Panel: Dancers’ health in a globalizing, post-colonial dance world a.k.a. Healthy Dancing Go-Go and Other Spirited Critiques a.k.a. Who me, healthy? Discovering participatory actions in systemic problems

Thursday, April, 29 @ 12:00 pm CST

This is a text written in quadruplicate. The first voice, set in 2015, queried the possibilities and lived realities of the “health” and “wellbeing” of professional dancers on ethical, philosophical, practice-based, and historical terms. Contemporaneously, three voices return to this site of inquiry to expand, digress, and explode the contours of wellness within the Canadian dance milieu. Four voices braided together through time, across communities, and spanning three different generational positionalities, we explore the fleshy corners of our dance practices. Touching on the aims and utopic outcomes of dance training, technological evolutions, power dynamics held in place by a saturation of painful capitalist practices, a life-long trajectory of dancing (in the broadest sense) with virtuosity at every age, and the messy tendrils of dance practices as they reach out of and into a diversity of practices and identities, we seek to outline the terrain for future envisioning that centers care, wellbeing, and a meaningful notion of health for dance-based practitioners. This text is written with an urgency that recognizes the trauma debt and pain that bad behaviour – systemic and internalized – can mete out on our bodily commitments within the dance worlds we inhabit.


Ileanna Sophia Cheladyn – dance artist and scholar – makes movement and text based art in discrete, devoted, and undisciplined ways. Her work is critical of prescriptive mind/body dualisms and canonical approaches to kinesthetic experience. Currently, Ileanna is playing in a framework of embodied agency to sense through the magical moments of choice-making and decision-taking in dance improvisation.

Jennifer Lynn Dick: she/her; Tkaronto/Toronto; Big Tancook Island; St. John’s, NL; grateful; inde dance artist; inde scholar; aka Nin; research area: dramaturgy and embodied archive curation;

Dena Davida (b. 1949). Elder artivist dance scholar, ethnographer, educator, curator, performer, contact improvisor, Laban Movement Analyst, essayist, editor and indexer living in Montréal, Canada. M.A., Movement Studies, Wesleyan University (1995); PhD, Études et pratiques des arts, University of Québec in Montréal (2006). Coeditor of Turba: The Journal for Global Practices in Live Arts Curation.

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