MILE ZERO DANCE SEASON 2023-24

PERFORMANCES
Friday and Saturday night performances are at the University of Alberta 
Campus Saint-Jean Auditorium
8406, rue Marie-Anne-Gaboury
With simultaneous live streaming.

Sunday Bike Tour performances will be on a route in the River Valley.
With simultaneous live streaming.

The Bike tour performances will involve a route that is 5.5 km long in the centre of the city with stops at most 1.5 kilometers apart. This is a beginner level route but there will be some down hill sections as it is in the river valley. Cyclists will need to be comfortable going downhill in a group. Cyclists will need to be physically able to get themselves out of the river valley once the performances are over.

FRIDAY JULY 22
6 PM Show
Running Thunder Dancers
Marynia's house of awkward pleasure - Marynia Fekecz-Mangan
Usha Gupta Dance Entourage
Diego Ramalho

8 PM Show
Chinese Lion Dance - Edmonton Hung Mon Athletic Club
likewise - Alida Kendell/Alison Kause
Dancing Wisdom with the Afrocuban Orichas-
Cuban Movements Studio
Black Rainbow - KO Dance Project
Image of Alida Kendell and Allison Kause
Image of Diego Ramalho

SATURDAY JULY 23
6 PM Show
Kindling - Janita Frantsi/Jen Dunford/Kathleen Hughes
Asthir - Pritesh Mehta
Walking the Pleasure Zone Playground - Julie Funk 
Urge - Molly McDermott
All Of These Impending Present Moments - Richard Lee

8 PM Show
Ben Kamino
Breaking Ground - Lebo Disele
SUNDAY JULY 24
Bike Tour (location revealed soon)
Human Life... -Tony Olivares
god is A MAGPIE - Allara Gooliaff
Usha Gupta Dance Entourage
Bhangra in #YEG workshop - Soni Dasmohapatra
Mama Who Bore Me - Rebecca Bissonnette
Audrey Boccara
Image of Allara Gooliaff

PERFORMER BIOS

The Running Thunder Dancers

The motto for the Running Thunder Dancers is: To dance is to give, to give is to love. To love is to Dance.

The Running Thunder Dancers was created in 2010 by founder Adrian LaChance. LaChance has participated in many local and international events. LaChance the Cultural Day Coordinator at the 2017 National Elders Gathering in Edmonton. He’s appeared at the Beijing China & Mongolia Red Sky Performance (2014), Taiwan Ghost Festival (2010, Italy Spirit of the Planet festival (2006), New Zealand WIPCE Conference (2005) and more. LaChance also works with many First Nations running a Life Skills Program.

Marynia Fekecz-Mangan

Marynia Fekecz-Mangan is a Polish dancer/performer/choreographer/teacher/producer based in Edmonton. She was part of a residency program and Creative Incubator at Good Women Dance Company (2018 and 2022). She collaborated with W&M Physical Theatre dance company as part of a residency program and danced in the WM2 project “RICING”. During this residency she created “Still a number”, a duet with Nicole Charlton Goodbrand. Marynia has presented her work at Expense, part of the Chinook Series Festival supported by Good Women Dance Collective. She premiered her solo work “Marynia’s house of awkward pleasure”. This work was also shown at the Quick + Dirty Festival (2020). Marynia joined the Artist in Residency at Mile Zero Dance in September 2021 with her new project “Face-to-Face”. 

Usha Gupta Dance Entourage

Usha Gupta started learning dance and music from the age of four while growing up in her native homeland of Jalandhar, India. Today, she’s highly regarded as an ambassador of cultural diversity in Edmonton and across Canada, known for her exceptional body of work in traditional and contemporary Indian classical dance.

Usha continues to learn, teach, and present both dance and music, as a highly prolific Canadian and Indian dance artist, choreographer and teacher. Her incredible commitment to the growth of the arts and culture community has further supported and advocated for South Asian arts to find an important place in Canada.

