Claudia Moore

Claudia Moore, dancer, choreographer, artistic director (born at Buffalo, NY 14 April 1953). Claudia Moore's exploration of performance and choreography began in the early 1970s and resulted in her creating and becoming artistic director of the Toronto-based MOonhORsE dance theatre in 1996.

Her first exposure to dance was through ballet classes; at age 12 she joined the NATIONAL BALLET SCHOOL OF CANADA and eventually the NATIONAL BALLET OF CANADA (NBC), with which she toured Europe and the US. After 2 years with the NBC, Moore was increasingly drawn to the contemporary dance movement in Toronto, which led her to take modern classes and choreographic workshops held at TORONTO DANCE THEATRE (TDT), and finally to leaving the ballet for other creative pursuits. In 1973 she travelled to France and joined the Felix Blaska Company, where she honed her skills in contemporary ballet. She later moved to London, England, to study with Lindsay Kemp, a physical theatre artist. Kemp, whom Moore describes as a major influence and a brilliant artist, inspired Moore to get back into the dance.

Upon returning to Canada, Moore moved to Montréal in 1975 to dance with the Contemporary Dance Theatre of Hugo Romero. She then joined TDT in 1976, an exciting period when as a young solo artist, she felt challenged by the wonderful dramatic roles offered to her in the early works of Peter RANDAZZO, David EARLE, and Patricia BEATTY. It was in the TDT company workshops that Claudia Moore choreographed her initial piece, Chrysalis (1977), and was exposed to an expanded definition of performance; here she became acquainted with a vast array of local performance poets, visual designers and outdoor site-specific pieces.

In 1980, while still with TDT, Moore and Robert DESROSIERS co-founded DESROSIERS DANCE THEATRE. Moore danced with the Desrosiers company until 1987, exploring her interest in dance theatre and character-driven work, questioning how dance might be a platform for humanity and how movement speaks about the human condition.

In creating and becoming artistic director of MOonhORsE (a name that is both a play on Moore's surname and representative of the physical and textual aspects of her work), she was able to explore work incorporating text and character work. Claudia Moore's esthetic is notable for its theatrical physicality. She has identified her own esthetic as "body poetry," which effectively describes her interest in exploring the physical dynamic ranges of the body in order to communicate and connect with audiences. Over her career, Moore has strived  to discover a movement language that is deeper, more articulate and detailed, holding more possibility in the body for exposing her life’s journey.

One can see an interest in text, theatre and poetry in some of Moore's major works and collaborations. Three Women (2000), in which Moore danced with Bonnie Kim and Fiona Drinnan, explored the poetry of Sylvia Plath. Wishes (1998), which won Moore the DORA AWARD for new choreography, was created in consultation with director Daniel Brooks. Ever Thus (2006), which premiered in Toronto at the Young Centre for the Performing Arts, incorporated a cast of Shakespearean characters, rich in theatrical exploration.

In addition to the choreography and performances  of the company, Moore has conceived and curated “Older and Reckless,” an informal dance series featuring a mixed program of experienced dance artists who push the boundaries of performance.

Claudia Moore was the 1991 recipient of the Canada Council's Jacqueline LEMIEUX Award for excellence in dance.