Independent Contemporary Dance Artists and Creators on the south island, you are invited to an online gathering about sustaining our creative practices as we go forward at this time of Covid.
Meeting on Zoom, we will check in, meet new folks, see some familiar faces, share ideas and build connections.
If you’re interested in joining:
1) Let us know what times could work for you June 14/ 15/ 16 by filling in this doodle poll.
2) Send your email address to ConstanceCooke@shaw.ca so we can send you the details in a week or so once the date of the gathering is confirmed.
This gathering is focused on dance artists in Victoria in the homelands of the Lək̓ʷəŋən and W̱SÁNEĆ peoples, as well as on the south island (south of Duncan) and southern gulf islands, such as artists living and working in the homelands of the BOḰEĆEN/ Pauquachin, Diitiid7aa7tx/ Ditidaht, Esquimalt/ Xwsepsum, Halalt, Lake Cowichan, Lyackson, Málexeł/ Malahat, Pacheedaht, Penelakut, Quw’utsun/ Cowichan, Sc’ianew, Songhees, SȾÁUTW/ Tsawout, Stz’uminus, T’Sou-ke, W̱JOȽEȽP/ Tsartlip, and W̱SIḴEM/ Tseycum Nations.
This gathering is for dancers and creators to come together. Artists who also work as presenters, producers or funders are invited to attend in the role of dancer/ creator.
If there are access practices that would support you in participating, please contact Joanne@CreativeMoment.im . ASL interpretation and captioning are dependent on availability of interpreters and transcribers.
This online meeting is being co-hosted by Connie Cooke and Joanne Cuffe.
Colleagues on the west coast of Turtle Island are offering awesome sessions online this Spring. This post has links to a few classes. Times are for the Pacific Time Zone (Pacific Daylight Time / UTC−07:00).
Open Space held an online / on land series of talks at different sites within Lekwungen & W̱SÁNEĆ territories in April and May, to spend time with and learn from local Indigenous artists, educators, and knowledge keepers. Online / on land series video recordings.
All abilities dance classes:
This list focuses on organizations with disability leadership on the west coast.
Dance for All Bodies (based in the US, Bay Area) is hosting online dance classes, including:
Friday May 29: Diaspora Dance Class for All Abilities with Alicia Langlais.
Saturday May 30: Urban Jazz Dance Company Class with Antoine Hunter.
Friday June 5: All Abilities Beginner Flamenco Workshop with Clara Rodriguez.
Sundays June 7, 14, 21, 28: Salsa Class for All Abilities with JanpiStar.
Tuesday June 9: DanceAbility Class with India Harville.
Saturday June 13: Brazilian Dance Class with Stephanie Bastos.
Details about Dance for All Bodies classes.
Weekdays (Monday-Friday) at 10:30am-11:30am (PDT): AXIS Dance Company is offering physically integrated dance classes online via Zoom. The schedule is posted for the current week and next week. The class cost is $0, $5 or $10, and requires pre-registering. Details and to register for AXIS Company Classes.
If you’ve got some extra time these days, check out this resource page of dance videos, as well as interviews with artists about dance from decolonial, Deaf, and cross-disability perspectives. There are links to videos of dancers based on six continents, with a focus on the west coast of Turtle Island.
Queer Disability peer-facilitated groups:
Chronically Queer provides a welcoming, supportive environment where LGBTQIA2S+ identified people living with chronic health conditions and/or disabilities can come together and share what is happening in their lives. The group is meeting online regularly.
QueerAbilities Victoria is a group of individuals who identify somewhere on the LGBTTQ+ spectrum and who are also living with a disability, either diagnosed or not. The group is connecting on Zoom on Mondays from 3:30pm-5:00pm (PDT).
Unsettling Dramaturgy: Praxis Sessions for Virtual Collaboration, TBC: April 20 and 30. The series addresses approaches to, and practices in online convening that centre unsettling, decolonization, indigenization, and disability justice in process design. Details will be on the Unsettling Dramaturgy page.
Disability Organizing in the Age of Covid-19: Medical Rationing, Eugenics, and the Precarity of Mutual Aid, Tuesday April 21, 4pm (PDT), hosted by Lydia X. Z. Brown and Georgetown University’s Disability Studies Program. Details about the April 21 Webinar and link for registering by the 19th. Previous event: Webinar on Disability Justice and Decolonization, Tuesday April 14.
