Each and every day, I lose myself in the immediacy of the moment, find myself in the joy of the movement. Each and every day, I learn more and more...and, within that new knowledge, realize that I have so much farther to travel.

Shallom Johnson is a contemporary dance artist, visual artist and freelance writer based in Vancouver BC. She holds a Bachelors of Fine Arts degree in Contemporary Dance from Simon Fraser University, and has been active in the Vancouver dance community as a choreographer, performer, and instructor since her graduation in 2004.

Shallom is interested in art in public spaces, site-specific performance, interdisciplinary collaboration, and community involvement. Her street-based artwork, performance and photography examines and documents who gets to make art, where it gets made, and where/how the creative process and product is viewed. In the future, she hopes to explore this theme further via new media and technologies, new methods of creation, collaboration and community engagement.

Friday, December 19, 2008

Phones for Fearless City



During the months leading up to Christmas there's always a lot of shopping and buying going on; and most of us spend a lot of money on presents for our loved ones. Now - I like shopping as much (or more) than most people. In fact I am a bit of an addict sometimes. But when an opportunity comes to give back to my community and find a way to reuse things that are just sitting around gathering dust in my room - well, I'm happy to help out and happy to spread the word.

Fearless City has just launched the Phones for Fearless program that is collecting old cellphones, cameras, phone chargers, etc...gathering them all up and donating them to residents of Vancouver's Downtown East Side. Pickups and drop-offs will be going on next week. Cash donations are also gladly accepted. Here are the details:

To Arrange Pick-up:
  • Let us know - Fearless City Twitter, email , SMS: 604.644.4349, Voice mail: 604.682.3269 xt 8320
  • We'll come by on Tues. Dec. 23rd & 30th to collect your devices
  • We'll take your photo, bring treats, and thank you publicly with a link

Or, Drop-off (after Tuesday, 23rd) at:

Want to be a drop-off point? Let us know.

Even send by Postal Mail to:

Fearless City
c/o DTES CAN
PO Box 88023
418 Main St
Vancouver, BC V6A 4A4

Lots more info here.

Thanks to photographer Kris Krug for the photo.

Building a creative community

I've been thinking a lot about community lately. Me and my good friend kk aka Kris aka Kris Krug were just talking about this idea earlier tonight. It's hapening to both of us and has been happening for a while and we both see it in ourselves and others, and want to encourage it and nourish it and watch it grow......it's about having a network of artists that not only support your work as you support theirs, that not only collaborate with you and are there to bounce ideas around, but a community that really functions as individuals and as small functional groups and as a whole. An entity that is loosely tied through all these minimal degrees of separation, so that when you've got something going on and you need to spread the word, and get folks on board, people start talking to their friends in their own little way and one thing leads to another and pretty quick you're in touch with so many amazing people that you can't help but feel the love comin in from all corners of your world. And you end up meeting amazing people whom you never knew existed but always somehow felt like they were out there just beyond your reach and through the magic of mutual friends (or random strangers) something clicks and you connect and wonderful things happen.

Every artist in this community is in the process of building up his or her own network. And all of those networks have little overlaps....places where interests and impulses collide and collapse into eachother and slowly but surely all of these small webs end up becoming one big web and it stretches across the city and the country and the continent and the globe and without knowing it opportunity comes crawling across that wide wide web and knocking at your door with a smile.

I've been thinking about ways to maximize this idea of community building through the arts. Realizing that as my network of friends family coworkers collaborators acquaintances grows, that I have a lot to offer and that my ideas are growing in tandem, necessitating the expansion of my network and feeding the positive cycle.

Ah, finally. A positive cycle. I can use more of these.

I don't claim to be a techie, by any means. I blog, and I use online social media (not nearly as much as many people I know) but I appreciate them and try to put them to good use without letting it go overboard. I am not good at moderation.

