Kittiwake Dance Theatre
Kittiwake Dance Theatre was founded in March of 1987
by Linda Rimsay. It developed from the Newfoundland Dance Theatre,
which had formed in the 1970s. A non-profit, charitable organization,
Kittiwake, run by a Board of Directors, depends largely on donations
by individuals and organizations in the community. Members of the dance
theatre, most in their late teens, are found through open auditions in
St. John's. Children as young as 6, and adults as old as 65, have
worked with Kittiwake. These positions are filled as they become
available through open auditions.
||Kittiwake Dance Theatre Logo.
Reproduced by permission of Linda Rimsay.
Kittiwake has three major performances throughout the year, as well
as several smaller ones. The Nutcracker, held every year before
Christmas, is a popular event within the St. John's community, and
is one show where a wide range of ages is used in the production.
Kittiwake Dance Theatre is presently trying to add two full-length ballets
and two full-length modern dances, as well as a number of smaller pieces,
to its repertoire.
Currently the Reid Theatre in St. John's serves as Kittiwake's main venue,
though they also perform at such places as schools, conferences and festivals.
Because of the expense of travel, the company stays close to its centre in
Since its founding over 15 years ago, Kittiwake has continued to bring in
guest artists, as both choreographers, such as Paul Winston and Nicholas
Kahn, and performers, such as Rebekah Rimsay. They also spotlight local
groups and artists, working with guest performers such as Evelyne Limelin
(flamenco dance), Sama Roy (classical Indian dance), and the Scottish
Dancers, as well as guest choreographers such as Martha Shinkle.
In the summer of 1997, Kittiwake, along with other local Newfoundland
and Labrador dance teachers, put together the province's first dance
festival--three days of dance performances and workshops. Kittiwake has
also worked with Cultural Affairs and the Canada Council to create
residency projects with such Companies as the Desrosiers Dance Company,
Danny Grossman, Peggy Baker, Toronto Dance Theatre, and Dance Makers.
They have also established workshops with various touring companies
that visit the province.
|The Nutcracker, 2004.
Kittiwake Dance Theatre students performing in the annual Christmas production of the Nutcracker.
Photograph by so-and-so. Reproduced by permission of Linda Rimsay.
In 1995 Kittiwake started its own dance school, teaching the Vaganova
Method of Ballet, under Ballet Master Jindiuch Mima. The school offers
classes in tap, ballet, jazz, modern dance, mime, flamenco, fencing and
acting. Students as young as five may study creative movement at the school,
while adults have the opportunity of taking beginner classes. The school
offers an apprenticeship program for children over 10 who are serious about
pursuing dance. The program is very structured, with several classes a week.
While there are no recitals at the school, there are, at times, lecture
demonstrations so that friends and family may see the progress of a child.
As well, those children who indicate an interest in performing may audition
for roles in individual performances by the dance theatre.
Many former Kittiwake dancers have gone on to pursue careers in dancing both
locally and nationally. There are a number of former students who are
currently enrolled in dance schools such as Quinte Dance Centre and the
Royal Winnipeg Ballet School, while others are working as independent dancers
in cities such as Montreal and Toronto as well as throughout the country.
© 1998, G. Elton
Updated April, 2005