Webinar on Disability Justice and covid-19, Thursday April 30, 6pm-8pm (PDT) on Zoom, organized by Kwekwecnewtxw – Coast Salish Watch House, Stand.earth, and Moishe House Vancouver. Details about the April 30 Webinar at 6pm.
Interpreting, transcribing, describing and access buddies are dependent on availability. Please request these services by February 24th. (We are waiting to hear back about interpreters and transcribers’ availability.)
Bus routes: the closest bus stops are for the #2, #3, and #10 buses. The venue is near the Legislature Terminal, including buses #50 and #75.
Lindsay Eales is a queer, Mad, settler, who has been co-leading crip dance communities and creating and performing crip and Mad choreography for fifteen years. She is also a certified occupational therapist who works to transform exclusive spaces rather than ‘fixing’ excluded people. Eales recently completed her PhD in the Faculty of Kinesiology, Sport, and Recreation, researching how to create more accessible and affirming dance and movement spaces for people who have experiences with trauma, mental illness, and mental distress.
Danielle Peers is a queer, non-binary disabled settler, as well as a dancer, filmmaker, and researcher. They collaborate with folks who experience multiple barriers to accessible, affirming and meaningful movement practices (including art, sport, recreation, and spiritual movement practices) in order to collectively imagine and spark change. They are currently a Canada Research Chair in Disability and Movement Cultures at the Faculty of Kinesiology, Sport, and Recreation at the University of Alberta, as well as an independent artist.
The workshop is organized by the InterdepenDance Collective and Creative Momentum.
We acknowledge the support of the Canada Council for the Arts, Made in BC- Dance on Tour, and the Greater Victoria Public Library.
Dear disability, dance and media arts communities,
The InterdepenDance Collective is looking for volunteers to help increase access to dance.
Currently there are very few audio described dance videos on the internet, even among dance companies who aim to be inclusive and accessible.
We invite you to learn to create (amateur) audio descriptions for (fantastic!) dance video excerpts.
Do you have at least 6 hours available sometime in 2020? We’re looking for people to record audio descriptions of key visual elements of dance videos sometime this year. As we are collaborating online, colleagues beyond the island are warmly invited, and encouraged, to join in.
Descriptions can be created collaboratively – within a team there would need to be someone who is sighted, someone who is hearing, and someone who speaks or uses a communication device with audio output. Raising funds to hire consultants from local blind and disability communities is encouraged.
There are different approaches available for describing dance. Some examples are: narrating physical actions, metaphor, poetry, storytelling, multiple people’s voices to each represent a different dancer, soundscapes, layering of different styles, and option of tactile describing (in person at events). There are examples from Kinetic Light, as well as All Bodies Dance Project and VocalEye’s Translations project, of different describing techniques in the resources section below.
Each person or team creating a description can use the style/s that seem to fit with a particular video, or that they are most comfortable with.
Here is an ideal context for adding audio description to videos:
Choose a video that resonates with the experiences, identities or art practices of the people describing. A few examples: an Indigenous dancer describing Indigenous dancers’ work, a queer dancer who uses mobility tools describing a piece by a queer dancer who uses mobility tools, and a flamenco dancer describing a flamenco piece.
Raise funds to hire the video’s main artist or dancer, as well as artistic consultants from blind and disability communities, to co-create the audio description.
If this is not possible, could collaborate in pairs or as a small group on a draft audio description, and pay consultants to review and recommend edits to the description.
If funds are not available to pay consultants, then create a draft audio description and share it with the collaborative describing email list inviting feedback.
How to contribute:
Details for creating a basic audio description:
Be in touch to have your email added to the collaborative describing email list and online “Describing videos” folder, which includes a “Describing videos sign-up” document (that shows which videos don’t have anyone signed up yet for describing), and a shared “Describing ideas” document.
Watch a few videos that don’t have anyone signed up yet, then pick which video/s you’re comfortable creating a description for. (Please note the video excerpt start and end times.)
