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A TDT Tribute to Erin Poole

June 6, 2024

Celebrating Erin’s Contributions to Toronto Dance Theatre since 2015

At last, for our final dancer tribute we highlight Erin Poole’s gracious contributions throughout her full-time tenure at Toronto Dance Theatre. We’re happy to share thoughtful memories and honour her impact in our community.
With this special reflection from Rehearsal Director, Rosemary James, it is our pleasure to present this tribute as a celebration of her dance journey.

Erin Poole became a full time company member with Toronto Dance Theatre in the fall of 2018 but before this she was invited to participate in a work choreographed by Christopher House for the 2015 summer Pan Am Games. In 2016, Erin was a guest artist who worked closely with House to reimagine some of the movement sequences in the repertoire piece Animated Shorts (1984) and earlier in this season she collaborated with Walter Scott in the Singular Bodies program.

Kathleen Smith’s review in Now Magazine for the Singular Bodies program acknowledges, 

“…wonderful Erin Poole, a guest artist in this show, [was] in the most kinetic work of the evening, Walter Scott‘s Take my scepter/take my blade.”

Martha Schabas’s Global and Mail review also comments on Erin’s performance. 

“Guest dancer Erin Poole joined the company in the dynamic, charismatic solo Take my scepter/take my blade by Walter Scott. The piece drew on a variety of dance influences (I saw what looked like flashes of hip-hop crunking followed by balletic petits battements) and might be the evening’s best example of an invisible collaboration. The artist’s input was subsumed entirely by choreography and the dancer’s use of space.”

 These reviews recognize the interpretive qualities that Erin has exemplified as an artist here at TDT.

Erin is a wonderful performer with technical skill, creativity, musicality, emotional and physical range. In TDT’s 50th anniversary touring season she performed in works such as The Duet from Fjeld (1990) with partner Nicole Rose Bond and the ensemble piece Martingales (2014). In 2020 Erin was nominated for a Dora Award in the category for “Outstanding performance by an Individual” for the work Encarnado (1993). This duet performed with ensemble member Christianne Ullmark, also nominated in the category, was choreographed by Christopher House and performed by him for many seasons with company dancer Graham McKelvie.

“Encarnado was inspired by images and actions described in The Iliad, beginning with the supplication of Thetis before Zeus.” 

It was amazing to see the gender roles reversed in this piece as it had only been performed by men.

Erin’s collaborations with guest artists have been intimate and sensitive. In the 2021 Co-conspirators Project, she and Akash Bansal centered their process around privacy and ethics. And in 2022 during Performance Clash with LAL, it was wonderful to feel the connection and care between this dynamic trio.

Erin has been an incredible support for her colleagues and the organization. She is a wonderful listener who’s considerate, generous, and empathetic. I have appreciated my personal conversations with Erin. They were insightful, emotional, sometimes humorous, thoughtful and most of all heartfelt.

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