What is the Summer Residency?
Dance Victoria studios are open this summer to host three emerging choreographers and one collective so they can develop new works (all resident artists will be adhering to Dance Victoria’s new health protocols in accordance with WorkSafe BC guidelines). Summer Residency highlights:
Why the Summer Residency?
Dance Victoria operates with the following mandate: To enhance the appreciation of dance in the Capital Region by presenting and developing excellent professional dance, supporting emerging dance artists and choreographers, and engaging the community in the experience and celebration of dance.
Recently, Dance Victoria’s Board of Directors supported the mission for Dance Victoria to:
The independent dance artist has been profoundly affected by the current pandemic. During this time, Dance Victoria is committed to creating opportunities for dancemakers and interpreters. Its investment in the Summer Residency program is part of a larger plan that will roll out in the coming season.
Now living in Victoria, Susan Elliott has had a significant career as an interpreter, teacher, choreographer and dramaturge beginning in the late 1980s to present day. She trained at Main Dance (Vancouver) with additional studies in NY, Montréal, Toronto and Europe.
As a dancer, Elliott was in high demand in the 1990s through to the late 2000’s, performing with all of Vancouver’s major dance companies, collectives and choreographers and touring extensively. Beginning in the late 1990s and into the 2000s she turned her attention to choreography, creating work for herself and her company, Anatomica, as well as completing commissions for a range of artists and collectives. Elliott was Rehearsal Director for Company 605 (2011-2017) and Tara Cheyenne Productions (2010–2017). In 2019, with dance artist Justine A. Chambers, Elliott was co-Artistic Director of Dance Victoria’s Choreographic Lab.
Eowynn Enquist (She/her) is a dance maker/performer who lives and works on the traditional, ancestral and unceded territories of the Coast Salish Peoples. Eowynn’s formative dance training began at Simon Fraser University 2014 - 2018. Eowynn was awarded the Amir Algahnand Award in Contemporary Arts from Simon Fraser University and maintained honour roll from 2016- 2018. As a student, Eowynn has participated in the Marie Chouinard Intensive 2019, Springboard Danse Montréal working with Stephen Laks - Goteborgoperans Danskompani 2017 and RUBBERBAND Dance 2019 and Arts Umbrella International Dance Intensives 2015, 2016, 2017. As an interpreter and collaborator in the Vancouver dance community, Eowynn works with established dance companies and independent choreographers in British Columbia such as: Wen Wei Dance, Action at a Distance, Vision Impure Compagnie, Mascall Dance, Kinesis Dance Somatheatro, Mahaila Patterson-O’Brien, Anya Saugstad, and Kelly Hobson (Victoria, BC). Eowynn has also had the opportunity to work on specific projects with: Justine A.Chambers, Susan Elliott, Raïna Von Waldenburg, Idan Cohen, Out Innerspace Dance Theatre, Rachel Meyers, the response., Body Narratives Collective, and Angela Mousseau (Victoria, BC).
Isak Enquist is a dance artist living on the unceded Coast Salish territory (xwməθkwəy̓ əm, Skwxwú7mesh, and Səlí̓lwətaʔ/Selilwitulh nations). Raised in the Kootenays (Ktunaxa) of Canada, Isak began formal training in Shotokan Karate, studying martial arts for eight years before being introduced to dance as a structured form. Isak moved to Vancouver at age sixteen to explore contemporary dance and further training, searching to use a kinetic understanding of martial arts in alternative forms of movement. He began his post-secondary dance education with the Simon Fraser School for Contemporary Arts, where he studied for two years before continuing his studies with Modus Operandi Contemporary Training Program. Isak has taken part in summer intensives with The Ailey School in Italy and New York City. Also, from 2017-2019, he was selected to take part in Dance Victoria’s summer choreographic workshops. Through his education in Vancouver, Isak has had the pleasure of working with choreographers such as Crystal Pite, Wen Wei Wang, Company 605, Serge Bennathan and Vanessa Goodman. As an emerging dance artist, Isak has performed with Out Innerspace Dance Theatre, Mascall Dance, Compagnie Vision Impure, The Response, and Shay Keubler Radical System Art. Touring with these companies have included performances in Canada, USA, Europe, and Israel.
