The School of Toronto Dance Theatre

We have begun a new year of our Professional Training Program, welcoming a wonderful incoming class of enthusiastic first year dancers, and looking back with pride at the accomplishments of our recent graduates.

Our stellar faculty are now enjoying working with returning students, as well as the new group of first year dancers who come to us from far and wide – across Canada, and from Colombia, France, and Mexico; they were welcomed in with orientation activities organized for them by our energetic third year dancers.

For this issue, having highlighted several parts of Canada, we now move our focus to Japan – and we profile three dancers with a strong Japanese connection: our 1991 alumna Naoko Murakoshi, who has returned to her homeland to teach; our talented third year dancer Chihiro Nukuto, recent winner of our Kathryn Ash Scholarship; and our much-loved regular guest Graham teacher, Elizabeth Auclair, who has been teaching in Japan for the past three years. I hope you enjoy reading about these gifted individuals, and wish you all a wonderful and productive fall. 
Patricia Fraser
Patricia Fraser
Artistic Director
 Naoko Murakoshi 
Naoko Murakoshi in The Four Horsemen Project
© Itai Erdal
Naoko Murakoshi, a 1991 graduate of the School, is originally from Japan, and is now back in her home country, teaching at Mukogawa Women’s University in Nishinomiya, Hyōgo. She started her dance training in ballet in Japan, and eventually came to Canada to join the Goh Ballet in Vancouver. We asked Naoko to fill us in on her Canadian dance adventures, and on her eventual journey back to Japan.  
“I was dancing around the house since I remember, and I taught myself until I was 10 years old. My mother didn’t have the time to take me to dance class. One day, I just took myself to ballet school because I could not wait anymore; I will be too old! I thought." 
Read Naoko's story in full.
Elizabeth Auclair
Elizabeth Auclair © John Deane
Elizabeth Auclair has been a well-loved visiting faculty member at the School for the past 12 years. Since 2015, she has lived overseas, holding a full-time teaching position as a Visiting Guest Professor, at Kobe College in Nishinomiya, Hyōgo, Japan. Elizabeth was a Principal Dancer with the Martha Graham Dance Company, where she danced from 1993 through 2009, performing many of Graham’s signature roles. She has since served as rehearsal director for the Martha Graham Dance Company, and frequently stages the Graham work on professional companies and university students. 
Read more about Elizabeth Auclair.
Chihiro NukutoChihiro Nukuto © Tomoya Yoshitomi   STUDENT PROFILE: CHIHIRO NUKUTO
Chihiro Nukuto is originally from Nara, Japan, and before coming to the School, she graduated from Mukogawa Women’s University in 2014, with a degree in Health and Sports Science; she also holds a teaching license in Physical Education. Apart from her studies in Japan, she was very involved in dance and was a member of the Mukogawa Women’s University Dance Collective. In the Collective, Chihiro studied contemporary dance, jazz, Gaga, contact improvisation, Graham, and Gyrotonic, as well as choreographing her own pieces. There she met Naoko Murakoshi and Masuyo Higashide (both School graduates) and was deeply inspired by them both. Read more about Chihiro Nukuto.  
Benjamin Landsberg, Heidi Strauss, and Michael Caldwell in rehearsal © Zhenya Cerneacov
We are inspired by the bold and innovative dance projects cropping up in Toronto this fall, especially with so many School graduates involved! The top dance ticket is the world premiere of Michael Caldwell-choreographed Factory, interpreted by Lori Duncan, Benjamin Landsberg, Louis Laberge-Côté, Kaitlin Standeven, and Heidi Strauss.
Factory, a stirring contemporary dance work that offers a timely meditation on the political and societal realities of the attainment and abuse of power in a hyper-connected society, kicks off the new season at the new Citadel + Compagnie from September 20-23, 2017. 
Tickets: 416-364-8011x1 or book online

Any questions or feedback? Please contact:
Lilya Sultanova | Communications & Outreach Manager | 416-967-6887 ext. 25     Like us  /schooloftdt     Follow us@schooloftdt     Follow us!  @schooloftdt
80 Winchester Street, Toronto, ON, Canada M4X 1B2 | 416-967-6887

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