The Dietrich Group | News
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A response to the media for This Is a Costume Drama


THIS IS A COSTUME DRAMA, my inundation project exploring play and plays’ relationship to adults, has taken the leap with an audience. Last week we premiered the work as part of Harbourfront’s World Stage season. This engagement with an audience was a pivotal time in the development of the work. As dance rarely gets the chance to grow through a series of previews, we took this period of performances to absorb the work even further. We weren’t just in the theatre celebrating our show … we worked non stop during the small four day run to analyze, sculpt and edit, continuing to shape the landscape and activities to bring out themes and voices clearly. I am tackling big subjects here and on a rather massive scale.

What an offering this intense creative period has been. I cannot express how much growth it has asked for us as a company and for myself as a creator and director, as the work continues to grow and develop.

The critics have implied that my work is both nihilistic and motivated by the trivial intention of being provocative. Much has been said in particular about the nudity and sexuality in the work. I must express in no way do I see sexuality as silly, stupid or frivolous. It lies at the heart of my explorations and in this work sexuality lightheartedly (which is very new for me) explores the body, gender, and power in ways that persistently poke at how uptight we can be as a society. It speaks to how coated we are in religious morality and how consistently we negate fundamental aspects of wrongdoing throughout history as we meander as a minor species. Can adults play without being bombarded and gridlocked by old associations and perspectives? Is there such thing as a trust ~ trust that is integral to the kind of play that supports and fuels our existence? What is on the other side of these explorations?

This is a pivotal time creatively in Toronto. As an artist who has made this my home for the past three decades, I find it fascinating that conservatism has such a prominent influence on the evolution of the arts in the city. Toronto is no longer only legitimized through the maturity of its Opera and Ballet. In regards to my work being presented one critic was impertinent to belittle not just it but the producers and the audience as well. The existence of an ‘artistic establishment’, or should I say members of a generation that hold tight to a reality fueling little growth, remind me of what the arts are up against. How obvious and sad that fear continues to hinder artistic evolution.

Am I nihilistic? Hhhmmmm …I am in question of meaning within all of this life, always seeking out glimmers of hope for vital survival. I think this is a place where many of us live. These are the explorations within THIS IS A COSTUME DRAMA. I have a team that sits beside me supportively as we gauge this play with all its meaning.

I am eternally grateful.
DA Hoskins
Artistic Director


THIS IS A COSTUME DRAMA wins a Dora Award. For Outstanding Ensemble

THIS IS A COSTUME DRAMA wins a Dora Award. For Outstanding Ensemble

In a statement posted on social media following the awards Artistic Director DA Hoskins expressed:

I feel I need to speak holistically about this and yet I am at that place where I am trying to figure out what is left in the bag for this guy. On Monday the ensemble of This Is a Costume Drama was acknowledged with a Dora Award. Not really into this idea of awards I have to say it did manage to put a smile on my face. To me this ensemble award speaks so potently of the philosophy of thedietrichgroup. To gauge consistent growth and survival in my work I created TDG as a platform to broaden and exercise ‘the artist(s) in exchange’. i am so proud of the communities we have created over the years and the integrity of the voices within them …and grateful for the support that has profoundly encouraged this.
This is the ensemble.
As fleeting as work comes and goes, this is what stays with me.
absofuckinglutely this really is a costume drama.
congratulations and thank you to so many of you out there.
DA xo

2014 in Review

Highlights from The Dietrich Group’s 2014 creative work and play.

This Is a Costume Drama

This Is a Costume Drama - Brodie with a pipe

Produced with Harbourfront Centre’s World Stage

April 29–May 2, 2015

What do we reveal by dressing up? Returning to World Stage following our 2012 triple Dora-nominated Paris1994/Gallery, we confirm our position as an internationally active platform for dance-powered works that blur the edges of the performance disciplines.

Our ambitious new production binds together a dizzying array of historical, pop, scientific and religious iconography, characters and situations. It forms a knot of influences and references that refuses to be untied. Elaborating artistic director DA Hoskins’ work as a sculptor who uses the material of dance, This Is a Costume Drama reveals how we transform, how we put on masks and how we celebrate – all as it turns the theatre into a landscape built for graphic spectacle. It’s a sexy, quirkily adult game of adornment, where the transformation of the exterior exposes a flash of inner life.

Read more about the performance and buy tickets on the World Stage site.

This Is a Costume Drama - Nikita

This Is a Costume Drama - Queen

New Year, new tour and we couldn’t do it without you

The Land of Fuck (a fable)

Happy New Year!

This has been a very exciting year for The Dietrich Group and we hope you have had a great one too! TDG is preparing for a very exciting 2014, with the tour of The Land of Fuck (a fable) starting the fun with performances in Toronto at The Citadel Theatre (April 9-11) and continuing to Montréal to be part of Danse Danse (April 15-19), one of Canada’s most celebrated dance series, at Place des Arts.

The Dietrich Group has launched a fundraising campaign for The Land of Fuck (a fable). Your generous support will go towards key project investments: performer & production staff compensation, rehearsal studio rentals, plus set and prop components. The Dietrich Group has already raised 78 per cent of the necessary budget. With this final, critical contribution from you, our generous supporters, it will enable The Dietrich Group to be able to present this bold artistic statement from one of Canada’s most standout choreographers, with an exceptional cast and crew for presentations in both Toronto and Montréal. This endeavour marks a new era for The Dietrich Group as we gain notoriety and seek opportunities to reach new audience and performance opportunities.

Please follow this link to our Indiegogo campaign, where you will find some pretty great incentives from postcards from Montréal to a dinner with The Dietrich Group at Artistic Director D.A. Hoskins’ home. There are lots of ways to support our fundraising, from a $5 donation and up, to sharing our fundraising campaign on your social media.

We look forward to seeing you in April and we thank you for your continuing support of The Dietrich Group.


D.A. Hoskins, Artistic Director, and Oz Weaver, Executive Director