SEASON

BLACK BALLERINA

November 26-27, 8:00pm

November 28, 4:00pm

WCD is thrilled to present Black Ballerina by award-winning and critically acclaimed Syreeta Hector.

Based on Hector’s blackness & indigeneity in relationship to classical ballet, award-winning and critically acclaimed Black Ballerina explores the nuances within identity & the unconscious ways one tries to fit in. This will be the first time Toronto-based Hector’s work will be presented in Manitoba.

Artist Talk to follow Sunday matinee.

 

Created & Performed by:
Syreeta Hector

Movement Dramaturg:
Seika Boye (2017-2020) and Dedra McDermott (2020- Current)

Lighting:
Noah Feaver

Sound Design:
Germaine Liu and Mark Zurawinski

Stage Manager and Production Manager:
Helin Gungoren

Photo (above):
Jeremy Mimnagh

Syreeta Hector

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Syreeta Hector

Syreeta Hector is a dance artist and educator in Toronto, Ontario. As a highly accomplished performer, Syreeta has worked for internationally recognized companies like Adelheid Dance Projects, Danny Grossman Dance Company, Political Movement, Peggy Baker Dance Projects, and Toronto Dance Theatre. She is a proud graduate of The National Ballet School’s Teacher Training Program, The School of Toronto Dance Theatre, and has achieved her Master of Arts in Dance
Studies from York University.

Her work called “Black Ballerina” focuses on the dualities within ones identity, along with Syreeta’s blackness and indigeneity in relationship to classical ballet. This short work in progress solo gained recognition at the SummerWorks Festival in 2019. Here, the piece won the Stratford Festival Lab Award for Research and Creation. The version of the piece was also performed at the Citadel Dance Mix 2019. Here, the performance was nominated for a Dora Mavor Moore Award.
“Black Ballerina” was live streamed during the pandemic and currently the live version of “Black Ballerina” is touring nationally.

Syreeta is currently one of the Luminato Artists in Residence and part of the Creative Incubator at the Citadel+ Compagnie.

Website: syreetahector.com

Photo by David Leyes

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Seika Boye

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Seika Boye

Movement Dramaturg

Dr. Seika Boye is a scholar, writer, educator and artist whose practices revolve around dance and
movement. She is a Lecturer in the Centre for Drama, Theatre and Performance Studies/Director
of the Institute for Dance Studies, University of Toronto. Seika’s writing has appeared in numerous
scholarly journals and magazines and she is the curator of the archival exhibition It’s About Time:
Dancing Black in Canada 1900-1970. Seika was an artist-in-residence at the Art Gallery of Ontario
2018-19 and she currently works as movement dramaturg with artists/collectives including Natasha
Powell/Holla Jazz, Syreeta Hector and Mix Mix Dance Collective.

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Dedra McDermott

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Dedra McDermott

Movement Dramaturg

Dedra McDermott (she/her) is an award-winning Black, new generation artist working as a
professional dancer, choreographer, producer, and movement dramaturg based in Tkaronto
(Toronto). The scope of her performance career includes the diverse worlds of theatre, film and
television. Selected credits include Disney’s “Zombies” and “Zombies 2”, Royal Caribbean
Productions, fu-GEN Theatre, Rodney Diverlus and Syrus Marcus Ware, Laurence Lemieux,
Syreeta Hector, and “American Gods” on Starz Network. She has earned a B.F.A in
Choreography and Performance from York University and a Master of Arts from The Centre for
Drama, Theatre and Performance Studies at The University of Toronto. Her current artistic
research focuses on movement dramaturgy and exploring choreographic facilitation methods that
prioritize identity, memory and exploring what it means to reconstitute the voice in
choreographic practice. Her work has been presented at The Forum of Original Theatre /
Theory / Thought (University of Toronto, 2021) and The Selma Odom Lecture Series (Toronto,
2021).

