Four shows down, two more to go! We would like to extend a huge thank you to our audience and supporters, for without you, the stories found within CRAVE and DEFIANT could not be shared as they are today. We look forward to sharing these stories with you tonight and Saturday! - Karen & Allen

Wednesday, May 17 | 8PM
Saturday, May 20 | 8PM

Use Promo Code: kaejalovesdance for $20 tickets!

Use Promo Code: kaejalovesstudents for $15 tickets! (must present valid student ID upon pick-up of tickets at the Box Office) 
 Zhenya Cerneacov, Stéphanie Tremblay, Michael Caldwell, Ana Groppler, Mateo Galindo Torres & Karen Kaeja in Allen Kaeja's DEFIANT. Photos by: Irina Popova
Michael Caldwell & Stéphanie Tremblay in Karen Kaeja's CRAVE. Photos by: Irina Popova
"Crave is a poem about communication, desire and need. A visually and aurally beautiful journey that anyone who has loved can relate to.
Defiant is a deeply honest exploration of how we battle with ourselves, our pasts and the inequity of life and in the process we become stronger, finding our community. You get to know the characters in this story, they have names, history and they share their individual struggles with raw intensity and truth. 
I was very moved by both of the pieces. The performers are much more than dancers and the creators much more than choreographers."  - Lori Endes
"Just writing to express the rapture I experienced last night. Both of your deeply personal work resonated with me, and served as powerful reminders of the effectiveness of work born in the caldron of real people's lives. The whole evening was a joy... all goodness, for the run and beyond!"  - Alon Nashman
"Bravo for your piece, Karen. It was very nice, very well done with fantastic dancers and musicians. I enjoy to discover your dancing.
And other Bravo to Allen for his piece very nice dancing by the dancers and some touching moments as well. I said to myself as I was watching you in the piece that you will dance for a long time. Nice solo also in the middle of the piece exposing flesh and beyond the flesh, what's underneath that we can't see but try to have a glimpse of it to empathize with our own condition.
Thanks for all these nice works where we feel some darkness but also the preciosity of light and life through humanity of the self and the exposure and behaviour of the  collective has well."  - Louise Bédard
"I was completely transfixed by Crave. It was such an emotional journey for me, from the very first utterance- the limitations of words, and the longing for meaning, connection, love. Those universals, that we all process in our own unique ways, brought to life with such poignancy and immediacy by your dancers. Their precision and authenticity blew me away. The music - well, it just  made my body and heart quiver and connect to the dancers. Such an extraordinary  range of ideas, emotions, physicality. Thank you for this beautiful piece Karen. I really connected to it on a personal level and I want to experience it again, to delve more deeply into its many nuances. 

Defiant was another emotional journey, very demanding of both the dancers and the audience. Again, the very first moment set the tone: knocking on the doors of our armoured selves; making a chink in the 4th wall of our comfort; calling us to unstage our staged lives. This was your story Allen, and ours. All of our stories in multiple, fragmented, but connected ways. Your piece gives us the proverbial mirror and hammer, with which to see, deconstruct and face some difficult truths. In Art Objects, Jeanette Winterson says, "Art is not a private nightmare, not even a private dream, it is a shared human connection that traces the possibilities of past and future in the whorl of now."   I think Defiant does exactly that. The work is so compelling; even when I tried to distance myself, it insisted upon my presence of mind and heart. and body - it was a visceral experience. The dancers were complete in their raw power and vulnerability. I love the honesty of this multi- layered work Allen.

Thank you to both of you, for being so brave and bold in your artistic processes- independently and together you are a tremendous force of ever-evolving creativity!"
- Christine Jackson

"Kaeja d'Dance's Crave/DEFIANT opened its run on Queen Street West last night.  A remounting of a previous work by choreographer/dancer/co- artistic director Karen Kaeja, and a new dance by choreographer/co-artistic director Allen Kaeja, the evening explored vulnerability, desire and drive in the intimate setting of the Theatre Centre. Karen Kaeja's  Crave  continues to be a powerful and nuanced exploration of the fraughtness and stuttering passion of modern relationships. The dance re-casts its original dancers, Michael Caldwell and Stephanie Tremblay Abudo but ups the ante by placing a live string quartet conspicuously in the performance space.  The score, by Sarah Shugarman literally comes to life as the haunting voice of Anna Atkinson enlivens strings, keyboard and piano, which seamlessly meld in counterpoint to recorded samples and strings. Sensitive and generous, the work is a glimpse into the exposed frailty of moments that we would hide, even from the person whose love created those moments.

The second half of the evening is Allen  Kaeja's autobiographical exploration, aptly-named DEFIANT.  Like dance paleontologists, we are offered a view back through the layers of the choreographer's movement past, beginning with his origins as a martial artist, and climbing one stratum at a time until we find ourselves on the surface of Allen's c urrent identity as a playful and innovative dance maker.  The work is as much an exploration of his personal - as kinetic past, all of which led to Kaeja's development as a man and an artist.  The company plays the man, each member a chapter in the history, and each body reflecting Kaeja's struggle to master his craft. Frequent collaborator Edgardo Moreno contributes a thoughtful and moody score, with enigmatic traces of Klezmer clarinet evoking the Jewish faith and culture which has driven much of Kaeja's creation. The work clearly conveys the messy and untidy challenge of ordering and re-telling a life, and gives us a stage-side view of the account.

Crave/DEFIANT gives a frank and honest look at what it means to live and grow in human bodies, and to share that experience with the world, and doesn't shy away. And neither should you.  The show is at the Theatre Centre until May 20th"  - Blake Martin

CRAVE/DEFIANT will be performed on alternating evenings with Cloud 9's program,  May 9-20  at  The Theatre Centre
"I am so deeply grateful to be part of this confluence of esteemed dance artists, performing the wild imaginations of choreographers DA Hoskins and Lina Cruz. Four nights left, do join us for the visceral world of Cloud 9." - Karen Kaeja
(special note for our readers... use promo code: moon for $20 tickets!)
  Kaeja d'Dance | | 416.516.6030 |
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