Message from the Artistic Director – 2023/2024

By Kimberley Cooper
3 min read | October 24, 2023


As the world turns, and heats, with climate change and war and pestilence, art is more important than ever. We need to be inspired, we need escape, we need to be asked to think and see things in different ways, we need beauty. When we have nothing else, we have our bodies and our imagination. Please join us for our 39th season with your eyes, your ears, your minds. Bring your body to our theatre and experience some beautiful performances, come dance yourself at the Black & White Ball and at our many classes. Our 39th season is rich and full, a guaranteed selection of performances and events to inspire you, help you escape, maybe ask you to see things differently, and give you a good dose of beauty.

Family of Jazz at the Pillow – ONLINE December 4–31, 2023

The company had an incredible tour this summer. We performed in Saint-Sauveur in Québec, at the National Art’s Centre in Ottawa, and at Jacob’s Pillow in Massachusetts! Jacob’s Pillow did a three-camera shoot of one of our performances that will be streaming as part of the Pillow’s on demand season. We are very excited to share this beautiful film of Family of Jazz on the iconic outdoor Henry J Leir stage.

Olio – January 18–28, 2024 at the DJD Dance Centre Theatre

We are thrilled to be part of One Yellow Rabbit’s High Performance Rodeo! Olio means a stew, or a collection of things – in this case it’s a new performance created by five choreographers, company dancers Catherine Hayward, Sabrina Naz Comanescu and Kaja Irwin, DJD alumnus Deanne Walsh, and me. Music will be played live by a jazz trio led by Jonathan McCaslin, who will also be the composer and drummer for this new piece. This is Jon’s debut as Musical Director and Composer and we are thrilled to work with him in this capacity, the band will include Jon Wielebnowski on bass and Chris Tauchner on piano/keyboards.

Vic’s Mix by RUBBERBAND – February 1–3, 2024 at the DJD Dance Centre Theatre

We can’t wait to co-present RUBBERBAND from Montréal with One Yellow Rabbit (OYR) and the High Performance Rodeo (HPR). They will present a piece called Vic’s Mix – an evening of vibrant repertoire created by Artistic Director Victor Quijada. Victor’s work is extremely physical and has roots in breakdance and contemporary dance. I strongly urge you to see this beautiful show.

Malpaso and Arturo O’Farrill Latin Jazz Orchestra – March 7, 2024 at the Jack Singer Concert Hall

We have a special treat! Malpaso, a dance company from Cuba is on tour with Arturo O’Farrill and the Latin Jazz Orchestra, is performing at the Jack Singer as part of the BD&P World Music series. DJD is proud to be included in this presentation as a marketing partner, and we are thrilled to share this work with you.

You can learn more by visting

Party Time – April 25–May 12, 2024 at the DJD Dance Centre Theatre

And at last, we will close the season with Party Time. This dramatic performance features a live band with music composed by and musical direction by Carsten Rubeling with Luis Tovar and André Wickenheiser. After collaborating with Carsten and these fabulous musicians on last season’s Nervous Systems, I just wanted more. This piece is a surreal look at a house party, a deep dive into the psyche of the guests, and promises wildness, hilarity and incredible dancing and music. Feel free to dress up.

Black & White Ball – June 1, 2024 at the Fairmont Palliser Hotel’s Crystal Ballroom

Then it’s your turn to dance! Please come get down with us at Calgary’s original and, in my humble yet biased opinion, greatest dance party and fundraiser, the Black & White Ball.


In the spirit of jazz,
Kimberley Cooper

Learn more about the above events by visiting