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Noah Feaver

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Noah Feaver

Lighting Design

Noah Feaver is a Dora Award nominated lighting designer originally from Vancouver BC, now
resident in Toronto, working in dance, theatre, and opera. Education includes the Ryerson School of
Performance and The Banff Centre, as well as mentorships with several prominent Canadian
lighting designers. Noah is a member of the Associated Designers of Canada.
Website: noahfeaver.com

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Helin Gungoren

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Helin Gungoren

Stage Manager & Production Manager

Based in Toronto, Helin Gungoren (she/her) works primarily as a stage manager and arts administrator with a focus on dance, festivals and events. Some of the companies Helin has worked with/for include Citadel + Compagnie, Toronto Fringe Festival, STDT, Granite Motion Gallery, Wild Rabbit dance projects, and New Blue Dance. She received her BFA in Performance Production from Ryerson’s School of Performance.

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New Creation + Icône Pop

February 25-26, 8:00pm

February 27, 4:00pm

WCD is thrilled to commission Mélanie Demers to create a new work for WCD!

This new work will be programmed with Demers’ solo Icône Pop. Internationally acclaimed, Demer’s work has been presented throughout Europe, the Americas, Africa, and Asia. Her multi-award-winning work is known for its originality, intensity, and complexity. This show features a unique audience experience with performances inside the theatre and “in situ” in the McKim Building’s underground parkade.

Artist Talk to follow Saturday night’s performance.

 

Icône Pop was a co-production with Operaestate Festival – Comune di Bassano del Grappa.

 

NEW CREATION:

Choreography:
Mélanie Demers

Performers:
Carol-Ann Bohrn, Mark Dela Cruz

Rehearsal Directors:
Anne-Marie Jourdenias (for MAYDAY) and Jolene Bailie (for WCD)

Lighting:
Hugh Conacher

Music:
Jean-Sébastien Côté

Costumes:
Mélanie Demers. Special thanks Elen Ewing for having opened her wardrobe.

Photo (duet):
Cloe Pluquet

ICÔNE POP:

Choreography:
Mélanie Demers

Performers:
Stacey Désilier, Mykalle Beilinski

Music:
Mykalle Beilinski

Costumes:
Mélanie Demers

Photo (solo):
Christian Brault

Mélanie Demers

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Mélanie Demers

A multidisciplinary artist, Mélanie Demers founded in Montreal her own dance company, MAYDAY, in 2007, exploring the powerful link between the poetical and the political. Les Angles Morts (2006), Sense of Self (2008), Junkyard/ Paradise (2010) and Goodbye (2012) have all been created from this perspective. With MAYDAY remix (2014), she deepened her engagement with cross-genre works and hybrid forms. Her fascination with the interplay between word and gesture crystallized with WOULD (2015), which won the CALQ Prize for best choreography. In 2016, Mélanie Demers began a new creation cycle with Animal Triste and Icône Pop; both works are touring internationally. In 2017, Mélanie Demers was invited to work as a guest choreographer at the Skånes Dansteater in Malmö (Sweden) for the creation of Something About Wilderness. Now that Danse Mutante has hit the stage, it is time for MAMA, La Goddam Voie Lactée, Confession Publique and Cabaret Noir to enter the spotlight.

To date, she choreographed thirty works and was presented in some forty cities across Europe, America, Africa and Asia.

Photo: Julie Artacho

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Anne-Marie Jourdenais

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Anne-Marie Jourdenais

Rehearsal Director(MAYDAY)

Anne-Marie Jourdenais has been working in the Montreal dance scene for twenty-five years. Initially a performer, she evolved in the worlds of Marie-Pascale Bélanger, Estelle Clareton, Mélanie Demers, Harold Rhéaume and Jacques Poulin-Denis, among others. Then, little by little, the work of the eyes takes over the work of the body and she becomes rehearsal director. Over the years, she has shared questions, advice and insights with, among others: Alan Lake, Mélanie Demers, Ginette Laurin, Manon Oligny, Marie-Claude Rodrigue and Dave St-Pierre. Fascinated by all that the body can feel and express, Anne-Marie also devotes herself to the practice and teaching of Qi Gong.

