Barbara Bourget

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Barbara Bourget is the artistic director of Kokoro Dance Theatre Society in Vancouver, British Columbia. She was born in Port Alberni, British Columbia on October 10, 1950. Bourget began tap dancing at age four and went on to take ballet class at age nine. From 1961 to 1967 she studied with Mara McBirney and from 1967 to 1969 Bourget was a scholarship student at the Royal Winnipeg Ballet School. Her teachers at the Royal Winnipeg School included Arnold Spohr, Gwynne Ashton, Jean McKenzie and Maria Fay. She danced with Les Grands Ballets Canadiens from 1969 to 1972 and then began working in modern dance. She performed from 1974 to 1978 in Mauryne Allan's Mountain Dance Theatre in Vancouver. In 1975, encouraged by Allan she choreographed "Trio for Three Women". She met Jay Hirabayashi in 1979 when both were dancing with Paula Ross's company and they married in 1981. In 1982 Bourget and Hirabayashi with Peter Bingham, Ahmed Hassan, Lola MacLaughlin, Jennifer Mascall, and Peter Ryan, co-founded Experimental Dance and Music (EDAM). They left EDAM after four years to co-found Kokoro Dance. Since forming Kokoro Dance, Barbara has choreographed over one hundred dances. In 1998 Kokoro Dance began producing the Vancouver International Dance Festival.


  • Pepper, Kaija. (2000) Barbara Bourget. Encyclopedia of Theatre Dance in Canada. 91-93.

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