Let the group know which video excerpt you’re going to describe:
-either add your name next to the name of the video on the “Describing videos sign-up” google-document, or send a note to the email list (or contact Joanne).
-Watch the video a few times.
-If you are new to describing cross-disability dance and dancers using mobility tools and using gender-neutral language when pronouns aren’t known, then please draft the description first (either a written script or audio draft) to share with the collaborative describing email list for any suggested edits.
-To find out how an artist describes themself and what pronouns the dancers use, please look up the artist’s website, a recent interview, or under the video title select the down arrow to see what they wrote in their video description.
-If you have financial resources, hire artistic consultants from local blind and disability communities to collaborate.
-Do a test of using your audio recording program (and microphone if not built-in to the device), test the volume of your voice when recorded, and check if the recording gets saved as an mp3 or m4a file.
Possibly record an audio introduction to the video excerpt:
-IF providing context prior to the video excerpt seems important (such as for a quick or busy video or group piece), create a short audio introducing the video: read out any text from the start of the video (such as video title and artist name); if relevant could include a one-sentence bio from the company or artist’s website or artist statement about the piece; and “set the stage” by briefly describing the setting and introducing the dancers and theme.
-Name this file with the Video Name – audio intro. (for example: Musa Motha – audio intro.mp3)
Record an audio description of the video excerpt:
-In between dialogue and important audio, describe the visual elements of the video, such as key movements, relationships, body language, tone, setting, costumes or regalia, and scene changes. Also read out on-screen text such as important captions that have not been spoken, and video credits.
-Please try to start the video excerpt playing and the audio recording at the same time if possible – could have someone assist if this is tricky.
-for recording if video is on YouTube: Either record your verbal description without the video audio in the background (listen to video with headphones) and name this file Video Name – description (for example: Musa Motha – description.mp3), OR, add the audio description directly to YouDescribe.
-for recording if video is on Vimeo: play the video excerpt on one device (e.g. computer) with video audio playing in the background, and on another device (e.g. smartphone) record audio of you verbally describing the video. Name this file with the Video Name – video description (for example: Musa Motha – video description.mp3). Or if tech-savvy, record and save as two audio tracks then also save a combined version.
-(Totally optional: If you’re feeling ambitious, you could choose to create an audio description for the whole video instead of just the excerpt. This is potentially more useful to the artist.)
Upload the file:
-Save the files as mp3 (or .m4a) audio files and upload it to the collaborative “Describing videos” online folder (or email it to Joanne).
Once audio descriptions for video excerpts are ready, it will be uploaded to a resource web page alongside video excerpt links. (We hope to also have a transcript of captioning from the January 25th event available afterwards, in case anyone would like to learn to create captions for uncaptioned videos, such as through the Amara website.)
Resources – examples of described dance:
From Kinetic Light’s website about the Audimance app they are developing: “What if your audio description experience offered you choices—different styles of description, soundscapes, poetry, prose? What if you could listen to dance as an aural artistic experience and not just someone’s description of the experience?”
All Bodies Dance Project- Translations Part 2 video has examples of various styles – tactile describing, narrating body movements, metaphor, story, layering of styles.
Bangarra Dance Theatre Education Resource (with Audio Description) – describer allows pauses and a sense of rhythm between describing, but please note that this description is very binary gendered – unless you know the specific pronouns that a dancer uses, please use gender-neutral pronouns such as they/ them/ their.
This note invites input about what styles of dance and live describing you are interested in.
First, we would like to introduce our group. The InterdepenDance Collective is passionate about collective access and growing connections among communities.
We are organizing inclusive dance workshops and events with live describing. Because describing dance is different than theatre audio description, it’s a learning curve for us. Below are three questions we want to ask local communities:
When attending dance performances, what styles of dance are you most interested in? (perhaps list 3 or 4 styles)
What approaches to dance describing do you think might appeal to you most as an audience member: metaphor, technical narration of physical actions, option of tactile describing, storytelling, soundscapes, layering different styles, all of the above?
As a participant in a dance workshop, what styles of dance description do you think you would be most interested in: metaphor, technical narration of physical actions, option of tactile describing, storytelling, soundscapes, all of the above?