Anne-Marie Jourdenais œuvre dans le milieu de la danse montréalais depuis vingt-cinq ans. D’abord interprète, elle évolue, entre autres, dans les univers de Marie-Pascale Bélanger, Estelle Clareton, Mélanie Demers, Harold Rhéaume et Jacques Poulin-Denis. Puis, peu à peu, le travail du regard prend le dessus sur le travail du corps et elle devient directrice des répétitions. Au fil des ans, elle partage questions, conseils et intuitions avec, entre autres : Alan Lake, Mélanie Demers, Ginette Laurin, Manon Oligny, Marie-Claude Rodrigue et Dave St-Pierre. Fascinée par tout ce que le corps peut ressentir et exprimer, Anne-Marie se consacre aussi à la pratique et à l’enseignement du Qi Gong.

Photo by Youri Broch

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Jolene Bailie

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Jolene Bailie

Rehearsal Director (WCD)

Jolene Bailie is a choreographer, director and producer of contemporary dance. Appointed Artistic Director of Winnipeg’s Contemporary Dancers in 2019, Bailie has created and re-created several works for WCD, produced shows annually in Winnipeg since 2000, created 12 full-length works, presented over 450 performances, and toured her choreography to national and international critical acclaim. Previous to working for WCD, Bailie was Founding Artistic Director of Gearshifting Performance Works, choreographing over 30 original works, commissioning new works, and presenting the work of guest artists. She has worked as a Rehearsal Director for numerous works by Bill Evans, for Sending Love by the late Rachel Browne, for quartet by Marie-Josee Chartier, for Begin Again by Jera Wolfe, for New Creation by Melanie Demers and for her own work.  Bailie holds a Master of Fine Arts from The American Dance Festival/Hollins University, a Teaching Certificate form The Royal Academy of Dance, a BA honors degree in Theatre from The University of Winnipeg and is a graduate of The School of Contemporary Dancers.

Photo by Kristen Sawatsky

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Hugh Conacher

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Hugh Conacher

Lighting Design

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. His multi-disciplinary process straddles the worlds of lighting design, new media technologies, projection and photography, using whichever media form best serves the vision of the project. Originally from Toronto, 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. Hugh has been a member of the Associated Designers of Canada since 1982 and is a member of l’Association des professionnels des arts de la scène du Québec.

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Jean-Sébastien Côté

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Jean-Sébastien Côté

Music

Jean-Sébastien Côté is a Canadian composer and sound designer based in Aylmer, Quebec. His work has been closely linked to the Canadian stage director Robert Lepage for whom he designed and / or composed the music of seminal shows like 887, Needles and Opium, LipSynch, The Dragons’ Trilogy, The Far Side Of The Moon and The Andersen Project, amongst others. He also had the privilege to work with some of Canada’s best theatre directors and choreographers such as Daniel Brooks, Wajdi Mouawad, François Girard and Melanie Demers.

In addition to his work for the stage, he also composed and mixed the music of many documentaries, tv ads, Virtual Reality experiences and multimedia shows, and designed sound systems for both touring and permanent installations.

In recent years, he has developed an expertise in multimedia and interactive installations, providing technical design and artistic content to various companies such as TKNL, 4U2C-Cirque du Soleil, Normal Studio, Ottomata, Atomic3 and 4Elements to bring rich and engaging sonic experiences to the public.

 

Photo by Guillaume Houët-Brisebois.

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Stacey Désilier

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Stacey Désilier

Performer

Passionate about movement, the possibilities of the body and fascinated by dance, Stacey quickly realized she wanted to make dance her profession. She pursued professional studies at the École de danse contemporaine de Montréal, which led her to collaborate with choreographers and performers Marie-Claire Forté, Sasha Kleinplatz, George Stamos, Helene Simard and Mélanie Demers – MAYDAY. In 2018, Stacey joined the company Animal of Distinction and participated in their new creation FRONTERA. Then, she leaves to discover the world through movement by collaborating with Cirque Éloize, Les 7 doigts de la main, L’Opéra de Québec (Starmania), and most recently with the company Tentacle Tribe, which brings her back to her urban dance roots and her Haitian culture. Her artistic practice and cooperative work give her an inner wealth that she wishes to share with various organizations, countries and artists.

