This project is in support of and solidarity with the Black Lives Matter movement. To enrich the knowledge in our dance community, we are demonstrating the evolution of techniques contributing to Hip-Hop Dance and highlighting the Halifax milestones that contribute to that timeline. This project features and promotes the Black professional Hip Hop dancers and educators in and from Halifax, supported by a Black production team and allied organizations.
ARTISTIC STATEMENT FROM THE WOODS
EX-POSITION aligns with our strategic initiatives to address the crisis of systemic racism and oppression of Black persons, as has been headed by the Black Lives Matter movement. We have been, and always will be, an organization of inclusive membership and promotion and we see a gap in the rest of the Nova Scotian professional and academic dance communities: representation isn’t there and has never been there.
Cast: Liliona Quarmyne, Ariel Boulos-Callias, Jordan Farmer, Jay Harvey, Nathaniel Dooks, Olivia MacLean, Nathaniel Dooks, Nick Nguyen, Carolin Mateus, Justin David, Chris Beck, Toby Richard, I’thandi Munro, Sara Steele, Josee Beaulieu, Grace McCluskey, Yasmin Rashid, Cavell Holland, Brandon Skeete, Devona Wilson, Jayla James / Creative Director: I’thandi Munro / Presented and Produced by The Woods and Onset Dance: Alexis Cormier and Sara Steele / In Partnership with Develop Nova Scotia / With Support from G-Street Pizza / Music Produced by: Tempo (Jordan Farmer), Auxford Studio / Videography and Editing by: Keke Beatz
I’thandi Munro is a mixed Afro-Euro L’nu woman living in K’jipuktuk, Miꞌkmaꞌki, the unceded territory of the Mi’kmaq People. Munro is a professional performance and visual artist. In 2020 she completed her BFA earning a double major in Photography + Jewellery Design and Metalsmithing from NSCAD University. As a racialized person living in a postcolonial environment, Munro uses the representation of line and of lineage as the underlying concepts through her fine art, craft, and dance. Often merging mediums into finished pieces there is always a sense of multiness within her work. Melding notions of the digital within her craft, Munro continuously seeks to learn new ways of making and she leaves space for her pieces to naturally evolve through reaction and discussion. This creates an ever-changing flux body of work that can be continued, explored, and realized in many different ways.
Alexis Cormier, Director of The Woods
Alexis believes in the progression of contemporary and street dance and has spearheaded the Atlantic Canadian movement to bring high-quality education and performances to the public. In conjunction with this pursuit, she founded and directs Atlantic Canada’s first professional hip hop company, The Woods (company in residence, Halifax Dance, June 2010). Hopscotch, Halifax’s hip-hop festival, has featured The Woods performances since its inception (2010), and through Hopscotch and other cultural events, The Woods are ambassadors for the advancement and sustainability of hip-hop arts.
Coming from 20 years of classical / contemporary dance training and choreography, Alexis strives to blend vocabularies. Her voice explores challenging societal subjects, to solidify the millennial aesthetic and create understanding for all persons. She has had the privilege of being presented by Live Art Dance Productions (2014, 2016, 2018), representing contemporary street art and the Atlantic Canadian community.
Sara Steele, Assistant Director of The Woods
Sara Steele has played a pivotal role in leadership for The Woods, and the hip-hop dance community in Atlantic Canada. She is a founding company member of The Woods and continued in that role for 10 years. In 2013 she founded the only dedicated hip-hop dance training program in HRM, Onset Dance, providing education and outreach to youth. Recent Assistant Director / Choreographic credits with The Woods include: Music Video, “WALLS” (Rich Aucoin, East Coast Music Award Nomination, FANS' CHOICE VIDEO, 2021), EX-POSITION (presented, Develop Nova Scotia), and DE-POSITION (presented, Nocturne Halifax: Art at Night). Sara also provides artistic development to drag queens, as Creative Director to Zara Matrix, in a series of drag shows, from 2019, and on-going.