A dance artist, creator and producer, Alexis has danced with Ballet BC for 14 years. Now independent, Alexis remains a guest artist and rehearsal assistant with Ballet BC and will be Artist in Residence for the 2020/2021 season. Alexis’ creations have been supported by Dancing on the Edge, InFrinGing Festival, New Works, Vernon Performing Arts Centre, The Gordon Smith Foundation, and Canada Council for the Arts. In 2019, Alexis was a BC Artist in Residence at Chutzpah! Festival and at Dance Victoria.
With Ballet BC, Alexis was privileged to be part of the core group of dancers, led by Emily Molnar, who built the renowned creation-based company it is today.
As a producer, Alexis has co-created an outdoor, site-specific multidisciplinary performance space and series with her husband, Sylvain Senez, out of their home in Vancouver, called The Dance Deck. This has been running since 2015.
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 ten years as a performer and choreographer for the Atomic Vaudeville Cabaret.
In 2015 she stepped into her role as Artistic Director of the Victoria School of Contemporary Dance. In the fall of 2017 Kelly founded the contemporary dance company, Dance Berserker Dance with whom she presented her first full length work in May 2018. She was privileged to be chosen as one of three choreographers to participate in Dance Victoria’s 2018 and 2019 Choreographic Labs lead by renowned artists Wen Wei Wang, Susan Elliott and Justine Chambers. Kelly is honoured and grateful to be given this opportunity to create and share her thoughts with you.
Kathy Lang is a freelance contemporary dance artist residing in Victoria and is an accomplished choreographer, teacher and director. Trained in both ballet and contemporary dance, Kathy graduated from Grant McEwan University with honours and trained with the Alberta Ballet.
In Kathy’s performance career, she has worked with wonderful artists such as Joe Laughlin, Lola McLaughlin, Brian Webb, Lynda Raino, Sheila Lawrence, Constance Cooke, Lindsay Walsh, David Adams, Debra Shantz, Stepstone Dance, Tantrum, and Mile Zero Dance.
Regionally, Kathy was a key faculty member at Lynda Raino Dance for 16 years, and supported the advanced training at Pacific Dance Centre, Victoria Academy of Ballet’s Bridge Program and Ballet Victoria. Kathy founded Deas Island Dance in Vancouver and launched youth programs with a strong focus on contemporary dance. Kathy founded Elev8 Youth Dance Project in Victoria in 2010 to support the advanced dancer continue training locally. Kathy also co-founded CoMotion Dance for emerging artists in Victoria is 2004.
Currently, Kathy is Owner and Artistic Director of Seda Dance, a new vibrant adult dance school and hub for contemporary dance in Victoria. In its fourth season, her resident company Third Canvas Dance, an innovative contemporary dance company has presented three wonderful seasons of new works: In Extero (2017), Carbon (2018), Bramble’s Child (2019) featuring local dance artists.
Although dance has always been part of Jordan’s life, it wasn’t until adulthood that she realized how precious and important it was to her. Jordan grew up dancing in her living room and in community classes and she’s loved the rich history of dance and its ability to bring community together. She is fascinated by how moving your body can have such a grand influence on life outside the studio. Dancing has helped her become a better communicator and to learn trust. It has helped her attune to those in her life and has brought so much joy into her days.
Jordan started training with Kathy Lang in 2014, joining Third Canvas in 2016 and performing in works including In Extero, Carbon and Bramble’s Child. Over the last three years, Jordan has studied somatic therapy and has received training through Les Grands Ballets in Montreal and the American Dance Movement Therapy Association. She has trained with internationally renowned trauma-informed Movement Therapists Amber Grey.
In recent years, she has used her skills to develop community-based programs addressing mental health, as well as physical and developmental disabilities. Jordan is continually drawn to producing and co-creating work that uses personal narratives to engage communities with social/political content that matters to them. Ultimately, she loves the way dancing makes her feel and she is excited to share that passion with anyone who walks into the room.
Rachel continues to find her way back into the studio over many years; dance is a common and treasured thread that weaves through most phases of her life. Attending a performing arts high school in Ottawa planted the roots for her love of contemporary dance by offering opportunities to dance to live music, learn dance history, and create her own work.
The intervening years were a mixture of dancing and not in Ottawa, Adelaide (Australia), Halifax, and Victoria. When she started training with Kathy Lang in Victoria, she discovered that as an adult, her dance horizons felt very different. Joining Kathy Lang’s Third Canvas in 2016 for the creation and production of the full-length piece In Extero was an immersive and experiential process that filtered into all aspects of her life.
