In 1996 Reena Almoneda Chang became a member of the Nyata Nyata Dance Company, under the direction of Zab Maboungou. From 1996–2004 she choreographed and danced for several African music groups, including Lorraine Klaasen and Jean-Paul Samputu, performing at events such as the FrancoFolies and Nuits d’Afrique. In 2005 she co-created If you knew what I knew with bharata natyam choreographer Ulka Mohanty, presented first at Studio 303 and then at the 2008 Cultural Olympiad. In 2007 she created and performed L’arbre nomade, which was presented again in 2008 at QuebAsia, a series of contemporary Asian dance performance. She later collaborated with a group of artists and ex-prisoners to create INT/EX, presented at the How Many Slaves Do You Own? Conference at Montréal, arts interculturels (MAI) in 2010.
Drawing on her studies in African and contemporary dance, tai-chi, yoga, and flamenco, the artist has created a unique fusion-based style of contemporary dance. She uses improvisation, rhythm, and poetic imagery to create organic warrior-like sequences that contrast with impulsive and fluid movement. Her earlier creations explored key life experiences such as death and birth (Birth, Death; 1995). She later became interested in rites of passage and the elements of nature (L’arbre nomade, 2007). Her interest in social and political then life led her to explore themes of immigration, discrimination, and incarceration (If you knew what I knew, 2005; INT/EX, 2010). She is interested in dance creation and performance as a form of contemporary ritual.
The workshop I offer is Creative Process. Students will have the opportunity to develop their own movement vocabulary and create a simple choreographed sequence. We will use writing exercises and improvisation based on personal stories and cultural backgrounds to generate a repertoire of movement and thematic possibilities. A selection of material to develop will be made. At the end of both workshops, groups can opt to make a video recording of their work, with copies made available to everyone. The artist’s approach is based on recognizing the group’s cultural diversity and cultivating each participant’s creative potential.
Other examples of activities
One possible way of collaborating with the teacher is to choose a theme related to the curriculum and explore it through movement and choreography. For example, students could study the history of the chosen theme, and then develop a choreography. Another possibility would be to choose an event or incident experienced recently by the class. The possibilities are infinite!
$100 for video camera and tripod rental and purchase of MiniDV cassettes and recordable DVDs. Large space suitable for movement and dance, sound system, CD player.
Reena Almoneda Chang
Phone : 514 597-1148
Email : firstname.lastname@example.org
Secondary 1, Secondary 2, Secondary 3, Secondary 4, Secondary 5
Laurentides, Laval, Montréal