Conjure takes place on the unceded ancestral territories of the xʷməθkwəy̓əm (Musqueam), Skwxwú7mesh (Squamish), and Səl̓ílwətaɬ (Tsleil-Waututh) First Nations.
ARTISTS IN RESIDENCE AT MORROW | Sept 2022 – Feb 2023
Dumb Instrument Dance welcomes Tasha, Harmanie, Justin and Anais to Morrow for creative work and play! We’re honoured to support these artists whose revolutionary practices conjure change and healing. Each artist has 3 weeks of studio space at Morrow plus funds to support their work and the artists they collaborate with. The project is about experimenting what we dream. Nobody above us or below us. Many people beside and with us.
Please revisit this site for updates on Conjure’s public events, including workshops and performances. The artists are distilling their plans and we would love for you to join, when and where appropriate!
Tasha: I carry a song in my heart. It calls to me from the land where the old songs sing. My first grandmother sang this song when the waters were rising. During my residency I will be developing the dance of this song connecting me to my legacy.-all the way back to a Tree. Drawing upon my practice as a dance and theatre artist my process will be guided by guest mentor Tara Cheyenne Friedenberg. Inspired by the Ancestor’s Eye, I will be exploring sound and movement based on Coast Salish art and design and teachings shared by sḵwx̱wú7mesh carver and Knowledge Keeper Aaron Nelson Moody and traditional singer and song artist Russel Wallace from Lil’wat Nation. I will host two “jam” sessions with an invited cohort of dancers to join my research, including Jeanette Kotowich, Arash Khakpour and Natalie LeFebvre Gnam.
Tasha Faye Evans is a dance and theatre artist from a legacy of Coast Salish, Welsh, and European Jewish grandparents. Her career continues to be a collection of collaborations and performances with Indigenous artists. Tasha also focuses on redress and Coast Salish cultural resurgence, particularly in Port Moody. She is responsible for two Coast Salish house posts and this past year, collaborated with Kwikwetlem and Tsleil Waututh Nation to create the first two of five house posts being raised along Port Moody’s 2.5 km Shoreline Trail as part of a lifelong exhibit. All of Tasha’s work is an expression of her sacred and shared responsibility for these Coast Salish Lands and Waters and a future of health and well-being for all of our relations.
In able-bodied dance, there are well-practiced methods of falling and rising safely. As a non-ambulatory wheelchair user, I had to learn how to fall safely to avoid hurting my body and my head, and often there is nothing you can do. Studying dance I have started to discover different ways to give in to gravity to fall safely out of my chair and to settle into gravity to allow for a greater push to get back into my chair. I want to take this further. I want to study what it means to fall safely when falling is usually associated with injury. I want to work with other people with varying abilities to understand what falling means to them. I want to explore different abled practices of falling and relate them to the disabled experience. How can we begin to create a falling practice that we can embrace not only as a useful movement practice but one full of creative potential?
Harmanie Rose is a disabled dancemaker, facilitator, and performer who lives and works on the traditional, ancestral, and unceded territories of the Coast Salish people. Harmanie is investigating ways for care and inclusivity to inform and influence artistic choices. Her choreographic work has been presented by Arts Assembly, Vines Art Festival (Vancouver), and All Bodies Dance Project. She’s been a part of dance on film projects as a choreographer, performer, and collaborator including Sanctuary (a collaboration with Rianne Svelnis and Martin Bordan, 2019), Inclinations (created by Alice Sheppard, 2019), and In Place (a collaboration with Kelsie Acton, 2021). She has trained with Donna Redlick (Soma Dance), All Bodies Dance, Propeller Dance, CandoCo, and Axis Dance Company. In 2018 she attended UCLA’s inaugural Dancing Disability Lab where she contributed to research and discussion around the scope of Critical Disability Studies, choreography, and the emergent practices of inclusive dance.
Justin: I’ll explore queerness and gender non-conformity as practice, through dance exploration with other QTBIPOC artists. By dismantling movement codes that are steeped in colonial shaming of queer bodies and ideas, I’ll conjure creative spaces of radical acceptance, curiosity and playful variance.
Justin Calvadores (they/them) is a contemporary dance artist based in so called “Vancouver” BC, the unceded territories of the Musqueam, Squamish, and Tsleil-Waututh First Nations. They are a graduate of the Arts Umbrella contemporary dance program. In 2017, Justin joined Ballet BC as an emerging artist and performed on international stages such as Sadler Wells and the Autostadt Theatre in Wolfsburg, Germany. In 2019 Justin joined Ballet Edmonton as a company artist. Recently, they have performed with companies and artists such as Dumb Instrument Dance, Mile Zero Dance, and Wen Wei Dance. Justin creates work that centres queerness and their identity as Filipinx. They are grateful for dance as a catalyst that enriches their perceptions of the world.
Anais: Chłopczyca (the Polish word for tomboy) is a folk-horror play, heightened by Grotowski movement and folk dance. Led by a non-binary actor who was assigned female at birth, and underscored by a cisgender male dancer, the show will interrogate cultural rituals and mythologies of masculinity. It will also queer Poland’s heavily gendered folk dances, the two performers moving fluidly between the athletic machismo of the “male” part (including ax throwing) and the decorative “female” role. Through fantasy and metaphor, Chłopczyca will lay bare European manhood without literal depictions of violence.When the body of their high school friend is discovered, Aleks confronts the vampiric strzygoń who did it. However, Konrad proves to be more human than Aleks remembers. Torn between their quest for justice and the erotic lure of the creature’s power, Aleks begins to experience a transformation from righteous anger to complicated doubt. Were Konrad’s actions truly his own, or was he possessed by inescapable evil? And are they more like Konrad than they thought? While heavily fictionalized, Chłopczyca is based on my own trans reckoning with masculinity, and on a restorative justice process I underwent with a man who was accused of assault. It strives to be an unflinching autopsy of white manhood, but also, a vision of metamorphosis. When we are witnesses to trauma, that harm continues to possess us. How do we move past revenge, towards individual and societal transformation?
Anais West (they/he/she) is a queer, genderfluid writer, actor and producer, as well as a Polish settler based on the occupied lands of the Musqueam, Squamish and Tsleil-Waututh First Nations. Anais’ work merges theatre with film, poetry, pop and punk music, using hybrid art to expose the multiplicity within gender, sexuality, culture and self. Their plays have been presented by Buddies in Bad Times’ Theatre & Theatre Passe Muraille in Tkaronto; by Rumble Theatre’s Tremors Festival, Queer Arts Festival, Zee Zee Theatre and the frank theatre in Vancouver and by the Fresh Fruit Festival in NYC. As the co-writer of Poly Queer Love Ballad, Anais was the 2018 winner of PTC’s Fringe New Play Prize and the Georgia Straight Critic’s Choice Award, and he’s been nominated for two Jessie Richardson Awards, including Outstanding Original Script. As an actor, Anais has worked with Savage Society, The Firehall Arts Centre, The Only Animal, Rumble Theatre, Théâtre La Seizième, Carousel Theatre and more. They are the Artistic Producer at the frank theatre company.
Also, wanted to add that some aspects of Chłopfzyca are still evolving, so this is a description that I think suits where it’s at now, and keeps some aspects open-ended:
Conjure is made possible through the generous support of The British Columbia Arts Council and City Of Vancouver Cultural Services.
Graphics generously created and donated by Kelly McInnes