For me, the value in online social media lies in the ability to translate into real-life networks, real-life collaborations, real-life inspirations. If things like Facebook and Twitter and all the myriads of blogs out there don't bring us together online and also bring us together offline, then there is really only so much I can get out of it and in the end I need more. I need face time, I need to meet up with the people of the internet in all our nerdy glory and find ways to work together on real-life projects that enrich our respective communities and - hey, maybe those projects find a way to exist online - but there has to be some sense of a feedback loop to what I do as I go about my day, or I'm gonna find more useful things to do.

Lately I've been chatting with a few people about creating an interactive social website for the dance community and the arts community at large. Something that can act as a public forum, something where artists can post public profiles and publish RSS feeds for blogs directly on their profile, something where there is an image/video gallery and possibly a way to combine it with the Open Source Dance idea that Diego Maranan was working on lately (think of it as a creative commons for movement-based art forms) as well as all the good things that CADA and the DTRC and SFU Contemporary arts and W2 are doing....a way for dancers and dance students and former dancers and choreographers and presenters and artists in other genres and audiences and general members of the community can all get together and give each other feedback and have a space for dialogue and find out what's going on with everyone and help eachother build that network that is so very important, and get offline to create projects together, and then upload those projects online to share them with a wider audience and get feedback that would then initiate another project with someone else, or with the same people in a different way...

These are all just random and somewhat jumbled thoughts. But I think that in time they will combine into something wonderful. But I need a team, I need a community, I need a network behind me and under me and around me and above me to make it happen.

Two days ago I was approached by Lee Down of OMC Social Media Solutions, and he basically proposed the idea of this site. Said that he was willing to build it if I was willing to get on board and drive the bus and help build the community that would generate content to make it an effective and useful and interesting place to coexist. And I agreed. So now we're going to do it. Lee found me through Twitter. And we're taking this online connection offline to create something that is going back online that will (hopefully) influence and affect how people exist both on and off the internet. In a small way, in a big way, who knows - but the fact that we are in contact and excited about this project is proof that the system works, and that the potential is there to be capitalized on. And I've talked to Andrea Gunnlaugson at the DTRC and Im talking with Henry Daniel at SFU to try and integrate it into what they are doing with their respective networks (where there is already HUGE overlaps) and I wanna propose some kind of partnership with Irwin Oostindie and Kris Krug at W2 and Caroline Farquhar at CADA BC (where they already have an online community forum but it is inactive and pretty insular and there is so much room for improvement and reaching out to the community instead of keeping it limited only to dancers.....)

Ok, it's 2am and I'm rambling and repeating myself. Time for sleep. I'll keep ya posted. Please, please, come join me and let's help make the dance community in Vancouver - and the arts community at large - a more integrated and interdisciplinary and interesting place to create.

goodnight all
here's to being excited about the future

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Layoffs @ Ballet BC

Ballet BC has for many years been pretty much the only professional dance company in BC that could afford to hire dancers for an entire year at a time, giving them a salary that was enough (barely) to get by without having what we in the industry call a "joe job" - mine being a secretarial position - something that is unrelated to any artistic practice, but pays the rent.

Those days are over. Word has gotten out today that everyone at the company has been laid off - and I do mean everyone. The company's board of directors is pleading to Vancouverites to buy up Nutcracker tickets - as many as possible - to help bail out the company. And, although I hate the Nutcracker and would not otherwise attend, I'll go this year to support, and encourage my friends to do the same.

From the Vancouver Sun:

"The Ballet BC board of directors said in a press release it was faced with declining subscriptions and ticket sales. The terminations affect 38 company dancers, administrative and artistic staff."

Wow. Sad news in a sad time. I know and respect many of the artists involved, and my heart goes out to them - losing their jobs, just before Christmas. My twitter status and facebook status reflected my feelings about the subject, and sparked a bit of a discussion on FB. Here's what I wrote...

"in times of crisis, the importance of the arts to encourage independent thought and engender creative solutions is at its greatest. However it's at these times that the social and political structures supporting its creation fail, and fail miserably, time and time again. Past governments (here referencing FDR's administration during the depression years) have been able to stream some funding towards the arts in times of economic strife. But with our current political situation - and with Olympic construction flushing millions of dollars down the drain - I have my doubts that our government will attempt anything similar.

that said, I will not stop creating, and hopefully the artists who were involved in Ballet BC won't give up either. We'll just find new methods and means of making it work. If it's not practical to continue running a professional ballet company in BC, then it's up to us as individual artists to carry on creating and performing in other ways."

