NO GUILT: Principal Biographies personæ home

Select here to find biographies for

  • Peggy Baker, performer
  • John Faichney, director/producer
  • Paul-André Fortier, choreographer
  • Bongo Kolycius, director of photography
  • Henry Kucharzyk, composer
  • Susan Macpherson, performer

    PEGGY BAKER, performer

    Peggy Baker is recognized as one of Canada's most outstanding dance artists. She was an inaugural member of Mikhail Baryshnikov and Mark Morris' White Oak Dance Project, a featured dancer with Lar Lubovitch's New York-based company throughout the 1980s and a founding member of Toronto's Dancemakers. Her extensive performing career with these companies includes tours throughout North and Central America, the Middle East, Europe and Asia.

    In 1990 Ms Baker made her debut as a solo artist at the Festival of Canadian Modern Dance in Winnipeg, and since then Peggy Baker/Solo Dance has been presented at major dance venues throughout Canada, the U.S., Belgium and Denmark. Ms Baker maintains a close collaboration with pianist Andrew Burashko, performing whole recital evenings with this brilliant young musician.

    Ms Baker's film and television credits include Romeos and Juliets, produced by Rhombus Media; Lisa Cochrane's Sanctum, a Cine Qua Non/Pulse Project co-production; John Greyson's Zero Patience, produced by Triptich Media; a profile for TVO; two profiles for CBC's Sunday Arts and Entertainment; the Adrienne Clarkson Presents special on choreographer Mark Morris and Rina Fraticelli's upcoming Women, This Wave an Ocean, Raymond Gautier, executive producer. She is the first ever Artist-in-Residence at the National Ballet School in Toronto.

    JOHN FAICHNEY, director/producer

    John Faichney studied dance and music theory at Oberlin College. Returning to Canada, he worked briefly as an independent choreographer and performance artist before joining the Centre for Experimental Art and Communication (Toronto) as publication curator. He also assisted Susan Macpherson as rehearsal director for her solo performing career (including Non Coupable.)

    From 1983 to 1990, with Lawrence Adams, he managed The Arts Television Centre (Toronto), where he participated in all aspects of the production process and developed the initial components of No Guilt. From 1991 to 2006, he was employed by Web Networks (Toronto) and Open Text Corporation (Waterloo), working primarily in web-crawling, text processing and systems administration. He holds an M.A. in Sociology from the University of Toronto and sustains a decades-long interest in Contact Improvisation.

    His media influences include the NFB (National Film Board of Canada) documentary tradition, the structuralist dance films of Peter Dudar, the early music videos of Steve Barron, and the incomparable pornography of Andrew Blake.

    PAUL-ANDRÉ FORTIER, choreographer

    Through his diverse talents as choreographer, dancer and teacher, Paul-André Fortier has established himself as a major force in Canadian dance. It was in 1973, after teaching theatre arts and literature, that Fortier discovered dance and decided to make it his career. He was then a member of the groupe Nouvelle Aire, a hotbed of creativity which spawned an entire generation of Quebec choreographers.

    Later, as an independent dancer and choreographer, he produced penetrating portraits of the couple, of power, domination, human folly, taboos, stereotypes, and the problems of communication. The reaction to his first works, particularly Parlez-moi du cul de mon enfance, along with his desire to explore radically new artistic paths, led him to form his own company in 1981: Fortier Danse-Création. That same year he won the Jean A, Chalmers Award, Canada's highest choreographic honour.

    In 1986, he and Daniel Jackson formed Montréal Danse, which Fortier has co-directed since 1989; that same year he joined the Dance Department of the Université du Québec á Montréal. In 1987 Fortier decided to return to the stage with Fortier en solo, a series of highly demanding solo choreographies, one by Fortier himself and five by Montreal choreographers, all of whom were well acquainted with Fortier's artistic approach and regard for discipline: Daniel Souliéres, Daniel Léveillé, Denis Lavoie, Jean-Pierre Perreault and Catherine Tardif.

    In March of 1989, Montréal Danse paid tribute to his ten-year career with an entire program of his works, including Tell (1986), Le Mythe décisif (1986), Brûler (1988) and Désert (1989). Also in 1989, Fortier created Les Males Heures, in which a man unabashedly displays his tenderness, alone, sometimes impure, exposed for all to see.

    La Tentation de la transparence followed in 1991, a collaboration with visual artist Betty Goodwin. Their joint efforts continued in 1993 with Bras de plomb, a suite of four highly refined solos in which the arms of the dancer - in turn free or bound, weighted with lead or gloriously upraised - are the kinetic focal points in a constantly evolving environment.

    BONGO KOLYCIUS, director of photography

    Bongo Kolycius has worked in television since 1980; he has been a professional lighting director/cameraman since 1983.

