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Meet The Artists

Biography

Peter Bingham

EDAM / contact improvisation / The Echo Case

(1951- )

Peter Bingham was born in Vancouver. He met teacher and choreographer Linda Rubin while studying at Simon Fraser University and later performed with her dance company, Synergy. He also studied contact improvisation with Americans Steve Paxton and Nancy Stark Smith in Vancouver during the mid-1970s before co-founding his own contact improvisation group Fulcrum, with Andrew Harwood and Helen Clarke.

In 1982, Bingham was one of the artists who started the creative collective EDAM (Experimental Dance and Music), along with Barbara Bourget, Jay Hirabayashi, Lola MacLaughlin, Jennifer Mascall, Peter Ryan and musician Ahmed Hassan. By the end of the 1980s, Bingham was the sole remaining founder and the group's artistic director.

Bingham is noted for several contact-inspired choreographic efforts, including his large multimedia work, Teller of Visions (1986), Cryptic Heart (1989) and Dreamtigers (1992) and Born Naked, Died Blonde (1996), among others.

Bingham has collaborated with numerous other artists. Most notably, his most frequent and ongoing collaborative performances with other key figures in the contact improvisation community are with American dance artists Chris Aiken, Ray Chung and Nancy Stark Smith. Bingham has also collaborated with non-contact performers. In 2002, for instance, he created and performed Thirst with Wen Wei Wang, the artistic director of Wen Wei Dance. A revised version of Thirst appeared at the Dance in Vancouver Festival in 2005. Also in 2005, Bingham collaborated with Crystal Pite, artistic director of Kidd Pivot. Together, Bingham and Pite created Vanishing Point, a work using improvisation to explore the ephemeral nature of dance. Another important collaboration that Bingham is involved in is The Echo Case. This group is a contact improvisation ensemble that grew out of EDAM's summer intensive, a workshop period for concentrated exploration intended for experienced dancers. The Echo Case features Bingham as well as dancers Marc Boivin and Andrew Harwood in concert with musicians Ron Samworth and Coat Cooke and lighting designer Robert Meister.

Bingham is one of the most influential teachers of contact improvisation in Canada. In 2005, the Scotiabank Dance Centre in Vancouver awarded Bingham the Isadora Award for Teaching in recognition of his generosity and excellence as a mentor.

Websites:

EDAM

Learn more:

Pepper, Kaija. “Peter Bingham.” Encyclopedia of Theatre Dance in Canada/Encyclopédie de la Danse théâtrale au Canada. Ed. Susan Macpherson. Toronto: Dance Collection Danse Press/es, 2000: 75-77.

Whyte, Imogen, and Mari Kelly. “Reverberations from the Echo Case: A Pentalogue.” The Dance Current 7.4 (October 2004): 13-17.