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Pelee Island: Stone & Sky Residency

This was soooooooooo amazing!! I loved every second of this artist residency on Pelee Island in Essex County, Ontario. Not to brag....or be be cliche...but totally the southernmost point of Canada and a very cool place to hang out! Everything from the ferry ride on the Pelee Islander II, to staying at The Wandering Dog Inn for a couple nights. What fun!! While the intention was to stay in the Tiny Houses provided by Stone & Sky Music and Art Series for the duration of a week long residency, I was grateful to participate for a full few days and visit with my very generous and fun hosts Patricia Fell and Trevor Malcolm.

But boy....we sure did work though!! Doug MacLellan, a photographer and I were invited to collaborate as artists by Patricia Fell, Artistic Director of Waawiiyaatanong Feminist Theatre. This was a great new experience for me, as I had never met Doug before or know of his work. We had some time to meet online and prepare for our time together for about a month or so before we just jumped in and toured the island and focused our energy on a wide range of intensive photo shoots.

Some of you may be more familiar with my work as a contemporary dancer and choreographer rooted in the modern form of Graham Technique or my time as Co-founder and Artistic Director of Niagara Dance Company. Others, may be more familiar with or perhaps even more fond of my improvisations and site specific works throughout the Niagara Region and beyond. Maybe, you even more so think of me as a teacher, specifically of dance or generally of absolutely everything else!! And perhaps, most lovingly, you are my friend. Even though throughout my entire career I have meaningfully integrated many first loves and aspects of self, especially when I was teaching intensively with interdisciplinary teaching methodologies, I am really excited about the new trajectory of my creative work and expression. Even before the pandemic, but especially throughout it, I have been in transition. A moving shift has been occurring, a change or evolution of sorts. Maybe I could just very simply refer to it as more integration. This is why I now consider myself to be developing and exploring as an interdisciplinary artist, with a current interest in what it means to create transdisciplinary art with the human body at the forefront.

So what does this all mean???!! lol For those of you with curious minds....check out the links below for some really cool reads, explanations and videos. For the rest of you that have made it his far and are still means that, for the most part, you will see more than the elements of dance in my work moving forward! And, those elements will interconnect, interrelate in some meaningful way. It is also likely that the work will also be more heavily rooted in research and/or experience of some kind and quite possibly draw on more than two disciplines simultaneously.

So needless to say, I am incredibly grateful for having this opportunity to dive deep and explore new creative processes and authentic collaboration with Doug while on the island. A HUGE thank you to Patricia Fell and Stone & Stone Music and Art Series for this. And, I am really enjoying making my new work, she walks both worlds, and look forward to presenting live performances of it one day very soon!

photo of me by: Doug MacLellan




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