So tighten your belts and carry the torch, folks. We may (or may not) have lost Ballet BC, but that doesn't mean that the arts are on their way out in Vancouver or BC or Canada as a whole. Go out, make art, dance in the parks and in the streets if need be - for it is in these times of need that the arts
shed light on our shared problems, and wave the banner towards a brighter future.

Monday, November 17, 2008

Drugs are bad for you

I am trying to write about my artistic practice but I spent all weekend partying and my brain is shot. I have written four beginnings at a post about my plans for the 2009/2010 season, and four times I have deleted it and started again. My head is thick and fuzzy and I'm making typos with every second word I write.

I was supposed to spend all day on Sunday painting at my studio but instead I slept all day...after a night of drunkenness, mind altering substances and debauchery. And I got no art made and nothing done and now my tummy hurts and I'm at work but not really working.

Let this be a lesson, kiddos. Drugs make swiss cheese out of your brain. They do not make you a more inspired artist. Don't do drugs. Stay in school.

I need to take my own advice more often.

Friday, November 7, 2008

First Day of Show! Contradiction Dance @ Silver Spring Roundhouse, 8pm

Round House Theatre Presents



Contradiction Dance: An Exchange Between Life & Dance

Friday, November 7 and Saturday, November 8 at 8pm;
Sunday, November 9 at 3pm

TICKETS: $15 • Call 240.644.1100 or www.roundhousetheatre.org


Objects of Hope: Washington D.C.

Kelly Mayfield •Terence Nicholson • Kenneth Rascher • Arianna Ross • Chop Shop Studios
Joseph Nontanovan • Jasmine Artis • Shallom Johnson • Reggie Cole • Sylvana Sandoz

“I stood on my steps and watched the city burn, I was eight years old.”
For ages 12 and up.


www.roundhousetheatre.orgwww.contradictiondance.com


Photo by Enoch Chan

Friday, October 31, 2008

Thriller!



I performed Thriller with some of the members of Contradiction Dance, for a Cast of Thousands (special events entertainment) gig last night. It was a convention of nurses, and we were hired to perform Thriller and keep the guests dancing and happy.

Here are some pics from the evening:

Monday, October 27, 2008

UrbEx at Westlake in Seattle



I like urban exploration. I like the feeling of being inside an abandoned building when no-one knows that you're there and you could just be there forever. I like the feeling that I'm discovering something that many people pass by in their daily lives but very few step inside.

I like salvaging the detritus of past inhabitants and people who have passed through, and bringing their leftover bits and pieces home with me, and repurposing them into something new.

Most of all I just like wandering round places I shouldn't be.

Friday, October 24, 2008

Ahhhhhhhhhh...........feels so good to move

I'm sore. It feels damn good to be sore. Muscles are remembering what it's like to balance on one leg. Body is remembering how to turn, how to leap, how to move into and out of the floor.

It feels so good to be moving again.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Rehearsal Video: Objects of Hope: DC



rehearsal footage from yesterday.....me, Kelly Mayfield and Jasmine Artis...

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Frustrated in General

I am quite frustrated with technology right now. My rehearsal footage won't upload - not here, nor Facebook, nor Youtube - and I joined twitter but can't figure out how to tweet from my phone, even though I totally followed all the instructions. And I miss my friends back home....ok that has nothing to do with technology but STILL, it adds to my general feeling of frustrations. Damnit.

Wow, the blog has devolved into a rambling rant. This is getting off to a great start.

......Hey everyone, I'm a great and professional writer, can't you tell? lol

(don't mind me, I'll just go sit in the corner by myself for a bit until I calm down)

BTW, if you wanna follow me on twitter I'm @shallomj

Now if I can just figure out what number to send my SMSes to, I'll be golden.

Settling in.....

