Winter Research Series, Young Lungs Dance Exchange, Jan 16 2017


Since November three research teams have been each working in the studio investigating themes, methods, ideas, questions, approaches related to dance, movement and performance. YLDE is excited to invite the public into their work. You can take in the research via classes, showings, and an endnote discussion and essay presentation.

Click here to read the program


Brenda McLean

BRENDA McLEAN is a Winnipeg independent theatre artist, whose focus is on physical theatre performance and design. Recently Brenda has become very interested in Improvisation Dance Movement and Contact Improvisation Dance and how they can be used to create unconventional movement in theatrical performances. Brenda is interested in the combination of Contemporary Dance and Physical Theatre to create hybrid performance techniques with both text and movement. This last summer, she was one of the Choreographers in Company Link summer workshop where they created new choreography everyday with the focus on text and movement with dancers. Brenda is also the founding member of Theatre Incarnate, and The Talentless Lumps (an all female bouffon troupe).

Currently Researching…

McLean will research with contemporary dancer Ali Robson and mentor Grant Guy, the use of gesture in performance. How does one create gestures, what is gesture, how can it be used as a performance tool, how does one ask or direct gesture work from their performers? Many dancers and actors are asked to generate and create gestures in their performances with little to no training in it, we are going to investigate and train in this technique to better understand how we can use it best as a performance tool.

Chekhov’s Archetypal Gestures


Ali Robson working with gesture

Performer: Ali Robson is a dancer, teacher and choreographer who has been working since 2004 with artists across Canada including Karen Kuzak, Peter Bingham, Serge Bennathan, Tom Stroud, Treasure Waddell, Natasha Torres-Garner, Lesandra Dodson and with Winnipeg’s Contemporary Dancers. She works in both dance and theatre and teaches movement for actors at the University of Winnipeg as well as creative movement and contact improvisation throughout Winnipeg.

Mentor:  Grant Guy is a Winnipeg playwright, director, designer and writer. For seventeen years he was the artistic director of Adhere + Deny. He is currently establishing a new company, The Two Horses of Paladin.



Ali Robson. Long Exposure Dance Photography

JAIME BLACK is a Métis multidisciplinary artist based in Winnipeg. Perhaps best known for her pivotal work The REDress Project, an installation project addressing violence against Indigenous women and girls. Jaime’s art practice engages in themes of memory, identity, place and resistance.

   Currently Researching…  Jaime’s work is situated in an understanding of the body and the land as sources of historical and cultural knowledge and is centred around themes of memory, identity, place and resistance. She is interested in the body/land as sites of social and political struggle, sites of historical, and collective memory and as vulnerable and often contested spaces. She is interested in the ways in which we can re-establish agency and resilience through interactions between the land and the body.

Jaime Black




Lise McMiIlan and Jaime Black

Performer: Lise McMiIlan is a contemporary dance artist based in Manitoba.  She has performed and toured with several dance companies, and independent choreographers across Canada and abroad. Her own works have been presented by Young Lungs Dance Exchange and Winnipeg’s Contemporary Dancers.

Mentor: Leah Decter is an inter-media artist and scholar currently based in Winnipeg; Treaty 1 territory. Her work focuses on contested spaces, largely contending with histories and contemporary conditions of settler colonialism through a critical white settler lens. Decter’s work has been exhibited, presented and screened widely in Canada and internationally in the US, UK, Australia, Germany, Malta, the Netherlands and India. She holds an MFA in New Media from Transart Institute (Berlin) and is in her final year of a PhD in Cultural Studies at Queens University (Kingston, Canada).

