The Dietrich Group | News
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For his newest work, DA Hoskins collaborates with the exceptional dance artists Emily Law and Naishi Wang. Premiering March 10th — 13th 2016 at The Collective Space, a former sound stage, at 221 Sterling Road, studio 5 in the emerging Lower Junction Triangle.


“There is a lake in Northern Ontario called Florence. Nature, this place, my experiences camping and portaging — all have inspired The Dietrich Group’s newest work. FLORENCE is both about the act of seeing and being immersed in the view; like the simultaneous experience of looking at a landscape, and being a part of nature. An exploration of the body in a landscape, FLORENCE sets out to find physical intimacy in silhouette — the intimacy of the player playing and the watcher watching, and that which is in between.” — DA Hoskins


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The Other ‘D’ / sissyboy



As part of the symposium The Other ‘D’: Locating the ‘D’ance in Drama, Theatre and Performance Studies in Canada — The Dietrich Group will be presenting an excerpt from the 2008 pivotal work — LADY: Images in a Melodramatic Setting. Inspired by DH Lawrence’s Lady Chatterley’s Lover, LADY follows a woman — her mythology, her sexuality, her stories — into the clutches of any one notion of ‘identity’. Is her identity hers alone? Or is she an idea the audience has formed of her through images that resonate with iconic, yet unsettling familiarity?

This excerpt we refer to as ‘the sissyboy duet’ features dance artist Damian Norman, Sebastian Hirtenstein and Danielle Baskerville.



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Jackie Burroughs is Dead (and what are you going to do about it?)

Jackie Burroughs is Dead (and what are you going to do about it?)


Artistic Associate Danielle Baskerville has engaged independently an initiative in artistic producing and commissioning of new work. Her most recent commission with long time collaborator DA Hoskins will be part of the DanceWorks 2015/16 season.


Created by director/choreographer DA Hoskins and featuring dance artists Danielle Baskerville, Luke Garwood and Robert Kingsbury, this world premiere focuses on how energy reverberates and grows through exchange. On September 22, 2010, days before initial rehearsals, the Canadian stage and film actress Jackie Burroughs passed away. Her death steered the course of this work as an exploration of the power of reaction — how we observe, absorb and ultimately respond. In Jackie Burroughs is Dead (and what are you going to do about it?) there is an echo forever permeating the present and speaking of the residuals of loss.


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DA Hoskins in residency at hub14

Artistic Director DA Hoskins will be in residency at hub14: an artist-run space and performance incubator.




the artist in action is the artist vandalizing their form – going beyond their form – to ultimately bring direct, potent focus to the body, its parts, and our associations.


Over the past year and a half, DA Hoskins and Mark Reinhart have been engaged in a creative interactive exchange in image play. In a landscape involving connection, intimacy and boundaries, they are exploring themes such as colour, sexuality, movement, evolution, character play and personal politics in attempts to expand our common perceptions of the body.


This documentation project will be a malleable entity, a step towards creating a collage of ideas and elements exercised through instinct, response and time. We don’t wish for these ideas to conform or settle, but to be in a perpetual state of change, much like the body.


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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