International Dance Day 2019

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Alberta’s Official Message

The complete text of Sasha Ivanochko’s Official Message for International Dance Day 2019

Dance can be about, for and speak to many, many things. Underlying all the various purposes we attach to dancing, it is first an expression of our individual bodily form. Our bodies express what is in them; our history, our culture, our pedagogy, our scar tissue, our joy, our anatomical limits, our dreams, our strengths. As each of our bodies is unique and special, so is each expression. Even when moving in the most unison gesture, multiplicity is present. This is important.

When we share our dancing, we create multiple channels through which multiple discourses are uttered. It is not so important that we are entertained by dancing, but that we acknowledge it as a direct and valid form of communication. This is important.

Because dance is inherently multiple, receiving dance requires us to attend to and make space for what we love, but also what we do not understand. This is very important.

To hold this in our awareness is to think in revolutionary terms.
This is important.

This is a day to celebrate dance, but also each other, through dance.
Dance is life. This is most important.

Sasha Ivanochko | Alberta’s IDD Message
Artistic Director, Dancers’ Studio West, Calgary, AB

A great many thanks to Sasha Ivanochko for her thoughtful and inspiring words about dance, providing the Official IDD Message from Alberta for this year’s International Dance Day on April 29th!


Sasha Ivanochko is a choreographer, educator and the Artistic Director of Ivanochko et cie. In August 2018, she became the AD of Dancers’ Studio West, an organization dedicated to the evolution of contemporary dance practices in Alberta.
Sasha first developed her powerful physicality competing for ten years on the Canadian National Gymnastics Team. At the age of 14 she began training in Ballet and Modern dance at the Etobicoke School for the Performing Arts, and in 1991 she graduated from the School of Toronto Dance Theatre. She has an MFA Interdisciplinary Studies from Simon Fraser University.
A virtuosic and multi-talented interpreter, she performed in the works of many outstanding choreographers, including Michael Trent, Peter Chin, Susie Burpee & Linnea Swan, Toru Shimazaki, Denise Fujiwara, DA Hoskins, Peggy Baker, James Kudelka, Tedd Robinson, Citadel & Compagnie and for nine seasons with Toronto Dance Theatre. During her final two years with TDT, Ivanochko was the Artistic Assistant to Director Christopher House.
Sasha made her choreographic debut in 1997, and since then has created a body of work renowned for its dramatic physicality, unflinchingly candid performances and detailed craftsmanship. Alongside her choreographies for Ivanochko et cie, she has been commissioned by Toronto Dance Theatre, Via Salzberg, Winnipeg’s Contemporary Dancers, TILT sound+motion, Toronto’s Crazyfish Collective, multiple Canadian dance conservatories and universities, and independent artists Helen Husak (Calgary) and Naoko Murakoshi (Kobe, Japan).
An educator since 1996, Miss Ivanochko has developed a training methodology that is specific to the demands of her choreography. The class supports participants developing a kinetic and interpretive understanding of her movement vocabulary, but as well encourages a broader range of skills that has applications towards many performance avenues. Sasha has guest taught internationally, was the Artist in Residence at The University of Calgary in 2014 and 2018, and is a regular guest artist at École de danse contemporaine de Montréal and The School of Toronto Dance Theatre. She currently teaches at The School of Alberta Ballet.
Sasha’s creative output extends into the worlds of other artists. She works as an outside eye for peers and provides creative facilitation and mentorship for young dance artists. A passionate advocate for the health and status of artists and the position of the milieu in greater culture, Sasha served as Chair of the Canadian Alliance of Dance Artists, Ontario Chapter, from 2006-2009 and Chair of the Independent Standing Council with the Canadian Dance Assembly from 2009-2011.
Throughout her career, Sasha’s artistic contribution to the Canadian dance milieu has been acknowledged through a variety of awards and bursaries. She is a five time Dora Mavor Moore nominee for Outstanding Performance and Best Choreography, the recipient of the 2007 K.M. Hunter Award, a two-time recipient of the Chalmers Family Fellowship, and the first recipient of The Kathryn Ash Award dispersed by the School of Toronto Dance Theatre. In 2006, Sasha was profiled in the Bravo Channel Documentary Freedom Series. Her MFA research was awarded the Joseph Armand Bombardier Canada Graduate-Masters Award.

Workshop with international Indigenous dance artist, Maura Garcia Dance

April 28 @ 4:00 pm – 6:00 pm

Wild Mint Arts are pleased to present a workshop with international Indigenous dance artist, Maura Garcia Dance.

Ages: 12+
Cost: Sliding scale $5-$20, cash or email money transfer. Youth 12 to 18 are free. No one turned away due to lack of funds.

Drop-in and pre-registration accepted.

Please email for more information/confirmation of attendance.

About Dancing Stories Workshops:
These workshops allow people to move, learn and have fun while exploring the oral tradition through dance. Students interpret stories through self-created choreography and group dance collaboration.

