Michael Trent

2013 Adjudicator

Contemporary Dance
Michael Trent

Michael TrentDora-nominated dance artist Michael Trent is the Artistic Director and Resident Choreographer of Toronto’s Dancemakers and the Centre for Creation, one of Canada’s leading contemporary dance companies and a centre for research and development in new dance practices. The organization’s creations, presenting and professional development projects are contemporary, cross-disciplinary and collaborative in nature.

In a career spanning over 25 years, Trent’s body of work has been seen across Canada at the National Arts Centre, Montreal’s l’Agora de la danse, the Canada Dance Festival, the Dunn Theatre in Halifax and the Dancing on the Edge Festival in Vancouver. He was the co-recipient of the 2004 K.M. Hunter Artists Award in dance.

Prior to coming to Dancemakers, Trent was the founding Artistic Director of the empty collective. Since its creation in 2000, the empty collective has produced The Memory Show (2001) and invisible borders (2004), with works by Trent, Sarah Chase, Laurence Lemieux, Louise Bédard and Doug Varone. Outside the collective, Trent has created over 30 works, beginning with a commission from the Judith Marcuse Dance Company in 1988. His repertoire ranges from solos to large group works and has been created in a wide range of contexts: companies and independent artists, senior dance students from most of Canada’s professional training institutions, and one for a group of hearing-impaired youth on behalf of the National Ballet of Canada’s Dance in the Schools project. For the 2004-2005 season, he was the Artist-in-Residence at Canadian Children’s Dance Theatre. His solo Acts of Light received the Paula Citron Award for best new work at fFIDA 1997.

Trent was a senior faculty member at The School of Toronto Dance Theatre for over 10 years and frequently returns as a guest teacher. Other teaching credits include Arts Umbrella, Canada’s National Ballet School, Circuit-est, la Fondation Jean-Pierre Perreault, Le Groupe Dance Lab, Le Regroupement Québécois de la danse, Main Dance, the Rotterdamse Dansacademie, Simon Fraser University, and the Teachers’ Collectives in both Toronto and Vancouver.

As a performer, Trent has danced for some of Canada’s most respected creators including Louise Bédard, Martin Bélanger, Sarah Chase, David Earle, Sylvain Émard, Ame Henderson, Christopher House, Sasha Ivanochko, Laurence Lemieux, Antonija Livingstone, Jean-Pierre Perreault, Dominique Porte and Julia Sasso. He was nominated for a Best Performance Dora award for Bédard’s Ce qu’il en reste in 2006.

Trent has taken on a number of key roles within the performance community. From 2001 to 2006, he was a National Representative for the Dancer Transition Resource Centre, working across Canada on issues related to transition. For many years, he was an instrumental player in the envisioning and delivery of On the Move, a career conference for emerging dance artists. He was a chair, co-chair, and producer of Dancers for Life for five years, a much-heralded dance event that raised funds for the AIDS Committee of Toronto. Trent has contributed to the milieu on numerous occasions as consultant and juror for the Canada Council, the Ontario Arts Council, the Hnatyshyn Foundation, and the Governor General’s and K.M. Hunter Awards. Trent is a former board member and President of the Canadian Dance Assembly (CDA), a national organization that advocates for the growth, health and sustainability of the dance sector.