As a multi-focussed artist/scholar and educator, I embrace a portfolio of activities that differently combine my expertise, skills and passions. Three themes run through them all and keep me whole and happy:
movement, communication and education.
I'm fascinated by the learning process and continually inspired by my students. Creating an open, supportive and safe environment encourages curiosity and risk-taking. Providing frequent, positive feedback cultivates a growth mindset and engaging with each learner on an individual basis establishes a collaborative, relational process. Experiential learning, dialogue and reflection form the central tenets of my teaching philosophy. I embrace the role of informed facilitator, encouraging my students to become autonomous learners, able to self-evaluate, motivate and succeed for themselves.
Clarity of intention, attention and action. A willingness to be vulnerable, to take risks and to share sensory-affective experience. Nuanced articulation of bodymind in motion. Embodied consciousness. The realization of creative possibilities and the potential of human relationality. Being with, being between. These are aspirations; they focus my approach to performing. I create and perform work that explores task-based scoring and choreographic operations, activates perceptual processes, and engages with questions about relationality and the aesthetics of ethics.
My inquiry takes place at the intersection of dance, performance, somatics and cultural studies, and, broadly speaking, I take a practice-as-research approach to my work, which looks at questions around the aesthetics of ethics and cultivating ethical relationality. I focus on the project of translation, of bringing dancing experience into language through a method of emergent choreographic analysis involving an iterative dancing and writing approach. Through dancing experience, I seek to understand something of the poetics of dance and choreographic practice, particularly in experimental, task-based work, showing how dancing itself can be theorizing. I also look at the histories and roles of institutional infrastructures, publishing and media in the constitution of community and critical discourse in Canadian dance.
I revel in the process of finding "le mot juste", of drawing elusive experiences into language, of dancing with words. I believe in effective and efficient written communication. I also deeply value and appreciate a kind of critical-poetic writing that embraces the multidimensional potential of language to translate the nuances of sensory-perceptive and aesthetic lived experience. As a writer and as an editor I commit to the precision and evocation that can be achieved in language. Nothing less.
Somatics & Movement for Wellness
As a Registered Somatic Educator and Therapist, I work with groups and individuals to cultivate somatic awareness – a deeply embodied sense of oneself in dynamic, fulfilling motion and relation, with self, others and world. I work with clients to identify embodied habits and patterns and to develop fluidity, articulation, efficiency and expressivity in body and therefore in mind. Drawing on Bartenieff FundamentalsTM, Laban-based principles of movement and non-verbal communication, patterns of connectivity and 3D WorkoutTM sequences, I use movement activities, imagery and verbal prompts along with very light touch and voice to facilitate release of tension and reduce pain, shift habits and patterns, enhance expressive range and build resilience. My work is informed by my research into experimental choreographic methods. Walking practice forms a fundamental component of each session.
Facilitation & Consulting
I bring my background in movement and communications together with my publishing industry experience and arts management skills to facilitate strategic planning and community dialogue with individuals, organizations and groups in the arts and culture sector. I have developed an approach I call "un-structured conversations" in which, through a pre-consultation and planning stage, I set up a series of prompts and activities to provoke dialogue and reflection. During the live interaction, I facilitate the event: guiding, challenging, reflecting and documenting, while keeping the larger objectives and timelines in view. My approach is decidedly process-oriented, grounded in the view that issues and themes will emerge and resolve, given an appropriately dynamic and responsive context. I frequently use movement process in my consulting work, as appropriate and relevant to the particular group and context. I also work under the umbrella Embodied Leadership with my colleague Shannon Litzenberger to offer movement-based leadership development to the corporate sector.