Gerry Trentham

Gerry Trentham

Artistic Director of pounds per square inch performance
MFA in Performance, York University, Toronto, Ontario; Graduate Voice Teaching Diploma, York University, Toronto, Ontario, BA Hon Cultural Arts Administration, University of Alberta, Edmonton, Alberta

Throughout this art-making we ask: ‘With others, how are we transformed, imprisoned, or set free, by our habit selves, our natural and constructed environments? Can we embrace the unknown to learn beyond division (of culture, art form, nationhood)? How do we, together, in our individual distinctiveness, negotiate with integrity in order to share resources and life, not only as human nature, but Nature’s human? Gerry Trentham

Gerry Trentham’s art and art teaching stems from his interest in the transformative human body/mind as a primary source for creation and performance. His work organically developed from dance and theatre, founded in his advanced study of both disciplines, to performance/visual art that interlaces and layers written/spoken poetic text, dance, human gesture, sound, music, with visual and media art and teaching that transits disciplinary boundaries. Gerry is interested in the power of the collective to focus attention and breed deep consciousness in self and other. In his art works he invites his collaborators, with their histories and practices, into initial inquiries and creation processes where no one form or one person is in service to another. He leads his team from stillness to life, silence to voice/music/sound, and imagination to refined image through a process of generosity, rigor, curiosity, and grit; all to explore the living whole and reveal how parts, selves or communities have been declared/become separate — primal, ancient, cultured, rural, emotional, intellectual, contemporary, sexual, urban, physical and spiritual. His teaching and mentoring reflects his understanding of how the collective gathers moments of artful precision and range, and constructs and installs a conscious architecture that seamlessly transits, negotiates and houses contents, forms and perspectives. He is interested in how he and this team test presence and integrity and commit to a seamless interplay of formless forms that speaks to a truly inclusive audience and respects difference. His teaching is sourced in his art-making and his eternal interest in his own and other’s potential presence in performance.

 

Gerry began his performance career as a dancer and was acclaimed for his performances throughout North America and Europe in the works of many prominent contemporary choreographers, including a seven-year tenure with Serge Bennathan’s Dancemakers. He was internationally acclaimed for his performance in Bennathan’s Chronicles of a Simple Life. The New York Times dance critic Anna Kisselgoff called his performance, “remarkably lyrical”, and Clive Barnes of the New York Post wrote, “…powerfully acted by the outstanding Gerry Trentham”. Seven works in which he has originated roles have been nominated for and/or received Toronto Dora Awards.

 

Gerry's own creations have been presented throughout Canada, the United States, England and Australia. His bi-national Four Mad Humours (2011) was nominated for a Dora Mavor Moore for performance. Mr. Trentham is presently part of the elite cast and text director of Denise Fujiwara's newest hit Eunoia (premiered at World Stage in 2014) presently touring through Canada and beyond. The work, a testament to a new form of integrated voice and dance art, was nominated in three Dora Mavor Moore Award categories including Outstanding Ensemble Performance. His present creation includes The Art of Peace: Arrival and the Apology Project a collaboration with Director Diane Roberts and American visual artist Kaersten Colvin-Woodruff set for premiere at Harbourfront Centre Theatre in Fall 2017 in Toronto.

 

Gerry Trentham holds a BA Hon Degree from the University of Alberta and an MFA in Theatre Performance and a Graduate Voice Diploma from York University. As part of his extensive teacher training certification with David Smukler, Gerry met and began a ten-year tenure with Judith Koltai in Embodied Practice. In 1998 he was invited to join the core faculty where his deeply integrated voice and movement teaching has been honed. He is one of very few choreographer/dancers who's teaching and coaching bridges deeply into voice, text and speech. He can find himself choreographing and movement, dialect and voice coaching within the same professional production as with the recent Irish Classical productions of Equus, Sweet Bird of Youth, and Amadeus.

 

Gerry has taught throughout Canada, United States, UK, and Australia including at York University, Canada’s National Theatre School in Montreal and SUNY Buffalo State where he was Head of Voice at from 1998 – 2008. With Butoh artist Denise Fujiwara, he has developed an annual Butoh Voice Intensive that integrates the two artists’ work and is fostering new frontiers in integrated arts. Gerry has mentored countless artists in the creation of their work including at Urban Inc in Vancouver, with actor Olivia Olsen in London UK, and Ozcabaret in Brighton UK and most recently through a formalized lbs/sq”s FULCRUM project. Artist Sara Porter’s new hit now touring North America came out of her association with lbs/sq” and Gerry’s creation and directorial support. Gerry has served the board of Canadian Alliance of Dance Artists, the steering committee of Artists Health Centre, the Toronto Arts Council Board of Directors.