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Sasha French is a multi-disciplinary American artist, working in movement and visual arts. She favours wildly expressive lines and oversaturated colours. After her BFA in dance at the University of Florida, Sasha spent the last 12 years creating physically demanding work layered with cultural, historical, and personal narratives. Her work has been hailed as “gratifying to watch” and has been showcased in Florida, New York, Virginia, Wisconsin, and Canada.
Originally from Saint John, Sarah has been working as a professional independent dance artist and teacher since graduating from Ryerson University in 2001. She is a founding member and current Artistic Director of Connection Dance Works – now in its tenth year of operation. Her career has included collaborations with musicians, dancers, filmmakers and visual artists.
Marcia Dysart is a dancer, choreographer, collaborator and dance educator based in Saint John, NB. She shares her passion for creation working collaboratively alongside musicians, visual artists, filmmakers and dancers. Interested in the stories of strong women, Marcia’s process involves abstracting literal ideas while still keeping the authenticity of the character.
Moncton-based Jalianne Li studied contemporary dance at Laban in London, UK. She is the choreographer for surFace Dance and will be premiering “The Vow” in 2021. She has most recently performed with Connection Dance Works in “Subject Is Too Dark”, Satellite Theatre in “The Limits of Possible Noise” and in ‘’Golem’’, and with Danse En L’Air in “Femmes”.
Growing up with Middle Eastern influence gave Nawal a much different experience than her peers. Her father’s culture brought her to study Bellydance with the Salimpour School in Berkeley, California, the highest levels of training in the Bellydance world. She has owned and operated a Studio dedicated to Yoga and Bellydance in Atlantic Canada since 2009 and is respected as an ambassador of Egyptian arts through her work in Islamic mystic arts of Tannoura (whirling) and Zarr.
Courtney is a Fredericton-based dancer, instructor, and choreographer. She completed training in the Commercial Dance program at George Brown College. Courtney has been heavily involved with competitive dance and community theatre for over ten years and continues to seek opportunities to grow as a creative thinker. Courtney is currently a member of the coop CORPS, a training platform for artists to develop and perform original works of physical theatre.
Kate Henderson is an emerging artist from Rothesay, New Brunswick. She is 19 years old and is very excited to be working with the Saint John Contemporary Dance Festival for a second time as an emerging artist. Attending and working for KidSing Performance School, Kate has found her passion in the contemporary dance world and is very excited to share her work in this virtual festival.
Born and raised in Rothesay, New Brunswick, Brigitte trained in ballet, jazz, modern, contemporary, hip hop and musical theatre. As a competitive dancer and choreographer, she has been recognized with many prestigious awards and scholarships. Brigitte has been fortunate enough to travel throughout the Maritimes competing and performing. These opportunities have given her the privilege of training with some of Canada’s finest teachers and choreographers.
Dustyn Forbes is a Fredericton-based emerging artist, originally from Saint John, New Brunswick. He is currently obtaining his Diploma in Theatrical Performance at the Canadian College of Performing Arts in Vancouver, BC. Previously, Dustyn has worked with Solo Chicken Productions, The Atlantic Ballet of Canada, and other local contemporary Theatre Companies. This is Dustyn’s third time presenting with Connection Dance Works and he is so excited to be sharing art in such difficult times.
Rothesay Ballet School began operation in 1975 and has been affiliated with the Royal Academy of Dance since its establishment. Rothesay Ballet School has been a most successful training ground for aspiring students and many students have gone on to careers in the international dance community. Touch was created during the quarantine. It is the result of a student choreographic project led by Marcia Dysart.
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