 

Passionnée du mouvement, des possibilités du corps et fascinée par la danse,  Stacey réalise rapidement vouloir faire de la danse son métier. Elle poursuit des  études professionnelles à l’École de danse contemporaine de Montréal, ce qui  l’amène à collaborer alors avec les chorégraphes et interprètes Marie-Claire  Forté, Sasha Kleinplatz, George Stamos, Helene Simard et Mélanie Demers  compagnie MAYDAY.

En 2018, Stacey intègre la compagnie Animal of Distinction et participe à leur  nouvelle création FRONTERA. Elle part ensuite découvrir le monde à travers  le mouvement grâce à des collaborations avec Cirque Éloize, Les 7 doigts de la  main, L’Opéra de Québec (Starmania), puis tout récemment avec la compagnie  Tentacle Tribe qui la ramène vers ses racines de danse urbaine et sa culture  haïtienne. Sa pratique artistique et le travail coopératif lui donnent une  richesse intérieure qu’elle souhaite partager avec divers organismes, pays et  artistes.

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Mykalle Bielinski

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Mykalle Bielinski

Performer

Mykalle Bielinski practices singing, performing, composing music, and writing poetry and plays. Her works are immersive concerts, sensory experiences about being and the sacred.  In 2015, she created Gloria (Théâtre La Chapelle, Mois Multi, Operaestate, CAM on tour, PushOFF, Re:flux, OFFTA), a 360° multimedia solo opera, then Mythe in 2019 (Espace libre, Mois Multi, OFFTA) where she brings together a women’s choir to sing about impermanence. Known for her aerial voice and electro music, she has also performed with her solo musical project throughout the province and in Europe. A graduate of UQAM in theatre performance, she also collaborates as a musician and actress with directors and choreographers: Mélanie Demers, Édith Patenaude, Véronique and Gabrielle Côté, Frédéric Blanchette, Philippe Cyr, projets hybris, Eugenio Barba and many others.

Mykalle Bielinski pratique le chant, l’interprétation, la composition musicale et l’écriture poétique et  scénique. Ses œuvres sont des concerts immersifs, des expériences sensorielles sur l’être et le sacré.  En 2015, elle crée Gloria (Théâtre La Chapelle, Mois Multi, Operaestate, CAM en tournée, PushOFF,  Re:flux, OFFTA), un opéra solo multimédia en 360°, puis Mythe en 2019 (Espace libre, Mois Multi,  OFFTA) où elle réunit un chœur de femmes pour chanter l’impermanence. Connue pour sa voix  aérienne et sa musique électro, elle s’est aussi produite avec son projet musical solo un peu partout  dans la province et en Europe. Diplômée de l’UQAM en interprétation théâtrale, elle collabore également  comme musicienne et actrice avec metteur.e.s en scène et chorégraphes : Mélanie Demers, Édith  Patenaude, Véronique et Gabrielle Côté, Frédéric Blanchette, Philippe Cyr, projets hybris, Eugenio  Barba et bien d’autres.

Photo by Manon Parent

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Carol-Ann Bohrn

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Carol-Ann Bohrn

Performer

Carol-Ann Bohrn returns for a third season with WCD. WCD performance credits include: New Creation by Melanie Demers, Body & Light, The Space in Between, Modulations, Last Schema, An Aspect of Alterity, and Anthem (all by Jolene Bailie) and Begin Again (by Jera Wolfe). Additional performance credits: Four seasons and 47 performances with Gearshifting Performance Works (Bailie, Marie-Josée Chartier, Rachel Browne), By Grand Central Station at Prairie Theatre Exchange (Thomas Morgan Jones), Sick + Twisted Theatre, Odette Heyn, Ming Hon, Saskatoon’s White Birch Ballet (Darlene Williams, Gioconda Barbuto, Josh Beamish), and for television commercials, music videos and film. Carol-Ann has participated and been mentored through the Cartae Open School at aceartinc and the Foundation Mentorship Program at MAWA. Carol-Ann Bohrn grew up in Brandon, Manitoba, is a graduate of The School of Contemporary Dancers and additionally trained at Ryerson University and The Royal Winnipeg Ballet’s Teacher Training Program. Carol-Ann also performs in WCD: Class at Home, a free online class by WCD, danced in WCD’s Guest Artist in Residence research project with Ralph Escamillan, remixing choreography by Tedd Robinson, and is dancing in upcoming new work by Jolene Bailie.