Diego Ramalho

Originally from Mococa/SP, Brazil, Diego Ramalho's beginnings in dance started with breakdance and Brazilian capoeira. In his teens, he was persuaded to enroll in formal ballet training at Kleine Szene Studio de Dança in Santo André SP, Brazil. In 2013, Diego was invited to be a member of Coastal City Ballet Company in Vancouver, where he performed leading roles in full-length ballets such as Swan Lake, Giselle, Cinderella, A Midsummer Night’s Dream. He’s also worked with contemporary choreographers such as Wen Wei Wang, Joshua Beamish and Erica Trivet. Diego’s been leading stages in productions across Canada, USA and Brazil.  He joined Ballet Edmonton in 2018 and is exploring his choreographic voice under the mentorship of Wen Wei Wang.

Hung Mon Athletic Club

Edmonton’s Hung Mon Athletic Club are passionate about bringing the art of traditional Chinese lion dance to western Canada with unsurpassed quality and technique. Rooted in the strength of the Canadian Chinese community, Hung Mon Lion Dancers bring only their best work through the culmination of passion, camaraderie, and dedicated training.Fitness, friendship, and fun are their top values, and this is exemplified in their school and performances. Edmonton’s Hung Mon Athletic Club  is supported by the global Chinese Freemasons, a society that fought for justice, peace, and prosperity, dating back to the Qing dynasty. This spirit transcends to how they perform the lion dance. This is what sets them apart from everyone else. 

Alida Kendell/Alison Kause

Alida Kendell is a dance artist, teacher and choreographer in Amiskwacîwâskahikan. She has been a collective artist with GWDC since 2009 and during this time has been shaped, challenged and encouraged by its programming, its artists and the communities GWDC engages with. She has been most influenced by dancing in the creative processes of Melenie Demers, Peggy Baker and Sasha Klienplatz. She is in love with the process of enabling physical change through introspection and play, and currently practices durational improvisations that take her further away and closer to herself. 

Alison Kause is a founding member of the Good Women Dance Collective and a teacher in Dance Education with Edmonton Public Schools. She is a graduate of the Grant MacEwan Dance Program and the School of Contemporary Dance at SFU, as well as the Education program at the University of Alberta. She has trained and performed across Canada and been inspired by work with local and international colleagues. Alison is inspired by the challenge of finding an intersection between being an artist, mother and teacher - these roles constantly demand attention, inform one another and provide diverse perspectives.

Cuban Movement Studio

The Cuban Movements Dance Academy was established in Edmonton in 2013 by Director Leo Gonzalez, a Professional Dancer and Choreographer from Havana, Cuba. Cuban Movements is committed to offering professional-level instruction in a warm, fun and welcoming environment for dancers of all levels and ages. The team of instructors work alongside students so they can achieve their potential as dancers through technique, expression and musicality. 

The dance academy is dedicated to preserving, promoting and bringing awareness about the richness of Cuban arts and culture, particularly in regards to their African roots. 

KO Dance Projects

Kathleen Ochoa (KO) is from amiskwacîwâskahikan/ Edmonton, where she works as an independent movement artist, and as director for the KO Dance Project.  KO Dance Project is a dance collective developing new research combining embodiment and perception studies, ecology with Qi Gong training and experimental visual art performance. KO’s work includes full-length concert pieces, movement theatre installations, performance art installations, festival production, open studio labs, and guerilla art pop ups.

Kristine Nutting is a community development and arts education specialist. She holds an MFA in creative practices from Plymouth University. She works as a group facilitator, community animator, teacher and creative project manager. Kristine has won several awards for her teaching work at the University of Alberta as well as in rural Alberta . In her previous work as an artist Kristine has toured large scale theatre shows using non-conventional spaces across Canada. Her past devising creative works explore storytelling as a vehicle to analyze culture, class and the aesthetic form of artistic practice. 


Janita Frantsi/Jen Dunford/Kathleen Hughes

Kindling is a collective comprised of Jen Dunford, Janita Frantsi, and Kathleen Hughes, all independent contemporary dance artists based in Amiskwacîwâskahikan/Edmonton. The objective of their coalescence is to celebrate the manifestation of unity as they re-examine what it means to perform in the post-pandemic era.

