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Patricia Beatty

As we approach the 20th anniversary of Older & Reckless, we remember the senior dance artists who have joined us over the years, including legendary dancer and creator PATRICIA (TRISH) BEATTY

“Trish has always been a great supporter of Older & Reckless. She illuminated O&R's 10th anniversary, in December 2009, with her glorious solo work The High Heart, performed by the sublime Danielle Baskerville. Also featured in that special celebration were what we called the 10 “Reckless Artists in Training”, including Michael Caldwell, Amelia Ehrhardt, Molly Johnson, Emily Law and Sahara Morimoto, among others, in 1-minute solos, staged by Kristy Kennedy. The explosion of talent in the younger artists was further lifted by Beatty’s masterful offering- a special gift to us all by an artist who fuels my own dance passion. I was fortunate to perform her work as a young dancer at Toronto Dance Theatre. Trish’s artistry continues to flourish through her poetry- here below is one she chose to share.”

- Claudia Moore

Patricia Beatty - photo by Andrew Oxenham

beyond words

there is a place beyond words

a poem reaches for

no matter how difficult or dizzying

deep music and deep dance

are born in this mysterious place

where most words feel clumsy and unkempt

but a poet has a great responsibility

to dignify our avid feelings without limiting them to our little dramas

to take us beyond even philosophy's steady assurances

with something that keeps us in that universal place

where empathy reigns

where your story is my story

under a sky that needs no analysis

a true poem asks words to dance and sing

the mind then steps aside allowing meaning to become a nameless treasure the heart alone can protect.


Patricia (Trish) Beatty was born in Toronto in the month of May 1936. She had a classical education at Havergal College, not much of which rubbed off on her except athletics for she was physical from the start. She studied ballet with a very spirited Gladys Forrester and Gweneth Lloyd, but it was Bennington College, a very progressive college in Vermont, from the years 1955-59, that set her on a creative and artistic path. Five years at the Martha Graham School of Contemporary Dance in New York City made her a serious modern dancer. She understood her mission in life to be a carrier of the Graham Technique of dancing in all its beauty and depth. She did this together with Peter Randazzo and David Earle for twenty-seven years with their company, the Toronto Dance Theatre. She choreographed twenty-five works for the company and taught endless young Canadian dancers. Her last piece of choreography, The High Heart, choreographed in 2009 for Danielle Baskerville, was her final feminist statement. Her creative life continues in the form of poetry. She has three books to date and a prose work on the art of making dances. She is in her 84th year still writing.

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