As a status member of the Tla’amin First Nation, I wanted to bring attention to the Indigenous rail blockades that were being erected just before shut downs in March 2020. While the original concept was driven by the Wet’suwet’en Nation’s attempt to assert their land rights, and the acts of solidarity across the country, my research opened my eyes to First Nations Peoples’ determining history with the railways, including the Constitution Express. What I have choreographed on the four dancers is not literal. Instead, it focuses on the emotions that the blockades stir in me; feelings of anger, defiance, helplessness, and ultimately frustration. My movement vocabulary is influenced by my classical training at the Royal Winnipeg Ballet and career as a professional ballet dancer, as well as my knowledge of traditional Indigenous Hoop Dance and Grass Dance.
Choreographed and rehearsed at Atlantic Ballet Atlantique of Canada in Moncton, filmed in Assiniboine Park in Winnipeg, Manitoba.
Cameron Fraser-Monroe is a member of the Tla'amin First Nation, as well as being of Ukrainian and Scottish descent. Ukrainian Dance led to Grass Dance, and he was privileged to receive several years of performance with World Champion Hoop Dancer Dallas Arcand.
Since graduating from the Royal Winnipeg Ballet School, he has performed with Red Sky Performance at the prestigious Jacob’s Pillow Festival, with Dancers of Damelahamid at the International Cervantino Festival, and with the Royal Winnipeg Ballet at the National Arts Centre. This is Cameron’s second season as a dancer with the Atlantic Ballet Atlantique of Canada.
As a choreographer he has received commissions on Ballet Kelowna, the RWB Aspirants, the Winnipeg Summer Dance Collective, and Indigenous Day Live! 2018 and 2019. He continues to practice and present solo hoop dance.
Fraser-Monroe has been fortunate to work directly with choreographers Mauricio Wainrot, Jera Wolfe, Santee Smith, and Margaret Grenier. This is his third year as Artistic Director for the Winnipeg Summer Dance Collective.
Choreography, Conception, Production by Cameron Fraser-Monroe; Directed by Philippe Larouche; Director of Photography and Editor Michael B. Osikoya; Dancers are Emilie Lewis, Liam Reid, May Saito, and Bryce Taylor; Music is Oats in the Water by Ben Howard; Production Coordinator is Clare Fleming; with the generous support of the Manitoba Arts Council, the Royal Winnipeg Ballet, the Atlantic Ballet Atlantique of Canada, and the Government of Canada
Seven figures stand apart-- because they must. The score is dense with pressure and panic -- because we are. There is a collective breath --because we need one.
The central image is intertwined hands, inspired by the expression “all hands” defined as everybody engaged in the same pursuit. It is here we connect and intertwine.
Bell Island, NL
Lynn Panting is a Newfoundland & Labrador based performer, movement coach, choreographer, and director known for creating innovative and accessible dance works. She is known for creating pieces that appeal to a wide audience and often works with artists from other disciplines to generate a theatrical yet lyrical blend of choreography. Her work is at times humorous, heartfelt, bold and always original.
Panting is deeply committed to the growth of creativity and self-confidence through movement and holds a Master of Arts in Philosophy from Memorial University as well as a Master of Humanities concentrating in performance, dance and the body. Recent collaborations include choreography for No Change in the Weather (Terra Bruce), A Midsummer Nights Dream (Perchance), Rise and... with Any Jones (LPD for the Festival of New Dance), The Law The Letter Music Video (LPD for Sean Panting), and choreography for the Discovery Channel's Frontier.
Lynn is the owner and Artistic Director of Lynn Panting Dance, the Artistic Director, Producer of Untellable Movement Theatre, the Artistic Director of Isle Aux Mort Theatre Festival, and a founding member of Ladies Who Lunch Productions.
THE COLLABORATORS Mark White (theatre, architecture) Hilary Walsh (dance, circus, occupational therapy) Kevin Woolridge (theatre, music, writing, poetry) Vanessa Cardoso Whelan (dance, clown, theatre) Kailey Bryan (visual art, drag, circus) Colin Furlong (theatre, film) Alex Abbott (music, musical theatre) PRODUCTION Lynn Panting (choreography, direction, producer) Sean Panting (composition, soundscape) Ritche Perez (director of photography, videography) Vanessa Matthews (production assistant) Amy Anthony (mirth, nutrition)
On Hold, created, choreographed and directed by Nicola Hawkins of Admiral’s Cove, Newfoundland, is a striking movement piece that distills tenderness, honesty, and grief. The performers, actor John Moyes and his daughter, dancer-storyteller Louise Moyes, commissioned the film in their 80th and 52nd years. Cinematographer and Editor Lisa Porter. Composer Adam Foran. Shot at the Ferryland Lighthouse.
