Wild, wild horses / Couldn't drag me away...”

-Mick Jagger/
                Keith Richards

Peter Boneham

2005 Lifetime Artistic Achievement (Dance)

In a career spanning over five decades, Peter Boneham has won international acclaim as the choreographer of over 40 works, inspired teacher of generations of dance artists, and co founder of Le Groupe de la Place Royale, Canada's foremost modern experimental dance company. His most innovative and ongoing impact on the contemporary dance milieu has been as the visionary creator and director of Le Groupe Dance Lab, a unique choreographic research and development centre. After 16 years, the Dance Lab remains at the forefront of provincial, national and international choreographic centres, maintaining the highest integrity and artistic standards, allowing New Dance to thrive, and nurturing some of the brightest talents in Canada and around the world.

Born in 1934 in Rochester, New York, Mr. Boneham became the lead dancer of the Mercury Ballet Company, one of the first civic ballet companies in the States. After working with several distinguished New York City companies, he moved to Canada in the early 1960s to join Les Grands Ballets Canadiens. In 1966, Jeanne Renaud formed Le Groupe de la Place Royale, with Mr. Boneham as Assistant Director. He assumed artistic directorship in 1971 and has remained at the helm since.

Dancers and choreographers of national and international stature, from raw novices to seasoned veterans, flock to his dynamic, exhilarating classes. Calling himself a "monitor" rather than a mentor, Mr. Boneham has an uncanny ability to recognize and encourage individual talent. His honesty, generosity, passionate creativity, and mischievous humour are legendary in the dance community.

Peter Boneham is the longest-serving artistic director in Canadian contemporary dance. He has taught extensively across North America and Europe, and served on numerous advisory committees, juries and panels. His contribution extends far beyond dance, providing arts administrators, visual artists, musicians, photographers and videographers a space of exploration and creative freedom.

Awards and honours include the Jean A. Chalmers Award for Creativity in Dance in Canada (1991), the Dance Ontario Award (1992), and the Victor Tolgyesy Award (1996).