The InterdepenDance Collective is excited to connect with more people interested in described dance. If you have any questions or would like to connect, contact Tiffany by email at email@example.com or Joanne by phone at 250-812-2501.
Optional online form
In case tabbing through an online form works for you, there is a form below. The form asks for your Name and Email, followed by text boxes for the three questions mentioned above. The form ends with a text box in case there is anything else you would like to mention. Then tab to the Submit button and press enter to send the form.
This event is to introduce the public to mixed-ability dance and dance from disability perspectives.
As well, the event is a chance for dancers who experience disability to come together and experience the work of colleagues in other cities.
Films and video will include work by artists such as Alice Sheppard, Danielle Peers, Geoff McMurchy, All Bodies Dance Project, and Embrace Arts. There will be video excerpts of dance artists based on six continents, with a focus on the West Coast of Turtle Island.
Please do not use any scented or fragranced products before coming to the event.
Feel free to bring a snack to share, with a list of ingredients (large print or size 18 font). Please avoid bringing common allergens (i.e. No nuts, peanuts, shellfish, wheat, gluten, milk/cow dairy). Thank-you!
Accessible washrooms for all genders are available next door at the Victoria Disability Resource Centre.
The Flux Media Gallery entrance is level off of Fort Street. The door is not automatic, so there will be a volunteer near the door available to open it.
Please request interpreting, captioning and describing by January 20th:
-A sign language interpreter is available.
-Captioning and transcribing are confirmed.
-Audio description: Some of the videos have audio description available. There will be live describing for the remaining videos, by artists who are learning to describe dance. Audience members can choose which styles of live describing they would like (for example, narrating physical movements, metaphor, optional tactile describing, layering styles).
For other questions and access requests, contact Joanne or include it when you RSVP.
To watch the videos after the event:
In case joining in person does not work, a webpage will be available after the event with links to many of the videos shown at the event. The webpage with links will be shared on the integrated dance south island listserv. To join the listserv, connect by email.
The All Abilities Dance Group invites peers to join us:
Monday December 9th
at the Garth Homer Auditorium.
The group is creating a winter-themed dance to share Dec. 9th. The Nigel dance group will share a very brief dance as well.
After this there will be a dance party open to anyone who would like to join in!
Please send song requests and RSVP numbers to Joanne@creativemoment.im by December 6th.
If you arrive before 11:00am, feel free to find a spot in the audience. Please do not interrupt the group dancing (they have a rehearsal from 10:45-11:00am).
Please note that there might be photo and video documentation of the All Abilities Dance Group’s dance. If anyone in the audience does not want to accidentally be in video or photos, please sit towards the back or sides of the audience. Thank-you.
Who: The workshop is open to people of all abilities and all levels of experience with dance.
What: A full-day workshop with tools and ideas for creating mixed ability dances.
When: Friday February 14th, 2020, 10:30am-4:30pm. (A few participants will be leaving before the end.)
Where: Garth Homer Auditorium, 813 Darwin Avenue, in the homelands of the Xwsepsum and Lekwungen Peoples and Esquimalt and Songhees Nations.
Cost: Sliding scale from $0-$100 (pay what you can afford).
About All Bodies Dance Project: “Our work brings together artists with and without disabilities to explore the endless creative possibilities in difference. We seek to make opportunities for every body to discover dance and for artists with disabilities (and without) to access dance training. We want to widen the spectrum of who dances and what dance can be.”
Workshop topics include: ideas for choreographing difference and relationship, tools for collaborative composition, and tips on how to direct in integrated dance (even if you are rotating the role in a collective).
Optional performance: Workshop participants are invited to be part of a group sharing (informal performance) during the Integrated Dance Forum on Sunday February 16th at Gordon Head Recreation Centre at 11:30am.
Please note there will be photo and video documentation of the workshop. Video documentation will allow artists to build on ideas that emerge during the workshop, as well as use short excerpts when applying for grants, promoting dance, and fundraising online. Group photos will be used online and in print when inviting people to future dance opportunities.
Scent-reduced space: Please do not use any scented products on the day of the workshop. This request is for the safety and well-being of dancers who are harmed by chemicals and fragranced products.
