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Gioconda Barbuto

Interprète, Chorégraphe, Enseignant, Répétiteur / Dir. des répétitions

Gioconda Barbuto is an internationally esteemed Italian-Canadian dancer and choreographer. She was a long-time member of Les Grands Ballets Canadiens, dancing with the company for sixteen years, and of Nederlands Dans Theater III for eight years. Recognized by many for her exceptional versatility and magnetism as a performer and soloist, she boldly embodied work by the most influential ballet and contemporary choreographers of the past few centuries: Kylián, Naharin, Balanchine, Fokine, Limón, van Manen, Duato, Nault, Morris, Tudor, and theatre director Robert Wilson. During her company career, she worked with essential Canadian makers including Judith Marcuse, Brian Macdonald, Christopher House, Ginette Laurin, Paul-André Fortier, Jeanne Renaud, and James Kudelka. Her synergy in studio with Jiří Kylián, in particular, led to a fruitful body of work, including Birth Day and Car Men, two celebrated dance films.

Since emerging as an independent artist, Barbuto has made many notable contributions to the Canadian contemporary dance milieu. She performed frequently with Margie Gillis, most recently in M.Body.7; co-created and performed Lifelines with Emily Molnar; and self-produced the solo Respiro. Most recently, she collaborated with Joe Laughlin on his new quartet 4OUR, with a successful tour of Atlantic Canada.

In 1994, Danse-Cité selected Barbuto for its Traces-Interprètes production, affording her an opportunity to exploit her burgeoning artistic vision. Since making Chiaroscuro for the Banff Festival Ballet in 1996, she has unflaggingly pursued her choreographic calling. Marked by her innate eye for complex and fluid form, and her natural musicality, her choreography harnesses the synergy of its performers. She creates detailed, dynamic friezes of full-bodied gesture. Barbuto’s oeuvre now counts over fifty works, among them solos, duets, group pieces, and films.

Dozens of internationally acclaimed dance companies have invited her to create work for and with their dancers. Her pieces have been performed by Les Grands Ballets Canadiens, Ballet BC, Les Ballets Jazz de Montréal, Alberta Ballet, Minnesota Dance Theatre, NW Dance Project, Ballet Kelowna, YOU dance/The National Ballet of Canada, Ballet Jörgen and Nederlands Dans Theater Choreographic Workshop. In 2015 Gioconda received the McKnight International (choreographer) Artist Fellow and returned to Minnesota—where her career began in 1977—to create FOOTPRINT, a “stark and poignant” work for TU Dance. She also recently obtained one of the choreographic positions for Oregon Ballet Theater’s Choreography XX competition creating BRINGINGOUTSIDEIN — named “best in premiere” in Dance Europe Magazine from the success of the June 2017 performances and to be restaged in their 2018-19 season for Director’s Choice.