Meet the Artists!


November 19, 2016 

Kathleen Doherty is a dancer, choreographer, improviser and teacher based in Halifax, Nova Scotia. She attended Decidedly Jazz Danceworks’ Professional Training Program in Calgary from 2009-2011. Upon returning to Halifax in 2012, Kathleen co-founded Votive Dance, and has worked as Artistic Director since its inception. Kathleen is a founder and co-director of VERGE, a music and dance ensemble. She has worked with Mocean Dance as a dancer, emerging choreographer, and mentee. Kathleen is Administrative Director with Kinetic Studio and General Manager for suddenlyLISTEN Music. She is the primary jazz instructor with The Maritime Conservatory in Halifax. Recently, Kathleen’s choreography has been presented by: The Alberta Dance Festival, TD Halifax Jazz Festival, suddenlyLISTEN Music, Votive Dance, Kinetic Studio, and Connection Dance Works. Kathleen is excited to be heading to Ireland in June 2017 for a residency at The Tyrone Guthrie Centre.


Jalianne Li is a dancer, choreographer and actor from Moncton, NB. She trained in dance as a  teenager at DancEast in Moncton, studied science at Dalhousie University in Halifax, went on to study contemporary dance at Trinity Laban in London, UK, and apprenticed with Springs Dance Company. Jalianne is driven to experiment with movement, which led her to create surFace Dance, a dance company dedicated to exploring the movements of the face and how they can relate to and affect the body. Through surFace Dance, she has collaborated with composer Tommaso Perego on the spatial audio piece Stranded, which also featured The Game of Life Foundation’s Wave Field Synthesis sound system. They are also continuing to develop the piece In The Beginning…, excerpts from which have been shown at Resolution!2013, Perspective, and the Open Studio Series. Jalianne has performed with Theatre New Brunswick in Returning Fire, on stilts with Circus Stella in The Robes of St. Anne, and will be performing with Satellite Theatre in Golem in April 2017. She has danced in pieces by Peggy Baker, Natalie Morin, Patricia Allison, Jay Ruby, Sylvia Kasparian and Hakeem Onibudo. Jalianne has been supported by artsnb, has been Artist-in-residence at several Moncton schools and is a member of the Acadian Association of Professional Artists of New Brunswick.


Connection Dance Works is a non-profit professional contemporary dance company located in Saint John, New Brunswick.  The company provides opportunities for artists to share knowledge and learn from each another through the PERSPECTIVE series and the annual Saint John Contemporary Dance Festival.  CDW creates new work, collaborates with multi-disciplinary artists, and presents dance on regular basis.

he company was awarded The Originals Saint John Award for Performing Arts (Dance) in 2014, performed at Contact East in Charlottetown (2015), and was invited to the Atlantic Ballet Theatre of Canada’s inaugural IMPACT series(2016).  In September, Connection Dance Works was part of a creative residency at the Imperial Theatre, working with choreographer Darryl Tracy and the creative team Chris Giles and Michelle Ramsay on a new work entitled “With Far Arms”.  In the April of 2017, CDW will collaborate with Open Arts and guest facilitator Lesandra Dodson for PERSPECTIVE: New Music and Dance. 


Courtney Arsenault Courtney made the move to Toronto, Ontario after high school and graduated from the Commercial Dance Program at George Brown College in 2012. Heavily involved with competitive dance and community theatre from a young age, she has been exposed to artistic and creative expression as long as she can remember and has been recognized by numerous dance competitions around the province for her work. She is currently a dance instructor for KidSing Performance School, Artemis Studio, Bonnie Kilburn Dance and choreographer for the KV Players and St. Thomas Musical production of Chicago. Her work has been featured in productions, including Evita, Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dream Coat, Shrek and The Addams Family. Courtney has appeared as a guest instructor/performer for notable events including: Saint John Contemporary Dance Festival, PERSPECTIVE, Saint John Golden Gala and the New Brunswick Drama Festival.


