Image courtesy Erik Zennström

Arash Khakpour and Emmalena Fredriksson: Falling into our senses

Saturday, June 3 / 11am – 2pm
SFU Gallery

Free event

In this workshop, which precedes Guadalupe Martinez’ project Sensorial Visualities: Embodying Together and Alone, opening June 13, 2023, at SFU Gallery, contemporary dance artists Arash Khakpour and Emmalena Fredriksson explore notions of falling as a doorway into dreaming and reconfiguring our bodies and identities.

In language we use the word falling metaphorically as a means to describe a feeling that is slightly out of control and that changes our state and current perception. Falling is often understood as a threshold into something new, different, or other than the place from which we fall (such as falling in love, falling from grace, falling asleep, and so on).

In contact improvisation we extend and further personal exploration by moving in physical contact with another body. In this workshop, participants will explore the range of connecting to ourselves and another body first through subtle sensory and perceptual as well as physics-based exercises to enhance our awareness of our bodies with each other. The somatic tuning into one other allows for a mindful investigation of a landscape of identities already existing in our bodies.


Space is limited; please email to register.


Arash Khakpour is a dance artist from Tehran and based in Vancouver. In his work, he tends to invest in the nuances of prejudices in the body as a way of inviting the unconscious to the conscious, and as a doorway to confront unknown emotions. He sees dance as a process of emotional and spiritual discovery and a mode of transformation. Khakpour is the co-founder of The Biting School.

Emmalena Fredriksson is a contemporary dance artist living and working in Vancouver, as a guest on the ancestral unceded lands of the Coast Salish peoples. Her practice is defined by choreography as a relational practice in the expanded fields of dance, often collaborating with artists of other disciplines, creating choreographic experiences and dance for social events, film, galleries and performance. Born in Sweden, she received her training at Balettakademien in Umeå and at SEAD in Austria. Fredriksson has presented choreographic work, performed and taught internationally with Daghdha Dance Company (Ireland), Canaldanse (France), Malta University, Pact Zollverein (Germany), and Falmouth University (UK) among others and have been based in Vancouver since 2013. Fredriksson holds an MFA degree from Simon Fraser University and is currently a term lecturer in dance and theatre at SFU’s School for the Contemporary Arts.