2019 SCA Speaker Series

Please join us for our inaugural SCA Speakers Series of free talks over the spring semester at the SCA, organized by the school's Equity Committee. An objective of the series is to turn a necessary reflexive look back onto the school and the university at large, as well as across the arts more generally, in an effort to critically address enduring structures and patterns of privilege and disadvantage.

Dance Alumni & Guest Faculty Equity, Diversity, and Inclusivity Open Panel: Natalie Tin Yin Gan, Marion Landers, Starr Muranko, Antonio Somera, and Juan Villegas

Friday, January 18 | 12:30 pm | GCA 4525

Organized by Henry Daniel

Ravi Jain

Monday, January 28 | 11:00 am | GCA 4210

Organized by Cole Lewis

Eddy Fleursaint

Monday, Janaury 28 | 2:30 pm | GCA 3750

Organized by Simone Rapisarda

Casey Wei

Tuesday, January 29 | 5:30 pm | GCA 3200

Organized by Eldritch Priest

Vanese Smith / Pursuit Grooves

Tuesday, February 12 | 2:30 pm | GCA 4350

Organized by Sabrina Schroeder

Alicia Henry (in conversation with curator Daina Augaitis)

Wednesday, February 27 | 7:00 pm | Djavad Mowafaghian World Art Centre

Organized by Allyson Clay. Presented with support from Emily Carr University of Art + Design, University of British Columbia, the Vancouver Art Gallery, and the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council.

Jeanette Kotowich & Tasha Faye Evans

Tuesday, March 5 | 2:30 pm | GCA 4210

Organized by Jesse Del Fierro

Skeena Reece

Thursday, March 14 | 5:30 pm | Studio D

Organized by Kathy Slade & Yi Xin Tong


Natalie Tin Yin Gan is a contemporary dance artist specializing in improvisation and interdisciplinary collaboration. She lives and works on the unceded territories of the Coast Salish peoples, land still referred to as Vancouver, British Columbia. Natalie has a double degree in Contemporary Dance and International Studies from Simon Fraser University. She continued her training with Modus Operandi for two seasons under Artistic Directors Tiffany Tregarthen and David Raymond. Her current practice is deeply influenced by mentor, Lee Su-Feh of battery opera performance. She is also a member of the interdisciplinary arts company Hong Kong Exile.

Trained in ballet, contemporary dance, and African dance, Marion Landers teaches a variety of African and African-rooted dance styles, including West African, Afro-Brazilian, Central African, Afro-Contemporary, and Hip-Hop, situating them theoretically, historically, and culturally. She's danced with Ballet Tropicalia/Laura Monteiro, Afro-Jazz Ensemble/Thelma Gibson, Zab Maboungou/Compagnie Danse Nyata Nyata, and UMOJA/Thembi Nyandani. She has a BFA (dance) from SFU’s School for Contemporary Arts and a MFA (theatre) from the University of British Columbia.

Starr Muranko is dancer/choreographer & Artistic Associate with Raven Spirit Dance. Her work has been presented at the Dance Centre/Dance in Vancouver, Dancing on the Edge, Talking Stick Festival, Crimson Coast Dance and the Weesageechak Festival. She is a proud member of the Dancers of Damelahamid touring across Canada and internationally to New Zealand, Peru and Ecuador. She holds a BFA in Dance/Cultural Studies (SFU’s School for Contemporary Arts) and has presented her research at the World Indigenous People’s Conference in Education (WIPCE), Dance Alliance of the Americas and serves as a board member of the Dance Centre and CADA/WEST.

Based out of Vancouver, Canada, Antonio Somera is a member of emerging collectives: MAYCE, Konichiwaack, and OURO. Graduated with a BFA from the SFU’s School for Contemporary Arts' Contemporary Dance Program, he had the privilege of interpreting works by: 605 Collective, The Response Dance Company, Dancers Dancing, Katie DeVries, Noam Gagnon, Rob Kitsos and Julie Chapple. Antonio has performed on various stages around Vancouver such as 12 Minutes Max, Vancouver International Dance Festival, OnTheBoards and Dancing on the Edge. Antonio recently worked in Seattle, WA alongside choreographer, KT Niehoff, in her remount of A Glimmer of Hope or Skin or Light in 2015.

Juan Villegas has a Post Bac. Diploma in Contemporary Dance from SFU’s School for Contemporary Arts and has worked professionally as an independent Dance Artist. He also holds a degree in Industrial Design from Emily Carr University and has completed additional certifications in Restorative, Yin, Pilates, and Aerial forms of Yoga. He is currently completing Georg Feuerstein’s Traditional Yoga Studies ~ 800HRS, a program in History, Literature, and Philosophy of Yoga, and Leslie Kaminoff’s intensive program in Yoga Anatomy Principles. With Mark Atherton, he is part of AnyBody Movement.

Ravi Jain is an actor, writer, director and the founding Artistic Director of Why Not Theatre. Selected directing credits include: The Prince Hamlet (Why Not Theatre), I’m So Close (The Theatre Centre), A Lion in the Streets (National Theatre School), Fault Lines: Greenland, Iceland and Faroe Islands (Why Not Theatre, Governor General Award for Drama for playwright Nicolas Billon), Like Mother, Like Daughter (Why Not Theatre in collaboration with Complicite, London), Accidental Death of An Anarchist (Dora Award for Outstanding Production), The 39 Steps (Soulpepper Theatre), Salt-Water Moon (Factory Theatre, Dora Award for Direction). Consultant director credits: Sea Sick (The Theatre Centre), BOOM! (Mirvish/WYRD), Much Ado About Nothing (Tarragon Theatre). Ravi was the inaugural Artistic-Director-In-Residence at The Theatre Centre, a member of the Artistic Director’s Cabinet at Soulpepper Theatre Company, was shortlisted for the 2016 Siminovitch Prize, and won the 2012 Pauline McGibbon Award for Emerging Director. Ravi is a graduate of École Jacques Lecoq.