Ferryland Lighthouse Newfoundland and Labrador
Screenings to date: Women Over 50 Film Festival, Brighton UK (*Prize Winner); Dance: made in Canada Festival Toronto; Nickel Film Festival Newfoundland (World Premiere, Opening Night); St. John’s International Women’s Film Festival Newfoundland; Cannes Mediterannean Film Festival; CBC Gem.
The art of Director-Choreographer Nicola Hawkins encompasses both dance and visual art. Nicola ran her critically-acclaimed company Nicola Hawkins Dance in Boston from 1992 to 2005. Since then she lives in Admiral’s Cove, Newfoundland. Nicola’s many art exhibits include a large solo show at the Rooms Provincial Art Gallery. On Hold is her first film.
Producer and performer, St. John’s NL resident Louise Moyes most often creates multidisciplinary works she calls Docudances. She and her father, actor/performer John Moyes, commissioned Nicola Hawkins to make On Hold.
Director of photography and editor for On Hold, Lisa Porter, is an award-winning performer, writer and filmmaker living in St. John’s.
Director and Choreographer: Nicola Hawkins; Performers: Louise Moyes and John Moyes; Camerawomen and Editor: Lisa Porter; Composer: Adam Foran; Producer: Louise Moyes; Docudance; Funders: ArtsNL. City of St. John's, Canada Council for the Arts
We Walk Invisible - Marcia Dysart & Michael Mohan (NB)
We Walk Invisible is a dance film set in the fern dells of Rockwood Park and Irving Nature Park in Saint John, NB. It is a collaborative piece between dance artist, Marcia Dysart and cinematographer, Michael Mohan. The film investigates the notion of invisibility and those who ‘walk invisible’. It speaks to invisibility as it’s endured by gender, race and nature. The connections and parallels are numerous. Exploited, objectified and ignored, contributions disregarded. What is taken is not renewed, valued or supported. There is an imbalance in both our societal ecosystem and our natural ecosystems, a correlation connected to our past. How do we allow those who walk invisible share their perspectives to have a stake in a more balanced future?
Irving Nature Park and Rockwood Park, SJ, NB
Marcia Dysart is a dancer, choreographer, collaborator and educator based in Saint John, New Brunswick. She shares her passion for creation working collaboratively alongside musicians, visual artists, filmmakers and dancers. Marcia's work has received recognition by the New Brunswick Arts Board (artsnb) and the Saint John Community Arts Funding Program. Her work has been performed at Contact East (Charlottetown), IMPACTfest (Atlantic Ballet Theatre), Saint John Contemporary Dance Festival and Connection Dance Work’s PERSPECTIVE. Interested in the stories of women, Marcia’s process involves abstracting literal ideas while still keeping the authenticity of the character. Fueled by collaboration to gain more than one interpretation, Marcia’s drawn to understanding experiences and embodying ideas to expose any personal connections that metamorphosize.
Michael Mohan is a New Brunswick photographer, cinematographer and director. He attended both the New Brunswick College of Craft and Design and the Nova Scotia College of Art and Design University, graduating with a Bachelor of Arts in photography and film. He has worked on projects funded by the New Brunswick Arts Board (artsnb), Telefilm and Canada Council for the Arts. Recently, he shot a Telefilm Talent to Watch feature titled, Further Than the Eye Can See. He currently lives and works in Saint John, NB.
