I value a certain amount of variety in my life and love collaborating with inspiring individuals. I appreciate the challenge of bending my skills and expertise to new contexts and the learning and discovery that arises and propels me forward.
AT once by deborah Hay
For my doctoral dissertation, I developed an experiential poetics of American choreographer Deborah Hay’s solo work At Once, through a practice-as-research approach as a performer of the work. I have come to understand her solo choreography and practice as a distinctly linguistic braid of three strands – score, questions and tools. Taken into movement practice, this linguistic function operates on intention, attention and action to effectively choreograph these processes into dynamic suspension. I have characterized this experience, of paradoxical simultaneity, in the concept of “somatic anacrusis”. Practicing performing Hay’s enigmatic words and phrases pulls at the integrating processes of meaning-making, unravelling sedimented structures such that meaningfulness almost but never quite coalesces.
In the performance of At Once, I move Hay’s text-based score containing very limited movement information, buoyed by a series of questions such as “What if every cell in my body could perceive time passing?” and prompted by a set of verbal tools such as “Invite being seen” or “Notice the feedback from your body”. These three linguistic strands choreograph my intention, attention and action respectively, into somatic anacrusis –“positionlessness”, as Hay describes it, the body-space-time of “at once”.
The work, for me, is a quiet provocation. It asks: What if we attempt to release or subvert pre-existing forms of meaningfulness and identity? How does this experience shift our understanding of self, world, other? How might we then move into encounter, relation? My research with Hay’s work has been a generative process in many ways and has prompted the development of an experiential research method for emergent choreographic analysis. With the support of a yearlong Chalmers Arts Fellowship in 2017, I will embark on a practice-based research process engaging with these questions and further exploring this method with other choreographers’ practices.
The Dance Current: CAnada's Dance Magazine
The Dance Current is Canada's dance magazine, cultivating dance literacy and critical discourse in print, online and in live presentations and programs. As founder of the magazine and of the not-for-profit organization Dance Media Group/Groupe Danse Media, I have had the privilege and pleasure of working with numerous dedicated and inspiring dance professionals across Canada, as team members in running the organization, as individuals featured in the magazine and as supporters and partners in the creation and implementation of various projects and programs. The Dance Current celebrated twenty years of consistent publication in 2018.
Matrix of Canadian Dance Periodical Publishing (1950s-2000+)
In May 2016, I participated in a roundtable hosted by The Other D: Locating Dance in Drama, Theatre and Performance Studies in Canada, held at Congress 2016 in Calgary. As part of my contribution to the event, I wrote an article and created a map of the history of Canadian dance periodical publishing as it connects to the history of dance studies in Canada. The article and map are forthcoming in the online journal Performance Matters.
Emerging Dance Critics Programme
As Director: Education and Special Projects at The Dance Current, I have led critical arts writing partnership programs with The National Ballet of Canada and Dancemakers to foster a new generation of dance writers. The programme participants have the opportunity to attend and write about company performances throughout the season. They receive mentorship and writing feedback, and then experience a professional editing process to hone their writing for publication in a dedicated column at thedancecurrent.com.
Fall for Dance NortH Festival
Since the inaugural Fall for Dance North Festival in 2015, The Dance Current has been engaged to produce the festival program booklet. I work closely with festival leadership and lead the project as editor and project manager, working with a team from The Dance Current. I also hosted the artist talks series from 2015 through 2017, moderating 30-minute pre-show panel discussions with festival artists held in the lower lobby of the Sony Centre for the Performing Arts before an audience of 100+ each evening.