Katie Cassady is a Japanese-Canadian performer and emerging choreographer based in Vancouver, BC, the unceded territories of the Squamish, Musqueam and Tsleil-Waututh Nations. Katie completed her training at the San Francisco Conservatory of Dance and Simon Fraser University, and holds a BA in Art History from the University of British Columbia.
As a performer, Katie has had the honour to perform with Kokoro Dance, Amber Funk Barton/the response., TWObigsteps Collective, Julianne Chapple, and Donald Sales. Katie has also collaborated on video projects by visual artists Evann Siebens and Susanna Barlow.
As a choreographer, Katie seeks to reflect an ongoing exploration of the world through viscerally expressive and technically virtuosic dance. Her work has been presented at the Dance Centre, Nextfest (Edmonton), Vancouver’s Contemporary Art Gallery, the Shooting Gallery Performance Series, and Vines Art Festival. Katie was selected to participate as an artist in residence for Dance West’s Re-centering/Margins 2020.
Photo by Yvonne Chew
Little Fish Productions’ interests lie in creating performances that are accessible and inviting for a variety of all-age audiences. Sophie Brassard and Jenna Kraychy have found a mutual passion for outdoor and site-responsive dance performances. Sometimes, they feel like two small fish, swimming in a big sea. They strive to plunge into work that supports and uplifts the communities in which they present. Believing that everyone can move and create, they feel that every drop in the sea can make a meaningful ripple. Fantastic Fun Zone is their first co-creation and is informed by their friendship and their desire for connection during a weird time. They are grateful to live and work as guests on the xʷməθkʷəy̓əm (Musqueam), Sḵwx̱wú7mesh (Squamish), and Sel̓íl̓witulh (Tsleil-Waututh) territories.
Fantastic Fun Zone was created with the support of theCanada Council for the Arts and byThéâtre la Seizième through their Micro-résidences program. We’d like to thank Cory Haas, Jennifer Mascall and Julianne Chapple for their mentorship as well as New Works, Moberly Arts and Cultural Centre, theCultch Theatre and Dani Fecko for their support.
Photo by Jeff Lucas
The Mexican Dance Ensemble of Vancouver (MDE) was founded on March 2013 in Vancouver, BC, by Mexican Dance Artist Lourdes Ruiz.
Our main objectives are:
MDE offers a platform for emerging artist, classes for beginners, intermediate and advanced dancers. Mexico and its beauty are expressed trough our dances, some of them narrate parts of the Mexican history, some others represent the love for our roots and others just the way we celebrate life and death.
We strongly believe that art in any of its manifestations is a way to bettering communities, bringing them together sharing and learning from all backgrounds, art makes people happier, better, and healthier. Our way to contribute to our community is dancing, sharing, and showing our heritage anywhere in Canada. Since 2013 the MDE has been performing all around BC sharing and promoting the beauty of the Mexican Dance.
Photo by Tom Gould
Ashvini Sundaram is a dance artist trained in bharatanatyam. Born in Singapore, raised in Vancouver and trained in Delhi, Ashvini explores questions related to identity and decoloniality through performance work. She receives ongoing training from internationally acclaimed artist, Rama Vaidyanathan, and pursues a Master of Fine Arts degree in dance at York University through the York Graduate Fellowship. She is the recipient of numerous awards including the BC Arts Council Scholarship, Chrystal Dance Prize from Dance Victoria and Professional Development Grants from Canada Council for the Arts and BC Arts Council. Ashvini holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Behavioural Neuroscience from the University of British Columbia and is also professionally trained in vocal Carnatic music, South Indian rhythm, and ballet.
Ashvini’s All Over the Map 2022 performance is a collaboration with Dr. Jared Burrows, is a guitarist, composer, and music educator based in Vancouver BC. He leads his own ensembles and participates in many other bands around Vancouver. He teaches at Capilano University.