She has been dancing with Third Canvas since then, in works including Carbon and Bramble's Child, and continues to study under Kathy Lang at Seda Dance. Rachel dances because it's where she finds infinite learning and treasures it as a place to safely explore physical and unspoken intimacy that holds glimpses into the universality of humanness. In non-dancing life, Rachel works in the non-profit sector. Although not originally from Victoria, she is planning to stay put for a while, due to unforeseen romantic entanglements.
Born and raised in Greater Vancouver, Sarah Formosa began her training at Spiral Dance Company and continued in San Francisco at the Alonzo King LINES Ballet where she graduated in 2016. As an independent artist, Sarah has worked with David Harvey, Ralph Escamillian, Heather Dotto, Heather Laura-Gray, Jennifer Mcleish-Lewis, Alameda Civic Ballet Company, The Vancouver Opera (Josh Beamish), Company Joe Ink (Joe Laughlin) and the response. Dance Company (Amber Funk-Barton). She is honoured to be working with the following Vancouver based companies: TWObigsteps Collective, Vision Impure (Noam Gagnon), WAREhaus Dance Collective (Meghan Hunter), Raven Spirit Dance Company (Starr Muranko), Wen Wei Dance (Wen Wei Wang) and Action at a Distance (Vanessa Goodman). In the summer of 2019 Sarah took part in Springboard Danse Montreal (Alexandra Wells) where she performed an excerpt from Crystal Pite’s ‘Betroffenheit’ staged by Eric Beauchesne. In January of 2018, Sarah had her first choreographic residency with Dances for a Small Stage and her work has since been presented by Small Stage and Dancing on the Edge Vancouver. Sarah currently is a performer with The Smoke Show by Jen Oleksiuk and some of her TV and film credits include Disney, Netflix, Nickelodeon, LifeTime and Freeform.
Ted Littlemore is a contemporary dance artist, musician and one of Vancouver’s most celebrated drag performers. After completing a B.A. in Psychology at McGill University, Ted turned to dance full-time, studying in Vancouver and New York City. He graduated from Modus Operandi Contemporary Dance Training Program in June 2018 and has continued his training in various intensives and workshops, including Gaga Intensives, Helen Walkley’s Presence of Mind in Motion, Springboard Danse Montréal, Radical System Art, and Company 605. As a working artist and interpreter, Ted has performed with Action at a Distance, FakeKnot, Kate Franklin, Kinesis Dance Somatheatro, Ne.Sans Dance Company, Joshua Beamish/The Vancouver Opera, Tara Cheyenne Performance, and Vision Impure. He is also developing his own work, fusing his contemporary dance practice with his expertise in drag. Ted started drag in 2013, under the pseudonym ‘Mila Dramatic,’ as an exploration of the intersection of his musical, theatrical, and dance backgrounds. He (/she!) took the title of Vancouver’s Next Drag Superstar in 2016 and continues to perform frequently at local drag venues. Through drag, he has also begun to hone his skills as a stylist, with a particular interest in reimagining found materials to create highly conceptual looks.
Brenna Metzmeier, is a dance artist, choreographer and teacher. She is originally from northern BC. Brenna completed her formal training at the Victoria Academy of Ballet, receiving a diploma in classical ballet from the post-graduate Bridge Program in 2016. She has performed with Ballet Etoile, Arts Umbrella’s Performance Research Project, Sawdust Collective, as well as Lesley Telford’s company Inverso Productions. Brenna received a residency at the Banff Centre for Arts and Creativity in 2017; where she performed Noetic, choreographed by Sidi Larbi Cherkaoui and Göteborgs Opearans Danskompani, restaged and directed by Stephan Laks and Tilman O’Donnell.
In 2019, Brenna was also selected for the L.A.U.N.C.H project with NorthWest Dance Project. She is currently a member of Vision Impure Compagnie, directed by Noam Gagnon which premiered ‘Pathways’ at the Vancouver International Dance Festival and Dance in Vancouver Festival in 2019.
Dance Victoria hosted its third Choreographic Lab at Dance Victoria Studios led by choreographers Justine A. Chambers and Susan Elliott as Artistic Directors from July 22 to August 3, 2019.
The 2019 Choreographic Lab dancers were: Ellie Bishop, Eowynn Enquist, Isak Enquist, Samantha Krystal, Jared Middleton, Donaldo Nava, Larryssa Yolland and apprentices Jacky Halaburda and Noah McKimm.
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.
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]