RBC Emerging Choreographer 2021

Hannah Drover – Kittiwake RBC Emerging Choreographer in Residence

Headshot by Stacey Birmingham; All other photos by emerging photographer Brandon Bennett-Ryan.


April 28, 2022 – Premiere of Cara Alida

The premiere of Hannah’s new work titled Cara Alida took place at D.F. Cook Recital Hall on April 28. Many thanks to Bill Warren, RBC Senior Commercial Account Manager, for bringing remarks on behalf of the RBC Foundation and to Dr. Vernon Regehr for conducting the performance by members of the chamber orchestra of Memorial University’s School of Music.

Hannah dedicated Cara Alida to all those we have loved and lost.  As she says, “There is joy in remembering, and peaceful celebration in each embrace.  We find hope in the thought of someday meeting once again.”



April 18, 2022 – Meet the Musicians 

Winter COVID lockdowns delayed the “meet and greet” for musicians, dancers and Hannah. Rehearsals continued independently, though.  There was excitement in the room for this first meeting of members of Memorial University’s chamber orchestra, conductor Vernon Regehr, Kittiwake dancers and Hannah. They came together to prepare for the upcoming performance of Cara Alida. As our Artistic Director, Martin Vallée says, “Live music adds a new dimension to a production. It becomes a conversation between dancers and musicians, which means that all performers are more attentive and present.”


February 10, 2022 – Choreographer Networking

Kittiwake engaged Corner Brook contemporary dancer and choreographer, Hilary Knee for a two-week residency in February. While in St. John’s, Hilary and Hannah had a few opportunities to observe and discuss each other’s work and as well, their areas of creative interest.

November 28, 2021 – Guest Choreographer Session

Tiffany Tregarthan is an Artistic Director with Out Innerspace dance company in Vancouver, British Columbia.  She was in St. John’s recently for their company’s Bygones production at the Arts and Culture Centre and delivered a workshop on “Tools for Choreographic Research and Thinking”, which some Kittiwake dancers participated in. The workshop was followed by one-on-one mentoring with Hannah as part of her RBC-Kittiwake Emerging Choreographer-in-Residence program. Thank you to Tiffany for sharing her insights and career experiences with Hannah. It was another great session and such an important component of this program.

October 20, 2021 – Creation Process Starts

With the music choices confirmed, Hannah began the process to set her new works on Kittiwake company soloists.  Here she is working a partnering move with Stephanie Campbell and Alex Fehr and a solo move with Cassidy Boone. We asked Hannah to reflect on the RBC-Kittiwake Emerging Choreographer-in-Residence program to date.  Her response?


This program gives me the opportunity to explore and develop my artistic voice. Beginning rehearsals for my new work “Cara Alida” with Kittiwake’s company dancers has been an exciting and enlightening process so far. I’m looking forward to continuing this work with the guidance of amazing guest mentors.  – Hannah Drover


October 7, 2021 – Guest Choreographer Session 

One of the features of the RBC-Kittiwake Emerging Choreographer-in-Residence Program is the opportunity for Hannah to connect with guest choreographer mentors. Dance artist and educator, Syreeta Hector, of Toronto, is the first. Syreeta was in St. John’s for Neighbourhood Dance Works’ 30th annual Festival of New Dance, in which she performed her “Black Ballerina” solo creation. Hannah attended one of Syreeta’s open workshops and then the two got together one-on-one to discuss creation processes, techniques, tips and for Syreeta to share some of her career experiences.

September 22, 2021 – Music Selection

Hannah and Martin spent some time today with Kittiwake’s Music Consultant, Vernon Regehr who is on faculty at Memorial University’s School of Music, where he conducts the School’s chamber orchestra. The three discussed the pieces that the orchestra will learn and perform throughout this academic year. After a thorough review of all the works and with advice from Martin, Hannah has selected the piece that she will use for creating her new dance work.


July 26, 2021 – Program Launch 

Kittiwake’s Artistic Director and primary choreographer will serve as the main mentor for the Emerging Choreographer program.  He and Hannah will spend a couple of hours together weekly, sharing ideas and approaches and creation goals.  Martin has more than twenty choreographic credits to his name, dating back twenty years, including twelve works set on Kittiwake dancers. He remains the only creator of full-length story ballets in Newfoundland and Labrador and he is happy to share his experiences with Hannah. (Photo credit: Brandon Bennett-Ryan)

July 10, 2021 – Announcement

Through a generous gift from The RBC Foundation, Kittiwake has established the RBC Emerging Choreographer program. The RBC Emerging Artists Project is a multi-year funding commitment dedicated to supporting the careers and development of emerging artists, through mentoring programs, education, and providing access and exposure to new audiences. We are very happy to announce that Hannah Drover will be the inaugural Emerging Choreographer in Residence for Kittiwake Dance Theatre. Over the next ten months, Hannah will engage in mentoring with at least four established choreographers – some living here and some coming from the mainland. She will create a new dance piece in this time, which will be set to music that is being learned by the School of Music at Memorial University of Newfoundland. The premiere will be in the spring of 2022 with members of the chamber orchestra performing and of course, Kittiwake dancers.  On behalf of Kittiwake, a big thank you to the RBC Foundation.