Photo: Eryne Donahue & Neil Fletcher


Research Profile: Alana Gerecke, English

May 18, 2011

Congratulations to Alana Gerecke, who has just been awarded a Trudeau Foundation Doctoral Scholarship to support her doctoral research in the Department of English at Simon Fraser University. She has also received a 2009-10 Queen’s Fellowship and a SSHRC Joseph-Armand Bombardier Canada Graduate Scholarship

Alana was born in Toronto and is now a Vancouver-based scholar and artist who specializes in dance and performance studies. Her research focuses on site-based dance in public places with relation to discussions of urban regeneration. She draws from current debates about the role of art and culture in urban sustainability to challenge a widely held assumption that performance in public places effects a democratization of performance and the public sphere in equal measure. An investigation of the relationship between performance and responsible citizenship — one of the Trudeau Foundation’s four themes — drives her research. Alana explores both the possibilities and limitations of site dance in challenging and changing the ways we move in and through our public spaces.

Alana’s research is rooted in her artistic practice. After completing her honours undergraduate degree (2006), Alana launched her professional dance career with EDAM Dance; she continues to dance with EDAM as a company member. She has been recognized by federal and provincial arts councils and worked with numerous Canadian dance companies and choreographers. Alana is a co-founder of the interdisciplinary and site-specific performance group, Behind Open Doors Arts Collective (2004-present).

Balancing her dance career with her interdisciplinary graduate studies, Alana entered SFU’s doctoral program after the completion of her MA (2009). She has presented her research internationally and her most recent publication is forthcoming in the edited collection, Political Bodies / Social Movements: Canadian Dance in the 1970s (Dance Collection Danse 2011). Alana is committed to both scholarly and creative investigations of — and interventions in — public places.

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