Please register in advance for the Dance Jams to ensure we have enough participants to proceed each month. The more the merrier!

Ensemble Thinking For Performing Improv

with Meagan O’Shea

SUNDAY, MARCH 4, 2018 | 3:30-5:00PM
An workshop introducing Ensemble Thinking for Performing Improv skills and a shared vocabulary within the group. With this shared vocabulary we will play with scores to create many dances, ending in an open score jam.
Contemporary dance-theatre artist Meagan O'Shea has been honing her improv practice for the last twelve years, integrating her work with Nina Martin of The Lower Left, Ruth Zaporah's Action Theater and Keith Hennessy's Art Activism into her own work and evolving the form.
From 2007 - 2011, her dance like no one is watching improv project which animates/disrupts public space reached 30,000 passers-by and included 200 dancers. In 2017 she remixed it with an international cast for The World Dance Alliance Global Summit in Newfoundland.
“O’Shea is loved for her dance like no one is watching street dance project.” TO Live With Culture.
This year she shares her practice through the Mapping Linneage book about improvisation and she will receive her certification in teaching Ensemble Thinking for Performing Improv.

Contact Dance Introduction Workshop

with Mark Young

SATURDAY & SUNDAY APRIL 7 & 8, 2018 | 10:00AM-4:00PM
This workshop has become the signature of Leviathan studio. It is tried, tested and proven to work. We will play. There will be time to just dance but work is offered.
We will start with Tai Chi exercises that emphasize the spiral nature of our physiology. Everything from the DNA to the milky way is spiraling. All of our muscles are laid on bones that are shaped in spirals. The ancient Taoist masters recognized this and developed movement patterns that harness strength and ease in movement.
We will bridge from Taoist Tai Chi to Steve Paxton’s ‘Material For the Spine.’ MFS includes spiral rolls, crescent rolls and Aikido rolls. These exercises are done alone on the floor. They inform the body of unnecessary tension. They bring awareness to blind spots. They bring consciousness to our dance.
We will bridge from floor work to partner work using these rolls to find smooth pathways with a partner. Exploring the concept that ‘lifts are organic’ we will let our feet come off the floor on our terms, when we want. We will play with this gentle riding up to slide down to roll up.
Participants of past workshops have expressed surprise at how much they develop. Some participants have done this workshop up to 5 times.
Mark Young has been doing Contact Improvisation since 1997. What began as fun re-hab after a traumatic accident quickly became a serious study. He also began a serious study of Tai Chi and Vipassana meditation around the same time, these are the foundations of Contact Improvisation. He has studied C.I. with everyone who has come to the studio, many people outside of the studio, and attended numerous conferences with the originators of the form at Breitenbush Hot Springs Retreat Centre. Also, he has attended numerous Contact Improv jams at Earthdance Retreat Centre in Massachusetts over the past 15 years. In 2000 he committed all of his resources to the creation of Leviathan Studio, a dance studio committed to the study of Contact Improvisation.
Improv Dance with Myriam Verzat
SUNDAY, MAY 13, 2018 | 3:30-5:30PM
Come and explore ways of listening to each other, noticing more and being creative together in a fun and non judgmental environment. We will practice the muscle of improvisation in dance and theatre through techniques of action theatre and contemporary dance improvisation. Actors, dancers, improvisers or performance poets are welcome, along with people with little or no experience. You will discover forms and categories of improvisation that helps create interesting and meaningful improvisations.

"I genuinely had 'fun' in Myriam's improv class!" Heather Sandison
Myriam Verzat is an improviser in dance and theatre, a facilitator and an environmental educator. Passionate about multi-disciplinary improvisation, she practiced many different forms of improvisation in Montreal such as action theatre, contemporary and contact dance improvisation, vocal improvisation, playback theatre, physical theatre, theatre of the oppressed, mime and Open Source Forms. With all those tools, she created her own improvisation and research group (Lindex) that developed a unique vocabulary using the body, the words and music to create meaningful and authentic improvisations. They have performed in different theatres in Montreal, and more recently at the Montreal Anarchist Festival.
In 2015, Myriam directed the show ReCONNECT featuring 7 artists in dance, theatre and music. The performance was based on Joanna Macy’s book, Active Hope: How to face the pain we’re in without going crazy. It looked at our feelings about the ecological crisis through choreographed and improvised scenes that would involve the audience's experiences and feelings.
In Nanaimo, she is eager to share her experience in improvisation, by teaching and developing performances with other artists.
To discover Myriam's improvisation universe in video (in french):
Community Circle Dance with Larisa Coser
JUNE 10, 2018 | 3:30-5:00PM
Community Circle Dance (also known as Sacred Circle Dance) is open to everyone. Circle dancing is probably the oldest known dance formation and used to be part of community life. We want to bring this tradition back to our communities!
Dances range from uplifting to meditative and are intended to bring connection and inspiration to the dancers.
Larissa Coser will be your facilitator. She received training in her home country of Brazil, in Argentina and Canada. She has been facilitating dance circles since 2013. Be prepared to dance to music from around the world! No experience is necessary as all the dances are taught on the spot.
Mailing Address: #5-150 Commercial Street Nanaimo, BC  V9R 5G6
Office Address: CIBC Nanaimo Arts Centre - 60 Wharf Street, Nanaimo, BC  V9R 5G6
PHONE: 250-716-3230
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