Eddy Fleursaint is a Haitian screenwriter and director considered to be one of the young new voices of Haitian cinema. After working for several years as a commercial television editor and director in Port-au-Prince, he went on to study film production at Ciné Institute in Jacmel. His short film Citoyen des Rues (Citizens of the Street, 2015) has garnered accolades at international film festivals. He is currently in the preproduction stage of his first feature-length film to be shot in Port-au-Prince in the summer of 2019. Eddy was also a co-writer on the feature-length film Zanj Hegel la (Hegel's Angel, 2018) by Simone Rapisarda Casanova, one of his former teachers at Ciné Institute.

Casey Wei is an artist, filmmaker, and musician based in Vancouver. Her practice has evolved from filmmaking (Murky Colors in 2012, Vater und Sohn / Father and Son / 父与子 in 2013), into works that cross over between art, music, and the community at large (Kingsgate Mall Happenings in 2014, Chinatown Happenings in 2015, the art rock? series 2015-2018, and the Karaoke Music Video Free Store in 2017).  The most recent culmination of her practice is her 2018 music documentary about Vancouver, art rock? The Popular Esoteric.  In 2016, she began Agony Klub, a music and printed matter label that releases material under the framework of the “popular esoteric”. Her music projects include Kamikaze Nurse, hazy, and Late Spring. She sometimes works under the allias Karen Zolo.

Vanese Smith is a Washington, D.C.-raised, Toronto-based producer, vocalist, video artist, and designer (as MO:delic Arts) who produces and performs music under the name Pursuit Grooves. Her off-kilter beats, which mix and combine abstract hip-hop, post-dubstep, neo-soul, left-field house, and more experimental practices, began attracting international attention, with music released by labels Rush Hour, Brownswood, and Tectonic label. Following her relocation to Toronto, she began teaching music production classes specifically geared toward female students. Her most recent recording, Felt Armour, was released in March, 2018, on her own What Rules Recordings imprint.

Alicia Henry lives, works and teaches at Fisk University in Nashville, Tennessee. Henry’s work has been shown at the Whitney Museum, New York; Drawing Center, New York’ Carnegie Museum, Pittsburgh; Frist Center for the Visual Arts; Cheekwood Museum of Art, Fisk University, Nashville; and Nashville International Airport. She has received numerous awards such as the Joan Mitchel Foundation award, the Ford Foundation Fellowship, the Guggenheim Fellowship and, most recently, the 1858 Prize for Contemporary Southern Art. A native of Illinois, Henry received her BFA from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago and her MFA at Yale University, and completed a residency at the prestigious Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture.

Jeanette Kotowich is a Vancouver based professional contemporary Aboriginal dance artist and choreographer. She holds her Bachelor of Fine Arts from Simon Fraser University, BC. Currently, she is creating a full-length, innovative solo performance, collaboratively directed with Maroi artist, Charles Koroneho (Te Toki Haruru), and has worked with Vancouver based dance artists Deanna Peters (Mutable Subject), and Su Feh Lee (Battery Opera). Jeanette creates work as an independent dance artist & choreographer; she is a seasonal dance artist with Dancers of Damelahamid, Raven Spirit Dance, and V’ni Dansi. Jeanette co-ordinates for the annual Coastal First Nations Dance Festival, is a member of the Full Circle First Nations Performing Arts Ensemble, the Indigenous Performing Art Alliance & a founding board member/secretary for Savage Society. Honoring her Cree Métis heritage (originally from Saskatchewan) as a source of inspiration and reference point in her work, Jeanette is passionate about investigating a blend of contemporary and Indigenous practices.

Tasha Faye Evans is a Coast Salish dance and theatre artist from Vancouver B.C. with grandparents also from Wales and of European Jewish descent. Her work is a collection of collaborations and performances with various Indigenous artists including Starr Muranko’s Spine of the Mother, Raven Spirit Dance ‘s Salmon Girl and Ashes on the Water, Marie Clements’ The Unnatural and Accidental Women, and Thomson Highway’s The Rez Sisters. She is a co-creator and performer of critically acclaimed productions Box and Bewildered (Radix Theatre), The Beginners (Boca Del Lupo), and her own one-woman play, She Stands Still.

Born in 1974 to Red Power movement activist Cleo Reece and internationally renowned carver Victor Reece, Skeena Reece is an Indigenous artist of Cree, Tsimshian, Gitksan, and Métis descent, whose multi-disciplinary practice includes performance art, "sacred clowning," songwriting, and video art. She studied at Northwest Community College and later at the Emily Carr University of Art and Design for media arts. She has been working in the arts since 1996 and currently is based out of Vancouver Island. She has also worked at Vancouver's grunt gallery as a curatorial practices intern, is a founder of the Native Youth Artists Collective, and was Director of the Indigenous Media Arts Group from 2005 to 2007.

January 18, 2019