lbs/sq” was founded in 1995 as a contemporary, trans-disciplinary art charity. The company invites founder Gerry Trentham, artistic associates and collaborators to research, create, produce and educate in ways that are environmentally sustainable and 2SLGBTQ+ conscious. Sourced in the human body’s desires, movements, voices, imaginations, and potential co-creators seek to reflect and gather differences and queerness that challenge and inspire a global community. Beyond over 40 live artistic inter-arts productions and 7 films, lbs/sq” has been instrumental in mentoring artists through its Fulcrum Project that supports individuals in their development toward charitable or collective support . Educating the community through art and art inspired learning has been a hallmark of the company including the production and transformation of one of Canada’s longest running performance training programs Canada’s National Voice Intensive (now the Moving Voice Institute) and its legacy of exceptional performance teaching. New teaching pedagogy and practices that align with a contemporary audience include Trentham's co-creations with Diane Roberts Arrivals Legacy Project’s Arrivals Legacy Voice (ALV) and with Denise Fujiwara in their pioneering of Butoh Voice Practice and inter arts Solo Performance Creation. Artistic Director Gerry Trentham offers his Field of Attention philosophy and practice through learning modules on his allied site gerrytrentham.art.
“…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
“…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
GERRY TRENTHAM, ARTISTIC DIRECTOR
Gerry Trentham’s (he/they) lifelong dedication to the art of performance has created a cannon of over forty works presented by lbs/sq” performance, the company they founded over 28 years ago. Productions include numerous full evening premieres - Cathedral (1998 – top ten in Toronto’s Now Magazine and Toronto Star), Autobiography: Chapters One through Five (2003) both presented in Toronto’s DanceWorks main stage series, the Dora nominated Four Mad Humours (2011), Art of Peace: Invitation (2016) an installation during a two year residency at Fort York Historical site in Toronto, The Apology Project (2017) that over a 7 year creation period was installed in a selection of venues in the US and Canada including Silo City Buffalo NY and Harbourfront Theatre Centre in Toronto, and the more recent Trees and Bushes (Toronto, 2018) Gravity of Descent (Toronto, 2019) and Art of Peace: Arrival (2021) a national creation project on line and in installations at Nyata Nyata and Le Poele spaces in Montreal. Their newest live works Buoyancy, being created for the company's 30 anniversary in 2025/26, and Gardener and the Horse, a duet with Michael Caldwell is traveling to residency in Buenos Aries in February 2024.
Their works on film for lbs/sq’ 25th and 30th anniversary seasons include Gravity of Decent, The Street, Buoyancy, the award-winning Monument, filmed by William Yong and performed by Michael Caldwell that won Best Cinematography at the Venice Shorts Film Festival and was selected “Best Short Film Finalist” at the Luleå International Film Festival in Norrbotten, Sweden. In 2021 the film achieved the honour of Semi-finalist (Best Short Film) at the Festival des Arts de Saint-Sauveur, Quebec, Canada - Forward and an Official Selection at the New York Cinematography Awards as a Semi Finalist (Best Short Film Cinematography) and at the Paris International Short Festival 2021 was a finalist (Best Cinematography in Short) and was an official selection at the Berlin International Art Film Festival. The film was chosen to be part of the NAC Capsule Project (organized by Dumb Instrument Dance, F-O-R-M and the National Arts Centre). Their solo film Ray by filmmaker Jesse Deganis Librera won best experiment short in early selection 2023 Venice Shorts festival.
Gerry Trentham 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. They were internationally acclaimed for their performance in Bennathan’s Chronicles of a Simple Life. The New York Times dance critic Anna Kisselgoff called their performance “remarkably lyrical” and Clive Barnes of the New York Post wrote “…powerfully acted by the outstanding Gerry Trentham”. They are honoured presently to be part of the elite cast and voice and speech director of Denise Fujiwara’s Eunioa that opened at World Stage in March 2014, has toured Canada twice and was nominated for three Toronto Dora Awards including for Outstanding Ensemble Performance. Six previous works in which they have originated roles have been nominated for and/or received Toronto Dora Awards. Last season at the age of 62, beyond touring his own solo work, is cast in new works by prominent choreographers, Denise Fujiwara, Peter Chin, Maxine Heppner, the late Tedd Robinson and recently performed Zab Maboungou’s new work Hâltérité at Agora de la Danse in Montreal (2022.) They are honoured to have two recent solo films commissioned by Fujiwara Dance Inventions (FDI) Wound (2022) and Valley of Shadows to be premiered in 2023/24 and was cast in FDI's film Belonging. Cast in three recent films, Amalgam produced by Claudia Moore and Moonhorse Dance Theatre, My Heart is a Spoon a duet with Takako Sagawa by Maxine Heppner and a new film by filmmaker Nora Rosenthal where Gerry plays her father, the well know Canadian actor Alan Rosenthal in Nine Easy Dances, each such fortunate experiences.
Gerry Trentham has an MFA in Theatre and Film Performance and a Graduate Voice Teaching Diploma from York University and has taught voice, movement and acting, directed and choreographed productions on four continents. As a core member of one of Canada’s most established and honoured training programs Canada’s National Voice Intensive (now the Moving Voice Institute) over 30 years he has bridged his dance and movement expertise deeply into voice and speech. Their art and teaching focuses on the transdisciplinary - a voice/body’s range and depth of presence and they have been invited to teach their synthesis of theatre and dance practice in major performance training programs in Canada and the United States. More recently over the past six years with Denise Fujiwara they developed their new frontier of training, Butoh/Voice, and with Diane Roberts been in development of the innovative Arrivals Legacy Voice.
MENTORING AND SERVICE
They direct the company in support of a number of Pounds associate artists. Through lbs/sq”'s Fulcrum Project they have mentored, been directorial advisor and co-produced a number of associate artists in Canada and the US as they develop their own work and charitable organizations. They have been creation and directorial outside eye for lbs/sq” Associate Artist Sara Porter in her new hit solo works that recently toured North America including Toronto, Montreal, San Francisco and New York. He has worked as outside eye on Shannon Lichtenberger’s World After Dark. He co-directed, with lbs/sq” associate Diane Roberts’ the Urban Ink production of Confession of the Other Women in Vancouver at Performance Works and has worked with Roberts as she built her Legacy Arrivals Project and co-developed with her Arrivals Legacy Voice Practice. They were in London UK in the fall of 2012, first for a reading of a new play Dear Elephant written and performed with actor Olivia Olsen and then in Brighton to coach Ozcabaret’s new trio which won “best of the fringe” in the Australian Fringe in February, 2013. They recently worked as Rehearsal Director for Mayumi Lashbrook's Enemy Lines which premiered at the Theatre Centre in Toronto in 2023.
They have served on the inaugural board of Canadian Alliance of Dance Artists (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.