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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! 

Check out our other Member of the Month features, and meet your other 

CADA-ON colleagues: 

Tyler Gledhill 

Ezra Houser

Daniel Gomez

Danielle Baskerville

Isabel Estrada 

CADA/East gratefully acknowledges the generous support of:

 © 2023 Canadian Alliance of Dance Artists, East Chapter (CADA/East).

CADA/East, 410 Jarvis Street, 2nd Floor | Toronto, ON, M4Y 2G6

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