Concept and Direction: Michael Mohan and Marcia Dysart
Dancer: Marcia Dysart
Videographer: Michael Mohan
Promotional Photo Credit
Photo Credit: Nienke Izurieta
the sea of my tomorrows
The sea of my tomorrows is created with dancers from the Pacific and Atlantic Coast, taking its inspiration from these distant seascapes coming together to narrate an onerous journey across the water. This piece is ignited by the body's capacity to hold and translate memories through water and the emotional and psychological role water plays in our lives. This work was created as an honouring of the land, which we are visitors on and the water, the womb of the earth. We acknowledge that this film was created on the ancestral home and unceded territory of the Mi’kmaq people and the traditional, ancestral, and unceded territory of the xwməθkwəy̓əm (Musqueam) People. The sea of my tomorrows was created with the support of a Covid Commission Grant from Dancing on the Edge.
South Shore (Nova Scotia) + Wreck Beach (Vancouver)
Meredith Kalaman (Choreographer) - Meredith Kalaman is a two time Chrystal Dance Prize recipient, dance educator and enjoys both dancing in other artists' work and creating her own. She has created pieces about; giraffes, girl guiding, exploring constellations, superheroes, female identity and the impacts of gender socialization. Choreographers that have left a particular influence on her include; John Ottmann, Noam Gagnon, Farley Johansson, Karen Jamieson, Peggy Baker, Judith Marcuse, Judith Garay, Julie Lebel and Kate Franklin. Her first full length work Femme Fatales toured to Victoria, Edmonton and and was presented at Ufertstudios in Berlin in 2017. Presentation highlights include sharing the stage with the Good Women Dance Collective, Dance in Vancouver 2017, Dancing on the Edge and New Works.
Creative Director/Choreographer: Meredith Kalaman / Film Editor and Videographer: Daniel Duque / Original Text + Voice: Gabby Bernard / Music: Erokia / Dance Artists: Akeisha de Baat + Megan Morrison (Van) Amelia McGrath, Sara Coffin + Meredith Kalaman (Nova Scotia)
this little cut that grew a mountain is an explorative embrace of how we choose to meet the wounds that face us. Isolated in the land with deep listening connecting to her inner landscape, She asks herself when to choose to fight, and when to allow herself to fall — the first step in getting back up again. The salt in the air carries past words back in the wind, like grains of sand. She sifts through her memories, letting them fall through her fingertips, holding on to what nourishes her, growing as an open, adaptable, resilient, and grounded being. Tall as a mountain.
Emma Kerson (she / her) is a dancer, choreographer, teacher, and outside eye / dramaturg. She has worked as a researching choreographer through opportunities with adelheid, Mocean Dance, MOonhORsE Dance Theatre, the National Ballet of Canada, Peggy Baker Dance Projects, and Shawbrook Dance (Ireland); her work has been commissioned by Blue Ceiling Dance and The School of Toronto Dance Theatre, and has been presented across Canada. Her piece, "themselves," will be presented by Citadel + Compagnie in 2022. As a dancer she has worked with Julia Aplin, Patricia Beatty, Elizabeth Chitty, Jennifer Dallas, Robert Desrosiers, David Earle, Sylvain Émard, Michael Sean Marye, Sharon Moore, Peter Randazzo, Simon Renaud, and Lucy Rupert amongst others. In 2017 she co-produced and performed in "Blue Valentine" with works by Simon Renaud and Tedd Robinson. Emma grew up in Halifax, is a graduate of Dalhousie University, The School of TDT, and she recently completed her MA at the University of Toronto.
Denver Scott is from Halifax, Nova Scotia and began dancing at age 5. In 2009, Scott began training at the Leica Hardy School of Dance. She has attended summer intensives with STDT, EDCM, ProArteDanza and was invited to train with Kenny Pearl before the pandemic. Scott has performed in dance films for SummerWorks Festival and DanceWeekend Ontario. Scott graduated from The School of Toronto Dance Theatre in May of 2021 and was able to work with artists such as Peggy Baker, Danny Grossman and Pulga Muchochoma in her time there. Since graduating, she has worked closely with Nostos collectives and participated in the 2021 Co-Lab and FODAR residencies. Scott’s current interests are working with textures / specificity and she is working towards establishing herself as a choreographer and professional in the Halifax community.
