Jolene Bailie is a choreographer, director and producer of contemporary dance. Her work reflects on humanness, soul and identity to express a deeply human experience that is honest, complex and thorough.
Jolene Bailie photo by Kristen Sawatsky
Appointed Artistic Director, fall 2019, works performed by WCD since appointment include: Body & Light, Modulations, The Space In Between, Last Schema, Anthem, An Aspect of Alterity and Covid Sonata. Bailie’s choreography has also been presented online for WCD and for Calibrations of Flux, Up Close and disDANCING and Reconnect for WCD’s Emerging Artist Initiative.
Bailie’s career began with solo performance; highlights include performing works by Jose Limon, Anna Sokolow, Marie-Josee Chartier, Joe Laughlin, Denise Clarke, Deborah Dunn, Marc Boivin, Bill Evans and Rachel Browne. Previous to working for WCD, Bailie was Artistic Director of Gearshifting Performance Works, a company she founded and successfully operated for 19 years, creating over 30 original works. Collaborations with Hugh Conacher, Wanda Koop and Susan Chafe have been significant to her development as an artist.
Bailie has produced shows annually in Winnipeg since 2000, created 12 full-length works and toured her work to national and international critical acclaim. Select credits: Today Art Museum (Beijing), Xi’an Art Museum (Xi’an), The Joyce SoHo’s Inbound Festival (New York City), Performance Mix Festival (New York City), The National Gallery of Canada, The National Arts Centre’s Prairie Scene, International Solo Dance-Theatre Festival (Stuttgart), in/future (Toronto), The Winnipeg Symphony Orchestra’s New Music Festival, The Winnipeg Art Gallery, The Canadian Museum for Human Rights, collaborative projects with Visual Artist, Wanda Koop, dance: made in Canada (2009, 2013, 2019), The Dancing on the Edge Festival (2002, 2004, 2005, 2013, 2019), Femfest, Studio 303, Stream of Dance Festival, Guelph Contemporary Dance Festival, numerous Canadian tours, 216 fringe festival performances, for hundreds of self-produced performances and online.
Bailie holds a Masters of Fine Art in Dance through The American Dance Festival/Hollins University where she focused on choreography, studied under Thomas De Frantz and received Fellowships for three consecutive years. Her thesis performance, Gloria’s Sensoria, was presented at The American Dance Festival in 2012 under thesis advisor Jeffery N. Bullock.
Bailie trained with Master Teachers all over North America, travelling annually for professional development projects, 1994-2019. The ongoing support of mentor Bill Evans has been influential to her development as an artist.
Bailie was born and raised in Winnipeg and is a graduate of The School of Contemporary Dancers, where she also taught at for 23 years and continues to set work. As an emerging dancer Bailie earned two post secondary qualifications: a three-year Teacher’s Certificate with Distinction from The Royal Academy of Dance and a four year Bachelor of Arts Honors degree with the Gold Medal Award for Academic Excellence from The University of Winnipeg.
Prior to shifting focus to her own company and choreography, Bailie worked with Ruth Cansfield Dance, Trip dance company, the Bill Evans Dance Company and several independent choreographers. Bailie performed in projects with WCD in 1999 and 2002. Her solo show, Rooms With a View, was presented as part of WCD’s subscription series in 2006. Bailie has worked in the non-profit sector since 1996.
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