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Peggy Baker: a life in dance

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Peggy Baker says she loved to dance as a child. Once she realized she could make a career out of dancing, there was no stopping her. Twenty years after she began her training at the Toronto Dance Theatre, Baker has her own company and is one of Canada's foremost modern dancers. In this laughter-filled 1991 conversation with CBC Radio's Vicki Gabereau, Baker describes how she helped introduce Russian ballet great Mikhail Baryshnikov to the physical vocabulary of modern dance. 
• Peggy Baker was born in Edmonton in 1952. As she mentions in this radio clip, she decided to pursue modern dance after an inspiring workshop with Canadian modern dance pioneer Patricia Beatty. Baker was in high school at the time.
  • Baker moved to Toronto at 19 and began her study at the Toronto Dance Theatre. She was a co-founder of the company Dancemakers in 1974, with which she began to garner critical acclaim. "Peggy Baker, who's been in New York for a year, is back - looking like a million bucks, and performing as richly," wrote Globe and Mail dance critic Lawrence O'Toole in December 1977.

• Throughout the 1980s Baker lived in New York and was a member of the Lar Lubovitch dance company, touring the United States and performing Lubovitch's demanding works. She returned to Toronto in 1990 to found Peggy Baker Dance Projects and launch her career as a solo contemporary dancer.

• In 1992 Baker was named artist-in-residence at the National Ballet School, a position she still held in 2009. As a teacher she has also trained dancers at the Juilliard School, York University and many other institutions. 

Medium: Radio
Program: Gabereau
Broadcast Date: Sept. 12, 1991
Guest(s): Peggy Baker
Host: Vicki Gabereau
Duration: 19:24

Last updated: February 9, 2012

Page consulted on September 17, 2014

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