the point

Through the vision of artistic director and founder Gerry Trentham, associate and collaborating artists, and producing team, lbs/sq” maps the human body, its desires, thoughts, languages, voices, imaginations, movements and potential. Through contemporary research, creation and production, driven by a trans-disciplinary aesthetic, deeply honed artistic craft, and inclusive cultural/environmental consciousness, lbs/sq” is dedicated to reflecting, challenging, transforming and enriching our local and global community.

 

the press

for lbs/sq” productions 

“…artistic risk justified by a thought – provoking experience.” – Susan Walker, The Toronto Star

“In Cathedral all humanity seems to gather…imaginative…epic…the result is uplifting…the various disciplines flow seamlessly together during the hour long piece…kaleidoscopic vision…an expert blend of actors and dancers who deliver dash, drama, humour and longing…” – Deirdre Kelly, Toronto’s Globe and Mail 

“Gerry Trentham’s Fore – And – After highlights the fragile eloquence of dance…precarious dialogue is doubly communicative” – Rebecca Todd, Toronto’s Globe and Mail

“…Never mind on the verge, Gerry Trentham’s Fore – And – After makes a good rendition of a nervous breakdown in progress…” – Susan Walker, The Toronto Star

“…a thoughtful, self reflexive piece about the difficulties of making liminal art…It would be great to see it again.” – End of year review Rebecca Todd, Eye Magazine 

“…artistic risk justified by a thought – provoking experience.” – Susan Walker, The Toronto Star

“…Alberta born, former Dancemakers workhorse Gerry Trentham keeps pounding the pavement with his contemporary spectaculars.” – Forecast of those to watch, Daryl Jung, Toronto NOW Magazine

 

the profile

Founded in 1995 and based in Toronto, pounds per square inch performance (lbs/sq”) has produced over thirty of founding Artistic Director Gerry Trentham’s original works, including:

  • Cathedral (1998) – “Top Ten”(Globe & Mail);
  • The Cassandra Project (2003-09) – 15 artists from across Canada investigate non-hierarchical integrated arts performance;
  • Autobiography: Chapters One through Five — A cast of 6 perform a multimedia scripted dance at Premiere Dance Theatre as part of DanceWorks Mainstage Season
  • Four Mad Humours (2011) – four simultaneous performances in Toronto, Buffalo, Chicago and Montreal linked with live video feed; Dora Mavor Moore Award Nomination for Outstanding Performance by Linnea Swan.
  • The Apology Project (2013-15) – created with an INCUBATE award and during residencies at Buffalo Studio Arts, Canadian Contemporary Dance Theatre, Clarion University, Intergalactic Arts Collective, and Silo City; and,
  • The Art of Peace Project (2014-16), a two-year residency at Fort York National Heritage Site.

The company has also assisted in the development, creation and presentation of more than twenty productions by numerous independent artists including international productions; and has provided a number of arts education and outreach programs including:

  • The National Voice Intensive Bursary Project, which has offered over $50,000 in scholarships to training artists;
  • Fulcrum Associate Artist Project, assisting selected Ontario artists to find a balanced development, artistically and administratively; and,
  • Presenting The National Voice Intensive, which comes to Artscape Yongeplace in Toronto in May & June 2016 for its 30th anniversary.

 

Gerry Trentham, Artistic Director

Bio

Beyond the cannon of over thirty lbs/sq” company works where his interests has developed toward location specific visual art/performance installations, Gerry has performed throughout North America and Europe in the works of many of Canada’s most 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” and “Sensitivity, ingenuousness and curiosity…golden messenger of the divine…” – Graham Jackson, Toronto Lexicon.  He is honoured to be part of the elite cast of Denise Fujiwara’s newest work Eunioa, where beyond performing the work he acts as a voice and speech director.  Eunoia opened at World Stage in March 2014 and was nominated for three Toronto Dora Awards, one of which was a nomination for Outstanding Ensemble Performance. Six previous works in which he has originated roles have been nominated for and/or received Toronto Dora Awards. He recently premiered a new solo experiment b from the Apology Project Series at Artscape Youngplace in Toronto.

He recently co-directed, with Diane Roberts’ the Urban Ink production of Confession of the Other Women in Vancouver at Performance Works. He was in London UK this past fall, first for a reading of a new inter-arts work Dear Elephant written and performed with actor Olivia Olsen and then in Brighton to coach Ozcabaret’s new trio which opened in the Australian Fringe in February, 2013. Mr. Trentham has an MFA in Performance and a Graduate Voice Diploma from York University and has taught voice, movement and acting, directed and choreographed productions throughout Canada, the United States and Australia. As a core member of Canada’s National Voice Intensive over the last 20 years he has become one of only a few dance and movement educators whose expertise bridges deeply into voice and speech. He served on the inaugural board of CADA, on the original steering committee for Artists Health Centre in Toronto, was Chair of The Toronto Arts Council’s Dance Committee from 2008 – 2011 and has served on the Board of Directors at the Toronto Arts Council.

Artistic Statement

Founded in the advanced study of contemporary dance and theatre, my art has slowly morphed to embrace performance/visual art that integrates written/spoken poetic text, dance, human gesture, sound, music, visual and media art. My creation process is a negotiation, a peace-inducing exchange between seemingly disparate parts of human “being” – the primal, physical, ancient, and emotional; the rural, a-cultured, civilized, and intellectual; the contemporary, sexual, urban, and spiritual; resonating deeply within and in between the human body’s intelligence, aliveness, majesty, prowess and mystery tethered to its real connection to its environment, at times a brutish, chaotic, violent life and death. I note desires and intentions and how they inform action (both doing and being). I invite collaborating artists of various forms to a process where no one form is in service to another. I invite each member to similarly search into personal memory and somatic lineage, uncover individual physical and intellectual habits and imagine a collective architecture that seamlessly transits our forms. As the collection builds, we hope an “about” awakens and then edit and refine towards a “whole” that resonates with our audience. Together we learn, collect, test presence and integrity.

My inter-artistry, most recently inspired by my deep association with renowned Butoh Artist Denise Fujiwara, is achieving a new seamless interplay of formless forms. Our work together has created powerful performed work and a new frontier of performance training. I now see my artistry and teaching are inseparable from how I understand, mirror, transform, or combat the broader community/universe. Or as I remind myself, “everything is everything”.  I question how my transforming selves are imprisoned or set free by relationships to others, and to natural and constructed environments of my own and others.

With Jessa Agilo of Agilo Arts and the Toronto based dance company lbs/sq” that I founded twenty years ago I am building and refining a sustainable environment for my inter-arts lineage. Through our evolving FULCRUM Associate Artist programs, educational outreach, teaching and mentoring, the company endeavors to support artist’s training including the addition of Canada’s National Voice Intensive to our annual programing. Over the long-term, the development of creative excellence is now further focused by a new and growing artistic and operational synthesis. New understandings of our work together transcends boundaries, clarifies the intensity of my radical kind of peace-making art, identifies primary associations, develops relationships, and encourages our collaborators’ artistic and organizational agency. Together, we are redefining our own and shared relationships to the artistic community, to our art milieu systems, and to the broader community. Collectively, we are asking how we can manifest our desire for a cultural/environmental consciousness that designs opportunity for our rich community to embrace the unknown beyond division (of culture, of art form, of nationhood).  Through our passionate vision and endeavours, we are united in asking how we can manifest inclusiveness and transit divisions as they arrive – with real conflicts to dispel otherness; shared space, time and resources not only as artists but as citizens; and a sustainable, living system not only as human nature, but nature’s human.

 

the past