    His experience includes work for broadcasters such as CBC and PBS, as well as a wide range of corporate clients, including Air Canada, Labatts, Molsons, Coca-Cola, and Pepsi-Cola. On-location projects include Heart of Courage (Discovery Channel/Global TV), a series of dramatic recreations of true stories (Ontario, Texas, Kentucky, others); and Bon Voyage, But... (Government of Canada Ministry of External Affairs), a series of educational documentaries produced for TVOntario's Learning Series (Belize, Turkey, Mexico, Egypt, Thailand, others). Much of his work has been live-to-tape, including Godspell Reunion CBC), and a wide range of nationally-televised awards presentations.

    Bongo participated in the 1983 conference, Dance in the Electronic Age, directed by Pierre Morin, and documented choreography reconstructed by Dance Collection Danse for Expo 86. His work for VideoCabaret International includes Alan Bridle's Last Man on Earth and the Hummer Sisters' Art vs. Art, Dressed to Kill, and Vox Pop, the last of which he co-directed with Deanne Taylor. He has taught workshops in various aspects of production technique at Trinity Square Video (Toronto), the North York Board of Education, and the CBC.

    HENRY KUCHARZYK, composer

    Henry Kucharzyk is a composer and performer based in Toronto. His compositions have been heard throughout Canada as well as at major music festivals in Europe and the U.S.

    He has been in the forefront of contemporary Canadian music for almost 15 years including serving as Artistic Director of the ARRAYMUSIC Ensemble for five years and founding the Artifact Music record label.

    He also has a long-standing association with modern dance and has collaborated with many choreographers including Susan Cash, Christopher House, Paul-André Fortier and James Kudelka. He was co-Artistic Director of INDE 88 and 90 , the biennial festivals of contemporary music and dance in Toronto and in 1991 served as Music Director of the National Choreographic Seminar at Simon Fraser University.

    William Littler of the Toronto Star has called him "one of Canadian music's explorers" and his works as a composer span a wide variety of media, both digital and analog. His commissions include works for Nexus, Toronto Dance Theatre, New Music Concerts, Dancemakers, Hemispheres, the Evergreen Club Gamelan , Les Grands Ballets Canadiens, the Canadian Electronic Ensemble, the Esprit Orchestra , Studio Grame (Lyon), the National Arts Centre Orchestra and the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation.

    In addition to his own work, he performs regularly with Arraymusic and the MIDI duo Hannan & Kucharzyk, and his concert appearances include Expo 86 , the Huddersfield Contemporary Music Festival, the Athens Festival, New Music America, the North American New Music Festival (Buffalo), the Banff Summer Festival, the Wolf Trap Summer Festival, the Winnipeg New Music Festival and the Montreal Jazz Festival.

    His most recent record release is Collisions, a disc of his orchestral music for dance.

    SUSAN MACPHERSON, performer

    Susan Macpherson began her dance training in Toronto at the age of four. While a scholarship student at the Martha Graham School in New York, she performed with the Charles Weidman Company. In 1969, following performances in England with the London Contemporary Dance Group, she joined the newly-formed Toronto Dance Theatre, later becoming Assistant Artistic Director. Numerous roles were created for her during her eleven years with the company. From 1980 to 1984, Ms Macpherson performed with the Danny Grossman Dance Company, touring the United States, Europe, and the Middle East.

    As a solo artist, Ms Macpherson's 1981 performance A Personal Collection was described by Dancemagazine as "a personal triumph". Dances were choreographed for her by Christopher Bannerman, Anna Blewchamp, Robert Cohan, Murray Darroch, Margaret Dragu, David Earle, Paul-André Fortier, and James Kudelka; her repertoire also included works by Doris Humphrey, Danny Grossman/Judy Jarvis, and Linda Rabin. In 1985, the Susan Macpherson Dance Collection toured Europe for two months, performing in Paris, Munich, Berlin, Berne, Geneva and London, as well as giving master classes and lecture/demonstrations.

    Macpherson regularly created most of her own dance costumes, as well as a number for Mary Anthony, Peggy Baker, Dancemakers, Pat Fraser, Grossman, Karen Kain, TDT, and York University.

    In 1987, following a series of knee operations, Susan Macpherson left her performing career, and returned to the study of ceramics. Her work in porcelain has since appeared in several Toronto shows and at the National Arts Centre, Ottawa.

    She has, however, continued to perform periodically, appearing in Toronto Dance Theatre's Court of Miracles, in the Rhombus Media video, Romeos and Juliets, and in a duet with Peggy Baker in several galas, including the Toronto Dance Theatre's 25th Anniversary, and a special fundraiser for the Toronto AIDS hospice, Casey House. In 1995, she performed in the imagistic theatre production, Metamorphosis of a Shadow, at Toronto's Theatre Passe Muraille.