Susan Lee is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Dance at York University whose embodied research focuses on the intersection of identity, place and space in interdisciplinary/intermedial collaborations which are performed on stage, on site and online. A Dora-nominated dancer, Lee’s professional career as a performer, choreographer, and teacher spans thirty years. She has originated roles in almost fifty world premieres by many established Canadian choreographers including Allen Kaeja, Holly Small, Yvonne Ng, Peter Chin and Maxine Heppner, performing across Canada, the US, Mexico, Portugal, Singapore and Indonesia. As a company member of Kaeja d’Dance (1997- 2008) she originated roles in their major works including Abattoir, Asylum of Spoons,Resistance, Courtyard and Buried Monuments. She is also featured in their award-winning dance films, Asylum of Spoons, Witnessed, Resistance, Departure and the Gemini-nominated Old Country, as well as in Aroma, Terrain, and Verge, dance film collaborations with Allen Kaeja and Emmy-nominated videographer Douglas Rosenberg.
Lee’s creative works often combine dance, live music, video and interactive new media. Her most recent work Polarities is a collaboration with media artist Don Sinclair and the York Dance Ensemble, a livestreamed real time performance with affected video green screened onto a variety surfaces including a lit cyclorama and fog. Susan’s choreography has been presented in dance festivals and series in Toronto, Ottawa, Halifax and Peterborough. Her work has been described as “…simple and extraordinary.” (Halifax Chronicle-Herald) and “…a tour de force of magic and mystery” (the Globe and Mail). She has been awarded grants and scholarships to support her creative research and productions.
Susan has taught in a variety of contexts including public schools in Toronto and northern Ontario, York University, professional and community workshops in Canada, Portugal and the US. She teaches contact improvisation, partnering techniques, structures for improvisation, modern dance and release technique. She has been a senior mentor in Maxine Heppner’s Across Ocean’s Choreographic Marathon since 2010.
A past dance community leader, Susan was co-Artistic Director of Series 8:08 from 1993 – 2005, has also served on the boards of several prominent dance organizations, including the Canadian Alliance of Dance Artists and the CanAsian Dance Festival.
Susan holds a BFA (specialized honours in dance) and an MFA in choreography from York University. She has been Artistic Director of the York Dance Ensemble since 2016.
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