Tomorrow I start rehearsals with Contradiction Dance. Settling back to life in DC has been quick and easy. In many ways, it feels like I never left. A part of myself will always feel at home here, even though it's so very different from Vancouver.

This time, like every time I go away, I am missing friends and family from home, but happy to reconnect with everyone in DC, and hoping that this trip will bring some new connections along the way.

....In fact, it already has. Stopped over in Seattle and met up with a couple of amazing artists whom I'd been in touch with online, and have very exciting plans for a spring collaborative art show. This is why I love the internet - it brings people together. But - only if the people are ready and willing to make the jump from web-based communication to meeting face to face and collaborating on making something amazing out of the partnership.

It also helps me keep in touch with those I've left back home, and I stay up til all hours of the night instant messaging the people I miss dearly.

So now it's time for bed, and sleep, and dreams filled with laughter.
Goodnight world. Tomorrow is a bright new day.

Friday, October 17, 2008

Back to DC

Wow, it's been ages since I last posted!

I am on my way back to DC to work with Contradiction Dance, and to visit my friends who I miss so very much.

I'm going to be posting here about my trip and then I am going to continue posting when I get back because.....YES! After a summer of barely dancing at all, I am finally going to be getting back into the swing of things.

I have a great new idea for a multimedia site-specific performance installation piece that I want to develop for next year's New Forms festival.

It's complicated and will take a lot of planning and prep work but I think will be really cool if I can pull it off.

More on that later.

Back to DC as of Monday night! Wish me safe travels.....

Thursday, March 20, 2008

Looking for Film Extras: Shoot Date April 26th 2008

Hey everyone. I'm making a short dance film and I'm looking for extras :)

The shoot date is Saturday April 26th. Location TBD, somewhere in downtown Vancouver. You don't have to be a dancer to be in it, but if I can find enough dancers who are interested (and can make it to at least one or two rehearsals) I might set some of the movement on multiple bodies. We can't pay you but we'll feed you while you're on set :)

Here's a short description of the film:

The film "Look Closer" is a montage of site-specific contemporary dance and spoken word that touches on the themes of connection, self-awareness and acceptance within the context of an urban landscape. It explores the individual's search for reconciliation between a unique sense of self and the need to fit in with a larger group, as well as the desensitization and self-imposed isolation that takes place when living in an urban environment.

Choreographer: Shallom Johnson
Director: Daryl Thompson
Composer: Obediya Jones-Darrell

We've applied for Bravo!FACT funding and if we get funded we'll be doing more extensive shoots in June (specific dates TBC). Would love it if you could be involved for that too, if it happens...

Spread the word: if you have friends that might be interested, they can email me at shallom.johnson@gmail.com.

Friday, March 14, 2008

So You Think You Can Dance? Canada: Audition Dates!

Ok - so they've finally announced the audition dates for SYTYCD Canada! The audition tour is starting April 7th in Vancouver, then moving to Halifax, Calgary, Montreal and Toronto.

Vancouver, BC
Monday, April 7
The Centre in Vancouver for the Performing Arts
777 Homer Street

Halifax, NS
Saturday, May 3
Bella Rose Arts Centre,
283 Thomas Raddall Drive

Calgary, AB
Monday, May 12
MacEwan Conference & Event Centre,
2500 University Drive N.W.

Montreal, QC
Tuesday, May 27
Théâtre St-Denis
1594 St-Denis Street

Toronto, ON
Thursday, June 5
Winter Garden Theatre,
189 Yonge St.

Click here for full rules and regulations and all that jazz. I'll be posting updates as they come out.

Are you going to audition? Let me know! I'd like to start a discussion on song choice, audition tips, what you think they might be looking for...I'm auditioning, but not going in with any high hopes. I am curious to see how far I can get.

Also interested in feedback from anyone who attended the US auditions lately.

Thursday, February 28, 2008

Building Performers Kids' Camp July 14-25 in DC


If you live in the DC Metro area and have kids in grades 3-5 (or know someone who does) you should sign them up for the Build, Draw and Perform Camp at the National Building Museum in Washington DC! (located at 401 F Street NW)

I'll be leading the "Building Performers" section of the camp, along with Dance Exchange Associate Artistic Director Elizabeth Johnson (pictured at right, with Cassie Meador). Read on for a full description of the course, and click the link above for more info about the other components of the camp, and how to register.

