ARTISTIC DIRECTOR and CHOREOGRAPHER
Jolene Bailie is Artistic Director of Winnipeg’s Contemporary Dancers. Her work reflects on soul and identity to express a deeply human experience that is honest, complex, and thorough. A choreographer, director, and producer of contemporary dance, she has created 40 original works, including ten full length works, self-produced over 450 performances, performed the work of many national and international choreographers, and toured her work to national and international acclaim for 19 years, including for festivals, museums, and galleries. Bailie has pursued professional development projects annually 1994-2019, holds a MFA from The American Dance Festival/Hollins University, a BA Honours from The University of Manitoba, a Teacher’s Certificate from The Royal Academy of Dance, is a graduate of The School of Contemporary Dancers, and is Founding Artistic Director of Gearshifting Performance Works.
Hugh Conacher is a lighting and multi-media designer, and a photographer. He has collaborated with choreographers, directors, visual artists, and dance and theatre companies throughout Canada and around the world, in venues large and small. Hugh has a long association with WCD, having worked as Resident Lighting Designer at WCD from 1983-2007, with WCD Artistic Directors Bill Evans, Tedd Robinson, and Tom Stroud. Hugh was a long time collaborator with WCD founder Rachel Browne, as well as current AD Jolene Bailie, having worked with Bailie on over 450 performances.
Much of Susan Chafe’s work bridges boundaries between mediums. She has exhibited in art galleries nationally and internationally and collaborated with visual, theatre and dance artists from Winnipeg and elsewhere on text, sound, performance, video, and installation based projects. Susan previously created sound for Jolene Bailie’s work through Gearshifting Performance Works, including the full length productions, Sensory Life, Infinite World, Inspiro, All You Can Eat/the Top?, Myriad Beings, Happyland, and Hybrid Human in collaboration with Wanda Koop, which premiered at The Winnipeg Art Gallery, and toured to Beijing, Xian, Ottawa, Toronto, and Vancouver. Susan also designs books and monographs for writers, artists and galleries throughout Canada and in the US and has been a mentor for MAWA and Video Pool.
Carol-Ann Bohrn grew up in Brandon, MB, and has worked with choreographers in Winnipeg and beyond. Select credits: Winnipeg’s Contemporary Dancers (2019-present), Gearshifting Performance Works, Prairie Theatre Exchange, Sick + Twisted Theatre, Ming Hon, White Birch Ballet, for television commercials, and in her own work. Previously, Carol-Ann danced under the direction of Bailie at Gearshifting Performance Works for 47 performances, performing works by Jolene Bailie, Rachel Browne and Marie-Josee Chartier, including originating roles in new works and performing on several tours. Recent professional development: Cartae Open School, aceartinc; Foundation Mentorship Program, MAWA.
Hélène Le Moullec Mancini
Since graduating from the School of Contemporary Dancers with a B.A Honours in Dance in 2005, Helene has continuously worked as a dance artist in Winnipeg and in works by guest choreographers from all around the world. Select credits: currently in her 15th season with NAfro Dance Productions, six seasons and over 50 performances under the direction of Jolene Bailie at Gearshifting Performance Works (2013-2019), seven full productions with Paula Blair, and work with Stephanie Ballard, and Brent Lott. Hélène has toured to Montreal, Toronto, Vancouver and China performing in numerous galleries and festivals. She is a trained dance teacher currently teaching movement at the Selkirk Mental Health Centre for Manitoba Artist in Health Care and is the Artistic Manager for the Winnipeg Comedy Festival.
Julious Gambalan is in his graduating year at The School of Contemporary Dancers. This program allows him to graduate with a BA Honours in Dance, along side his BSC obtained in 2016. Through SCD, Julious has had the opportunity to tour within Canada: at Stream of Dance Festival in Regina and New Blue Festival in Toronto. He has performed as an emerging artist with NAfro Dance Productions, Winnipeg’s Contemporary Dancers, and with WCD’s Emerging Artist Initiative and Verge.
Shawn started training at the National Ballet School’s professional program, where he trained for 4 years. After additional training at The Royal Winnipeg Ballet School, Professional Division, his focus shifted to contemporary dance. Shawn is a graduate of The School of Contemporary Dancers where he performed in projects with Odette Heyn, WCD’s Verge, and GPS Dance Collective (in Leon, Mexico). Previously Shawn danced under the direction of Bailie at Gearshifting Performance Works for 26 performances, originating roles in numerous works, performing on tour, and in works by Jolene Bailie and Marie-Josee Chartier. Shawn has been dancing with WCD since fall of 2019, and was recently featured in WCD’s ACTUALIZE in COMMENTARY ON/OFF by commissioned choreographer, Ming Hon.
Warren McClelland is a graduate from the Professional Program of the School of Contemporary Dancers. Warren previously worked with Winnipeg’s Contemporary Dancers, 2014-2017, including productions: GORGE, For the Turnstiles, and As Though I Had Wings. Warren recently danced under the direction of Bailie at Gearshifting Performance Works for 16 performances, in several works, in Winnipeg and on tour. Warren returned to WCD in September 2019, working with Bailie for Modulations and The Space in Between, including for WCD’s ACTUALIZE. Warren has worked with many choreographers both locally and internationally. Additional credits: Weather Parade Dance Theatre, Alex Elliot, Johanna Riley and WCD’s Verge.
Aaron previously danced with WCD for the productions: Misfit Blues (Thin Ice, Choreography: Paul Andre Fortier), Duets (Choreography: Lesandra Dodson), and as an emerging dancer in WCD’s Verge. Aaron danced under the direction of Jolene Bailie at Gearshifting Performance Works in Winnipeg and on tour, including for 33 performances and in work by Jolene Bailie and Marie-Josee Chartier and for the works: Altered Aspects, petites danses, quartet, Give and Take in the Kingdom of Love, Phase Wash, Mini Vignettes on Life and Love, The Running of the Bulls, Schemas, 1-5. Aaron is a graduate of The School of Contemporary Dancers, additional training includes: The Royal Winnipeg Ballet School, Alberta Ballet School.
Sam Penner has called Manitoba her home, and dance her passion, for her whole life. A 2013 graduate from The School of Contemporary Dancers, Sam danced in WCD’s Verge from 2013-2015 and performed with Winnipeg’s Contemporary Dancers in eight productions, including in choreography by Brent Lott, Johanna Riley and Peggy Baker, 2013-2017. From 2017-2019 she danced with Gearshifting Performance Works, under the direction of Jolene Bailie, for the works Phase Wash and Schemas, 1-5, both in Winnipeg and on tour. She recently expanded her independent career into choreography and creation, and premiered her first choreographic work, Nothing Doing (September 2019), under the mentorship of Alexandra Elliot.
Camila Schujman is a dancer and performer based in Winnipeg, Manitoba. Schujman began her training at the Royal Winnipeg Ballet School through their Intensive Training Program. In 2016, Schujman graduated from the Senior Professional Program at the School of Contemporary Dancers. Schujman has performed extensively with Gearshifting Performance Works (GPW) under the artistic direction of Jolene Bailie, originating numerous roles, performing in 29 performances, and in works by Jolene Bailie and Marie-Josée Chartier. Additional credits: Pablo Bronstein (facilitated by Rosalie Wahlfrid), Roger Sinha, Patti Caplette, Alexandra Garrido and for Mujer Artista: Puesto / Place. Camila joined WCD in the fall of 2019 and was recently featured in WCD’s ACTUALIZE, in Faith’s a Thing by WCD commissioned choreographer, Zorya Arrow.