Jen Dunford comes from a lineage of environmental stewards and believes that art plays a key role in decolonization; by sharing perspectives that live in her body she aspires to shape our culture for the better. Inspired by her graduate degree, Janita Frantsi is interested in questioning some of the common perceptions of dance, desiring to find dance, movement, and artistry in different bodies and spaces, specifically in nature. Kathleen Hughes’ Graham-based background and folkloric dance upbringing has always had a sense of matriarchal and earthly traditions which she inherently continues to carry and share with others.  

Pritesh Mehta

Pritesh Mehta is dancer, performer, choreographer, film maker and instructor from Patan, Gujarat, India. Mehta is currently based in Toronto. He graduated from a diploma in dance foundation program at The Terence Lewis Professional Training Institute with the full scholarship. At the institute he got to learn Contemporary, Ballet, Jazz, Yoga and Flying Low. He also studied dance at the Centennial College dance performance program where he was awarded with The Deans Award. Mehta is a founder of the Dance Factor studio in India where he contributed as a director, teacher, and choreographer. During his time in India, he performed with the Terence Lewis Contemporary Dance Company. Pritesh is currently training at The School of Toronto Dance Theatre and likes to blend his Indian dance and street style background to his contemporary dance. Pritesh is very grateful to be able to spread the love of dance.

Julie Funk

Julie Funk teaches movement classes.The Walking Pattern has been her life’s work when it comes to art making and choreography – it answers everything for her in what she’s looking for in movement education and dance making – it makes itself and reflects outwardly what Funk has been excavating inwardly – it is infinitely useful and grows in it’s offerings the more it is explored. Funk serves the dance of decompression and seeks to find where this super power runs at a constant.

Molly McDermott

Molly McDermott is a performer, choreographer and teacher of dance and is gratefully residing and working in Treaty 6 territory.  Upon graduating from Grant MacEwan College, followed by Simon Fraser University she received a BFA in Dance (2007).  Molly continues to train in Contemporary, Butoh and improvisational dance as well as Pilates.She has interpreted work by a variety of inspiring artists and companies including: Kokoro Dance, Co. Erasga Dance, Les Productions Figlio, Mascall Dance, Billy Marchenski, Deanna Peters, and Justine Chambers.  Dance has given her the opportunity to tour Europe, Asia and North America over the last 15 years.  Molly has created work in collaborative environments with the collectives; The Story of Force and Motion (2007-2010); as well as more recently working with artists from both Japan and Vancouver in gigamal since 2018.  Such collaborations have been presented at the VIDF, Nextfest, 12 Minutes Max., Bloom, KW Studios, Caravan Farm Theatre, Boombox and PushOFF.  Molly has presented her own work at Vines Art Festival, 12 Minutes Max. and more recently, as a part of Good Women’s Creative Incubator.

Richard Lee

Richard Lee is an Edmonton-based performer, creator, and educator. He holds a B.F.A. in Acting from the University of Alberta and has independently studied contemporary dance across North America and Europe. He has danced in works for the Good Women Dance Collective, Mélanie Demers, Amber Borotsik, Tania Alvarado, Mile Zero Dance, Kloetzl&co., Cloudsway Dance Theatre, Brian Webb, and Troy Emery Twigg, among others. As an actor, he has worked with numerous Albertan companies including the Citadel Theatre, Alberta Theatre Projects, Banff Centre Playwright’s Lab, Northern Light Theatre, Teatro La Quindicina, and Concrete Theatre. He has taught movement for MacEwan University Theatre Arts, the University of Alberta’s B.F.A. program, Citadel-Robbins Young Company, and Theatre Alberta’s Artstrek.

Ben Kamino

ben kamino is a dancer with high hopes for this dance stuff. As if it matters[always] elsewhere; as a kind of stuff before grammar and syntax; beforelanguage takes a hold; in the way verbs precede nouns; as how thinkingmust precede a thought; As if time could stop. As if i could forget. Andslip through fantasy unto a new real. As a new before.

