Moving with Grief 1/21/23
Exploring the unspoken aspects of grief and mourning, participants will create movement-based video sketches from personal perspectives, guided prompts, and support from the artist. Folks are encouraged to bring a personal memento related to their own experience with grief. This can be an actual object or a photograph of the item and could be a keepsake, a song recording, a poem or letter, a piece of clothing, or a photo of a loved one. We will be moving around and using charcoal as a warm up activity so comfortable clothing is recommended. What else to bring: Something to write with and on and your smartphone to record.
Brianna L. Hernández is a Chicana artist, curator, educator, and death doula guided by socially-engaged values. In developing as an artist, Brianna credits her late mother, Sylvia D. Hernández, as her most significant mentor. Brianna’s studio practice focuses on end-of-life care, grieving processes, and mourning rituals based on lived experience, cultural research, and collaborations with peers. In addition to formal artworks, she offers workshops for viewers to self-educate on grief and end-of-life planning through the safety of the creative process. As a curator, Brianna works with artists to make socially-charged topics publicly accessible in order to create opportunities for education and empathy. She also collaborates with community health researchers to incorporate the arts into public health projects through curatorial consulting. Brianna proudly serves as Director of Curation and Board Secretary at Ma’s House & BIPOC Art Studio on the Shinnecock Indian Reservation in Southampton, New York.
Movement Offerings with Jeanette Kotowich 1/28/23
We gather for this workshop to connect with embodied practices related to Jeanette's research in Métis & Nêhiyaw Cosmology that bridge movement expressions into contemporary dance and performance practices. This is an experiential movement workshop, sharing Indigenous cultural perspectives and contemporary dance approaches. Bring your courageous hearts as we intentionally explore specific values to nourish our practices. Together we will stoke our creative fires with compassion, kindness, bravery & joy. All My Relations | ᑲᐦᑭᔭᐤ ᓂᐚᐦᑰᒫᑲᓂᑎᐠ
Originally from Treaty 4 territory Saskatchewan, Jeanette creates work that reflects Nêhiyaow/Métis cosmology within the context of contemporary dance, Indigenous performance, and Indigenous futurism. Fusing interdisciplinary collaboration, de-colonial practices and embodied research methodologies; Jeanette’s work references protocol, ritual, relationship to the natural/spirit world and Ancestral knowledge. Jeanette’s practice is intergenerational and vocational; it’s a living and lived experience. They reside as a guest on the Ancestral and unceded Sḵwx̱wú7mesh, Səl̓ilw̓ətaʔɬ/, and Xʷməθkʷəy̓əm territories, colonially known as Vancouver.
Photo: Yvonne Chew
'Soanacion' is a daughter of the words 'healing' and 'sounding' in spanish.
Soanaciones are an invitation to engage with our voice as a (collective) organ and as a living entity -both part of ourselves and beyond-. The workshop will evoke a spatiality of care from a place of deep listening and intuitive responding. In this space singing is not looking for validation or pre-packaged, consumable projections of beauty; instead it is were we place our bodies as offerings in the service of resonance.
Azul Carolina Duque (they/she) was born and raised in Colombia, and is currently a settler in Coast-Salish territories (colonially known as Vancouver). She is a member of the Gesturing Towards Decolonial Futures Collective and her artistic practice invites relating to embodied sound(ing) as a tool for re-membering ourselves out of our collective denials. These explorations are informed by her training as a death doula and a mime. She is also learning about how to walk the path of relating to music as a living entity, as opposed to a product to be consumed or exploited for validation. She is the producer of the ‘En Cuidado da terra’ podcast series, a conversation with Indigenous Elders on the paradoxes of sustainability.
Sherpa Songs to Inform How We Live in the Midst of Dying 2/11/23
In November of 2022, Sherpa community members in Seattle recorded three traditional songs as the first step towards vitalizing them. These songs from Khumbu in northeastern Nepal represent community sentiment and sensibility developed over generations living on one of the highest and harshest landscapes. We will listen to these songs with English translation during the workshop to reflect on the question: how do we live in the midst of dying.
