At the beginning

I was not allowed to dance, once I was physically punished for mimicking the belly dancer I saw on an illicitly borrowed videocassette. In university, I was in an Engineering/Sciences program and had no idea one could study dance. Nonetheless, I was often “caught dancing” in night clubs, in parties, at illegal festivals in the forest, in my living room, on the street. I took all the classes I could afford, Salsa, Belly dance, West African dance, Hip Hop, etc. After moving to Vancouver a little over four years ago, I accidentally discovered Contact in one of Anne Cooper’s classes. I had been looking for classes on Physical Theatre following a free intro workshop at Studio 303 in Montreal. Google kept spitting out “Contact Improv EDAM Dance” in my search results. I have been going religiously since, and jokingly refer to Anne’s classes as “Sunday Church,” we always do the same thing but it is never the same thing. This dance gave me ways to respect myself, communicate, relate and move.

Photographs from Ray Chung‘s workshop at Leviathan Studio (Credit: Soeren Wacker)

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