"I am inspired by the inherent and inevitable incompleteness of process. Driven by choreographic questions and philosophical curiosities, I strive to cultivate unique artistic situations that invite contemplation, spark imagination and foster meaningful interpersonal relationships".


DW2_57.jpg

Contemplating motivation and responsibility

Driven by personal questions and grounded in conversation and reading, this solo project is a process of dissecting assumptions, owning privilege, revisiting accountability, refining values and uncovering new lines of inquiry. My interest is in honouring the inherent impossibility of definitively “finding answers” by focusing my attention and effort on consistent reflection and revision, allowing new questions to emerge and priorities to shift. In concrete terms, I am embarking on this project to deepen my understanding on my role as an artist within the context of community; to lay a foundation of WHY I'm doing what I'm doing to support WHAT I'm doing and clarify HOW I'm doing it.

In November 2016, I performed Alone Together, a solo performance component of Contemplating motivation and responsibility at Our Three Voices (Stockholm, Sweden).

In April 2016, I taught a series of workshops at Rosedale Heights School of the Arts based on the research of this project.

In May 2017, I performed everything / anything / nothing, a solo performance component of Contemplating motivation and responsibility at the OnSite / InSight Festival (Winston Salem, USA).

In April 2018, I performed wither bloom, a solo performance component of Contemplating motivation and responsibility with music by Callahan Connor, at Dance Matters: Into the Fire (Toronto, Canada).

UPCOMING: In January 2019, I will embark on a four week residency titled Talking with Strangers to continue this research and re-develop my solo material into an evening-length performance (in collaboration with three other choreographers as Outside Eyes) at Culture Mill (Saxapahaw, USA).

Supported in part by the Toronto Arts Council, with funding from the City of Toronto


_DSC8799.jpg

Possibilities of Dialogue

A collaboration with New York-based dance artist Marielis Garcia, this multi-phase project is driven by the question: How can we facilitate an artistic dialogue that is responsive to and inclusive of the audience? The work of this project is to search for a way to interact and co-create with our audience and each other that doesn’t succumb to prescribed solutions that aim to generate a specific outcome. Instead, our interest lies in pursuing our curiosities and creative impulses with rigour and commitment while allowing the “conversation” to unfold in a way that is organic and emergent.

In May 2017, this project was conceived during a residency at Dance Initiative (Carbondale, USA) and Version 1.0 was created and performed. Our residency included two creative process workshops for the community.

In June 2017, Marielis and I reworked Version 1.0 to create Version 1.1 at Kaatsbaan International Dance Center (Tivoli, USA).

In October 2017, we created Version 2.0 through a residency supported by Inception to Exhibition and ArtsOnSite (New York, USA) and then performed Version 2.0 at six high schools through TOES FOR DANCE (Toronto, Canada). Marielis and I taught six masterclasses at the high schools in conjunction with our performances.

UPCOMING: In December 2018, we will create and perform Version 3.0 through a residency at the City University of New York (New York, USA) and in March 2019 we will perform Version 3.0 in Toronto, presented by TOES FOR DANCE (Toronto, Canada).


David and Justin.jpg

Tackling aboutness

Tackling aboutness, a multi-component research and creation project that will take place via different collaborative choreographic processes between 2018 and 2021. As a philosophical term, “aboutness” is understood as the way a piece of text (or choreography) relates to a subject matter or topic. It is the answer to the question “What is this (choreography) about?”. This project takes a closer look at how meaning is generated through dance performance, outside the supporting elements (i.e. costumes, props, music). What can a movement be "about"? How is this "aboutness" sculpted through process and how does it emerge in performance?

Phase One is a collaborative creation process with Montreal-based dance artist Justin de Luna that explores our Asian-ness; Justin's as a Filipino-Canadian and mine as a half-Japanese Canadian. The work is commissioned by the CanAsian Dance Festival, as part of their KickStart Program and is supported in part by the Toronto Arts Council.

In March 2018, we engaged in a two-week residency at the HopBopShop (Vancouver, Canada) while working with our dramaturg Lee Su-Feh.

In May 2018, Justin and I shared our work-in-progress currently titled Unison at the Pulse Ontario Dance Conference at York University (Toronto, Canada).

UPCOMING: The work will premiere September 27-29 at the Theatre Centre (Toronto, Canada) as part of CanAsian Dance's KickStart Festival.


other projects

deconstructed moments

Rehearsals in Toronto, Canada (February - March, 2018)

Performances in Toronto, Kitchener and London, Canada (March - May, 2018)

Ensemble work commissioned by Canadian Contemporary Dance Theatre

 

New Commissioned Work

Rehearsals in Toronto, Canada (September - November, 2018)

Premiere in Toronto, Canada (November 2018)

Ensemble work commissioned by The School of Toronto Dance Theatre

   Elephant Shenanigans   (2014-2015) produced by OnSiteNYC "paraded" a life-size inflatable elephant through Manhattan streets through an improvised score.

Elephant Shenanigans (2014-2015) produced by OnSiteNYC "paraded" a life-size inflatable elephant through Manhattan streets through an improvised score.


Influences and Fascinations

Learning about your work, from your work:

Art and Fear by David Bayles and Ted Orland

On activating change and choreographing environments:

Switch by The Heath Brothers

Challenging traditional choreography through inter-species interaction:

The Equus Projects / OnSite NYC


RECENT CHOREOGRAPHic projects

Commissions 

Residencies 

Festivals

  • OnSite/InSight Festival (Winston-Salem)
  • Our Three Voices (Stockholm)
  • STUFFED Judson Church (New York)
  • Broadway Connection Beat (New York)
  • FRESH BLOOD (Toronto)
  • ITE Dance Festival (New York)
  • Wave Rising Series (Brooklyn)
  • Dumbo Dance Festival (Brooklyn)
  • Steps on Broadway (New York)
  • ArtPowersArusha (Arusha)
  • Juilliard-in-Aiken Festival (Aiken)
 
   You/You   (2016) presented at BC Beat (New York, USA) brought two audience members onstage through a series of guided tableaus.

You/You (2016) presented at BC Beat (New York, USA) brought two audience members onstage through a series of guided tableaus.