Francine Burning (BA, First Nations Studies UBC, and MA Interdisciplinary Graduate Studies) in conversation with Mario Boucher (Artistic Managing Director, Zøgma, Collectif de folklore urbain), Karen Jamieson (Founding Artistic Director, Karen Jamieson Dance), Marissa Nahanee (Squamish and Nisga’a Cultural Ambassador), and Rulan Tangen (Founding Artistic Director/Choreographer, Dancing Earth Creations).
Mario Boucher has been dancing since the age of 15 with several Quebec folk ensembles, he began, at age 19, an internship with Bulgaria’s State Folklore Ensemble Pirin where he studied under the artistic direction of Prof. Kiril Stefanov. It is with an extraordinary baggage of knowledge, and a different vision of the traditional arts, that he returns to Quebec.
Over the next ten years, he will conduct ethnographic research in three regions of Quebec, conduct dance ensembles in the metropolitan area and participate in the development of traditional choreographic repertoire throughout Canada.
In 1996, he became director of a major research project in traditional music in which, with a multidisciplinary team (ethnologists, ethnomusicologists and historians), he will draw up a complete inventory and proceed to the analysis of the entire production of 78 rpm records of Quebec traditional musicians.
In 2001, with colleagues Dominic Desrochers, Frédérique-Annie Robitaille and Sylvie Mercier, he founded Zøgma, Collectif de folklore urbain. Since 2003 he has devoted himself exclusively to the artistic direction of Zøgma, which became one of Quebec leading dance company, presenting over 500 representations of their creations on four continents. In addition to his work with Zøgma, he helped the artistic renewal of the Red River Dancers (Winnipeg, MB) and worked as an artistic advisor on several dance projects in Quebec and Canada.
After receiving a BA in Philosophy and Anthropology from UBC, Karen Jamieson studied and performed in NYC with Alwin Nikolais among others. She co-founded the experimental movement collective, Terminal City Dance, then established Karen Jamieson Dance in 1983.
She is acknowledged nationally for her groundbreaking work in community engaged and cross-cultural dance. She is a recipient of the Chalmers, Isadora, and Vancouver Mayor’s Arts awards and her seminal work, Sisyphus, is recognized as one of the top 10 Canadian Choreographic Masterworks of the 20th Century. The company has toured nationally and internationally and she has created over 93 original works.
Marissa Nahanee has over 20 years experience in performing Traditional Native Dances, Songs and Public Speaking for corporate and community events both locally and internationally. She is currently contracted as Client Relations with Indigenous Community for Leadership and Development (ICLD). A graduate in Event Management at the Art Institute of Vancouver, Northwest Coast Art from the Native Education College, and Tourism Management from Simon Frasier University/Chief Dan George Centre.
Rulan Tangen‘s work explores movement as an evolving language of intertribalism rooted in diverse indigenous cosmologies, in functional ritual for transformation and healing, animating decolonization process, integrating concurrent universes of ancient futurities in the moment of now, expressing energetic connection with all relations – human and beyond. As Founding Artistic Director/Choreographer of DANCING EARTH, she has passionately cultivated successive generations of Indigenous contemporary performing artists, and embodies her belief in dance as purposeful center of continuance of life. She is recipient of 2018 Kennedy Center Citizen Artist award and is grateful for all that roots her, supporting pathways to uncover, for the dreaming and doing of Dancing Earth : moving, shaking and stomping the world into renewal.