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Sonya Delwaide is a choreographer and performer whose reputation has flourished within the United States and Canada for three decades. Her work has been favorably noticed by critics: she has been profiled in San Francisco Magazine, received a Bay Area Goldie Award (from the San Francisco Bay Guardian), was named in the 2001 Top 10 list from the San Francisco Chronicle and was in the Dance Magazine’s Top 25 people to watch in 2002. Although her choreographic development began within the New York post-modern dance scene, her regular involvement with ballet companies and her French-Canadian roots strongly influence her voice. The San Francisco Express wrote: “she seems to epitomize a postmodern fusion of the Balanchine/Cunningham aesthetic with the punk expressiveness of the ’80s-geometric clarity and a ruminating, personal, sexually prickly style”. Ms. Delwaide’s work is characterized by intense theatricality, a highly charged and imaginative movement vocabulary, and an ironic yet gentle fascination with the human condition.

Ms. Delwaide was born in Québec, where she obtained her college diploma in Health Sciences and a 10th degree in Piano Performance from Laval University. Fascinated with dance, she earned an Honors Bachelor of Fine Arts from York University (Toronto). With the help of the Canada Arts Council, she pursued her dance training in New York with such masters as Merce Cunningham, Jocelyn Lorenz, Larry Rhodes, Twyla Tharp, Mel Wong and Douglas Dunn. In 1981 she joined New York’s Mel Wong Dance Company as a principal member, and in 1986 she became a member of Desrosiers Dance Theatre in Toronto.

Since 1981 her work has been produced in New York, San Francisco, Oakland. Philadelphia, Lille (France), Toronto, Vancouver, Ottawa, Halifax, Montréal and throughout Québec. She has choreographed more than 80 pieces on companies such as Ottawa Ballet, Oakland Ballet, Diablo Ballet, Ballet Austin, L’Ecole Supérieure des Grands Ballets Canadiens and for the Fringe Festival in Philadelphia using the dancers of the Pennsylvania Ballet. She won the National Choreographic Competition sponsored by Hubbard Street 2 ( in 2000) and the 2006 New American Choreographic Talent, organized by Ballet Austin.

Ms. Delwaide has also received commissions to create dances for theater, gala, fundraising events, and American television. In 1988 she was a recipient of a “Exploration Grant” from the Canada Council to create a “dance drama” that was presented and produced by the Poor Alex Theater in Toronto. Ms. Delwaide’s acting also expanded to television: she performed and choreographed in “War of the Worlds”, “Friday the 13th, The Series”, the music video “The Dream is Alive” and at the “Toronto Arts Awards” for a CBC special.

In 1992 she co-founded the Compagnie de Danse L’Astragale based in Québec. For the following 7 years, she was Artistic Director and Resident Choreographer of L’Astragale and created 12 original works for this company. In 1996 she moved to California (Berkeley) where her work was immediately presented at San Francisco’s ODC Theater during SummerFest ’96 and in Oakland at Laney College, as part of the Bay Area Dance Series. Since then she has been co-produced by ODC Theater in their 2001, 1999 and 1998 programming, and was invited to perform “Départ”(for which she received an Isadora Duncan Award) at the10th anniversary season of San Francisco SummerFest 2001.

Miss Delwaide has also received many commissions from independent artists and various dance companies, such as: AXIS Dance Company, Berkeley Ballet Theater, School of Performing Arts in Jacksonville, California State University in Hayward, Contra Costa Ballet. Through these companies her work has been seen throughout California, in Massachusetts, Florida, Washington State and at the Kennedy Center in Washington. This summer Berkeley Ballet Theater will be showing 3 of her works at the Tanzommer Festival in Austria.

Ms. Delwaide received multiple awards from organizations such as the Irvine Foundation (Dancemakers’ Grant), Meet the Composer Grant (with AXIS Dance Company), The Canada Arts Council, Isadora Duncan Award (San Francisco),Conseil des Arts et des Lettres du Québec, Ministère des Affaires Culturelles du Québec, Ontario Arts Council, Fonds F.C.A.C. du Québec, Zellerbach Family Fund, the W. A. Gerbode Foundation (California) and a Sarlo Award for Teaching Excellence (Mills College). She was nominated for England’s Bonnie Bird Choreographic Fund in 1993 and for Canada’s Clifford E. Lee Award in 1992. Ms. Delwaide is a member of both ACTRA and l’Union des Artistes (Canada) and was once invited by the Conseil des Arts et des Lettres du Québec to be one of the jury on their panel.

In the spring and summer of 2001, Ms Delwaide was acting as interim artistic director of Berkeley Ballet Theater. She is currently Professor of Dance at Mills College in Oakland, CA, where she served as Chair for 5 years. She has previously taught for Alvin Ailey Dance Company, ODC Theater, Shawl/Anderson Dance Center, Contra Costa Ballet, California State University in Hayward, National Ballet of Canada, L’Ecole Supérieure des Grands Ballets Canadiens, Cégep of Drummondville and many independent studios throughout Canada.