"Create a performance based on the Museum's historic and storied past! Discover what's hiding in the columns of the Great Hall, unveil the myths behind the Museum's friezes, and bring the outrageous characters found in and around the Museum to life. Under the guidance of members of the Liz Lerman Dance Exchange, tell a story using movement, improvisation, and creative drama. The session culminates with the campers' original performance for family and friends in the Great Hall."

Sound like fun? Registration forms are online here.

Friday, February 22, 2008

Sore In All The Right Places

Sorry I've been radio-silent for so long! I've been busy wearing many hats and the writer hat hasn't managed to stay on my head long enough to get productive in any way shape or form.

I have finally managed to get myself into dance class on a semi-regular basis and, as a result, I am finally getting back in shape...little by little, it's finally coming back.

If you live in Vancouver and want a really good conditioning class for dancers, I heartily recommend Marlise McCormick's barre a terre (floor barre) class, at Harbour Dance Centre every Wednesday from 5-6pm. This is my go-to class for getting my dance muscles (rotators, abs, pelvic stabilizers, deep tissue muscles) in shape. Nothing works better - it's an intense hour of really specific work that lets you target all of the muscles you'll need to perform at your technical best when you're up on your feet. Check the link for a full class description from their website.

Every week I kind of forget how hard it is - and every Wednesday halfway through class I'm thinking "what the hell have I gotten myself into" and every Thursday I'm super sore, but in all the right places. After a few months of this I figure I'll finally start to feel strong and stable in class again. Because right now I'm wobbling all over the place, like a rookie.

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Three Minute Kiss Freeze


In Vancouver and looking for something loving to do for Valentines' Day? The following idea
comes courtesy of a VPSN member who was inspired by the recent frozen-in-place revelry at New York's Central Station. I can't make it, but I wish I could be there! (Although I'd probably be one of the people kissing my hand, as I have nobody to kiss on this V-Day.

Anyways. Here's what's you do:

Grab a friend, partner, family member, pet or… ? and head down to Waterfront Station for 5:00pm!

At 5:00 pm start walking through the Waterfront Skytrain station, on February 14, 2008. Time your time piece to the atomic clock at

http://www.worldtimeserver.com/current_time_in_CA-BC.aspx

At 5:20 pm, FREEZE in a KISS. The kiss can be on the lips, on the cheeks, on the hands, on the wall, whatever - explore your creative options.

Make sure your alarm on your watch is set for 5:23 pm, at which point we will all casually move out of our kiss and keep walking moving as if nothing has happened. Yes, it's basically like a flash mob but toned down a notch.

The waterfront station on google maps is at:
http://maps.google.ca/maps?q=waterfront+station+vancouver&ie=UTF8&oe=utf-8&client=firefox-
a&z=16&om=0


To be specific, the Kiss Freeze will be main atrium area, or main lobby, that you enter off of water street, at the waterfront station. See picture:

http://www.walkvancouver.com/CanPlace/108-0832_img.jpg

For more information, or to upload photos… See the Facebook event link:
www.facebook.com/event.php?eid=10563839133

Thursday, February 7, 2008

The Perils of Teaching Children's Rec Centre Dance Classes

My friend Melanie Kuxdorf has a blog called "Struggle and Strife: A Dancer's Life". It's a project for her Masters program in Journalism. She recently wrote a really great post about how difficult it is to teach kid's dance classes at community centres. As many of us do. Including myself.

I had lots to say in response but I've already posted a comment there, so why don't you just go on over and read what we both had to say. And leave your own comment, if you feel like it.

