Emma Doran

Executive Editor


Emma Doran (she/her) is a Toronto-based writer, editor and researcher who loves watching people move. She finished a postdoctoral fellowship at the Modern Literature and Culture Centre at Ryerson University in 2016, where she researched the origins of dance criticism in popular periodicals. Before embarking on this research, Doran studied at Winnipeg’s School of Contemporary Dancers, completed an MA in dance at York University and a PhD in communication and culture through Ryerson and York universities. 

Recently, Doran has been a guest speaker at ArtsLink New Brunswick’s Going Critical Forum. She is also a mentor with The National Ballet of Canada’s Emerging Arts Critics program and Generator’s Performance Criticism Training Program. She has recently been a jury member for Cultural Pluralism in the Arts Movement Ontario’s “The Gathering,” Musicworks magazine’s 2018 Sonic Geography writing contest and she currently sits on the steering committee for On the Move, a conference organized by the Dancer Transition Resource Centre. Doran has published articles in Early Popular Visual Culture, Media HistoryPerformance Matters, Canadian Art and The Globe and Mail. She also worked at Dance Collection Danse archives and has been a contributor to The Dance Current for over a decade. 


Photo by Yuli Scheidt



Emma Doran's Work

Inverse Cartography

Sandra Laronde of Red Sky Performance By Emma Doran

Drawing inspiration from the physical world, Sandra Laronde of Red Sky Performance creates works that reflect indigenous priorities in their conception, creation and presentation. The results are powerful performances that appeal to their many audiences.


Telling Histories in Present Tense

Royal Winnipeg Ballet By Emma Doran Going Home Star - truth and reconciliation

I attended the Royal Winnipeg Ballet’s latest commission, Going Home Star, with eagerness and a drop of apprehension. How do I “judge” or describe the representation of this history that is so integral to present lives, policies and dialogues? Who am I to do this?


Rhythms of Familiar Lovers

By Emma Doran lifeDUETs

Featuring choreography by Benjamin Kamino and Tedd Robinson, lifeDUETs for Karen and Allen Kaeja is a meditation on how the emotional polarities of a long-term partnership are, in fact, not oppositional but cut from the same cloth.

Dance on DVD

By Emma Doran

Peggy Baker: The Choreographer’s Trust

Bravo! Encore?

From Performance to Preservation By Emma Doran

Younger generations of dance artists will continue to learn about their legacy through images and writing alone if we do not find ways to keep repertoire alive in the theatre. Are we willing to dances exist in memory alone?


One Old, One Borrowed, One New 

By Emma Doran “Light | Confronts | Unknown” Dancemakers

Michael Trent must feel eyes focussed in his direction. “Light Confronts Unknown” is his first major program for Dancemakers after being appointed artistic director in August 2006.  

Galvanizing Community

Advocacy Through Concentric Conversations By Emma Doran

Earlier this year, the Canada Council for the Arts made a call to the arts community for input into the Council’s new strategic planning process. The time frame for response was tight, but the dance community rallied.

Ruth Cansfield’s Living Sculptures

By Emma Doran

Painting and sketching metaphors abound in reviews of Winnipeg choreographer Ruth Cansfield’s work. Her latest program, in the foyer of the Winnipeg Art Gallery, makes the connection to visual art even more explicit. Along with dance and live cello, visual art students will “perform” by sketching the dancers during the event.

William Lau

leaving resonant footsteps By Emma Doran

Performer, artistic director, choreographer and arts advocate, William Lau has been credited with bringing the pre-Cultural Revolution aesthetic of Peking Opera to Toronto. Committed to authentic study, he makes a distinction between preserving and petrifying the art form and stressed the need for modern influences in order to move the traditional practices in new directions.

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