Photo by Chris Randle
Kiruthika Rathanaswami is a Vancouver based bharata natyam dance artist. For the past 26 years, she has been under the mentorship and guidance of Jai Govinda, Artistic Director of Mandala Arts and Culture Society in Vancouver. She completed her bharata natyam arangetram (graduation) at the Jai Govinda Dance Academy in 2004 and since then has been a part of many of Mandala’s professional productions and presentations as a soloist, and ensemble. Kiruthika has performed in Canada and the United States at notable festivals such as Canada Dance Festival, Gait to the Spirit Festival, Horizon Series, Feats Festival, HH11 Dance Festival, Nextfest, Baltimore Dance Invitational, New Works Dance All Sorts, Discover Dance Noon Series, Solo: A Festival of Dance and Expanse Festival. She was the lead dancer in the documentary film “The Great Night of Shiva” (2011) which was broadcast nationally on Vision TV, Canada. Kiruthika is the recipient of 2010 Shastri India Studies Arts Fellowship from the Shastri Indo-Canadian Institute, the 2012 City of Vancouver “The Mayor’s Arts Award” for emerging artist in Dance and the 2016 Dancing Damsel Women Achiever Award for the Performing Arts. She is currently working with Nova Dance for the Company’s production Svāha which will premiere in September 2022.
Photo by Sridar Photography
Shilpa Shankar is an Indian classical dancer trained in Bharatanatyam, a South Asian dance form with a highly intricate movement language that amalgamates melody, rhythm and expression. Originally from India, where she received initial training in the art, she continues to passionately hone her skills receiving advanced training at the Jai Govinda Dance Academy, a leading school in Canada for the dance style. Shilpa is a Chartered Accountant working as an auditor in a Big 4 accounting firm. She serves as Treasurer on the board of Company 605, a dance society.
Photo by Mahesh Kothamangalam
Edward Sembatya is a versatile Ugandan dance practitioner, drummer, teacher, and choreographer. He is currently pursuing his artistic research Ph.D. in interdisciplinary Contemporary arts (Dance major) at SFU, School for Contemporary Art. He is the Artistic Director of Dance Theatre Uganda (CLPGU LTD). Edward has participated in several projects and collaborations both local and international as a choreographer, performer, and teacher. His artistry and research are highly influenced by everyday life and the rich knowledge and skills embedded in indigenous dances, music, and tales of East Africa, particularly Uganda. Through his experience, research, and dance analysis from East Africa, he envisages and works towards creating an ‘E-African’ aesthetic and movement-based choreographic and pedagogical technique (his style) to support both informal and formal institutions of learning.
Photo by Bantu Arts London
Her Tribal Roots is a collective of emotive and compassionate interdisciplinary artists. At its ‘root’ or foundation, the collective creates from an inquisitive place: “How can empathy and emotional awareness of ourselves and others inform our artistry?” “How can we make our artistic practice and production more accessible and inclusive?” “How can we better nourish our fellow artists, audiences, and the land on which we reside?” Together, they have created a harmonious balance of practice which includes movement and drumming rooted in styles of the African diaspora, poetry both Indigenous to Turtle Island and Diasporic, vocal jamming, and clowning. In addition to performing all over the Lower Mainland (for pieces in Vines Festivals, Indian Summer Festival, and the Museum of Anthropology etc.), Her Tribal Roots has also curated free community dance workshops and interdisciplinary art sessions for Nelson Mural Festival, Children’s Festival, and BC Culture Days. They have fortified their exploration of site-specific work through residencies and funding from the DADAO program at Dance West (formerly Made In BC) and the BC Arts Council Pivot Program. Currently, Her Tribal Roots is creating a 40 min long interdisciplinary theatre piece, commissioned by Vancouver International Children’s Festival for June 2022. Through emergent (artistic) collaboration, creation, and play, Her Tribal Roots creates symbiotic connections with communities and the natural world.
Photo by Moonray Photography
Sarah Hin Ching U (she/her) is a Chinese-Canadian emerging dancer, choreographer and creator in live and digital performances. Her work examines human relationships, identity and desire, and is grounded in experiences that have touched her deeply and personally. Sarah’s live and digital work has been presented by National Arts Centre, Capsule: Video series (Ottawa), The Dance Centre (Vancouver), Vines Art Festival (Vancouver), Impulse theatre (Victoria, BC), Free Flow Dance Theatre (Saskatoon), SpringWorks (Ontario) among others. Sarah holds a BFA in Dance and Kinesiology from Simon Fraser University.
Photo by Sheng Ho