Pasang Yangjee Sherpa is an assistant professor of Lifeways in Indigenous Asia, jointly appointed to the Institute for Critical Indigenous Studies (home department) and the Department of Asian Studies at the University of British Columbia. She is a trained Sherpa anthropologist from Nepal. Her research, writing and pedagogy focuses on climate change and Indigeneity among Himalayan communities. She is currently involved in two collaborative projects. The first project, titled “Transnational Sherpas” investigates what it means to be a Sherpa today. The second seeks just pathways for sustainable futures in the Anthropocene, along with geographers Ritodhi Chakraborty and Costanza Rampini, and includes critical reflections on how the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change can open up space for Indigenous peoples and local communities.
The Kwekwecnewtxw (traditional Coast Salish Watch House) 2/18/23
* Please note different timelines for this workshop to accommodate travel to Burnaby Mountain. This workshop will be held (in part) outdoors, and requires mobility along uneven, often sloping, earthen/muddy natural terrain. Please contact us should you need extra support to access, including rain gear or suitable footwear*
Registration for this workshop is limited to ten people. We will meet at the Dance Centre and bus together to Burnaby Mountain at 1pm. Our bus will return us to the Dance Centre by 5pm. From 5:15-6pm, we will hold space in the studio for discussion.
On February 18th we will step out of the Dance Centre and experiment with site-specific and land-centered somatic work related to resistance, Indigenous sovereignty, and allyship. Breaking out of four-walled space opens possibility for touch-feeling exiled awarenesses and connections --beyond-the-human centered architecture of our habitual geographies. Our teacher-host-place will be Kwekwecnewtxw—the Coast Salish Watch House, a tradition alive in keeping watch over the enemy: the TransMountain Pipeline terminal facility on Burnaby Mountain. We will ‘with-ness’ our bodies in relationship to the sacred mountain, to sites of extractivism, and sites of ceremony, as well as our collective response-ability to local struggles for justice.
Jim Leyden is the Elder at Kwekwenetewx. He was born in the Six Nations territory in Brantford, Ontario, and was apprehended during the Sixties Scoop and moved outside of his home territory for adoption. After moving to Vancouver, he got involved in sweat lodge and Sundance ceremonies, ultimately becoming an Elder, Senior Sundancer, and the head Fire Keeper for Squamish Sundance chief Robert Nahanee. Upon the creation of the Watch House and nearby TMX resistance camp in 2018, he was asked to bring teachings and culture into the camp. Upon the camp’s closing, he was asked to protect the Watch House by acting as a Traditional Watchman—keeping an eye on the work being done at the tank farm, and reporting misconduct to the people and government agencies, ultimately being asked to act as the Watch House Elder.
Location: Burnaby Mountain (upon registration we will send you the details of our meeting point)
Danzanacion Tolteca 2/25/23
Danzanacion Tolteca, a combined Spanish word that means "Healing with Dance"
*La Danza es el esperanto del cuerpo, el lenguage universal*
This is an invitation for all bodies who feel the call to connect with the deep ancestral roots of their natural healing system through the ancient ritual dance of Pre-hispanic Mexhika Culture.This tradition is communal and individual medicine, as each step of the dance encapsulates a meaning that recreates a path in the mind and in the spirit. It’s a fun method to strengthen the body, harmonize emotions and align the soul with the Universal Cosmic Dance.
What to bring:
A receptive mind, an open heart, will to participate in movement and a hydrated body. All different abilities are welcomed. Also bring comfy clothes, including a symbol of proud self-identity. Shakers! If you have them, made with organic materials such as wood, shells, and stones (except metal, please); if possible tied to your ankles and wrists.
EHECATL-TZIIN BEATRIX PIMENTEL (it/they), born and raised in Mexico from Toltec and Arabic ancestry, has dedicated the last 33 years to practice as a holistic massage therapist and soul healer, designing every session as an artesania. Beatrix is a licensed integrative sexologist who has traveled through all kinds of life dances: from folklore, erotic dance, theater, to clay modeling.
