. . . moving . . . social . . . imagination . . .
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Hyper Local Super Now


Léxico, an international collaboration creating dance across languages; understanding (in) the unknown has received Canada Council for the Arts funding for research and creation, and will be a part of the Sismògraf Festival in Olot, Spain in April 2019. 


At this moment 6 of us are in Budapest, Hungary, working on the project. We are attempting to create collectively, across experience, culture and language. The process we are developing allows for each person to lead and assert their own aesthetic while simultaneously generating material for the “bank” so that everyone can play with it and build on it. 


We are from Argentina, Brazil, Canada, Finland, Israel and Spain. It is 34 degrees in the studio. Some of us feel this more than others.


Budapest is a beautiful city, it’s my second time here. Last time I was on the Buda side, this time we are on the Pest side. There are several bridges that connect them over the Danube. Walking across any of them at night provides an impressive view of gorgeous buildings lit for this purpose. Palaces, basillicas, synagogues, and government houses all equal in their splendour.


We have another residency in a month’s time in Barcelona and will be working again in the winter and spring.


Understanding (in) the unknown.


I am looking forward to getting to Finland, where I head next, and into the sauna where dripping with sweat is a choice. At the same time I know that as soon as I’m in a cold dance studio I will miss this.


Emotional Landscapes

The tyranny of the perfect body

A new teacher straight from company life as a dancer for a famous (and notoriously cruel) choreographer pinches me and says “just a little everywhere”. I am in first year university. 


At 20 I hear a fellow dance student complaining about her body. I say “I wish I had a body like yours.” She says, “I wish I could dance like you.” 


In my mid-twenties I started working out at the gym (on top of dancing all the time) because I was getting married and aware that there would be a lot of photos of me that day.


At the end of my twenties I bought a string bikini because I thought that my moment for wearing one was about to end.


Someone once said to me that it was too bad I wasn’t born in the Renaissance because my body would have been considered beautiful, then.


A multidisciplinary performance programmer remarked to me that she was sick of seeing only “perfect bodies” in dance.


At 40 I started to take my clothes off onstage.


I taught this sparkly girl from the time she was 4 to 14. Last month she died from an eating disorder at age 23.

I look at pictures of myself at different  ages and see how good, fit, un-fat, buff, I looked. I remember how consumed I was by body image. Feeling shame that I wasn’t skinny enough, buff enough. How much energy have I wasted on hating my body?




I made SideShow, inspired by my impression of this photo of R.E.M's Michael Stipe with his pants around his ankles - taken in the 90's. The idea of a woman doing this felt…what: dangerous, transgressive, empowering? 

I decided to find out.


Performing SideShow in Finland and Where Truth Lies in Mexico City this summer is making an impression on lots of new audience. Society puts so much pressure on women to conform to the beauty standards of the day. Dance even more so. I love dance but dance can be a cruel task master.


Upcoming and Ongoing  


Ensemble Thinking - I was in Texas in July, working towards certification in Ensemble Thinking. I've been developing the concepts that grabbed me in the workshops I've done with Nina Martin/Lower Left and evolved them into the framework for dance like no one is watching. These ensemble improv, site specific performances were an annual staple for Stand Up Dance from 2007 -2011 with a re-mix last summer in Newfoundland for the World Dance Alliance Global Summit on grassroots dance movements. This summer I decided to dive back in from a different angle by going back to the source and exploring the training methodology and practice research. Dance Ranch Marfa takes place in Marfa, Texas, a town that is quite utterly unique. You can read more about Marfa and other travel adventures at

Look for dance like no one is watching performances and opportunities across Canada and beyond, next summer. Look for Ensemble Improv Training and other Workshops below!



  • The Future is Now, dance improvisation in Helsinki; 08.02.18 11-17h
  • Other teaching: The School of Dance in Ottawa, SCD in Winnipeg, VSCD in Victoria
  • Playing Games to Train the Creative Being & DIY interdisciplinary Solo Making, Salt Spring Island, October 26 - 28, 2018 SAVE THE DATE


Other's things you should know about:

Writing Retreats:

My gorgeous friend Clare, who wrote this amazing book a few years ago and whom I met in Greece in the summer of 2014 is now based in the wild west lands of Cork in Ireland, a place that is filled with spirit and power and stirs my soul and shows me some magic each time I’m there. She is facilitating a Wild Edge Writing Retreat from October 25 - 30, 2018. She is an extraordinary writer and a wonderful facilitator.

For one day, in Amsterdam, if that suits you better, she and another amazing woman, Pam de Sterke, whom I met at the same (rather magical) moment in Greece, are offering a one-day,

Write To Your Truth Leiden on October 9th, Amsterdam.

Dance Ranch Marfa ~ Ensemble Thinking for Performing Improv; photo by Kirshe Dickenson

. . moving . . social . . imagination . .

Thanks for reading, see you on the dance floor!


If you'd like to support Stand Up Dance, you can pledge a monthly amount through Patreon.

Other photos by Tristán Pérez-Martín; featuring Meagan O'Shea, Daniel Rosada, Reinaldo Ribiero, Lior Lazarof

Copyright © 2018 Stand Up Dance, All rights reserved.

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