ABOUT US
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ABOUT US

VISION

Under the Artistic Direction of Sasha Ivanochko, we explore the body and the questions of our time that impact and inform it. We are committed to supporting the diversity of contemporary dance practices in the province of Alberta, with programming designed to increase artist’s capacity to learn new skills, research, experiment, innovate, create, and to develop their career. We are community driven, and we strive to be accessible and to remain responsive to the ongoing developments in the field of dance.

HISTORY

Dancers’ Studio West was established in 1980, by Artistic Director Elaine Bowman and Director General Peter Hoff to create a dance community in Calgary. Bowman taught extensively and established a festival of Alberta choreography known as Alberta Dance Explosions and a Young Artist in Residence Program to teach emerging choreographers about technical stagecraft. They both were instrumental to the development of contemporary dance in Calgary, as well as being founding members of the CanDance Network of dance presenters. Contemporary dance in Calgary is indebted to their vision (1980 – 2000), as well as to the dedication and hard work of Artistic Director Michèle Moss and Executive Director Damon Johnston (2000 – 2005), Programmer Bobby Todd (2005 – 2006) and Artistic Director Brian Hansen (2007 – 2008) who through tremendous effort, nurtured and sustained Dancers’ Studio West and its celebrated programming.

 

Dancers’ Studio West served as a presenter for Calgary audiences for over 25 years. It brought in national shows, connected Calgary to the national community, and encouraged local dance artists to create new work. It was the only contemporary dance presenter in Calgary for many years and one of a very few in Alberta.

 

In 2008, Davida Monk accepted the position of Artistic Director. During her initial years, it could be seen that the dance scene in Alberta was diversifying and expanding, with

other companies and presenters emerging across the province. As one outcome, Dancers’ Studio West decided to stop being a presenter and re-focus its energies and resources to offer a unique, holistic and diverse range of artist development opportunities. In the years between 2012 and 2018, Monk established many professional development, apprenticeship, and choreographic residency programs which exemplified the organization’s central purpose to encourage a deep investment from participating artists.

 

In August of 2018, Sasha Ivanochko took over the role of Artistic Director and has concentrated the organization’s commitment to supporting artists in developing their craft and careers. Ivanochko brings with her an insatiable curiosity, a rigorous intellect, and an expansive vision of contemporaneity. One of her main goals is to extend the reach of our programming to uplift our beautiful Alberta dance community as a whole. Our programming offers opportunities for artists to develop technical competency, the theoretical aspects of art making, and new works. As a support service organization, we strive to provide an environment suitable for risk-taking, exchange and reflection.

 

In April of 2019, we made our home-base/work-base at cSPACE King Edward. As an arts hub and space for innovation, we feel deeply aligned with its values of collaboration, change, creativity and community.

TEAM

BOARD OF DIRECTORS

FUNDERS AND DONORS

We are only able to do what we do with the support and generosity of a great many people. We want to acknowledge our funders and donors for their belief in us:

Megan Ballard
J. Dudelzak
Anne Flynn
Diane Lee
Jenna Lewycky
Marinna McDougall
Suzanne Mott
Robin Tufts
Transcend Management Advisors
Sasha Ivanochko