Skip to main content

The Globe and Mail

Why this choreographer loves his light-filled music room

Loft of Toronto choreographer Michael Trent, photographed Feb. 7, 2013.

Fernando Morales/The Globe and Mail

The artistic director of Toronto's Dancemakers, Michael Trent has lived with his partner, Kirk Bryant, in a 2,100-square-foot one-bedroom loft conversion in Toronto's Corktown district since 1998. Trent, who has performed works by such eminent Canadian choreographers as Sylvain Émard and Jean-Pierre Perreault, initiated a year-long renovation of the unit in what was originally a CBC building after purchasing it in 1997. Its light-filled music room is his favourite for being an escape from work. "This is where I like to go and improvise on the piano and browse through my books," says the 50-year-old choreographer, whose latest work, Loveloss, a paean to his recently departed mother, is being performed in Toronto until Feb. 24. "I gravitate to it daily."

The umbrella stand

"Kirk went through a short-lived antique phase and fell in love with this piece, which he found in Denver (where he's from) in the early 1980s."

Story continues below advertisement

The poster

"This is a poster for Eironos, by Quebec dance icon Jean-Pierre Perreault, in which I performed in 2003 in Montreal. I cherish the work for its sheer bravura, scale, complexity and emotional impact. It's one of the highlights of my performing career."

The Muskoka chair

"This is called a Bear Chair and I purchased it at a fundraiser for the North Bay Arts Centre in 1995. I was attracted to artist Alana Pierini's ballsy choice of incorporating the image of a naked man on the chair's surface."

The mirror

"Lionel and Huguette Caris, the parents of my childhood best friend, Nathalie, are interior decorators. They transformed two church windows [only one is shown] into mirrors. I got them because I had the right wall height."

The bookcase

Story continues below advertisement

"I commissioned this piece from a friend in 1994. It houses my favourite books, including some inherited from my maternal grandmother – classics, novels, travelogues, reference sources."

The painting

"This is a portrait of my partner and me that I painted one summer on vacation when I needed some therapeutic time away from making dances. I used a paint by-numbers kit I got online and based it on one of the earliest photographs of our courtship period almost 23 years ago. Check out the website: www.easy123art.com. It's hilarious."

The piano

"I inherited this 1935 Hamburg Steinway from my mother, as I was the only child in my family who played the instrument. I have vivid memories of her and of playing Mozart sonatas for four hands in our home in Ottawa, where I grew up."

Report an error Licensing Options
About the Author

Deirdre Kelly is a features writer for The Globe and Mail. She is the author of the best-selling Paris Times Eight and Ballerina: Sex, Scandal and Suffering Behind the Symbol of Perfection (Greystone Books). More

Comments

The Globe invites you to share your views. Please stay on topic and be respectful to everyone. For more information on our commenting policies and how our community-based moderation works, please read our Community Guidelines and our Terms and Conditions.

We’ve made some technical updates to our commenting software. If you are experiencing any issues posting comments, simply log out and log back in.

Discussion loading… ✨