abroad. Karen and Allen’s signature aesthetic is known for its intimacy, athletic intensity, sensual articulation, theatrical imagery and story-telling through personal and artistic resourcing of lives lived.
In addition to Kaeja’s live performances, touring shows, residencies, commissions, and dance films, Kaeja also works to bring dance into communities through public space animations, community performance projects, inclusive exchanges with everyday people, appearances and dance education workshops.
Kaeja d’Dance celebrates over 28 years of extraordinary dance.
For a full biography, go