In 2005, Mikhail Baryshnikov’s dream of having a New York City based arts complex for all disciplines became a reality with the opening the Baryshnikov Arts Center (BAC) which acts as both a “creative laboratory and performance space for artists from around the world”. One of BAC’s upcoming performances is the New York digital premiere of Canadian choreographer Peggy Baker’s work titled her body as words running online February 28 – March 14, 2022 at 5pm (ET) at

Based in Toronto Peggy Baker is one of Canada’s most celebrated and influential contemporary dance artists who has maintained a powerful creative presence since appearing on the dance scene in 1973. Baker has performed internationally with numerous prominent American choreographers including Lar Lubovitch, Mark Morris and Mikhail Baryshnikov’s White Oak Dance Project, Doug Varone, Tere O’Connor, Molissa Fenley, and Charles Moulton (NYC). Internationally, she has performed with Fortier Danse-Creation (Montreal); and James Kudelka, Dancemakers, and Toronto Dance Theatre (Toronto).

Peggy Baker - Photo by Jeremy Mimnagh

Peggy Baker – Photo by Jeremy Mimnagh

Peggy Baker Dance Projects was established in 1990, working primarily as a solo performer. Since 2010 her choreography has focused on works for small ensemble, and throughout that time, Peggy Baker Dance Projects has performed across Canada, the US, in Asia, and in Europe. She has premiered five all-night choreographic events for Toronto’s Nuit Blanche, and situated three choreographic installations—move, interior with moving figures, and land | body | breath—in public spaces and galleries. To read Ms. Baker’s full bio, please visit her company’s website.

Created in 2021, her body as words is described as “is a sound and film installation that fragments and explodes notions of female identity as expressed by nine Canadian dance artists”. The work was inspired by a 2009 translation of Simone de Beauvoir’s “The Second Sex” and is the result of a collaboration between Baker and the performers – “Dancing the complexities of their lived identities in a series of movement portraits, the artists offer gestural renderings touching on themes of race, gender expression, sexual orientation, pregnancy, miscarriage, motherhood, disability, physical labor, and aging.” – Janet Stapleton PR press release.

Syreeta Hector - Peggy Baker Dance Projects - Photo by Jeremy Mimnagh

Syreeta Hector – Peggy Baker Dance Projects – Photo by Jeremy Mimnagh

The concept, choreographic composition, and direction of her body as words was by Peggy Baker. The performers include: Sze-Yang Ade-Lam, Nicole Rose Bond, Aria Evans, Syreeta Hector, Kate Holden, Tia Ashley Kushniruk, Alison Neuman, Anisa Tejpar, and Peggy Baker. (To download a PDF copy of the collaborator biographies, please click here.) The work was filmed by Jeremy Mimnagh; sound designer was Debashis Sinha; and the film’s run time is 51 minutes.

To learn more about the Baryshnikov Arts Center (BAC), please visit the website.

To learn more about Peggy Baker Dance Projects, please visit the website.

Written by Jeff Slayton for LA Dance Chronicle.

Featured image: Aria Evans – Peggy Baker Dance Projects – Photo by Jeremy Mimnagh