by Sara Porter
Peter Boneham is Canada's longest serving artistic director in dance. Founding member of Le Groupe de la Place Royale and founding artistic director of Le Groupe Dance Lab, Peter has established an unparallelled legacy of choreographic mentorship.
Born in Rochester, New York, Peter trained in ballet, later moving to New York City where he danced in Broadway shows, in nightclubs, on television. Dissatisfied with unchallenging dance jobs, Peter moved to Montreal where he performed with Les Grands Ballets Canadiens, met Le Groupe de la Place Royale founder Jeanne Renaud, joined forces with her in 1966, and his world unfolded as it would.
He danced. He taught. He choreographed over 50 works. He created trouble by speaking his mind. He ran his dance companies in Montreal and Ottawa with ambition and vigour. He became a mentor to hundreds of aspiring and established choreographers. He broke ground where no one before had tread. He built a tiny dance empire.
Public acknowledgement for his hard-won achievements are many. Among them: the Jean A. Chalmers Award for Creativity in Dance (1991); The Governor General's Award for Lifetime Artistic Achievement (2005); the Order of Canada (2008); the Chevalier des arts et des lettres (2008).
A brilliant teacher. A revered mentor. An obsessive worker. Outrageous, idiosyncratic, droll. Peter Boneham's sixty years in dance is a story worth the read.
About the Author
Sara Porter's dance career as writer, teacher, choreographer and performer spans twenty years in Canada and the UK. Passionate about both the intellectual and artistic potential of contemporary dance, Sara began writing when she began dancing in her teens in Nova Scotia. A graduate of Acadia University (BA Fine Arts) and University of Surrey (MA Dance Studies), Sara has taught both dance theory and practice in universities and colleges in Canada and Scotland.
She has written for Dance Connection, The Dance Current, Montreal Mirror as well as the books The Responsive Body (Banff Press) and Encyclopedia of Theatre Dance in Canada / Encyclopédie de la Danse Théâtrale au Canada (Dance Collection Danse). Sara lives in Toronto with her husband and three sons.
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Softcover, 6" x 9"