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Miriam Adams

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Nationality  Canadian
Full Name  Miriam Elaine Adams (née Weinstein)
Born  January 29, 1944 (age 73) (1944-01-29) Toronto, Ontario, Canada
Movement  Ballet Modern/Contemporary dance
Books  Dance Collection Danse DeskTop Archives System Report
Known for  Dance, Choreography, Archivist, Publishing

Miriam Elaine Adams (née Weinstein; born January 29, 1944) is a dancer, choreographer, and dance archivist from Toronto. She studied dance at the National Ballet School from 1960 to 1963 and then joined the National Ballet of Canada as a dancer. While there she met her husband, Lawrence Adams, and felt disenfranchised with the ballet dance form. She quit the National Ballet of Canada and created their own dance company and experimental performance space with her husband called 15 Dance Lab. She began publishing dance magazines in the 1970s and gained an interest in archiving Canadian dance. In 1983 she launched Encore! Encore! to document six Canadian dances from the 1940s and 1950s. In 1986 they transformed their performance space in to a centre for archiving Canadian dance and called it Arts Inter-Media Canada. They also created Dance Collection Danse which published a bilingual edition of the Encyclopedia of Theatre Dance in Canada.


Early life and training

Miriam Adams was born in Toronto on January 29, 1944. She studied with Betty Oliphant and from 1960 to 1963 she studied at the National Ballet School. Afterwards she joined the National Ballet of Canada. She became disenfranchised with classical ballet and in 1969 quit the company.

15 Dance Lab

After quitting the National Ballet of Canada Adams taught at the Lois Smith School of Dance in Toronto. In 1972 Adams and her husband Lawrence created their own dance company called 15 Dancers and opened a small studio space called 15 Dance Lab at 155a George Street in Toronto. Their first concert was on June 13, 1972 and featured a work by Adams called ode to yogurt. The concert was avant-garde and the dancers explored topics that interested them. None of the dancers or choreographers were paid for their performances. Adams rejected any hierarchical structure in the studio space and welcomed a wide range of dance styles in their shows including Bharatanatyam and performance art. In 1974 Adams and her husband incorporated a not-for-profit organisation in Ontario under the name 15 Dance Lab. They encouraged other artists to perform in 15 Dance Lab and offered a production budget at 75% of the box office revenue. They were able to afford this by receiving grants from various groups such as the Canada Council, Metro Toronto, the Toronto Arts Council and the Ontario Arts Council.

Publishing and archiving

Adams published Spill with her husband from 1976 until 1978 and then the monthly Canadian Dance News from 1980 until 1983. In order to contribute funds to these publications Adams worked as a conference and special projects co-ordinator for the Dance in Canada Association .

In 1983 Adams and her husband founded Encore! Encore! to reconstruct dances from six choreographers from the 1940s and 1950s. They enlisted the help of former dancers and choreographers to accurately capture these dances on film and through dance notation. They chose works whose choreography, dance costumes and scores were created in Canada and danced by Canadian dancers. The choreographers were Gweneth Lloyd of Winnipeg, Jeanne Renaud and Francois Sullivan of Montreal, Nesta Toumine of Ottawa, and Boris Volkoff and Nancy Lima Dent of Toronto. Adams even worked with her brother-in-law David Adams to reconstruct Boris Volkoff’s The Red Ears of Corn. Some excerpts of these dances were performed in Vancouver at Expo 86.

During this time Adams continued to create her own choreography in Toronto. In 1990 she choreographed and composed the score for So What’s This Got To Do With God Already? at Inde 90 at the Harbourfront Centre. The piece was a humorous look at Jewish culture and featured modern dance, ballet, ballroom, and basketball movements.

Adams and her husband wanted to continue preserving Canadian dance heritage and increasing the public's awareness for Canadian dance. They renamed their not-for-profit company Arts Inter-Media Canada in 1986 and established Dance Collection Danse as its publishing arm. In 1996 DCD began publishing The Dance News. DCD continued to publish monographs, biographies, memoirs and other writings about Canadian dance pieces and choreographers. In 2000 DCD under her tutelage published Encyclopedia of Theatre Dance in Canada in both English and French.

Personal Life

Adams married Lawrence Adams in 1967.


Adams was named a member of the Order of Canada for her work in popularizing and preserving historical Canadian dance works.


Miriam Adams Wikipedia

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