MAGDANCE 5: art + dance + archive

26 August 2023 – 1 October 2023

About the Exhibition

Curated by

Ginelle Chagnon, Paul-André Fortier, Timothy Long, Edward Poitras, and Robin Poitras

Co-organized by

the MacKenzie Art Gallery and New Dance Horizons


Kenderdine Gallery

Since 2011, the MacKenzie Art Gallery and New Dance Horizons have collaborated on a groundbreaking series of dance residencies/exhibitions called MAGDANCE. These projects have broken barriers by bringing the black box of contemporary dance into the white cube of the art gallery. MAGDANCE 5: art + dance + archive continues that dialogue by exploring the role of the art gallery in archiving contemporary dance. It asks what it means to archive a medium which exists post-performance only as series of traces: sets, costumes, videos, photography, choreography notes, reviews, etc.? 

MAGDANCE 5: art + dance + archive will look at the generative possibilities of the archive through a series of responses to one of the most compelling traces in recent Canadian contemporary dance: the set for Paul-André Fortier’s extraordinary choreography Bras de plomb (1993). The set was collaboratively designed by Fortier in dialogue with the renowned Montreal artist Betty Goodwin and was recently donated by Fortier to the MacKenzie Art Gallery. A select group of choreographers and dancers from across Canada have been invited to explore new possibilities for this set in conversation with Fortier and dance archivist Ginelle Chagnon, and to create responses during residencies at the gallery.

We are thrilled to announce that MAGDANCE 5 performance and conversation on Friday, September 8 will feature American Sign Language (ASL) interpretation.

This project is made possible by Canada Council for the Arts, Canadian Heritage, SK Arts, City of Regina, Sask Lotteries, and Dance Saskatchewan.

Tickets for live performances are available online here or by calling New Dance Horizons at (306) 525-5393.


Invited artists include: Brian Webb (Edmonton), Naishi Wang (Toronto), James Viveiros (Montreal), Rouge-gorge (Regina), Gordon Gerrard (Regina), Marion Newman (Toronto), Marcus Merasty, Anastasia Evsigneeva (Winnipeg), Anna Protsiou (Winnipeg), Lee Henderson (Montreal), Johanna Bundon (Regina), and Jayden Pfeifer (Regina). Audiences will be invited to watch the process of dance-creation during open rehearsals, as well as to view the set and its archive.

Throughout the residency, these artists will intermittently be present, crafting their responses to the Bras de plomb set. Embrace the surprise of discovery as the creative process unfolds. Don’t miss this unique opportunity to witness the dynamic interplay between art, dance, and archives.


The residency began 26 August, and the project will culminate with two performance programs to be presented: 8, 9, 10 September and 28, 29 September, and 1 October.

Intensive residencies at the MacKenzie Art Gallery will result in five new dance-based performance works by Canadian artists. These works are the product of encounters with the set for Bras de plomb, a landmark dance-art collaboration between Paul-André Fortier and Betty Goodwin. In conjunction with the performances, two conversations will extend reflections on the interplay of art, dance, and archive.

Tickets for live performances are available online here or by calling New Dance Horizons at (306) 525-5393.

Program 1

Brian Webb (Edmonton) – Title TBA

Johanna Bundon (Regina), Jayden Pfeifer (Regina), and Lee Henderson (Montreal) – Title TBA


Program Schedule:

Friday, 8 September, 7:30 PM* American Sign Language (ASL) interpretation available.

Saturday, 9 September, 7:30 PM

Sunday, 10 September, 4 PM

*Opening Conversation begins at 8:30 PM:

The Friday, 8 September performance will be followed by an opening conversation (ASL will be available) with Robin Poitras, Edward Poitras, Timothy Long, Paul-André Fortier, Ginelle Chagnon, Brian Webb, Johanna Bundon, Jayden Pfeifer, and Lee Henderson.

Conversation will be followed by a reception.

Program 2

James Viveiros – Title TBA

Naishi Wang – Title TBA

Collaboration by Robin Poitras, Edward Poitras, and Gordon Gerrard with Marion Newman, Marcus Merasty, Anna Protsiou, and Anastasia Evsigneeva – Featuring Gustav Mahler’s Songs on the Death of Children

Program Schedule:

Thursday, 28 September, 7:30 PM

Friday, 29 September, 7:30 PM

Sunday, 1 October, 1:30 PM*

*Closing Conversation:

The Sunday, 1 October performance will be followed by a closing conversation with Paul-André Fortier and Brian Webb.