Lebo Disele

Lebo Disele is a PhD candidate in the drama department at the University of Alberta. Her focus in theatre includes movement, acting, directing, and dramaturgy. Most recently she created and performed The Space Between for NextFest Digital (2021). Other performance credits include Brandon Wint’s The Antidote to Violence as Care (forthcoming); Baki and Mands in Azimuth Theatre’s workshopped production, All That Binds Us (2020); Amina in Belleville (2020), directed by Amanda Goldberg at the Bleviss Laboratory Theatre; Words Unzipped at the 2019 SkirtsAfire Festival curated by Karimah Marshall; What (Black) Life Requires at the 2018 Expanse Festival and Unwoven at the 2018 SkirtsAfire Festival, curated by Nasra Adem. Lebo is focused on interdisciplinary art that places the body at the centre as a process of exploring how oppression impacts and lives in the body. 

Tony Olivares

Tony Olivares was born in Managua, Nicaragua in 1969. Upon entering a national youth dance competition and winning, he was featured in a series of television shows. After that his dream of dancing was put on pause due to earthquakes in 1972 and civil war in 1978-80. Olivares arrived in Edmonton in 1987 and began taking workshops and dancing with various ethnic dance groups in the city.Olivares spent time in Hartford, Connecticut, studying Massage Therapy and Dance Pedagogy. He received a B.A. in Theatre and Dance. Since 2012, Olivares has been back in Edmonton collaborating with local artists from all areas in art and dance. He’s worked as a bilingual educator at the Art Gallery of Alberta, performed in various festivals and productions, and adjudicated dance in festivals. Currently, he’s working on projects to film his work.

Allara Gooliaff

Allara is the principal for Tangy Lime Dance Projects and the Artistic Director for Three Left Feet. She is based in Calgary and Toronto where she provides dance education residency experiences to school students. She is on a lifelong quest to share the passion of movement and music in high-level physical literacy programs. Tangy Lime Dance Projects emphasizes and exaggerates some commonly acknowledged aesthetics of dance including long, clean lines that float easily from one geometric shape to the next. The acrobatic nature of the work closely examines the body as it is confronted by unexpected cues: the physicality of being propelled through the air, and the semi-successful attempts at a graceful landing. Stilt-based movement reveals an inherent awkwardness which requires a sense of humour that echoes our human vulnerabilities and challenges the performers not to take themselves too seriously. At once, interactive and engaging, the performative illusion is uniquely achieved in concert with the audience.

Rebecca Bissonnette

Rebecca is a trained dancer, an engaging performer and a fierce advocate for movement. She’s always loved dance, no matter what anyone else told her. She firmly believes that EVERY BODY CAN MOVE - a vision to SHIFT the perception of what a dancer looks like. She’s motivated to create opportunities for herself, while opening doors for others.  Rebecca is a technically trained dancer in a variety of disciplines including ballet, tap, jazz, lyrical, contemporary, baton, highland, pointe and musical theatre. Now she adds heels, hip hop and street jazz to her styles, while secretly wanting some place to twirl her baton. Rebecca values being able to move her body in whichever style she chooses. Dance holds an important place in her life and she’s happy to share that joy. As a dance educator, she gets everyone moving!

Soni Dasmohapatra

Soni has been an artist for a large part of her life. She’s studied the Indian classical dance forms of Kathak and Oddissi for over two decades and has also studied Hindustani vocal, harmonium and tabla. Soni has choreographed and performed folk dances such as Bhangra and Bellydance nationally across Canada. She is passionate about sharing this dance form and teaching others the joy of Bhangra.

Audrey Boccara

Originally from France, Audrey Boccara started her professional training in 2007 at the Paris Opera Ballet School. She graduated with a Bachelor’s Degree in Classical Dance from Paris’ National Superior Conservatory for Music & Dance. In 2014, Audrey arrived in Canada, dancing with Ballet Eddy Toussaint de Montréal, Atlantic Ballet, and Ballet Edmonton. In 2020, she joined Ukrainian Shumka Dancers, where she has had the amazing opportunity to be a soloist in the Nutcracker, perform in Mosquito’s Wedding, as well as the world premieres of Echoes of Hopak and My Yeh. With her solo “White Swan” she combines the grace and beauty of ballet with the incredible strength and uniqueness of aerial dance.