Jaime Black


Jill Groening helps put on the blindfold


Grant Guy discusses theatre and dance with Brenda and Ali




KRISTY JANVIER is from a small northern community in Canada called Flin Flon and is of Aboriginal (Dene), Irish, and Ukrainian decent. At the age of 18 she had an opportunity to work abroad as a performer in Japan. From there, her love of acting, dance, movement and exploring began. After two contracts in Tokyo and moving to California, Kristy embarked on two cruise ship contracts in the Caribbean before calling Hong Kong home for 8 years.  While in Hong Kong, Kristy began to search out new forms of movement including yoga, contact improvisation, Gaga and other somatic practices which lead to a Hong Kong-Netherlands exchange of artists and debuting her first choreography credit while working with Korean visual artist Soyoung Lee.  Upon returning Canada, Kristy has travelled to Toronto (Kaha:Wi Dance Theatre) and Vancouver (Raven Spirit Dance) to connect with contemporary Indigenous artists in the country. Her vision is to build bridges between the two worlds and filter this work up North. Inspired by all things in nature, Kristy continues to find new ways of connection and creativity.

CURRENTLY RESEARCHING… For Kristy’s research project, the theme is largely based on water looking at it from the views of bloodlines, the rivers through the province that were once the highway systems of our ancestors and what they are now, the fluids in the body and healing rituals for change. Bringing together three other dancers with Indigenous backgrounds to dialogue and explore movement together to create this dance.

Kristy Janvier



We wanted to collect water from the Red River, but it had just frozen last week, so we collected ice.



Leaving tobacco at the riverside


Lise and Jaime explore the space





A Round Dance occurred in Polo Park shopping mall on December 16th 2016 to raise awareness of water issues and to promote friendship





Round Dance in the shopping mall









Kristy Janvier

” Exploring space without leaving Earth. My feet have carried me to many place and in many ways. Using the soles of my feet as landing pads, I allow the grace of my breath to move my body throughout the environment. Upon my recent return to Canada, I have to come to explore my ancestral and Indigenous roots to discover how their feet have travelled these lands. I’m drawn to elements of nature, incorporating outdoors spaces. Through dance I’m able to step into the shoes that carry one into a world that cannot be expressed with words. ”


Rayanna Seymour (Hourie)


Performers: Rayanna Seymour (Hourie) is Anishinaabe from Naongashiing (Big Island), Treaty #3 Territory. Her parent’s are Lorraine Seymour and Raymond Hourie and she has 7 siblings. Today, she is in her second year of law school at Robson Hall, University of Manitoba. Seymour sits on a few Indigenous student groups and works part-time on Anishinaabe nibi Inaakonigewin (water law). Her goal is to continue on in graduate school and become a professor of law one day. One of her favourite activities—besides visiting with nieces and nephews—is dance. She grew up dancing in the pow-wow circle as a fancy shawl dancer, and then started dancing jingle in her teens and has recently picked up her shawl again, so now able to dance both. She also dances Zumba once a week to have some fun and release some stress from studies.

Emily Barker is in her second year of the Professional Program at the school of Contemporary dancers.  Recent work includes Laurier with Theatre New Brunswick and Confederation Centre of the Arts. Other training includes Toronto Dance Theatre, Kaha:wi Dance Theatre, Theatre at the University of Winnipeg, and a past member of the Urban Indigenous Theatre Company.

Lise McMiIlan is a contemporary dance artist based in Manitoba.  She has performed and toured with several dance companies, and independent choreographers across Canada and abroad. Her own works have been presented by Young Lungs Dance Exchange and Winnipeg’s Contemporary Dancers.



Yoga on the hardwood floor




Rayanna Seymour (Hourie), Kristy Janvier, Lise McMillan and Emily Barker





Feet and Stones and Hands








This just happened naturally. iPhone and Feather.







Kristy was using water as part of her piece. I placed a flash behind them to see how the light would go.




Emily and Rayanna




The remnants of dance on the floor.











Jaime and Lise






Kristy and Emily


Jamie Black








Jaime Black and Lise McMillan


KC Adams is a Canadian-born First Nations artist and art administrator.



Ali Robson






Cool Winnipegger, Grant Guy


Kristy Janvier with Emily Barker, Lise McMillan, Rayanna Seymour.




…and everything ended with a Round Dance




Latest from 2017

Go to Top