Melanie used to teach the classes that I'm currently teaching at Riley Park Community Centre. Barefoot on concrete floors. Preballet, preschool dance, acro dance, hip-hop (at least I can wear shoes for the hip hop classes). Still, I limp home afterwards with throbbing knees and aching feet. And I get the flu from kids with runny noses and coughs. And I clean up vomit on floors when parents bring sick kids to class. And I take kids to the bathroom and wipe their bums because they are too young to do it themselves. And I deal with parents who can't understand why their child isn't ready for pirouettes and grand jetes.

They don't pay us enough to treat our bodies like this.

Audition Notice: Cirque du Soleil


I'm going to an audition on Sunday for Cirque du Soleil. It's always been a dream of mine to dance in a Cirque production, and while I am pretty darn sure I'm not what they are looking for but I'm going anyways. Because hey, you never know. And there are never any auditions in Vancouver, so I go to whatever happens. And not only that but - wherever you are, it's always good to get out there and get seen by as many people as possible.



If you want to go, the audition registration starts at 4:30pm for women (5'4" and taller), 6:45pm for men (5'7" and taller) . It will be held at Harbour Dance Centre, 927 Granville St in Vancouver. You must be 18 years or older to audition. Pre-registration is not necessary. I'm not sure which productions they're hiring for, but you may be able to find more info on their website.

They're looking for professional-level hip-hop, street jazz, jazz and contemporary dancers. My advice is to arrive already warmed up and ready to go (or take class beforehand, there's a Jazz 2/3 class at 2:15), wear something that shows your lines and bring a 1 page resume and a recent 8 x 10 headshot.




Don't call Harbour Dance, they don't have any more info than what I've listed here. And I'm sure they've gotten a billion calls since the email went out this morning.

Photos:
1 Cirque du soleil characters by MarieLynn on Flickr

2 Cirque du Soleil by saltoricco on Flickr
3 Cirque du Soleil by Arlindo Camacho on Flickr

Some Random Thoughts...


I was planning on seeing Emily Molnar and Gioconda Barbuto's show Lifelines tomorrow night at The Dance Centre. Unfortunately the show was canceled due to an unspecified dancer injury. I got an email notification and was hit with a bit of a reality check...

Life as a dancer/choreographer/dance artist is so fragile. Nothing is guaranteed. A meticulously planned performance can be completely derailed at the very last minute by injury or sickness or something even more random like missing a flight. When your body is your instrument you are completely at the mercy of the body's fallibility, the body's imperfections and vulnerabilities.

Lately I have been worried that I'll be hit by a car (or something just as random and unpredictable) and be unable to continue dancing. I know that the chances of getting hit by a car are very slim, but it's always a possibility. I feel like I'm really just starting my career and to be injured now would be really really depressing. I'm not certain how I would go on with my life - although I'm sure I would - just stream energy into my other artistic interests, like writing and photography and painting.

I guess my mindset right now is that I need to take advantage of every second that I'm able to do what I do. I'm not getting any younger, and I need to make full use of my health and strength and vitality - because I may not have it tomorrow, or next month, or next year.

Photo: I took this pic while sitting in the doctor's office with the flu. It made me smile.

Wednesday, February 6, 2008

Frozen in Grand Central Station



This is so cool. We should try something like this in Vancouver.

Well, we do flashmobbing here in the form of mobile clubbing (courtesy of Foolish Operations)... but nothing on this scale. This is amazing. Look at the confused faces! lololol

It would be hard to freeze for that long. I'd get sore. better pick an easy position or you'd regret it...lol

This was organized by a group called Improv Everywhere

Event Listing: Metro Dance DC

Dance Magazine Listens: A Conversation with Wendy Perron
February 29 from 4-5pm
The Warehouse


1017-21 7th St. NW Washington DC 20001
Co-sponsored by the Warehouse and Dance/MetroDC
Join Dance/MetroDC for an intimate conversation with Dance Magazine Editor-In-Chief Wendy Perron. The discussion will cover everything from the magazine's changing mission to how editors select Dance Magazine's 25 To Watch. Come armed with questions. Participants will each receive a free copy of the March 2008 issue of Dance Magazine. FREE!

Friday, February 1, 2008

Shadow Dance Improv



At Riley Park.

