Stephen Thompson

stories & testimonials

Born and raised in Calgary, Alberta, Stephen has always been performing in the “living” room from an early age. Beginning in dance and finding a love for figure skating thanks to the 1988 Olympics, he competed at the 1998 Canadian Olympic Trials. Understanding the professional limitations of skating and becoming fascinated and intrigued by movement, art and performance,Stephen obtaineda Bachelor of Kinesiology and a minor in Contemporary dance from the University of Calgary. His first professional company (where he was introduced to the DTRC) was in Calgary and continued to dance with well-known dance companies and artists across Canada taking stock in each experience. Stephen has lived a nomadic lifestyle for the past 15 years working between Canada, Europe and the USA, gaining a broad understanding of international contemporary dance practices, ethics, institutions, funding and how he is truly an ambassador of culture.

“Being a dancer, is not exactly the same thing as being an artist or a choreographer or a project facilitator, or a producer, or a pedagogue. They all inform each other and the label and identity as a “dancer” has become more and more difficult for me to continue to assume.

At this time in my life, I need to reflect and research alternatives in order to reinvent and reinvigorate myself for the future. Our industry carries with it a sense of urgency and focus that leaves little time to manage and navigate options. The tough reality of a dancer’s economic situation has made me feel the necessity to commence my transitions towards physically healthier and financially less precarious life choices. Thinking about other important humanist issues outside of my own dancing would be a relief. I understand that as a dancer at 44, my body is fatigued. It has allowed me to experience diverse projects and engage with fascinating artists and cultured publics.”

“I am still floating with this extraordinary opportunity, resources and acknowledgement. What an immense privilege to be given this prize that has oxygenated me to shift my perspectives. The DTRC has always been extremely generous, emotionally supportive, open, attentive and kind. Like fairy grandmothers. Quiet voices, wise supporters behind the spotlights with a benevolent unconditional care towards not only our “industry” but the spirit of what it means to be an “artist” and a passionate “dancer” within the cultural landscape of Canada. Thank you so much. I am filled with a motivating embrace of encouragement and trust towards new developments and possibilities. “