Contemporary dancer re-imagines iconic coming of...
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Sep 10, 2013  |  Vote 0    0

Contemporary dancer re-imagines iconic coming of age story

With a Trace on at Harbourfront Centre Sept. 19 to 21

Bloor West Villager

Contemporary dancer Kate Holden is in the midst of reimagining a piece choreographed more than a decade ago by one of the most “eminent” dance artists in Canada for her latest performance as part of the Mainstage Series 2013-’14 season.

The Dupont Street and Ossington Avenue-area performer will present With a Trace, comprised of two solos and a duet, from Thursday, Sept. 19 to Saturday, Sept. 21 at Harbourfront Centre’s Enwave Theatre.

“An ambassador for Canadian arts, Peggy Baker is a huge influence in my life,” said Holden in an interview Thursday, Sept. 5.

The Peggy Baker solo, called Brahms Waltzes, was choreographed by Baker in 1992 and shared with Holden a decade later in The Choreographer’s Trust Program.

“I hadn’t touched it in 11 years,” said Holden, describing the dance as a young girl’s coming of age story.

Holden said she pitched the idea of remounting the piece last year to Baker and began researching and preparing in the spring. The dance delves into the subject of memory, how it can be so fleeting and other times so clear. Holden said she wanted to approach the piece not as an exact remount, but as a “meditation of the original work.”

With a Trace is comprised of three separate works by three contemporary Canadian choreographers, including Baker, and explores the nature of personal history and relationships – how people’s identities are constantly being redefined through their interactions and experiences.

“I’m starting to bring people into rehearsals to get feedback,” Holden said. “I’m really looking forward to letting audiences see it.”

Holden, who grew up in the Bloor West Village area has always been a dancer. She loved to put on shows around the house and would roll around on her white roller skates and her candy-striped hula hoop.

“I’m a child of the ‘80s,” quipped Holden.

When she was five or six years old, Holden’s friends started taking ballet lessons and she begged her mother to enrol her.

“My mom wasn’t so keen because she had been in ballet and didn’t really like it,” recalled Holden, whose mother eventually relented. She spent three years dancing at the Pia Bouman School for Ballet and Creative Movement and later would go onto the Etobicoke School of the Arts. Holden received professional training at the School of Toronto Dance Theatre. She loves contemporary dance for its freedom.

The co-founder of firstthingsfirst productions, Holden has travelled throughout Canada and Europe as part of her career.

“There are an amazing number of very talented dancers here,” Holden said

Tickets are $18.75 to $37.25. Call the Harbourfront Centre box office at 416-973-4000 or visit for further details.

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