Dance artist Alexandra Clancy and double bassist Noah Gotfrit came together forming ‘ShoeStrings’ to collaborate and explore the connections between music and dance. The rhythmic tones of taps paired with the melodic vibrations of upright bass investigate how artists perform both as musicians and dancers. They have performed at Eighth and Eight, 12 Minutes Max, Dances for a Small Stage, the YYC Jazz Festival, and venues such as Guilt & Co. and Tyrant Studios. As they continue to perform and share their music, ShoeStrings examines new approaches of playing their instruments and unique ways of expressing their art.
Carol Mendes (she/her) is a choreographer and teaching artist with a dance practice that interweaves contemporary, ballet, somatics, and cultural heritage empowerment. She is Brazilian with a polyethnic background, living on the unceded territories of the xʷməθkwəy̓əm, Skwxwú7mesh, and Səl̓ílwətaʔ/Selilwitulh Nations. She holds a BFA in Dance from UNICAMP (Brazil) and an MFA in Dance Performance and Choreography from NYU, Tisch School of the Arts (USA). Her choreography works were presented at Shadbolt Centre for the Arts, Scotiabank Dance Centre, KW Studios (Canada), La Mama Theater, Judson Church, Dixon Place, Martha Graham Theatre (USA), Loikka Dancefilm Festival, and Haihatus Art Center (Finland), among others. Her work focuses on female empowerment, decolonizing practices, and respecting multicultural identities and diverse experiences. // Photo by Yuta Kato.
Kaili Che is a Chinese-Canadian dance artist, emerging choreographer, and educator based on the unceded and stolen lands of the Coast Salish peoples, colonially known as Vancouver. Her current curiosities revolve around identity, empathy, and play. Kaili is grateful to have worked with Dancers’ Studio West, Traction, Project InTandem, Cloudsway Dance Theatre, Ivanochko et cie, W&M Physical Theatre, and kloetzel&co. Her choreography has been presented at 12 Minutes Max, Expanse Festival, and Fluid Festival. She graduated from the University of Calgary with a BFA in Dance and has The Healthy Dance Practice Certificate with Safe in Dance International.
Carla Alcántara (she/her) is a mexican multidisciplinary artist and emerging choreographer. Born and raised in Mexico City and is currently based in the so-called Vancouver. Director of TEMPO Dance & Visual Art, a project-based company that works in collaboration with different artists. Her artistic approach is to create meaningful yet accessible art to express, communicate and connect with people.
Photo by Rodrigo Picazo
Jessica McMann is an Alberta -based Cree (Cowessess, SK), multi-disciplinary artist. She interweaves land, Indigenous identity, history, and language throughout her dance and music creation/performance practice. A classically trained flutist, she holds a Bachelor of Music degree from the University of Calgary and an MFA in Contemporary Arts from Simon Fraser University. Her work fuses together traditional language and dance with her own contemporary experiences as an Indigenous woman and Two-Spirit person.
Earthen Bodies is a collective of creative human individuals of diverse backgrounds, connecting and co-creating as an extension of the Earth. Informed by our time together walking, sitting, moving, singing, dancing, playing, exploring and relating with the Earth as a primary collaborator and mentor.
The creative direction, choreography, sound direction and performance are emerging from a collaborative process with input from interdisciplinary artists Alyssa Amarshi, Thelonious Lee Dexter and Kevin Li.
Edward Sembatya is a versatile Ugandan dance practitioner, choreographer, educator, and drummer (Ugandan drums). He is currently pursuing his practice-based Ph.D. at Simon Fraser University, School for Contemporary Arts (dance major). His artistic works and research draw inspiration from contemporary everyday life and the rich knowledge and skills embedded in indigenous East African dances (Ugandan in particular), music, and narratives. He specialized in indigenous Ugandan dances, jazz dance, and African aesthetics-based contemporary dance (his styles).
Photo by Yvonne Chew
Fiana Kawane is a performing artist trained in Kathak, a north Indian classical dance form known for its pirouettes, lyrical movements, and footwork. She received foundational training over a decade at Kadamb, a leading institute of dance and choreography in India, founded-directed by Kumudini Lakhia. Fiana has performed independently and with dance companies across India, Pakistan, Canada, Japan, and France. Her full-length production, “Nrityavandan: Ode to Dance,” premiered in Tokyo upon invitation. Her independent work has been supported by IGNITE! Youth Festival, Scotiabank Dance Centre’s 12 Minutes Max, and University of Toronto’s Festival of Dance.
Jhoely Triana, born in Colombia, is a Vancouver based flamenco dancer and choreographer. Jhoely trained at the Goh Ballet Academy, completed a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Contemporary Dance at Simon Fraser University, and studied at Al Mozaico Flamenco and Rosario Flamenco. She has presented work at the Victoria Flamenco Festival, Vancouver International Flamenco Festival, the Dance Centre, Vines Festival, New Works Summer Series, and BC Culture Days. Jhoely has also traveled to Spain, Poland and the USA for professional development intensives. Jhoely’s work emphasizes connection to the audience through authenticity of emotion and vulnerability.
Photo by Yolanda Triana
Top Photo: L to R Top: Amok Project, KC Dance and TEMPO Dance & Visual Art, Wild Mint Art, ShoeStrings. L to R Bottom: Fiana Kawane, Earthen Bodies, Edward Sembbatya, Jhoely Triana.