Artist Bios

Anastasia Evsigneeva is a contemporary dance and circus artist of Russian origin. In 2019 she graduated from the School of Contemporary Dancers and University of Winnipeg with a BA Honors in Dance. Her dance training is enhanced by somatic practices, intense contortion, hand balancing, and partner acrobatics. Anastasia is currently participating in an Artistic Residency with New Dance Horizons under the mentorship of Robin Poitras and Edward Poitras. In August 2019 she started learning silk dance technique under Robin Poitras’ guidance. Inspired by working with Robin, she created a choreographic duet titled TANGLED in collaboration with Anna Protsiou which was developed into a short dance film in Summer/Fall 2020. With support from the Canada Council for the Arts, Anastasia co-directed with Anna her first self-produced show, Moving Roots: Reflections, which premiered in Winnipeg in June 2022.

Anna Protsiou is a contemporary dance artist and circus artist specializing in contortion based in Winnipeg, Manitoba. She graduated from the School of Contemporary Dancers’ Professional Program in 2018 and has since been performing as a dancer and a contortionist. Some of her performing highlights as a dancer include working with Odette Heyn, Stephanie Ballard, Peter Quanz, Harold Rhéaume and Le fils d’Adrien danse, as well as with Ilse Torres and Roberto Mosqueda in Mexico. Anna’s recently created the live performance piece TANGLED in collaboration with Anastasia Evsigneeva, a work which was later turned into a short film. Anna co-directed with Anastasia Moving Roots, a show that premiered in Winnipeg in June 2022. She is extremely excited to be under the direction and mentorship of Robin Poitras and Edward Poitras as artist-in-residence with New Dance Horizons since July 2020.

Brian Webb has developed a national reputation as a contemporary dancer, choreographer, and artistic leader. He has brought a national and international array of contemporary dance companies to Edmonton through the BWDC, which he founded 45 years ago. After receiving a BFA in Theatre with Distinction from the University of Alberta, he moved to New York where all of his first dances premiered with the Carol Conway Dance Company. He earned an MFA in Interdisciplinary Art and Choreography from the California Institute of the Arts. From that time, his creations have been based upon collaboration, which he defines as the democratic exchange of ideas to create something new. Amongst many other honours, Brian won Edmonton’s prestigious Artistic Lifetime Achievement Award in 2012. Brian has received the Queen’s Golden and Diamond Jubilee Medals for his volunteer work in the community. From 2002-2012, Brian was the artistic director of the Canada Dance Festival at the Nation Arts Centre. In 2018, Brian was the only Edmonton artist to receive an Alberta Foundation for the Arts Anniversary Commission.  In 2023 Brian collaborated with Gary James Joynes and Brad Necyk on a new performance work, Joshua Tree, that had its premiere performance in Bangalore, India at Attakkalari, Centre for the Performing Arts and New Technologies. It was then performed in Edmonton with performers Lin Snelling, Piet Defraeye and Deepak Paramashivan. The work features performance with live electronic music and virtual reality projection. Brian is committed to collaborating with artists from various media. His collaborations have been presented across Canada and the United States. In his annual season of dance in Edmonton, he is committee to presenting a diverse spectrum of Canadian Contemporary Dance. His extensive volunteer work, including his two terms with the Edmonton Arts Council as Chair, is centered around inclusion of all peoples.

Since 1971, Montreal-based dance artist Ginelle Chagnon has been working professionally to deepen the dance experience. After 10 years of dance studies at Académie des Grands Ballets Canadiens, then performing with this company and later acquiring contemporary dance expertise, she turned her attention towards teaching and the creative process. For many years she assisted choreographers Jean-Pierre Perreault and Paul-André Fortier as well as teaching at Concordia University’s Dance Department and in professional training schools in Canada. Her sensitive gaze also led her to collaborate with many other Canadian choreographers in their creative and performance processes. In the 1990s, in collaboration with Agora de la Danse, she created workshops for non-dancers and later proposed new workshops that used contemporary dance repertoire. This proposition became the participative component of the dance exhibit “Corps Rebelle” in 2015. At Circuit-Est/Choreographic center’s invitation, she collaborated in many international artistic exchanges as a dance dramaturg and facilitator. During the last thirty years she has taken an active interest in dance documentation, archives, and the preservation of Quebec’s contemporary dance patrimony. This led to the virtual exhibit of Jean-Pierre Perreault’s choreographic works in 2010 and the creation of the “choreographic toolbox” for the Foundation of the same name. Always fascinated by the depth of the dance experience, she continues to accompany performative projects with dance artists engaged in the same quest while at the same time working in the archival milieu. In 2022, she was awarded the Ethel Bruneau prize at the Prix de la danse de Montréal.

