Crystal Pite – 2012 Jacqueline Lemieux Prize
Crystal Pite pours her guts, her soul and her sometimes startling imagination into every movement.
Crystal Pite’s works are quirky, intelligent, bold, and always captivating. One of Canada’s most innovative choreographers, she thrills audiences with her unique and theatrical dance works. She is also the latest recipient (2012) of the Canada Council’s Jacqueline Lemieux Prize, which is awarded annually to an established dance artist who has made a significant contribution to dance in Canada, through the Grants to Dance Professionals program.
As a dancer, Pite joined Ballet British Columbia in 1988, and then Ballett Frankfurt in Germany (1996), where she had the opportunity to work with renowned dancer/choreographer William Forsythe and perform on stages around the world.
She developed a passion for choreography and upon her return to Canada founded Kidd Pivot in 2002, based in Vancouver and from 2010-2012 was resident company at Kunstlerhaus Mousontrum in Frankfurt, Germany.
Pite’s talent was showcased for a wide Canadian and international audience during the Cultural Olympiad, as part of the 2010 Winter Olympics in Vancouver. The work she created for the occasion, Dark Matters (also a co-production of Dance Victoria, the National Arts Centre and L’Agora de la danse), references the “dark matters” of science and the soul with haunting music, tall shadows and a menacing marionette in an epic battle with its creator. The production was a hit – it went on to be performed to sold-out audiences around the world and won the 2012 Dora Mavor Moore Award for outstanding production.
Pite’s most recent honour, the Jacqueline Lemieux Prize (valued at $6,000), was established in 1980 in memory of Jacqueline Lemieux's profound contribution to Canadian dance as a teacher and administrator. Pite will receive the award at a ceremony at the National Arts Centre, on the opening night of her latest work, The Tempest Replica. The Canadian premiere opens the NAC Dance Season on September 27, 2012.
Photo of Crystal Pite: Joris-Jan Bos