The workshop is almost full. The remaining spots prioritize equity-seeking groups: people who self-identify as experiencing barriers in dance, are invited to register. (For example, Indigenous peoples, people of colour, Deaf and hard of hearing people, people who are Blind or partially sighted, Self-Advocates, people who use mobility tools, people with lived experience of disability, chronic illness, mental health considerations and/or neurodivergence, and two spirit, non-binary and trans people).
Please bring the fee (sliding scale $0-$100) with you on February 14th: payment can be by cash or by cheque made out to Made in BC – Dance on Tour (Memo: Feb. 14 Victoria). If you prefer to pay online by credit card, please note this on your registration form.
All participants can opt in to having a buddy for the day. The buddy system is about collective access, mutual support and shared belonging.
Being a buddy involves checking in with another dancer and doing your best to support each other’s access needs in the ways each person requests support. A few examples of buddies: a dancer who is a nonvisual learner and a dancer who is a sighted learner might decide to stay near each other; a sitting dancer and a standing dancer might collaborate; and two dancers with chronic health conditions who know the same language might check in with each other during breaks about how they’re doing.
Please sign up to be a buddy on the registration form and feel free to note your communication and learning styles. Buddies will be matched based on compatible ways of learning and interacting; local dancers have numerous ways of communicating. Buddies will have the option of joining an accessibility orientation session Sunday February 9th (3:00pm-4:30pm at Gordon Head Recreation Centre’s Feltham Room).
The idea for a buddy system of interdependent dancers is inspired by: local dance groups, Sins Invalid’s Disability Justice principles, Carmen Papalia’s work on Open Access, the L’Arche Spirit Movers’ pairing of dancers, and Mia Mingus’ writing on Access Intimacy. This is the first time the InterdepenDance Collective is organizing a buddy system. We invite feedback on it before, during and after the workshop – feel free to be in touch.
Access requests: On the registration form there is space to note access needs. If you have questions, feedback or suggestions, feel free to contact Joanne.
Relaxed environment: The workshop is a relaxed, “chill” environment, where everyone can choose how to engage. Feel free to attend to your needs as they come up. If requested in advance, an introvert area and a multi-sensory area can be set up, as curtained off areas to a side of the room. If you will have an attendant or support person with you, they are encouraged to participate in the workshop.
Describing: Describing is available if requested by February 9th. The describing team invites input on what styles of describing are preferred (such as spoken narration of physical movements, option of tactile describing, metaphor). Describing will be by dancers who are learning to describe.
Interpreting: Sign Language Interpreters are available (Katt and Emily) if requested by February 9th.
Captioning/ transcribing: Captioning is available if requested by February 9th. It will be remote transcribing because local transcribers are not available. There will be a few phone-arm-bands available and WIFI, allowing for mobile captioning as you move if you bring a smartphone.
Entrance: The venue is wheelchair accessible. The auditorium can be accessed through the main entrance off of Darwin Avenue (which has automatic doors), or by elevator from the lower level entrance (door has a push button) off Nigel Avenue. There are handydart drop-off areas off Darwin Avenue and on Nigel Avenue.
Parking: The larger parking area is off of Nigel Avenue. If you require a parking spot very close to the entrance, please note this on the registration form and we will ask the facility to reserve a spot for you in the upper parking lot off Darwin Avenue.
Washrooms: There are accessible washrooms for all genders. On the same level as the auditorium, there are accessible stalls in gendered (women’s and men’s) washrooms. On the lower level, near the elevator, there is a gender-neutral accessible washroom equipped with a lift.
Pronouns: There is an option to mention what gender pronouns you use (if any) on the registration form, on your name-tag at the workshop, and in introductions at the start of the day. People have diverse gender identities. Participants are asked not to assume which pronouns anyone goes by.
Chairs: There are chairs available. If you require a chair with arm-rests or another type of seating, please note this on the registration form and we will do our best to have it available.
Lighting: The auditorium has a very high ceiling with fluorescent lighting, and natural light from the side. If brighter lighting is not needed for people who speech-read, then some of the fluorescent lighting can be turned off if this would increase access.
Service animal relief area: Outside the main entrance, there is a grass area beside the parking lot.