Together, We Erupt 3/4/23
In this workshop, we will partake in a series of embodied exercises accompanying Chipo Chipaziwa’s performance practice which investigates the performativity of the Black female body. Together, we will focus on and explore the sensation of being observed whilst being cognizant of said observer(s). To provide one example, this exploration will consist of all participants collectively attempting to flow in synchronisation, whilst relying on visual cues to guide us. Throughout our time together, we will ask ourselves and each other the following: What is an artist without an audience? Is it possible to be respectfully consumed? Can the gaze truly be subverted?
Please wear comfortable clothing to move in, bring water to drink and an open mind to share, to learn and to observe.
Chipo Chipaziwa is a visual artist who predominantly works in the medium of performance art. Chipaziwa’s practice concerns itself with the fluidity of identity, the performativity of the Black body and Chipaziwa’s own investigation of disrupting the gaze of the other. Chipaziwa has previously worked with the Contemporary Art Society of Vancouver, the City of Vancouver and Live Biennale. Chipaziwa currently resides on the unceded territories of the xwməθkwəy̓ əm (Musqueam), Skwxwú7mesh (Squamish) and səl̓ílwətaʔɬ/Selilwitulh (Tsleil-Waututh) peoples.
Registration for Attunement full! 3/11/23
This workshop will focus on attuning to different frequencies of sound, vibration, momentum, stillness, and touch. The invitation is to play with: dancing and vocalizing in peripheral spaces, disorientation, decomposing dance & choreographing breath, exploring sensation & touch and finding quietude. Listening is the basis of this work. Attuning to the grief and wonder of this current moment and allowing gentleness to permeate ones' practice is the invitation. This work is inspired by mayfield’s research into ocean soundscapes, whale echolocation and whale mother culture. Let’s play!
mayfield brooks improvises while black and is based in Lenapehoking, the unceded land of the Lenape people, also known as Brooklyn, New York. brooks is a movement-based performance artist, vocalist, urban farmer, writer, and wanderer. brooks teaches and performs practices that arise from Improvising While Black (IWB), their interdisciplinary dance methodology which explores the decomposed matter of Black life and engages in dance improvisation, disorientation, dissent, and ancestral healing. brooks is the 2021 recipient of the biennial Merce Cunningham Award from the Foundation for Contemporary Arts, a 2021 Bessie/New York Dance and Performance Award nominee for their dance film, Whale Fall, a 2022 Danspace Project Platform artist and currently a Hodder Fellow at Princeton University.
Bodies of Water with Learning Endings 3/18/23
Every year, hundreds of whales and other marine mammals strand on terrestrial shores. These ocean-dwelling animals are mostly hidden from humans during their lifetimes, but in a stranding death, they reveal themselves to us, and call on us to care. The scientific practice of necropsy attends these animals in their deaths as a queer way of witnessing their lives, and caring for their kin. An act of deep intimacy and deep implication, necropsy opens the ocean and the animal to the human sensorium. How can we prepare ourselves to meet this vulnerability?
This workshop will attune to the micro-movements of our own bodies of water. Through listening and touch, our organs rearrange, as we contemplate what these animals, in their deaths, also ask of us. Together, we are learning endings.
Please wear comfortable clothing, and bring a phone or MP3 player that can play a sound file from the internet, as well as earphones/earbuds (if you do not have these, please let us know and we will provide them). Please bring anything else that will increase your comfort (e.g. water bottle).
This workshop is offered by Learning Endings, a multi-part interdisciplinary research project led by artist Patty Chang (Los Angeles), cultural researcher and writer Astrida Neimanis (Kelowna, BC) and veterinary pathologist Aleskija Neimanis (Uppsala, Sweden). It examines the work of scientists who perform necropsies of dead marine mammals as unacknowledged forms of attention and care, and explores how various kinds of art practice can support this care work. Including laboratory observation, expert interviews, walking art, filmmaking, community engagement, poetics, public outreach, and the sweaty work of interpersonal and interdisciplinary exchange, Learning Endings seeks different kinds of conversation about science, oceans, and human responsibility. As we try to figure out how to respond to so many untimely endings, how might we reconfigure the role of both science and art as part of the complicated ecologies of mutual care in and for the oceans, and for the beings that call it home?