About Maura Garcia Dance:
Maura Garcia Dance offers performances featuring choreographic works of Artistic Director Maura García and collaborating artists. García (non-enrolled Cherokee/Mattamuskeet) founded MGD to uplift Indigenous cultural values, to form connections and to explore the rhythms of the natural world. From compelling solos to community-integrating ensemble shows, MGD provides deeply engaging performances for the stage, the out-of-doors and in response to specific places and events.

García is dedicated to collaborating within communities to create stories of identity and place. Accordingly, MGD facilitates long-term collaborative arts projects exploring narratives and history through dance and other art forms. MGD also provides workshops, residencies and artists talks for both adults and children.

About Wild Mint Arts:
Wild Mint Arts is Calgary’s newest Indigenous performing arts company. We are dedicated to sharing Indigenous performing arts performances and educational opportunities from around the world.

MZD: Dance Blitz

April 29 @ 8:00 pm – 11:00 pm

Final MZD Dance Salon, Dance Blitz, celebrates International Dance Day with 20 artists.

What does Black Sabbath have to do with plastic surgery? This International Dance Day, 20 local and national artists will explore various themes such as this one via short three-minute works at Mile Zero Dance’s (MZD) Dance Blitz, as part of MZD’s Dance Salon.

“For International Dance Day, we wanted to zoom in on the city’s broad dance community,” says Gerry Morita, Artistic Director of Mile Zero Dance. “We wanted to connect the city’s dancers together under one roof to promote dance and showcase the amazing talent we have right here.”

Hosted by Rapid Fire Theatre’s Sydney Campbell, the interdisciplinary dance salon will feature works three minutes or less including: Sean Freya Giroux with a movement-based dance on plastic surgery; Jen Mesch with a solo response to a recorded rant regarding a warm front during a Saskatchewan winter; emerging Calgary-artist Amy Badry with a contemporary and street style piece—combining vogue, lite feet, and hip-hop dance styles—in a new work called “When Life Gives You Lemons”; Su Lin Tseng with a contemporary Chinese dance that examines the internal struggle of womanhood; and more.

Featuring: Afternoon, Amy Badry, Gerry Morita, Iskotew Iskewak, Jen Mesch, Jordan Sabo, Kat Smy, Kate Stashko, Lesley Kosinski, Leslie Bellydance, Leslie Holmes, Lin Snelling, Naren Ganesan, Raena Wadell, Sangea, Sean Freya Giroux, Shaktiflow Studio, Su Lin Tseng, and Zach Polis.

Tickets are $15 for members and $20 for non-members. Tickets are available online at or at the door. For more information, visit:

About Mile Zero Dance
Mile Zero Dance Society is an Edmonton-based contemporary dance company that creates and produces original dynamic interdisciplinary works focusing on performance, collaboration, community outreach, and training.

Sangharsh – The Conflict Within

April 26 @ 7:30 pm10:00 pm

Natyam Dance Academy cordially invites you to an evening of south-Asian dance and music.

Evening features presentations by local talents and a dance theatre presentation ‘Sangharsh – The conflict within’ featuring our guest dancer Karthik Datar from Bangalore, India and a with live music ensemble.

‘Sangharsh’ –  constant conflict within every being explored through the characters of Mahabharatha.

Music: Dr. Deepak Paramashivan

Choreography and dancers: Malavika Venkatsubbaiah and Karthik Datar

Tix Adult $15/ under 12 – $10.


International Dance Day Workshops – Fundraiser

April 27 @ 10:00 am5:30 pm

Hello Orchesis Members and the Dance Community at Large!

We are hosting our annual
International Dance Day Workshops – Fundraiser
April 27, 2019

Hosted by – Orchesis Dance Performance Group Supported by – Orchesis Dance Society Location: University of Alberta VVC 2-635 Dorothy Harris Dance Studio.

The schedule is:
10 – 11 am Garuda – Raena Waddell
11:15 – 12:15 Ballet – Emily Noton
12:30 – 1:30 Contemp/Jazz – Emily Noton
1:30 – 2:00 Lunch Break
2:00 – 3:00 Contemp/Modern – Tamara Bliss
3:15 0 4:15 Indian Folk – Riya Mittal
4:30 – 5:30 Yoga – Lyndsey Daniels

Adults/University students: $15/class,$60/day, 35/half day (AM or PM session)
High school students: (*must show ID)
$10/class, $45/day, $25/half day

For registration:
Contact Orchesis Director – Kathy Metzger-Corriveau at

For payment:
ODS website –
Paypal, etransfer —>
Drop-in: at the DOOR

If you have an upcoming event for International Dance Day 2019, be sure to let us know!

Photo: Marc J. Chalifoux photographyScarlett von Bomb performing during Feats of Burlesque at the ADA’s 2018 Feats Festival of Dance in Edmonton, AB.