Scent-reduced space: The registration form asks participants to commit to avoid using scented products February 14th before and during the event. Please be in touch to request a process for problem-solving if an issue with fragrances comes up at the workshop. The venue has a “go scent free” sticker on the main entrance. Sometimes there are baking or cooking smells from the kitchen.
Childcare/ familycare: Childcare and familycare is available if there is a need (February 14th is a Pro-D day). Please request childcare/ familycare by February 9th. As well, your children and family members are welcome to join you at the workshop or hang out at the side of the dance space.
Bus routes: -The bus routes that go nearest are the #26 (Saanich at Darwin bus stop is 0.5km away), and the northbound #16, 70, 72, 75 (Vernon at Ravine – Saanich Municipal Hall bus stop is 0.3km away).
-Feel free to be in touch if you would like an access buddy to meet you at the bus stop.
-The driveway from the Darwin Avenue sidewalk slopes down.
-If you are coming from Vernon Avenue, please note there is a steep driveway down from Vernon Avenue onto Nigel Avenue with no sidewalk. An option for avoiding steeper driveways: Around 700 Vernon Avenue, there is a parking lot driveway next to Saanich Community Recreation Services, which connects to the right with the Lochside Trail: turn right on the Lochside Trail and then left on a path that goes to Nigel Avenue, stay left, go past an apartment building and then the Garth Homer building’s lower entrance is on your left.
-Further away over on the far side of Uptown are buses #30, 31 and 50 (Carey at Ravine – Uptown bus stop is 0.6km away). From Carey there is a ramp down to the Galloping Goose Trail, which curves right underneath Carey Road and becomes the Lochside Trail; after going through a big tunnel and under another overpass there is a path to the right to Nigel Avenue.
Bicycle routes: The venue is very close to the Lochside Trail, and a little ways from the Galloping Goose Trail Switch Bridge. There are covered bike racks: off Nigel Avenue next to the driveway, and to the right of the main entrance off Darwin Avenue.
Options for the lunch break: There are tables and chairs in the auditorium if you bring your own lunch. There is a grocery store a few blocks away, and Uptown Mall is about five long blocks away. If you would like fresh air, the paved Lochside Trail, a couple of benches and Swan Lake are nearby.
We acknowledge the support of the Canada Council for the Arts.
This workshop is supported by Made in BC-Dance on Tour’s Community Engagement program, Garth Homer Society, MediaNet, Victoria Disability Resource Centre, and the Canadian Alliance of Dance Artists/West Chapter.
The event is organized by the InterdepenDance Collective in collaboration with All Bodies Dance Project, Creative Momentum, and Embrace Arts.
This event is open to anyone involved in dance who would like to attend (such as community dancers, dance artists, dance facilitators/ teachers, and family members). It has been organized by a few members of the islands network for collaborative dance.
Thank-you to Made in BC – Dance on Tour’s community engagement program for supporting this event, which is part of a dance project that is also supported by the CRD Arts & Culture Support Service and the Victoria Disability Resource Centre.
Bringing a water bottle is encouraged.
Buses number 8, 9, 11, 14 and 26 go to the area.
We apologize that there has not been more advance notice for this event, and look forward to seeing those who can attend.
You are invited to brainstorm about integrated dance! What types of all abilities dance initiatives would you like to be part of locally over the coming year/s?
Dance Visioning: Wednesday June 26th. Two time options(choose one): 11:00am-12:30pm, or 1:30pm-2:30pm.
At the Victoria Disability Resource Centre’s boardroom, at 817A Fort Street, in the homelands of the Lekwungen peoples.
ASL Interpretation is available for the 11:00am-12:30pm session.
The morning session will be co-hosted by Amber (Dancer & Artist) and Joanne (Creative Momentum), and the afternoon session will be co-hosted by Tiffany (Embrace Arts) and Joanne.
The visioning will help shape local dance opportunities for this Fall and over the coming years.
This gathering is a follow-up to last year’s Mixed-Abilities Dance Group, in collaboration with the Victoria Disability Resource Centre. This event is made possible with support from CRD Arts & Culture Support Service and Made in BC – Dance on Tour’s community engagement program.
A head’s up about an opportunity to dance this Fall: There will be integrated dance collaborative sessions on one Wednesday per month. For more information see the Integrated Dance Collective page.