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.

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.


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

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


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?

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...