Summer Choreographic Lab

Choreographic Lab Showing
Saturday August 3  |  5:00 – 7:00 PM

Scroll down to read about the choreographers + dancers!


Why have a Choreographic Lab?

Dance Victoria is interested in identifying new choreographer and interpreter voices. This project:

  • Contributes to the development of emerging BC artists
  • Has the potential to assist Dance Victoria in identifying artists that it will continue to support through residencies and potential commissions
  • Will expose Victoria-based dance artists to visiting artists, through the daily technique class, as participants in the workshops and as auditors of the process
  • Builds audience engagement increasing appreciation for the art form

Dance Victoria’s Executive Producer Stephen White wanted to provide an opportunity for these artists to deepen their experience building on the skills and tools they accumulated in their previous experience.


What is a Choreographic Lab?

Dance Victoria has engaged choreographers Justine A. Chambers and Susan Elliott as Artistic Directors to lead a two-week intensive for three emerging choreographers and six pre-professional dancers from July 22 to August 3, 2019.

Chambers and Elliott will mentor three choreographers who have participated in previous Labs at Dance Victoria: Victoria-based choreographers Kelly Hobson and Angela Mousseau and Vancouver’s Mahaila Patterson-O’Brien. Dancers selected to participate in the 2019 Choreographic Lab are Ellie Bishop, Eowynn Enquist, Isak EnquistSamantha KrystalJared MiddletonDonaldo NavaLarryssa Yolland and apprentices Jacky Halaburda and Noah McKimm. *Scroll down to see photos and biographies.

The structure for the lab remains the same as previous years. Each day the dancers and choreographers will participate in a morning technique class. At the end of class, Chambers and Elliott will assign a task and the choreographers will spend the afternoon with the dancers generating new material based on that task. At 5:00 pm each day they will share their work with the group for feedback.

There will be a public showing of these new works at 5:00pm on Saturday August 3, 2019 at Dance Victoria Studios.
RSVP required to [email protected] More details here.

Dance Victoria’s Choreographic Lab is generously supported by the Canada Council for the Arts, the RBC Foundation, Jawl Bundon LLP and D’AMBROSIO architecture + urbanism.

2018-19 Summer Choreographic Lab sponsors

Kelly Hobson

Kelly Hobson (Choreographer)

Originally from Vancouver BC, Kelly is a dance artist, choreographer, teacher, actor and musician with credits that include Action Review Atomic Vaudeville, Harpo Marx Animal Crackers Blue Bridge Repertory Theatre, ROMP!, Bounce Dance Cabaret and nine years as a performer and choreographer for the Atomic Vaudeville Cabaret. In 2015 Kelly stepped into her role as Artistic Director of the Victoria School of Contemporary Dance. In the fall of 2017 she founded the contemporary dance company, Dance Berserker Dance with whom she presented her first full length work in May 2018. Kelly is honored to be participating in the second season of Dance Victoria’s Choreographic Lab.

Angela Mousseau

Angela Mousseau (Choreographer)

Angela Mousseau is a 2002 graduate of The University of the Arts in Philadelphia, PA where she majored in modern dance focusing on Horton, Limon and Taylor techniques. At University of the Arts, she studied with directors, choreographers and dancers from The Paul Taylor Company, The Limon Company, PHILADANCO, Alvin Ailey Dance Theater, The Martha Graham Dance Company, Koresh Dance Company, Momix and many others. Angela has performed in Philadelphia and New York Fringe Festivals, at the National Dance Day in Philadelphia, and with The Next Stage Project (directed by Jana Hicks) and AKRNYM Dance Company in New York City. She also appeared on the MTV Video Music Awards at Madison Square Gardens, NYC in 2003.
Angela’s choreography has been commissioned by studios and companies across the United States and Canada. Many of her students have gone on to study at The National Ballet, The Royal Winnipeg Ballet, Toronto Dance Theatre, Ryerson University, Modus Operandi Contemporary Dance Program, Alvin Ailey, Lines Ballet in San Francisco and The University of the Arts. Angela is currently on faculty at Dansko Studios, Boston Dance Collective, Westcoast Performing Arts Academy, the Victoria Academy of Ballet, and is the resident choreographer of Convergence Contemporary Ballet. In 2017 she was one of 3 choreographers selected to participate in Dance Victoria's inaugural Choreographic Lab directed by Wen Wei Wang.

Mahaila Patterson O'Brien

Mahaila Patterson-O'Brien (Choreographer)

Mahaila Patterson-O’Brien is an emerging choreographer in Vancouver, BC. She holds a BFA (Hons.) in Dance from SFU School for the Contemporary Arts and studied at the School for Contemporary Dancers in Winnipeg, MB, and at The University of Winnipeg. During her time at SFU, she performed in works by Crystal Pite, Charlotte Boye-Christensen, Santa Aloi, Rob Kitsos and Katie DeVries among others. Patterson- O’Brien participated in Dance Victoria’s inaugural Summer Choreographic Lab in 2017 under the mentorship of Wen Wei Wang. Her choreography often revolves around abstract gestures and uses projections.

Ellie Bishop headshot

Ellie Bishop (Dancer)

Ellie Bishop is an emerging contemporary dance artist based in Vancouver, and is entering her final year with Modus Operandi, under the direction of Kate Franklin, David Raymond and Tiffany Tregarthen. Through MO she has had the opportunity to have input in, and perform works created by Karissa Barry, Jennifer Mascall, Paras Terezakis, David Raymond, Kate Franklin, Vanessa Goodman, Shay Kuebler, and Company 605. She is currently apprenticing with Radical System Art (Shay Kuebler), and loves dancing outside.