Gordon Gerard is the Director of the Regina Symphony Orchestra. Gordon is a respected figure in the new generation of Canadian musicians. Trained first as a pianist and subsequently as a specialist in operatic repertoire, Gordon brings a fresh perspective to the podium. His passion and his dedication to producing thrilling musical experiences have endeared him to his fellow musicians and the public alike.

James Viveiros is a dance artist of mixed Cree Metis, and Portuguese descent whose performance career spans over 25 years, most notably with Montreal’s Compagnie Marie Chouinard. Having graduated from both Musical Theatre and Dance Programs at Alberta’s Grant MacEwan University in 1998, James has since performed in various theatre, performance, film and choreographic works in festivals and theatres worldwide. In 2009, he was recipient of a Gemini Award alongside fellow company dancers for Best Performance from the Academy of Canadian Cinema & Television in the Chouinard company’s film bODY_rEMIX/ les_vARIATIONS_gOLDBErg. In 2015, James studied with Ohad Naharin of the Batsheva Dance Company in Tel Aviv, Israel, with grant support from the Conseil des Arts et des Lettres du Québec. He is a recent independent study graduate of the directing program at The National Theatre School of Canada. As an educator and teacher, he draws on his extensive experience to continually offer classes and workshops relevant to the contemporary dance and performance scene. He works with actors, dancers, circus performers, yogis, hockey players, opera singers and the general public. In addition to creating and collaborating with artists across Canada, James frequently travels to share his passion for movement at various schools, universities and arts institutions.

Jayden Pfeifer is a Regina-based artist whose work in theatre and improvisation, as creator and performer, has spanned the last 22 years. He holds a BFA in Theatre Performance from the University of Regina (2003), and an MFA in Interdisciplinary Studies (2017), specializing in Improvisation and Ensemble Facilitation. He currently teaches Improvisation for the U of R Theatre Department. Pfeifer’s monthly comedy variety show, Red Hot Riot with Jayden Pfeifer, ran for seven seasons in Regina, and he has hosted the monthly comedy show TALKIES at the RPL Film Theatre for the past six years. Jayden is an Associate Artist for Curtain Razors Theatre, and has appeared in Curtain Razors’ productions of Live Duet, Bad Blood, and Carmen Angel, as well performing regularly in Burnt Sienna with Kris Alvarez. In 2020 Jayden directed wanisiniwin/ kwêski-pimâtisiw for Globe Theatre, and was a producer and lead artist for Curtain Razors’ Trespassers Waltz, as part of National Arts Centre’s ‘Grand Acts of Theatre’. In 2021, alongside collaborators Johanna Bundon and Lee Henderson, Jayden co-created and performed in Untitled Peter Tripp Project.

