Department of Dance
Language of Landscape
investigating movement, meaning and environment
The York Dance Ensemble
Artistic Director: Susan Lee
The York Dance Ensemble (YDE) is the resident company of the Department of Dance at York University. Since 1988, the YDE has been providing upper level dancers, choreographers, musicians and production crews with pre-professional experiences of creating, producing, performing and touring in a company setting. Students work in a range of alternative performance venues, from galleries to schools, and participate in fully produced shows in the McLean Performance Studio and the Sandra Faire and Ivan Fecan Theatre at York University.
Language of Landscape was performed in February 2020 and features dances by Assistant Professor Susan Lee, MFA candidates Emilio Colalillo and Raine Kearnes, former YDE member Nina Milanovski and fourth year student Sophie Goyette-Hamels.
The performance space itself is the landscape through which the dancers navigate. The program is a collection of pieces that integrate multiple perspectives and illustrate the varying aesthetics of the individual choreographers. These choreographic works represent a search for new terrain, whether a landscape, dreamscape, skyscape or a futuristic fantasy world. What they have in common is a quest for freedom and meaning.
Jewels In the Sky
Choreographer: Raine Kearns
Performers: Emily Bernasiewicz, Sadie Cahill, Bridget D’Orsogna, Grace Kingston, Rowen McBride-Pilon, Shannon Pybus, Jessica Stuart, Taylor Zeller.
Lighting Designer: Courtney Binnie
“Some birds aren’t meant to be caged, that’s all. Their feathers are too bright, their songs too sweet and wild. They were created to record everything, not designed just to be beautiful jewels in the sky, but to serve as the eyes of heaven.” (Stephen King, Shawshank Redemption)
Pina pt. 2
Choreographer: Sophie Goyette-Hamels
Performers: Sadie Cahill, Olivia Craft, Grace Kingston, Rowen McBride-Pilon, Aiyana Ruel, and Taylor Zeller
Lighting Designer: Samara Brown
Pina pt. 2 is the second creation I’ve built around Pina Bausch’s choreographic process. Taking a humorous spin on real life experiences, this work creates a fragmented universe filled with segments ranging from childhood memories to adulthood struggles while exploring themes of curiosity, play, frustration, passion, embarrassment, love and happiness.
Questioning as a tool for creation is so powerful because the most beautiful things are usually hidden. (Sophie Goyette-Hamels)
Choreographer: Nina Milanovski (in collaboration with the dancers)
Performers: Emily Bernasiewicz, Bridget D’Orsogna, Kelly O’Rourke, Shannon Pybus, Morgan Stasiewicz, Jessica Stuart
Lighting Designer: Angela Xu
Rehearsal Director: Deanne Kearney
“I talk of dreams, Which are the children of an idle brain, Begot of nothing but vain fantasy.” (William Shakespeare, Romeo and Juliet)
Language of Landscape
Choreographer: Susan Lee (in collaboration with the dancers)
Performers: Emily Bernasiewicz, Sadie Cahill, Olivia Crac, Bridget D’Orsogna,Sophie Goyette-Hamels, Grace Kingston, Rowen McBride-Pilon, Kelly O’Rourke, Shannon Pybus, Aiyana Ruel, Morgan Stasiewicz, Jessica Stuart, Taylor Zeller
Video Projections: Don Sinclair
Lighting Designer: William Mackwood
Costume Designer: Val Calam
Language of Landscape is based on a series of movements inspired by topographical variations. These variations can be seen as metaphors for our life paths simultaneously demarcating our history and our futures. The creative process utilizes material derived from the dancers’ own experiences. (Susan Lee)
Choreographer: Emilio Colalillo
Performers: Emily Bernasiewicz, Sadie Cahill, Olivia Crac, Bridget D’Orsogna,Sophie Goyette-Hamels, Grace Kingston, Rowen McBride-Pilon, Kelly O’Rourke, Shannon Pybus, Aiyana Ruel, Kaitlyn Seibold, Morgan Stasiewicz, Jessica Stuart, Taylor Zeller
Lighting Designer: Jennifer Jimenez
Costume Designer: Emilio Colalillo
Projection Designer: Emilio Colalillo
IM•MORTAL is my MFA thesis presentation based on research into Post humanism and drawing from science fiction, futurology, contemporary art and philosophy. The piece addresses questions of ethics and justice, language and trans-species communication, social systems, and the intellectual aspirations of interdisciplinarity. IM•MORTAL examines the Post humanistic claim of humans “evolving” into a new species through choreography, projections, interactive projection mapping, lighting, and costume. This use of multimedia technologies creates a kind of digital surrealism, turning the fantasy to reality. (Emilio Colalillo)
Photographer: David Hou
Videographer: Shay Schwartzman