Isak Enquist headshot

Isak Enquist (Dancer)

Isak Doran Enquist is a dance artist living on unceded Coast Salish territories, including the xʷməθkwəy̓əm, Skwxwú7mesh, and Səl̓ílwətaʔ/Selilwitulh Nations. Raised in the Kootenays (Ktunaxa) of Canada, Isak began formal training in Shotokan Karate. He began dance education at Simon Fraser University before enrolling with the Modus Operandi Contemporary Training Program. As an emerging dance artist, Isak has performed international tours with Out Innerspace Dance Theatre in 2017 as well as with Shay Keubler Radical System Art in 2018/2019. Most recently, premiering new work with Compagnie Vision Impure in 2019.

Samantha Krystal headshot

Samantha Krystal (Dancer)

Samantha grew up in Vancouver, BC. In 2015, she started training with Modus Operandi (MO), under the direction of Tiffany Tregarthen, David Raymond, and Kate Franklin. While in MO, she performed works created by Vanessa Goodman, Karissa Barry, Emmalena Fredriksson, Rob Kitsos, Paras Terezakis, Company 605, Shay Kuebler, Kate Franklin, and Out Innerspace. In 2018, she also had the pleasure of working with Judith Marcuse. She graduated from MO in 2019 and is currently teaching at The Landing Dance Centre.

Jared Middleton headshot

Jared Middleton (Dancer)

Jared Middleton grew up in the Southern Gulf Islands of British Columbia, starting his dance training on Pender and Saltspring islands. When he was 15 he moved to Vancouver to attend ArtsUmbrella's pre-professional dance training program, where he trained under expert dance instructors up until he graduated highschool. He ended up choosing not to pursue a career in dance, but rather a career in software development. However, he tries to keep dance as much a part of his life as he can manage.

Donaldo Nava headshot

Donaldo Nava (Dancer)

Donaldo Nava was born in Mexico City, and at the age of eleven, began his training at the National School of Classical and Contemporary Dance. In 2017, he moved to Victoria to continue his dance education, recently graduating from the Victoria Academy of Ballet’s Post-Secondary Bridge Program. Donaldo is looking forward to exploring new styles of movement, pushing boundaries, and gaining new choreographic tools as a dancer in the 2019 Choreographic Lab.

Larryssa Yolland headshot

Larryssa Yolland (Dancer)

Larryssa is a 19 year old aspiring contemporary dancer, born and raised in Victoria BC. She is currently training at Westcoast Academy of Performing Arts in the pre-professional half day program, under the instruction of Angela Mousseau and Dana Fry Blanco. In September she will travel to Israel to participate in Kibbutz Contemporary Dance Company’s “Dance Journey program”. She is excited to participate in Dance Victoria’s Choreographic Lab.

Jacky Halaburda headshot

Jacky Halaburda (Dancer apprentice)

Jacky is sixteen years old. She has trained through Pacific Dance Centre in modern dance and ballet by Maureen Eastick and Leah Wickes. Over the last four years she has completed several vocational RAD exams as well as taking part in local festivals and competitions. After highschool, Jacky hopes to take her training further and pursue her passion of dancing. She is very honoured and excited to be a part of Dance Victoria's Choreographic Lab this year.

Noah McKimm headshot

Noah McKimm (Dancer apprentice)

Noah is a contemporary and ballet dancer based in his hometown of Victoria. Having trained in both Montreal and Vancouver, Noah has only recently made it back to the island, and is enjoying becoming involved in the tight-knit local arts community. Noah is looking forward to working with all the choreographers and mentors in this summer's Choreographic Lab.

2019 Choreographic Lab

2018 Choreographic Lab

Dance Victoria hosted its second Choreographic Lab at Dance Victoria Studios led by Wen Wei Wang in July 2018.

The 2018 Choreographic Lab choreographers were Kelly Hobson (Victoria), Meredith Kalaman (Vancouver), and Jamie Robinson (Vancouver).

The 2018 Choreographic Lab dancers were Paula Cobo Botello, Adrian de Leeuw, Isak Enquist, Eowynn Enquist, Daria Mikhaylyuk, Julia Sloan, Matthew Wyllie, and two apprentices Joshua Hidson and Pearl Edmunds.

2017 Inaugural Choreographic Lab

Dance Victoria hosted its first Summer Choreographic Lab at Dance Victoria Studios in July 2017 and led by Wen Wei Wang. Following two weeks of intensive work and development, the public were invited to see the best work created by the choreographers and dancers.

The 2017 Choreographic Lab choreographers were Ralph Escamillan (Vancouver), Angela Mousseau (Victoria), and Mahaila Patterson-O’Brien (Vancouver).

The 2017 Choreographic Lab pre-professional dancers were Emily Faris and Seiji Suzuki (Victoria); Isak Enquist, Eowynn Huguet, Avery Smith and Matthew Wyllie (Vancouver); and two apprentices Pearl Edmunds and Luke Wilton (Victoria).



If you have questions about the Summer Choreographic Lab, call Dance Victoria Executive Producer Stephen White at 250.595.1829 or email him at [email protected]