This work was created with deep gratitude in Mi’kma’ki on the unceded territory of the Mi’kmaq people. Filming took place off of Polly’s Cove Trail, Nova Scotia.
this little cut that grew a mountain | choreographer: Emma Kerson | dancer: Denver Scott | sound designers: Robin Fraser and William Kerson | director of photography and editor: Dario Lozano-Thornton | lighting: Maximillian Athen Cooper-Flint | Thank you to The School of Toronto Dance Theatre, Jane-Alison McKinney, Halifax Dance, and our families for their resourcefulness and unwavering support. | This work was created with deep gratitude in Mi’kma’ki on the unceded territory of the Mi’kmaq people.
Photo credit: still from video taken by Dario Lozano-Thornton
Myself When I Am Real - Shannon Litzenberger
Shannon Litzenberger's work is a study of movement in light/shadow as a metaphor for the ways we are made manifest in our transient lives in ways that are visible/invisible. We are both real/imagined, tangible/ephemeral, existing and in a state of becoming. And these values enable better self-understanding/care to support our actions in the world from a place of inner strength to support transformative change in our personal and social surroundings. Music by Charles Mingus piano solo Myself When I Am Real.
In the Plain of Light - Liliona Quarmyne and The Tiezerk Band
The Tiezerk Band (Armenia) and Liliona Quarmyne (Halifax) worked with charles c. smith to present this piece as part of Blue Goat Theatre’s 2020 online international festival. The performance strikes at the impact of heat and fire and is a reflection on the James Baldwin work The Fire Next Time and the impact of climate change evident in wildfires across the U.S., Australia and British Columbia.
Civilization Day - Ana Claudette Groppler and Patricia Allison
Ana Claudette Groppler's work with Patricia Allison interprets Ornette Coleman's Civilization Day. Ana responds to the poetry before bursting into stunted, fragmented, outraged and angry movement that suggests the horror of a cis-gendered White woman seeing where the world is now and seeking to align herself with the global movement of transformation as an end to 'civilization' as we now experience it. Her movement on a road in an open field suggests the possibilities of choosing directions - to return to 'normal' or embark on the new and unexplored.
After the Rain - Morgyn Aronyk-Schell and Mayumi Lashbrook
Morgyn Aronyk-Schell's work with Mayumi Lashbrook responds to the aftermath of a traumatic/disruptive event, whether it be a rainstorm/global pandemic/anti-racism movement/death or sudden shift in perspective. Morgyn explores imagery from the poetry and John Coltrane’s Quartet’s After the Rain through a collection of short video snapshots of nature/light/distorted objects interlaced with physical movement to reflect on the space she takes up in the world, her impact on these spaces as part of the ever-shifting perspectives/feelings through this pandemic, examining the space between disaster/transformation, growth/beauty which can emerge out of tragedy/pain, the slow/subtle nature of change, and cycles of calm to chaos
Room Full of Teeth - Claire Whitaker
Claire Whitaker work with charles c. smith explores her lens as a White cis/woman seeing the harrowing experiences of Black bodies in the past and today. As charles puts it ”How can you be at a distance yet seeking connection? How do White bodies respond when confronted with witnessing the horror of anti-Black racist violence?”. The music is by a Room Full of Teeth Burhans.
Sous L'eau - Yui Ugai
Yui Ugai's piece is inspired by the poems with contemporary music. The dance movements will be created using Butoh movement aesthetics inspired by the poems and music which will embody the Wabi Sabi aesthetic - beauty that is "imperfect, impermanent, and incomplete". The work will express the importance of self-reflection and self-care for activists during a time of chaos and global disruption. It encourages us to be fully human and to restore the internal balance we need to transform the world. Music by Alexandra Streliski Automne and Sous L’eau
War Orphans - Michael Mortley and Atri Nundy
Michael Mortley's work with Atri Nundy looks at the journey from the Ghana slave castles through the Middle Passage (Atlantic Ocean) and how Black men and women were viewed/treated. Working to Ornette Coleman's War Orphans as performed by Charlie Haden’s Liberation Music Orchestra, this piece piece moves across history from the aforementioned to the current imprisonment of the Black Power leader, Mumia using two poems.
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