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


I am very excited to share Stand Up Dance’s new website with you.

Please check out and send me your thoughts. Big thanks to Lior Lazarof for building it for me. 


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We are currently working on Léxico at the amazing Fabra i Coats in Barcelona.  


Things are starting to cook. It’s a slow process, being committed as we are to the radical notion of collaboration and to holding everyone’s ideas, processes and aesthetics together. We come from 6 different countries. Not all of us speak English and not all of us speak Spanish. (These two languages/colonizing powers are tied for first-language speakers globally.) We are all communicating in second and third languages and we encounter a similar translation issue with our dance language because we all have different contemporary dance dialects.


When we get through translating everyone’s thoughts back and forth and back again things get really exciting on the dance floor. 


I’ve been re-reading The Geography of Genius by Eric Weiner. He goes looking for the how and why of the when and where for places that produce genius en masse. (Think Ancient Athens, Renaissance Italy, Calcutta, Silicone Valley) I’m currently reading about Edinburgh’s Golden Age. Here’s the theory, and I love the progression of it: Urban density promotes genius - not quite, it’s just crowded; the intimacy that urban density generates - now that has possibilities. So, the theory of the genius that springs from Edinburgh in the 1700’s, is that the combination of dissenting voices debating and exploring an idea allow it to be developed and refined. The more dissenting voices, the more creative ideas emerge. The trick of ol’Edinburgh was that this debating and dissenting was done within clubs. There were clubs (men’s except for one - Jezebel - which was for female prostitutes. I like to think they were organizing!) This was accompanied by lots of drinking, so there were no hard feelings, or that was the idea. The combination of challenge and camaraderie is essential. It generates great ideas and keeps everyone happy to share space and move forward together. 


So, back to the studio with Léxico. Here we are all holding the tension of differing ideas, approaches and aesthetics on this project, in the spirit of friendship and with respect for each others’ work.


“If you want to go fast, go alone. If you want to go far, go together.” 


In a world dominated by capitalism and radical individuality we choose collaboration. In the moment that world is contracting, shutting the “other” out, we are expanding, opening our preceptors, reaching across languages, cultures, translations, histories and experiences. The belief being that our combined resources and experiences can generate something greater than any of our individual ones. I can only describe an idea as far as my imagination can carry me. By combining our imaginations and actions, we are creating unimaginable material. 

See what we did in Budapest!


Emotional Landscapes

Some of the findings from The Geography of Genius:


  • What is valued in a country flourishes there. (Canada: hard work over winning. We only introduced Own the Podium for Olympic athletes in 2010 and it worked, we upped our medal count.)Tim Hortons and Hockey. Not so much being different, we tolerate and encourage low grade difference but don’t want stars - I mean we do, we glow when we boast that whomever is from Canada - but we’d hate to seem braggy). That's a hard set of conflicting ideas to amalgamate.


  • Common to the end of all golden ages, is that once a society succumbs to the bling that said golden age has the means to produce, it falters, flails, fails, falls. It is weak. What was sophistication and taste become indulgence and inebriation. 


  • Starving artists produce no good work, they are too hungry. Wealthy artists run the risk of complacency.


  • Faced with an irrational reality one may come up with the most ingenious of ideas because normal doesn’t make sense.


  • Schema violation - upset the norms, look at things differently.


  • In times of chaos the embracing of new ideas is more likely - the status quo is no longer available and so …


  • order, chaos, play, order…


Reading this and working in many places and within different language cultures has me thinking about Chimamanda Adichie’s The danger of a single story TED talk. I have been noticing the difference between working in one language or multi-langauges. The expansiveness of my mind, the associations that I’m able to make as I look for the correlation between words in Spanish, French and English and then marvel over the structure of language in Finnish, or wonder how the words I know in Hebrew relate to the symbols written by our Israeli collaborator. 


I was thinking about the singularity of experience or ideology that comes from both too many voices and too few. We already know about the dangers of monoculture or isolated genetics in remote towns where everyone is related. But what about a country that is isolated by geography or by size. It dominates and replicates its own mythos, its consumer-base or citizenry is so vast that it doesn’t know that there is anything else out there. The isolation can come from big or from small. The USA is so massive with more than 300,000 million people; it’s hard to think about otherness if your market of sameness is that big. Although seemingly opposite, small places sometimes end up with the same result: less room for other ways of doing things. Both situations create a lack of breadth of experience. Mass produced, super-sized stuff becomes the culture of America. Super distinct or unchanged for decades ideas become the culture of another place. 


I am formulating this…it’s a thought in progress. More to come. 

Upcoming and Ongoing  



Physical Theatre Weekend on Salt Spring Island, BC

Friday October 26 - Sunday October 28, 2018

This is almost full, but there are a few spots left.

Playing Games to Train the Creative Body:
performance strategies and improvisation techniques

Playing Games to Train the Creative Body is a workshop for everyone who wishes to stimulate their creative side. Working with movement and story-telling improvisation strategies, games and contemporary performance techniques, we’ll unleash our creative impulses.


Influenced by her work and training with Nina Martin and Lower Left’s Ensemble Thinking for Performing Improvisation, Ruth Zaporah’s Action Theatre™ and Keith Hennessy’s Activism Art, Meagan has developed trainings to encourage people to:

- Be as you as you can be

- Find your people

- Cultivate the third impulse, look for the oblique

- Magnify Joy

- Amplify Impact

Friday October 26 4:30 - 7:30 pm

Saturday October 27 9:30 am - 12:30 pm

Sunday October 28 9:30 am - 12:30 pm


DIY Interdisciplinary Solo Making


DIY Interdisciplinary Solo Making is for those who wish to take the work further and develop a performance piece.  Incorporating the skills we’ve been working with in Playing Games to Train the Creative Body, each participant can develop their material for an informal showing at the end of the workshop. People are invited to come with an idea and or some material. This could be already developed and you want to go deeper or continue exploring or change tactics. It could also be an object of significance, a poem, song, piece of text, or an idea or memory close to your heart.


Meagan has created and performed 17 interdisciplinary solo's in her 22 years of professional practice and has developed a number of strategies to uncover the material that is always there waiting to be expressed.

Space is limited for this workshop in order to give one-on-one feedback.


Friday October 26 2 - 3:30 pm / 8 - 9:30 pm

Saturday October 27 1:30 - 4 pm / 4:45 - 7:15 pm

Sunday October 28 1 - 3 pm





At the end of the weekend we’ll share our work with the community. Participants from Playing Games the Creative Body are welcome to share one of the exercises with the audience.

Participants in DIY Solo Making will share their works in progress and Meagan will perform one of her solos.


Sunday October 28  at 4 pm


October 26th- 28th

Playing Games ONLY $135
Playing Games and DIY Solo Making $250

read the times above carefully

Antler Ridge Dance studio
211 Horel Rd W (off of Fulford-Ganges road)
Salt Spring Island, BC
Host: Robbyn Scott 250-653-4088

Register and e-Transfer payment to Robbyn Scott,

Some on-site accommodations available.

. . 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.

all photos by Tristán Pérez-Martín with Aino Ojanen, Daniel Rosado, Lior Lazarof, Meagan O'Shea, Reinaldo Ribeiro

Copyright © 2018 Stand Up Dance, All rights reserved.

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