Johanna Bundon is an independent artist whose practice includes dance and theatre performance, choreography, and teaching. She is a 2005 graduate of LADMMI (Les Ateliers de Danse Moderne de Montreal), a 2008 graduate of the Globe Theatre’s Actor Conservatory, and holds a BA in Arts & Culture from the University of Regina. Johanna is an Artistic Associate of Curtain Razors (Regina). She has worked with Curtain Razors on Moveable Feast Independent Artists Edition (2016), assistant director on Bad Blood (2017), producer on Carmen Angel (2018), and producer and lead artist on Trespassers Waltz – Grand Acts of Theatre (September 2020) and as producer of Trespassers Podcast (2020). As a choreographer, New Dance Horizons, Globe Theatre’s Sandbox Series, the National Arts Centre’s Prairie Scene Festival, and the Prairie Dance Circuit have presented her work. Her choreography has also featured in numerous Globe Theatre productions since 2006. Johanna’s most recent passion projects include Untitled Peter Tripp Project (August 2021) created with Jayden Pfeifer & Lee Henderson, Live Duet (2016) co-created with Pfeifer, and the understory (2015) co-created with bee pallomina. As a curator and community organizer, her favourite projects are: Getting to Room Temperature by Arthur Milner (February 2022), Conversations for Love & Loss (Spring 2022) Parkour Practice for Artists — Getting By: The Art of Resourcefulness & Making Do with Darci Anderson (2021), SIT UP Regina: an Urban Mindfulness Retreat with Michael Stone & Heritage Community Association (2015), The Blanket Folding Project (2014). Johanna frequently teaches movement practice through New Dance Horizons’ Dance Core, has been a faculty member of the Globe Theatre’s Actor Conservatory (2010/2012/2014/2016), and was the 2017 director of Globe’s Start Up training for emerging artists. Johanna a 2020 graduate of the San Diego 4 Feldenkrais Professional Training Program and an Authorized Trainee Awareness Through Movement® teacher.

Lee Henderson (b. 1979, Saskatoon) is a contemporary artist whose practice includes video, photography, installation, sculpture, performance, and text. His work moves in constant contemplation of mortality, in senses grand and minute, somewhere between the persistence of collective histories and the brevity of individual lives… but it’s funny, the way King Lear is funny. Henderson has studied art in Canada and Germany, holding a BFA from the Alberta College of Art and Design (2003) and an MFA from the University of Regina (2005). His current projects include the sprawling performance/installation/web collaboration Untitled Peter Tripp Project with Johanna Bundon and Jayden Pfeifer (Struts 2023; PAVED Arts, 2022; Curtain Razors, 2021; Dunlop Art Gallery, 2020). Henderson represented Canada as the 2017 Glenfiddich Artist in Residence, and is a winner of the Gattuso Prize for his 2016 CONTACT exhibition Never Letting Us Take Breath at Zalucky Contemporary. He teaches photography and new media at OCADU and Toronto Metropolitan University in Toronto. He is represented by Zalucky Contemporary, in Toronto.

Marcus Merasty is a Nehithaw/Woodlands Cree dance artist from Pelican Narrows, Saskatchewan. His dance journey began with learning Métis jigging and Square-Dancing and continued under the mentorship of Robin Poitras & Edward Poitras. In 2021, Marcus graduated from The Professional Program of The School of Contemporary Dancers in Winnipeg, MB. He has participated two Indigenous Dance Residencies at The Banff Centre (2016, 2019) and has worked with Vancouver-based dance artist Jennifer Mascall (MascallDance). Marcus is currently based in Regina, SK working at New Dance Horizons as events coordinator.

A critically acclaimed mezzo-soprano of Kwagiulth and Stó:lō First Nations with English, Irish and Scottish heritage, Marion Newman was born in Bella Coola and grew up in Sooke, BC. She is one of Canada’s most accomplished singers in repertoire from Vivaldi to Vivier. As Carmen, the Irish Examiner noted “she sparked an electricity which totally engrossed the audience with her superbly sinuous sexuality… Prudes may raise their eyebrows at the sensuality of this Carmen; theatregoers will clamour for more.”. Nominated for a Dora Award for her leading role in the world premiere of Shanawdithit (Nolan/Burry) with Toronto’s Tapestry Opera, Ian Ritchie wrote “she invests her character with towering dignity and courage”. Marion portrayed Dr. Wilson in the premiere of Missing (Clements/Current) with Vancouver City Opera/Pacific Opera Victoria, which gives voice, in English and Gitxsan, to the story of Canada’s missing and murdered Indigenous women. In 2023, Marion debuts with Anchorage Opera in their production of Missing. Highlights for the 2022/23 season include Cantaloube’s Chants d’Auvergne with Vancouver Island Symphony, Messiah with Vancouver Bach Choir, Bruckner’s Te Deum and the world premiere of Stephanie Martin’s Water, with Grand Philharmonic Choir and Kitchener-Waterloo Symphony. Recent guest appearances include Mozart’s Requiem, a digital co-production with Canadian Opera Company and Against the Grain Theatre, The Echoes Project with Gryphon Trio, and Five Songs on Poems of Marilyn Dumont (Cusson) with the New Orford String Quartet, for Cecilia Concerts in Halifax. Marion has sung many works that speak to her First Nations identity, including a Canada-wide tour of Ancestral Voices (Tovey) with the Vancouver Symphony and Nuyamł-ił Kulhulmx – Singing the Earth (Höstman/Robinson) with the Victoria and Vancouver Symphonies and Continuum Concerts in Toronto. Marion created the role of Dawn with Welsh National Opera in the July 2022 world premiere of Migrations, with stories by five writers based on their personal experiences of migrations and working with refugees. Also with Welsh National Opera, Marion stars in the premiere of The Shoemaker, a fusion of Latin American, Persian and Western classical musical influences, and performs in Migrations UK tour. In addition to her extensive performing career, Marion is a Co-Founder of Amplified Opera and the host of CBC’s Saturday Afternoon at the Opera.