mooring possibilities: rememory of home/landings 3/25/23
We will gather for this workshop to be in collective play with cyan’s creative practice of embodied poetics, cosmologies, bivalves, and shore/landings. This workshop will be a site-specific experiment to engage with water-shoreline- memory work as ways of organizing ritual. We will collectively stretch our curiosity of ways of mooring, “the ropes, chains, anchors,” of our bodies, and Land-Water-Body as home/landings. The workshop will be a space for exploration, intuitive and conjured response between the we + spatial practice. In this space we will honour our play with memories, prayers, offerings, + desires.
paris cyan cian is a movement architect, educator, scholar, and bodypoet working with and through various interdisciplinary forms of dance, drawing, film, photography, and sound. Rooted in New Orleans, cyan’s creative work mobilizes embodied memory and ecological play into a worldmaking practice. cyan cian received her BFA/BA in Dance with a concentration in social justice, gender women’s studies from Hollins University (2018) and Masters of Fine Arts in Choreography at Roehampton University, London, U.K (2021).
Please join me in a speculative co-respond-dance.
Here we are together, situated in a hyper-complex network of thoroughly disturbed ecologies. Here we acknowledge the broad, deep, infected wounding of this land, of the lands that travel as and through our bodies, and orient to the possibility of deep abiding strength and ecological wisdom accessible through the body as transmitter and receiver. This is an experiment in opening the channelling capacities of our bodies, to set aside the sensation of/impulse toward “devising” and collectively improvise toward radically queer futures. Radical as in rooting. Rooting as in drawing up and redistributing nourishment from deep connection with and response-ability to planetary metabolism. Can we sense with the teeming assemblages of our bodies, into intimacies and capacities that strengthen and surprise us?
Please wear comfortable clothing for movement, and bring a notebook, writing implement, and a grounding object from home.
Reed Jackson [Reaume Rodzinyak] is a white-bodied queer interdisciplinary de/composer moving with disturbance on stolen, occupied, unceded xʷməθkʷəy̓əm, Skwxwú7mesh, and səl̓ilwətaɁɬ lands. Reed’s work is inspired by mycorrhizal networks, fireweed, scavengers, decomposers, devotional poets, and the deep time collective breath we are all constantly transformed by and transforming. Reed embraces art-making as a praxis of cultivating response-abilities and intimate relations.
Body, a trace of memory 4/8/23
Our bodies are a complex result of embodied words. Language shapes our skin. Memories we repeat and revive every time they cross our cells. Every step, every word, every hug we give trace memory on the planet. Our thoughts intertwined with the complex mechanism of ordinary life.
Would the human body become more respectful of its environment if it knew that memory will precede?
In this class we will explore movement and its creative metaphors. Through structuring improvisation we will play with the ever-changing body, tapping into its inherent intuitive movement; giving space for it to be recognized, witnessed and embraced.
Marco Esccer (he/him) is a Mexican queer artist, performer, creator and educator, and has a diverse background from the technical to the therapeutic aspect of dance. He received his Bachelor in Ballet by the National Ballet and Contemporary School of Mexico City (2011-2016), followed by certifications in Research, experimentation and artistic production (2015-2016), Dance Movement Therapy (2016), Certified Yoga Instructor (2021), Progressive Ballet Technique Instructor (2022), and Mental Application: mind-body connection (2019-2022). Marco’s recent work has been performed with the support of Co.Erasga, 12 Minutes Max at The Dance Centre, and "Aeropuertos llenos de Esperanza" a choreography about migration and hope as a guest choreographer with Coastal City Ballet. Currently training with Coastal City Ballet, part of Re-Centering Margins from Dance West, Communications Coordinator at New Works Society, and providing embodiment workshops for diverse organizations in person and online.
With a profound interest in creating spaces for awareness of motion, feelings and thoughts, he believes in Art & Movement as a human enhancing method to be more connected with creativity and in sinergic communication and respect with others and the environment; and he is interested in art as a bridge for compassion and understanding finding the common threads between cultures into humanity.