Three choreographers talk about what has enabled them as dance makers, and some of the biggest barriers that they have faced.
Moderated by Deborah Meyers (Dance Writer, Vancouver Sun), with Karen Jamieson (Artistic Director and Choreographer, Karen Jamieson Dance), Ziyian Kwan (Artistic Director and Choreographer, dumb instrument Dance), Simone Orlando (Artistic Director and CEO, Ballet Kelowna).
Co-presented with SFU Woodward’s
Deborah Meyers has been watching, writing and talking about dance for a long time and in multiple ways. She has edited a dance magazine (Dance International), contributed to national and international dance periodicals and publications, done radio reviewing, conducted research on the changing role of dance in communities, facilitated public conversations about dance on our stages and in our lives, participated in communities of practice on dance criticism, and for more than a decade been a freelance dance contributor to The Vancouver Sun. During the day she is Manager, Arts and Heritage, for the Department of Canadian Heritage.
After receiving a BA in Anthropology and Philosophy from UBC, Karen Jamieson began dancing at SFU. Her major training was in New York, studying modern techniques of Alwin Nikolais, Merce Cunningham, and Martha Graham, ballet with Alfredo Corvino and Maggie Black; performing with Yvonne Rainer and Phyllus Lamhut, toured with Alwin Nikolais. Returning to Vancouver, she co-initiated the collective, Terminal City Dance.
She established Karen Jamieson Dance in 1983. Her work, Sisyphus, is recognized as one of the top 10 Canadian Choreographic Masterworks of the 20th Century. She is acknowledged nationally for her ground-breaking work in Community Engaged Dance and Cross-Cultural Collaborations.
The foundation of her current practice integrates Vijnana yoga and principles of tensegrity anatomy with contemporary dance. For her achievements in dance she has received the Chalmers Award, Vancouver Mayor’s Arts Award, and Isadora Award. She has toured nationally and internationally. Karen has created 98 dance works and is still dancing…
Ziyian Kwan has worked as a Vancouver based dance artist since 1988. As an interprète, she has performed close to 100 original creations by an eclectic range of choreographers, on international stages and in 2014, received the Isadora Award for her work as a performer. In 2013, Ziyian formed dumb instrument Dance, a collage of activities that comprise her creative life: commissions, site-specific work, unusual dance actions and choreography. With dumb instrument, Ziyian creates work that promotes collaboration with colleagues in the fields of dance, literature, music and visual art. Her creations: the neck to fall, a slow awkward, bite down gently and howl, and The Mars Hotel and Still Rhyming have been performed in BC, Quebec and Ontario at venues including Canada Dance Festival, Vancouver International Dance Festival, Tangente, Dance In Vancouver, Dancing On The Edge, puShOff, Dance Allsorts, and CanAsian Dance Festival.
“I am my heart’s dumb instrument” – Denton Welch.
Born in Vancouver, Simone Orlando completed her dance training at Canada’s National Ballet School and subsequently joined The National Ballet of Canada in 1989. Ms. Orlando has also danced with Desrosiers Dance Theatre and Festival Dance at The Banff Centre. She joined Ballet BC in 1996 where she danced for thirteen years as one of the company’s most celebrated principal artists.
Ms. Orlando’s choreographic explorations began in 1997. Praised for her mature and sensitive ideas, vision, musicality, and delineation of movement and space, her work has been presented at the Joyce SoHo New York, Vancouver International Dance Festival, Dancing on the Edge, the Chutzpah! Festival, and Dances for a Small Stage. She has received numerous commissions including those from Ballet BC, Toronto Dance Theatre, and Ballet Kelowna. Ms. Orlando is the recipient of a 2004 Vancouver Arts Award, the 2006 Clifford E. Lee Choreography Award, a 2009 Fellowship Initiative Grant from the New York Choreographic Institute, and the 2013 Pretty Creatives International Choreographic Award.
In June 2014, Ms. Orlando graduated with distinction from the Business Management program at the British Columbia Institute of Technology and was appointed Artistic Director and CEO of Ballet Kelowna effective September 1, 2014.