Originally from Saint John, Sarah Power trained in the dance program at Ryerson University, working for 10 years professionally as an independent dance artist and teacher in Toronto before returning to New Brunswick in 2007. As a choreographer, Sarah has collaborated with musicians, dancers, film-makers and visual artists. She has received grants for Professional Development and Creation projects through artsnb, including a recent project with The Saint John String Quartet, mentored by Lesandra Dodson. Sarah is a co-founder of Connection Dance Works. Sarah has taught extensively in ballet, modern and jazz in New Brunswick, Nova Scotia and Ontario. She continues to develop her progressive philosophy to teaching as the director of dance at InterAction School of Performing Arts. This philosophy combines an emphasis on imaginative and creative movement with established formal techniques. As well, she is a member of the Premier’s Task force for Status of the Artist, and has juried for the New Brunswick Arts board and Arts Nova Scotia. Sarah also teaches Yoga at The Yoga Co-op, a collective of yoga instructors in its fourth year of operation.


With Far Arms

Creative team

Darryl Tracy - Choreographer 

Darryl is a Toronto-based independent dance artist (choreographer, interpreter, teacher and producer). He is a senior faculty member at the School of Toronto Dance Theatre.  As a dancer has created many roles by most of Canada's leading choreographers; Peggy Baker, Darcey Callison, Marie-Josee Chartier, Lesandra Dodson, Michael DuMaresq,  Jenn Goodwin, Patti Powell, Julia Sasso, Michelle Silagy, Holly Small, Heidi Strauss, Michael Trent, and Gerry Trentham.  Tracy and Heidi Strauss were co-artistic directors of four chambers Dance Projects from 1998-2006 and he was part of the company Sylvain Émard Danse in Montreal for over 4 years dancing and touring in Émard's Temps de chien. He has created over 24 of his own works through commissions and self-produced productions. Most recently, he has choreographed for Connection Dance Works (NB), L’Ecole de Danse Contemporain du Montreal, The School of Toronto Dance Theatre, Tanya Crowder, Park Avenue Dance Company (New York),  and L'Espace du Mouvement (Montreal). Darryl’s new work “another way of telling you” (a dance installation) was performed at The Canadian Lesbian and Gay Archives as a part of Buddies and Bad Times Rhubarb Festivalin February 2015. His work "How hard does the Earth hit you?" created on The School of Contemporary Dancers was performed at New Dance Horizons festival and the Canada Dance Festival in June 2016. Darryl is a Board Member of adelheid dance projects and also works part-time as a neuro-based rehabilitation physiotherapist with Physio-Logic Neuro Rehab and Toronto Rehab Institute-Lyndhurst Center.

Chris Giles - Projection Designer

Chris is a New Brunswick based artist, filmmaker and musician who graduated from the New Brunswick College of Craft and Design in 1998. From 1999 to 2008 he worked on making installations based from photographic concepts at various galleries around. Chris has contributed to experimental music in Fredericton since 1997, performing with notable musicians, artist groups and dancers. Chris was a founding member and lead guitarist for the band “Lilac Affair” and a constant contributor to the experimental music group “Furnace Hour”.  He has received two emerging artist grants and two creation grants from artsnb. He is a member of the NB Filmmaker's Co-operative and has worked on countless films throughout the province. Chris’s personal film productions include the shorts, “Illusions of a Thirsty Mind”, “Cliffe Street”, “Birth of a Nicola” and “Venus in Flames”. Chris has collaborated with various dancers to create video and sound. Choreographer Lesandra Dodson and dancer Suzanne Chui worked with Chris to create the performance piece “Her Blameless Mystery” in 2010. Chris’s first collaboration with the perspective dance performance series was in 2013 with choreographer Meagan O’Shea and dancers Joanna Bryson and Marcia Dysart. In 2015 Chris created and performed with dancers Stephanie Grace and Sarah Power for the piece “Sahara”. This piece was also performed outside for the Third Shift contemporary Art event. Chris is currently in production on a documentary for a series on Greville Tapes.

Michelle Ramsay - Lighting Designer


Michelle is an award-winning lighting designer who works with dance, theatre and opera companies across Canada. She has designed for: Theatre New Brunswick, Opera Atelier, Aluna Theatre, The Grand Theatre in London, Modern Times, Foo Productions, New Harlem, Shaw Festival, Cahoots Theatre Company, Blue Ceiling Dance, fu-GEN, The Theatre Centre, Thousand Islands Playhouse, Human Cargo, bcurrent, Factory Theatre, Theatre Rusticle, National Arts Centre, Buddies in Bad Times Theatre, Native Earth Performing Arts, Mirvish Productions, Theatre Passe Muraille and Tarragon Theatre. She has received five Dora Mavor Moore Awards, a SATAward and in 2008 she received the Pauline McGibbon Award.

© 2019 Connection Dance Works Inc.

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