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September 22nd - 26th 2014

@ Studio 303

This week aims at facilitating dialogue between Montreal based movement educators.  Monday to Friday we have invited five teachers representative of differing approaches to share a class with forum participants. Our invitees this year include Sarah Hanley, Kelly Keenan, Mariko Tanabe, Lin Snelling and Katie Ward. In order to facilitate a focussed study, each practice will use an anatomical through-line of core management as a launching point.  Each session will be followed by tea and a Q&A where educators can engage in conversation, and elaborate upon the theoretical foundations of each approach. 


Kelly Keenan is a montreal based dance artist and teacher.  She is a certified teacher of the Axis Syllabus which she has been teaching since 2006.  Kelly teaches technique at Concordia University's Dance Department and frequently leads professional level workshops in Montreal, further abroad in Canada and internationally.  Kelly is a co-organizer of the North American Nomadic College and is a facilitator of the Axis Syllabus Teachers Laboratory.

The Axis Syllabus is a vast resource pool primarily concerned with research informing a healthy and updated experiential movement practice.  Originated by Frey Faust, the Axis Syllabus is now sustained by a community of contributors committed to diligent practice and dialogue.

Through the lens of the Axis Syllabus, this two hour class will elaborate on the collaborative 3 dimensional articulation of the spine and the supportive and elastic nature of the core muscles while dancing through space.


KATIE WARD lives in Montreal and works in the field of choreography and movement education.  Her work is currently driven by her curiosity around how we perceive various worldly phenomena and how we can test these perceptions through speculative sophisticated and naïve surveying techniques. This method applies to her choreography as well as to her movement teaching. Katie teaches Pilates and the Franklin Method to a variety of students throughout Montreal.

By working from the idea that our brains are plastic - able to transform - the Franklin Method uses mental imagery to improve the body’s function. It can be applied to improve any physical practice. The Franklin Method teaches dynamic alignment and how to move your body with maximum efficiency.

Katie will teach two workshops: 1) pelvic power and 2) imagery for a healthy and youthful spine.  This two hour class will introduce Franklin method imagery.


SARA HANLEY is a Montreal based dancer, artist and educator. Her studies in visual art education lead her to investigate the relationship between art and community. In recent years she lead creation projects with youth at risk and the visually impaired. As a dancer, she has worked with choreographers Deborah Dunn, Maria Kefirova, Sarah Bild, Dominique Porte, Jean Pierre Perrault among others.  Sara has been teaching technique and repertoire at Concordia University ‘s and l’UQAM’s dance program since 2009. She also teaches to professional dancers in the context of morning classes and workshops (RQD, Transformation Danse).

A variety of approaches informs her dance practice (Alexander, Release, Kung Fu, Flying low etc.) in order to gain movement efficiency and clarity and to stimulate the flow of energy through the body. Special attention is given to how principles are applied allowing new possibilities in the quality and the mechanics of the movement.


The class has a two-fold structure. First, through improvisational form, attention is directed towards anatomical landmarks, skeletal mobility and primary movement patterns in the body. Secondly, movement phrases allow practicing and refining skills, presence, kinetic and energetic qualities.



MARIKO TANABE is inspired by the healing powers of human movement and expression.  She teaches workshops to dance companies and at universities, art centers and schools throughout the world including FAMU - National Film Institute (Prague), UQAM, Centre Chorégraphic Circuit Est, Toronto Dance Theatre, Jean Sebastien Lourdais/Fabrication Danse, Benoit Lachambre/Co. Par.B.L.Eux, Montreal Danse, and Steptext dance project (Germany). She mentors artists and maintains a private practice working with individuals from all backgrounds. She is a Certified Teacher and Practitioner of Body-Mind Centering®, as well as an Infant Developmental Movement Educator and Yoga teacher. Currently based in Montreal, Mariko has been performing and presenting her choreographic works during the past 25 years in Asia, Europe, and North America. For 12 years she worked with American dance master Erick Hawkins in NYC as a principal dancer, teacher and rehearsal director. She is an I.S.M.E.T.A Registered Somatic Therapist and Educator.


Body-Mind Centering (BMC®) is an integrated and embodied approach to movement, the body and consciousness. Developed by Bonnie Bainbridge Cohen, it is an experiential study based on the embodiment and application of anatomical, physiological, psychophysical and developmental principles, utilizing movement, touch, voice and mind. The study of BMC is a creative process in which embodiment of the material is explored in the context of self-discovery. The underlying goal is to discover the ease that underlies transformation.

From a Body-Mind Centering® perspective, Mariko will introduce an exploration of the early stages of the embryological development of the axis and core which form the templates of our adult embodiment. Workshop will be taught in english and french as needed.


LIN SNELLING’s performance, writing and teaching is based in the practice of improvisation. For over 25 years she has performed with choreographers and directors in large-scale works, created choreography, and taught from a base that assumes as written by Tim Ingold in Creativity and Cultural Improvisation “there is no script for social and cultural life. People have to work it out as they go along. In a word, they have to improvise.”  She has toured the world extensively as a performer with the Quebecois dance/theatre company Carbone 14  and worked with many improvisation ensembles including ReDirect, Chalk, 9-5 at the Belgo, IMF, Danse en Galerie and Ensemble Project.  She is presently teaching dance and improvisation in the Drama Faculty at the University of Alberta, and living in both Edmonton and Montreal. Her most recent dance collaborations are with musician composer Michael Reinhart and she continues her collaboration with the Belgian dramaturg Guy Cools.


Edit & Exit An exploration allowing the performer to filter elements of rhythm, anatomy, direction, force, pause, and energy through play and paying attention to the matrix of sensations arising to shape body and imagination.  We develop abilities to make choices as creators and performers through working both individually and with partners and also through writing, talking and witnessing each other. In this spirit of exploration, relationship, and involvement the body is free to forget and move towards its own clarity.The workshop is aimed at articulating relationships and shaping the forms that emerge in sound and movement, so as to bring vibration and resonance into the edges of these forms with softness and a quality of listening that is often inherently dynamic and musical.  The work introduces a way to begin to clarify multiple directions and layered thinking giving a sense of depth to the body and perspective to the room.

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