Based in culturally diverse Toronto, and born in Changchun, China, Naishi Wang observes and studies the underlying motivations of the body’s movements and the emotions it conveys. Renowned for his exceptional improvisations, which he turns into incarnations of bodily meaning, Wang is also a practicing visual artist. His drawings, which take the form of dances on paper, echo his work in dance. He was part of the MAI (Montréal, arts interculturels) program in February 2019 and he also presented in Halifax and Hamburg, Germany. His solo Taking Breath demonstrated his interest in intimate forms of bodily communication, a subject he took up again in the duet Face To Face which focused on our new modes of virtual communication and the factors that act in concert to convey our intentions in even the simplest exchanges. Naishi is currently collaborating with UK-based artist Jean Abreu on a project entitled Deciphers and with a trio named Eyes, Wide Open. He is an artist-in-residence at the Citadel, Harbourfront Centre and TO Live and has been awarded Les Respirations du FTA (2021), the Small Scale Creation Fund from CanDance (2021), and the Chalmers Arts Fellowship from the Ontario Arts Council (2022).

Paul-André Fortier has made an immense contribution to contemporary dance in Quebec over the past 40 years as a pioneering creator, performer, and teacher. He has created nearly 50 choreographies, solos, group pieces and site-specific works. A performer with a striking presence, this self-described “man who dances” challenges himself with spatial, time, and technique constraints that push his own limits and those of his art. Inspired by the crossover of various artistic disciplines, he has collaborated with other leading artists, including: Françoise Sullivan, Betty Goodwin, Rober Racine, Walter Boudreau, Alain Thibault, Robert Morin, and Malcolm Goldstein. Paul-André Fortier began his performance career in the 1970s as a member of Le Groupe Nouvelle Aire, dancing in some of the first works of his peers (Édouard Lock, Daniel Léveillé). In 2010, he was appointed Chevalier de l’ordre des Arts et des Lettres by the French government. In 2012, he received the Governor General’s Performing Arts Award and an appointement to the Order of Canada as Officer. The following year, he was awarded a career grant from the Conseil des Arts et des Lettres du Québec. In 2014, he received the title of Ambassador of the Arts and Social Sciences Faculty from the Université de Sherbrooke. In 2018, he was made an Officier de l’Ordre national du Québec. In 2019 he was honoured by the City of Montreal and by the CALQ and received Le Grand prix de la Danse de Montréal.

Robin Poitras, C.M. is one of Saskatchewan’s most prolific dance and performance creators. Creating dance, performance, and installation works, she has been actively engaged in contemporary dance practice since the early 80s. For many years Robin has traversed the formal worlds of dance and performance art. She co-founded New Dance Horizons in 1986, with Dianne Fraser, where she continues to act as Artistic Director. She is a recipient of the 2021 Order of Canada, the 2016 Lieutenant Governor’s Lifetime Achievement Award, the 2006 Mayor’s Awards for Business & The Arts’ Lifetime Achievement Award, and the 2004 Women of Distinction Award for the Arts.

Edward Poitras is a member of the George Gordon First Nation and a resident of Treaty Four Territory. He is an artist who has always recognized his mixed heritage – Métis/Cree/Saulteaux – as a powerful source of energy, creativity, and contradiction. Themes of colonization, assimilation, integration, genocide, displacement, migration, survival, nationalism and transnationalism permeate his work as he explores tensions, contradictions, narratives, and interactions.