P. Megan Andrews
PhD, CMA, RSME/T
Megan Andrews is a dance artist/scholar, educator and writer/editor working across theory and practice in movement, somatics/embodiment and performance. Her creative work, teaching and research explore improvisational and perceptual practices, the relationship between aesthetics and ethics, and connections between movement, voice and language. Megan received a Chalmers Arts Fellowship for 2017 to undertake an artistic research project in scoring and perceptual practices in dance. From 2017-2019 she is a Visiting Scholar at the Institute for Performance Studies at Simon Fraser University, where she is researching practices of ethical relationality through aesthetics and movement experience. She was part of the inaugural Emerging Thought Leaders program at Simon Fraser University in 2018 and was invited to participate in the week-long SYMBIONT Articulating Artistic Research symposium at the University of Calgary in November 2018. Megan is also cofounder, with colleague Shannon Litzenberger, of Embodied Leadership, through which they collaborate to provide movement-based leadership development to the corporate sector.
On faculty – sessional – at the School for Contemporary Arts at Simon Fraser University since 2017 and sessional and adjunct at York University from 2004-2017, Megan has taught studio and studies courses in dance and supervised independent student projects at both the undergraduate and graduate levels. She has also taught dance studio and studies courses for Sheridan College, George Brown College and at McMaster University, and has been a guest lecturer/instructor at a variety of institutions including School of Toronto Dance Theatre, Arts Umbrella, Quinte Ballet School and Banff Centre for Arts and Creativity. She regularly gives workshops and presentations at scholarly conferences and has been a keynote speaker at several national dance-sector events. Megan gave an invited talk at the Selma Odom Lecture in 2016 at Dance Collection Danse in Toronto.
A versatile interpreter/performer, Megan has worked with choreographers across Canada including Sarah Chase, Michelle Silagy, Karen Kaeja, Susanna Hood, CORPUS Dance Projects, Sylvie Bouchard, Lee Su-Feh, Eryn Dace Trudell and Yvonne Ng among others. She has choreographed and presented both group and solo work, and has also rehearsal directed for Peggy Baker and Darcey Callison. Megan is currently developing a solo repertoire, which includes iconic American choreographer Deborah Hay’s solo “At Once”. Through her recent artistic research, she has engaged with experimental contemporary dance-makers Marie Claire Forté, Ame Henderson and Justine Chambers and with choreographer/mentor Tedd Robinson.
Megan is a Certified Laban Movement Analyst, a Registered Somatic Movement Educator/Therapist and a certified instructor of 3D Workout, a somatically based bodywork and conditioning practice. She draws on Laban-based somatic principles and concepts in her teaching, research and bodywork practice. Megan works with individuals and groups – of all ages from all walks of life – as a movement educator to enhance somatic awareness, embodiment and non-verbal communication, to develop effective movement patterning and to cultivate movement for wellness.
In 1998, Megan created the Canadian dance magazine The Dance Current, and served as Founding Editor, Publisher and then Executive Director through August 2016, developing the publication from a local, grassroots newsletter to an internationally recognized multi-platform media organization for dance. Subsequently she transitioned into the role of Director: Education and Special Projects, to lead content-creation projects and critical dance writing programs in partnership with dance companies, presenters, festivals and professional training programs.
An accomplished writer and journalist, Megan has contributed essays, reviews, profiles, interviews, news and video reporting to both print and digital platforms at The Dance Current, along with consistently successful grant proposals submitted to government and foundation funders since 1998. She has also been commissioned to write essays on dance for the Canada Dance Festival, the McLuhan Salon at the Embassy of Canada in Berlin, Germany, and reports and assessments for the Canada Council for the Arts. Megan has contributed chapters to two books: Right to Dance, Dancing for Rights (Banff Centre Press) and Across Oceans: Writings on Collaboration (Across Oceans). She has also published a performative essay/score on the history of Canadian dance publications in the refereed online journal Performance Matters, and an invited article on practice-based-research methodologies in dance in Canadian Theatre Review.
An arts advocate, Megan has played a key role as a board member in several important initiatives and projects in Canadian dance including the creation of Canada’s national dance service organization the Canadian Dance Assembly; the first publication of the Canadian Alliance of Dance Artists’ Basic Dance Agreement (now called the Professional Standards for Dance) articulating the rights, responsibilities, working conditions and rates of pay for independent dance artists; and Toronto’s inaugural Fall for Dance North Festival, as program editor and host of the festival’s series of artist talks.
Megan received her formative training in York University’s dance program, graduating with a BFA (Summa Cum Laude) and subsequently an MA in dance. Important influences in her early dance practice include Peggy Baker, Serge Bennathan, Peter Bingham, Peter Boneham, Pat Miner and Marc Boivin. Megan completed her CMA training through the Laban/Bartenieff Institute of Movement Studies (New York) and her PhD in Communication and Culture, with a focus on dance, somatics, perception and phenomenology, through the joint program at York and Ryerson Universities in Toronto. From 2011 to 2013, she participated in workinculture’s Cultural Leadership Individual Mentorship program.
Recognition for Megan’s work includes multiple awards and scholarships, among them a Spotlight on Fine Arts (SOFA) Teaching Award from York University, a two-year SSHRC doctoral fellowship, the Emerging Dance Artist Award from the Toronto Community Foundation, a Dora Award nomination for Ensemble Performance and the Gary Parks Scholarship from the Dance Critics Association (USA).