Marissa performs on stage. She is dressed in a black long-sleeved shirt. She is turned to her left, away from the camera. Her left hand is raised to caress her cheek while her right hand rests on her hip. Photo by Belen Garcia.
The presentation for Past Echoes in the Present showcases the creative process for Marissa Wong’s self-choreographed solo, Departure, which premieres online May 28th and 29th, 2021. The dance performance is inspired by Bessel Van Der Kolk’s bestselling book ‘The Body Keeps the Score’ and considers the impact experiences have on behaviour patterns. The three year creative process has been documented through conversations, photos, and written notes, and these archives will be presented as part of this installation.
MARISSA WONG s a Canadian-Chinese dance artist who has the privilege to create, play and share on the unceded territories of the Skwxwú7mesh (Squamish), Səlílwətaɬ (Tsleil- Waututh), and xwməθkwəyəm (Musqueam) Nations, also named Vancouver, BC. She received her postgraduate studies through Alonzo King LINES Ballet and Ballet Austin. Her engagement with the Vancouver dance community has demonstrated her capability to produce, perform, and host works. Marissa is invested in continuous learning and growth, her work reflects her observations of the human experience. She is invested in changing systemic structures to create inclusive and sustainable spaces for artists.
She is currently a member of TWObigsteps Collective, which she founded in 2015. Since then, she has choreographed works that have been presented in internationally, including performance of the work Livespace at Dance in Vancouver (2019), Surrenderance at Dance in Vancouver (2017) and 12 Minutes Max Edition #41 at the Dance Centre (2017), and the performance of Veils at TEDxSoma (San Francisco, 2019), CADA/West Fundraiser (2018), and Amber Funk Barton’s Dance Café (2017). Marissa has also been hosted for choreographic residencies through New Works (2020), Made in BC (2021/2020), Banff Centre for the Arts (2019), the Dance Centre’s DanceLab Program (2019), MascallDance (2018/2019), Marta Marta Productions (2018), Moberly Arts and Cultural Centre (2017), SAFEhouse Arts (2016), and DORSALEDanse (2015). In addition to choreography, she has produced performances for her self-choreographed solo, Departure (2021), and a co-hosted performance, SPLIT/BILL (2018) with WAREHAUS Dance. She was Assistant Stage Manager for the response.’s VAST (2018) and Workspace III (2017), and Project Manager for MascallDance’s BLOOM (2019). She acknowledges and continues to receive support from Canada Council for the Arts and BC Arts Council.
Marissa has been active in community engagement workshops including Sessions by TWObigsteps Collective, LINES Ballet Training Program, Gulf Island School of Performing Arts, and participation in the Youth Engagement Program presented by the Dance Centre (2018/2019), a workshop series that shares dance with immigrant youth. She continues her role as the Senior Competitive Ballet Teacher at Spiral Dance Company.
TWObigsteps (TBS) is a collective of like-minded emerging dance artists who come together and create open artistic environments. Our movement vocabulary stems from a shared training background in ballet, contemporary and commercial dance. We operate within a horizontal power structure and consistently reassess everyone’s needs, which has led us to practice accountability within the group. We are a project-based collective, whose composition changes based on the member’s availability. We operate with open communication and value members finding their own artistic voice inside a collective atmosphere. We encourage people to take on different artistic and administrative roles within the group, which has given the space for all members to learn new and important skills in a supportive environment.
Over the years, we have learned that we share an interest in curating spaces that are community-oriented. We feel that it is important to engage with the youth through classes and workshops. We value collaboration across artistic disciplines, and aim to have this show up in both our work and artistic processes. The collective is POC, queer and trans- inclusive and acknowledges that each member has their own distinct cultural background and dance history. We use this diversity to engage with and strengthen different parts of the local and international dance communities.
Visit our accessibility page for information on how to access CMHC Granville Island and our on-site exhibition. Video tours are available in spoke English with English captions and subtitle files in: Tagalog, Hindi, Simplified Chinese, and Punjabi. Audio tours are available in English, Cantonese, Mandarin, and Tagalog.
Choreographer/Performer: Marissa Wong
Original Music and Sound: Jamie Bradbury
Lighting Design: Jonathan Kim
Styling and Costumes: Meagan Woods
Dramaturg: Chick Snipper
Rehearsal Direction: Hayley Gawthrop
Photography: Belen Garcia, Keagan Archer-Hastie