I promise I'll do some actual writing soon, but I've been in bed sick as a dog for a week. So instead, you get an old(ish) clip of my shadow dancing on the wall at Riley Park. Just uploaded today, by the request of a Mr. Boris Willis aka eager bunny Boris.

Wednesday, January 30, 2008

False Creek Improvisations

Last week I did some dancing on False Creek, near the marina.



Friday, January 25, 2008

Big News Coming for Echo Park


While I was in DC I was working with Cedric Tillman and Echo Park Contemporary Ballet. Well, plans are full steam ahead to open up a new EPCB Dance Center in Takoma Park, and I'm excited to get back to DC and play my part in the company and the school. Whatever that ends up being...we're still hammering out the details.

Oh thanks to fellow blogger extraordinaire A Time To Dance, I just discovered that EPCB was nominated for three Metro DC Dance Awards in 2008, for our inaugural performance in November. The nominations were as follows:

Outstanding Group Performance for "Can You Move" (company award)
Outstanding New work for "Ego Trip" (choreographer's award)
Emerging Performer or Group for "Listen"

Click here to read a review of the November 17th show on Ballet-Dance Magazine.

Some other new developments for the company: Rasta Thomas has been named Resident Artistic Director, and Cedric Tillman has taken the post of Executive Director. Kenneth Rascher is now titled Director of Operations and Productions. John Asbury is Company Manager.

Bad Boys of Dance and Pretty Girls of Dance will also be in residence at EPCB Dance Centre, as will Kelly Mayfield's Contradiction Dance.

Bad Boys of Dance will be presenting their DC debut on February 22-23, 2008, 8pm at the Jack Morton Auditorium/George Washington University Campus. The show will feature a new work entitled "Love Hang Over", showcasing many of America's "most renowned male dancers from stage to screen". You can see a BBoD company promo video here.

Photo: Rasta Thomas. Eye candy for days...more pics here. PS: Sorry ladies, he is married, with a new baby. His wife, Adrienne is the founder and artistic director of American Dance Artists and Pretty Girls of Dance.

My First Article in Print

Just a quick note to say that I've had an article accepted for publication in the March issue of Dancer Magazine. With a circulation of 26,000 readers, Dancer is the largest national publication addressing the needs of Dance educators and Dance studio owners. I've been blogging on their site for a while now, and was recently asked to contribute something for their print publication.

My topic of choice is "Intro to modern dance: developing a well-rounded curriculum for beginner adult classes". (Except the title isn't quite that wordy.) It's the Modern Dance issue, so I was happy to pull something together on a short deadline. I don't want to give too much away but a lot of my research for this article was done while at the Dance Exchange teaching the Intro to Modern class.

This will be my first piece published in print, but definitely not the last! I'm very excited to move into writing for print media (although I'll never give up blogging). While writing for magazines has much stricter guidelines and necessitates a more formal voice, it pays (not a huge amount but better than nothing) and it's good for my portfolio. And hopefully it will lead to more paying work in the future :) The hardest thing to adjust to is not writing in the first person.

Anyways, I will make sure to post the link if/when it goes online!

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Park Bench Improvisations - Riley Park









On Mondays and Tuesdays I teach dance at Riley Park Community Centre. I was there early on Monday and decided to do some dancing in the park. The day was so nice and sunny, and I was happy to spend some time outdoors.

But the time I was finished, the people inside were giving me rather strange looks. One guy came outside for a smoke and asked if I needed help. I thought about asking him to dance with me but I didn't. Instead we talked about the ESL class he was taking, and about my dance classes. Then he stayed and watched while I filmed the last couple of clips.

Friday, January 18, 2008

Corner Improv

Another site-specific improv, on my lunch break yesterday. I am particularly fond of the ending.

Site-Specific Improv, Parking Garage

Yesterday on my way home I stopped at a parking garage and danced a bit. After sitting at a desk all day I needed to move and be creative.





I found this little flyer in the garage and thought it needed to be included in the dance. Didn't realize that it would make the faraway stuff out of focus but I kinda like the effect.

