member of the month- February 2015
Katherine Duncanson, Dance Artist/Interdisciplinary Performer
Where are you from?
I grew up in Nova Scotia and have called Toronto home since 1975.
What kind of dance do you practice, and how long have you been dancing?
After getting a degree in Music from Acadia University, I moved to Toronto to continue my studies in music, and then finally to get to do what I had always wanted to do: study dance. After three years of attending daily Ballet, Jazz, and what was then called "Modern Dance" classes, I took a brave leap and at the age of 29, enrolled in the Dance Department at York University. While there, I focussed on Contemporary Dance, as well as Improvisation, Composition, and Dance History. It was at York that my love for Music resumed, and I re-engaged now through Dance, with Improvising musicians in the Music Department. It was in a night course, run by Casey Sokoi, that I met Peter Chin. Peter and I began creating and performing work, outside of school, that merged Dance/Music/Experimental Voice and Song/Poetry and Visual Art. Back then, we were identified as Performance Artists... but really, we were emerging Interdisciplinary Artists.
Who inspires you?
I receive deep inspiration from my voice and yoga students; from the love and artistic endeavours of my friends; from art and art making of all kinds; from my yoga practice; from Nature and from travel - be it near or far.
Where is your favourite place to dance?
I have danced professionally on many nice theatre stages; in dance studios and deserted warehouses; in church basements and community centres; in museums and art galleries; on a raft at dusk and a canoe at dawn; in several rivers and two Great Lakes; on roof tops, table tops and in trees; on cliffs and under rocks; on car hoods and in a bathtub; in city and national parks; on urban streets and country roads; and in a circle of fire.
I have also danced within the work of Peter Chin, Bill James, Claudia Moore, Holly Small, Vera Frenkel, Murray Schafer, John Oswald, Maxine Heppner, Marie-Josee Chartier, Gerry Trentham, Yvonne Ng, Hari Krishnan, Erin Donovan, The Urge Collective, The Cliq Collective, Sashar Zarif, and many more.
I have no favourite place to dance. :)
What are your words to live by?
When I first started performing, a dear friend shared his performance motto with me: "I love you and I want nothing." Since then I have always whispered it, just as I enter into performance. These words work nicely in every day life situations too.
Why did you join CADA-ON?
I joined CADA-ON because it is such a supportive alliance, offering its members professional guidelines, resources, training subsidies and a formal membership within a striking community of dance artists. Thanks CADA!