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Mark Dela Cruz

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Mark Dela Cruz

Performer

More info to come

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New Creation

April 22-23, 8:00pm

April 24, 4:00pm

New Creation by Artistic Director, Jolene Bailie, featuring an ensemble of Winnipeg dancers and lighting by long-time collaborator, Hugh Conacher. Known for her visual and complex work, Bailie creates experimental works that are abstract, personal and reflective. This new work uses collage to explore dynamics of perceptions and desire.

Artist Talk to follow Sunday matinee

 

More info to come soon!

Choreography:
Jolene Bailie

Lighting:
Hugh Conacher

Dancers:
Carol-Ann Bohrn, Mark Dela Cruz, Kira Hofmann, Julious Gambalan, Shawn Maclaine, Warren McClelland, Shayla Rudd

Photo (above):
Leif Norman

Jolene Bailie

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Jolene Bailie

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.

Appointed Artistic Director, fall 2019, works performed by WCD since appointment include: ModulationsThe Space In BetweenLast SchemaAnthemAn Aspect of Alterity and Covid Sonata.  Bailie’s choreography has also been presented for Calibrations of Flux and Up Close and disDANCING for WCD’s Emerging Artist Initiative.

Since 2019, her choreography has been presented in Winnipeg, Vancouver, Regina, Toronto and online.  This is her first full length work for WCD.

Bailie has produced shows annually in Winnipeg since 2000, created 11 full-length works, and toured her work to national and international critical acclaim. Her career began with over a decade of 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. In 2004 her focus began to shift to choreography and then it shifted again in 2010 to focus primarily on creating for an ensemble of dancers. Collaborations with Hugh Conacher, Wanda Koop and Susan Chafe have been critical to her development as an artist.

Bailie holds a Masters of Fine Art in Dance through The American Dance Festival/Hollins University, where she studied under Thomas De Frantz. Her thesis performance, Gloria’s Sensoria, was presented at The American Dance Festival in 2012, under thesis advisor, Jeffery N. Bullock.

She holds a Teacher’s Certificate with Distinction from The Royal Academy of Dance; and a Bachelor of Arts Honors degree and the Gold Medal Award for Academic Excellence from The University of Winnipeg. Bailie is a graduate from The School of Contemporary Dancers and the Founding Artistic Director of Gearshifting Performance Works, a company that successfully operated for 19 years and where she created over 30 original works.

Photo: Kristen Sawatsky

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Emerging Artist Initiative

October 22, 7:30pm

An ensemble of emerging dancers come together for a return to live performances featuring new choreography and up-and-coming talent.

WCD’s Emerging Artist Initiative is in partnership with The School of Contemporary Dancers.

Choreography:
Jolene Bailie

Additional Rehearsal Director:
Shawn Maclaine

Dancers:
Andrés Jiménez Mejía, Sophie Milord, Gabriela Garcia Ortiz, Shayla Rudd, Ariadna Schulz

Photo(above):
Leif Norman

Jolene Bailie

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Jolene Bailie

Jolene Bailie is a choreographer, director and producer of contemporary dance. Appointed Artistic Director of Winnipeg’s Contemporary Dancers in fall 2019, Bailie has produced shows annually in Winnipeg since 2000, created 12 full-length works, presented over 450 performances and toured her work to national and international critical acclaim. Her work has been presented in Toronto, Vancouver, Victoria, Edmonton, Calgary, Saskatoon, Regina, Ottawa, Montreal, Athabasca, Beijing, Xi’an, Stuttgart, New York City, online and more.

