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Meet The Artists


Miriam Adams

ballet / experimental dance / dance archives / dance publishing

(1944- )

Miriam Adams, whose birth name is Miriam Weinstein, was one of Betty Oliphant's early students in Canada. Adams later danced with the National Ballet of Canada from 1963 until 1969. After leaving the company, she and her husband, Lawrence Adams, who was also a dancer, taught at the Lois Smith School of Dance and formed 15 Dancers, a performance group featuring some of their students. Later in the 1970s, the Adams founded 15 Dance Laboratorium, the first theatre to present experimental dance and independent dance artists in Toronto.

During the 1970s, Miriam Adams choreographed several satirical works, including Another Nutcracker (1973), which parodied the classical ballet world she had left. An early proponent of video as an artistic medium, Adams combined her caustic humour with her strong visual sensibility to create several short works that hid her social commentary behind a veneer of hilarity. Most notably, her Sonovovitch (1975) lampooned the media frenzy that had occurred a year earlier when Mikhail Baryshnikov defected from the Soviet Union while on tour in Toronto.

A talented writer and editor, Adams collaborated with her husband to publish several different dance magazines and journals, including Spill and Canadian Dance News. In the 1980s, she worked for the Dance in Canada Association.

Also in the 1980s, Adams and her husband felt compelled to address the Canadian dance community's lack of knowledge of its own history. They organized Encore! Encore!, a dance reconstruction project to document and preserve important Canadian choreographic works. They presented some of their research in a production staged at Expo'86 in Vancouver.

That same year, they began to amass the largest collection of items relating to Canadian theatrical dance history, which led to the formation of their archives, Dance Collection Danse. They began to publish award-winning books under the Dance Collection Danse Press/es imprint in the 1990s.


Dance Collection Danse

Learn more:

Anderson, Carol. “Moving Forward Looking Back: Lawrence and Miriam Adams and Dance Collection Danse.” Canadian Dance: Visions and Stories. Eds. Selma Landen Odom and Mary Jane Warner. Toronto: Dance Collection Danse Press/es, 2004: 345-352.

Fisher, Jennifer. “From Post-Ballet to Post-Modern: The 1972 Debut of Toronto’s Ground-Breaking 15 Dance Collective.” Canadian Dance: Visions and Stories. Eds. Selma Landen Odom and Mary Jane Warner. Toronto: Dance Collection Danse Press/es, 2004: 339-344.