Nenagh Leigh co-founded Toronto Heritage Dance with Patricia Beatty in 2002. An Australian-born Canadian, she initially trained for ballet, and created her first professional choreography before emigrating to Canada in 1970.
Arriving in Fredericton she studied with June Vaughan, a dancer from the Erick Hawkins Dance Company. In 1973, she founded a contemporary dance group at the University of New Brunswick, which evolved into the Maritime Contemporary Dance Company, and created 22 works for this company. She also created the choreography for the acclaimed 1977 TNB production of EQUUS.
Resident in Toronto since 1980, Nenagh studied with Toronto Dance Theatre founders Patricia Beatty, David Earle, Peter Randazzo and others. She founded and served for 12 years as Artistic Director/Producer for Spring Rites, an annual showcase for Toronto independent choreographers, creating 12 new works for this venue. Her work has been shown in Canada, the USA and Australia. Her choreography exhibits a distinctive, highly personal and sculptural style. With Mary Jane Warner, she currently serves as Director of Toronto Heritage Dance.
Mary Jane Warner
Mary Jane Warner taught courses in dance history, movement analysis, and dance education at York University, where she also served as Chair, Graduate Program Director in Dance, and as Associate Dean for the Faculty of Fine Arts.
She is also a dance notator with a strong interest in methods of documenting dance. An authority on Canadian Dance she published Toronto Dance Teachers: 1825-1925 and co-edited Canadian Dance: Visions and Stories with Selma Odom.
In 2006 she organized the World Dance Alliance Global Summit in Toronto and in 2017 she was responsible for the Summit in St John’s Newfoundland. Both featured dance artists from Asia, Europe and the Americas as well as academic papers, master classes and choreographic labs.
She is the past president of the WDA – Americas, Chair of the Toronto Community Folk Art Council and Director of Toronto Heritage Dance with Nenagh Leigh.