Bailie holds a Masters of Fine Art in Dance through The American Dance Festival/Hollins University, has trained with Master Teachers all over North America and is a graduate of The School of Contemporary Dancers. Bailie holds a Teacher’s Certificate with Distinction from The Royal Academy of Dance and a Bachelor of Arts Honors degree with the Gold Medal Award for Academic Excellence from The University of Winnipeg.

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. 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.

Photo: Kristen Sawatsky

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Shawn Maclaine

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Shawn Maclaine

WCD dancer, Shawn Maclaine is working with WCD’s Emerging Artist Initiative as a Rehearsal Director.

Shawn Maclaine was born in Halifax and grew up in Toronto and this is his third season dancing with WCD. Performance credits for WCD include: “Body & Light”, “Last Schema”, “Covid Sonata”, “Anthem” (all by Bailie), and COMMENTARY ON/OFF (by Ming Hon). 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 is a graduate of The School of Contemporary Dancers where he performed in projects with Odette Heyn, GPS Dance Collective (in Leon, Mexico) and as an emerging dancer for WCD’s 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. We are thrilled to have Shawn working with us on this year’s Emerging Artist Initiative!

Photo: Fiona Witherell

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Andrés Jiménez Mejía

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Andrés Jiménez Mejía

Andres Felipe Jimenez Mejia is back on stage for a second season to dance with WCD’s Emerging Artist Initiative! Andres comes to Winnipeg from Bogota, Colombia, moving to Winnipeg to train at The School of Contemporary Dancers. Andres dances because he believes “…it is the best way to get into people’s souls.”

Andres will graduate from The School of Contemporary Dancer in 2022 and recently performed at Manitoba 150 in choreography by Stephan Azulay.

Photo: Carley Hungerford

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Sophie Milord

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Sophie Milord

Sophie Milord returns for a second season to dance with WCD’s Emerging Artist Initiative. Sophie comes to Winnipeg from Vancouver, BC. She moved here to train at The School of Contemporary Dancers. We asked her what she is looking forward to as she works towards her performances, “Having the opportunity to feel comfortable in the choreography, yet challenging myself to go further.”

Sophie graduated from The School of Contemporary Dancer in 2021 and currently teaches dances at several dance studios, honored to be passing on her love of dance to the next generation.

Photo: Jace Hodges

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Gabriela Garcia Ortiz

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Gabriela Garcia Ortiz

This is Gabriela Garcia Ortiz’s first performance with WCD’s Emerging Artist Initiative. Gabriela comes to Winnipeg from Guanjuato, Mexico and is in her final year of training at The School of Contemporary Dancers.  Gabriela recently performed in the music video “Puro Dolor” with Mariachi Ghost – a musical group that summons the ghosts of old Mexico through traditional Mexican song – and is member of Mujer Artista, a Winnipeg-based group comprised of women artists from Latin America.

Photo: Philip Ariano

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Shayla Rudd

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Shayla Rudd

We are delighted to have Shayla Rudd return to dance with WCD’s Emerging Artist Initiative for the third season! Last season Shayla was also featured in “WCD: Class at Home 2”, a free online available for dancers to train at home during the Covid pandemic.

Shayla comes to Winnipeg from Oakbank, MB. When we asked her why she dances, she told us, “Because nothing else pushes me physically, mentally, and artistically like dance does!” We asked Shayla what she is looking forward to as she prepares for her performances: “I’m looking forward to being able to perform again, and to show that the arts can/will survive this pandemic safely.” Shayla graduated from The School of Contemporary Dancer in 2020, she teaches dances at several local dance studios, and is head gardener at St. Norbert Arts Centre.

Photo: Rodney Brawn

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Ariadna Schulz

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Ariadna Schulz

We are delighted to welcome Ariadna Schulz to dance with WCD’s Emerging Arttist Initiative. Ariadna comes to Winnipeg from Caracas, Venezuela, where she previously danced with Teatro Teresa Carreno. Arriving in Winnipeg to train at The School of Contemporary Dancers, Ariadna recently performed in the screen dance project “Easy” and is currently working on a music video Brett Schultz.  Ariadna is in her final year of training at The School of Contemporary Dancers and will graduate later this season.

Photo: Courtney Martin

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