Thursday, January 17, 2008

On The Move/Danse Transit


My university education gave me a really strong technical and theoretical foundation in dance, but the one thing it lacked was an emphasis on just how hard it is to be a working dance artist in this day and age. One of the things that helped me get to where I'm at has been advice from my peers, mentors, established dancers and other professionals in my field.

If you're an emerging professional dancer or a dance student on your way to graduation and want some really REALLY good info on the big bad world of working as a professional dancer, you should definitely sign up for the On The Move/Danse Transit 2008 conference.

Held every year in cities around Canada, this free conference is an invaluable opportunity to get insights into life in the dance industry. This year's Vancouver conference will be held at the Scotiabank Dance Centre on February 8th and 9th, and is open to anyone who wants to attend. Pre-registration is required, and is available online now.

Topics include networking, auditioning, grant writing, self-empowerment, a seminar on contracts and professional standards, and panels with emerging professional and established artists. Two catered lunches and a yoga class top off the weekend.

This is a great way to meet new people in your field and get informed. And getting ahead isn't just about talent - it's all about who you know. On The Move will also be held in Winnipeg, Toronto and Montreal. For more info, including a detailed schedule and photos from previous conferences, please visit the website.

JT & Timbaland - It's Too Late

A new hip-hop combo for my teen rec centre classes.

Tuesday, January 8, 2008

TDB Special Projects Generator


Another great idea found in Diego's Sandbox.

http://www.tdbspecialprojects.com/

Check it out...

This photo (Meghan Bowden and a student working on the Dance Exchange CELL film shoot) is completely unrelated to the content of this post. Because really sometimes I just wanna post a pretty picture, regardless of what I'm writing about. And sometimes I just don't have a good picture to go with the stuff I'm writing about. And yes, I know I just used "about" as a sentence ending twice in a row. Nobody's perfect.

Monday, January 7, 2008

More Dance-a-Day Movies

Here is the full trilogy of Dance-a-Day movies featuring Boris and myself. Music by Rydel.


Part 1


Part 2


Part 3

Saturday, January 5, 2008

Shallom and KK Goodbye Duet

video

The morning that I left DC, Kelly and I made one more dance together. Watching this again makes me miss her even more. Not only are we best friends, but we're so much more prolific when we're together. She makes it easier for me to move from a place of thoughts and ideas to a place of creation and action. And, as every artist knows - that motivation, wherever you find it, is priceless.

I'm on Danceaday.com


As I mentioned before, Boris and I made a few dances together the day before I left DC. Well, they're all online now, so please visit danceaday.com to have a look!

Here are the links:

Farewell Shallom


Shallom and Boris

Shallom Back in the Day

Movie


And just for fun - this is Boris wearing his Tour Guide Hat as we drive around the Arlington National Cemetery and the Iwo Jima Memorial. A couple of the above dances were filmed nearby. Boris - I miss you! Why you gotta live so far away?


video

Wednesday, January 2, 2008

Goodbye DC (For Now)

I'm heading back to Vancouver after a wonderful four months spent living and dancing and making work in Washington DC. I've met many amazing and beautiful people while I've been here, and I'm holding all of the memories really close to my heart on my trip home.


Boris is one of these people. We did a Dance-a-Day together yesterday, and my only regret is that we hadn't done it sooner. I was feeling a little under the weather after a long night of partying (goodbye party/New years' Eve all in one night) and getting out and dancing with a wonderful partner was a cure-all for my hangover.


We did three different dances, in three different locations. The first is in Rosslyn's Freedom Park, just in front of where the Berlin Wall exhibit used to be. I'm sure the others will make their way onto the website eventually. Click here to watch...

It's hard to imagine that I won't be seeing everyone here for five long months. But I am heading home re-inspired, reinvigorated and refreshed, ready to kick-start my 2008 into high gear.

KK, Jazzy, Meghan, Sam, Damon, Jason, Joseph, Alana, EJ, Cassie, Liz, Peter, everyone I've had the pleasure of working with here - you'll be sorely missed! But I'll see you very soon...you can't get rid of me that easily!

It's not goodbye, it's just see you later...