Photo credit: Diana Ross by Kinga Michalska

Aisha Sasha John — Waters

Feb. 13 to 17, 2023 – 9:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. (Mon.-Fri.)
Full week rate:
 85$ with Services Québec support / 270$ regular rate
*Drop-in class rate: 
22$ with Service Québec / 56$ if non-eligible (Monday and/or Tuesday only)
Language of instruction: English
Questions can be answered in French
: 23 people, priority for full week attendance
Open to artists of all disciplines


*Drop-ins welcome Monday and/or Tuesday only. Payment by credit card or e-transfer on site the morning of, if capacity allows (no reservations).

By registering for a workshop, you agree to cancel your participation if you have symptoms or suspect you may have COVID-19. Please read the Participant Engagement before registering. Thank you!

I am working on encounter: on dancing together
I am working on encounter as water — I as water am working on encounter as if encounter is essential and as if being itself is inherently an encounter and certainly all dancing 
But also I am working on dancing together 
To face the other and to not resist nor insist upon the joining of eyes
To have an orientation that acknowledges
The ocean within and without
To situate one’s body in rhythm and in space—to as water play air
To antennae 
In pleasure and in need
To listen
To await 
To be told:
The information is in the form of 

To be willing to discover 
To arrive and arrive and arrive and arrive 
To encounter movement 
At the juncture of presence and paying attention 
To meet the mystery 
The boundless mystery of the other and 
The terrifying unknown of the self 
To dance listening 

To let yes mean yes 
To let no mean no 
On our bodies 

In this workshop, we elect to let ourselves be seen listening. What can we commit to that will make certain our access to the unknown? How can we move at the rate of reception and experience the freedom of choicelessness? How more possible is our togetherness when we let breeze be in our chest?

We practice both performing and witnessing with a group listening score called The Pool which systematizes moving and voicing as supportive response.

The structure of each day will be the same : arrival exercise, warm-ups which will evolve over the course of week, and then we will spend most of the final 2/3 of the day working on a group performance score called The Pool.

Folks are invited to participate in ways that feel comfortable for them, and I will offer a range of options for participating in all the exercises I propose.

For the arrival exercise, participants will be invited to lie on the ground in a circle and share into a microphone what they need to express as a means of arriving in the space: words, vocalization or mere presence. This will be timed – one or two minutes per participant.

Our warm-ups are an opportunity to move energy and to sweat and we will be softly following each other in small groups to a playlist in which songs played fairly loudly gradually increase in tempo. There is an invitation here to move together closely at the beginning but the work of feeling each other’s energy can be accomplished with less proximity as well.

Likely there will also be an invitation for the group to practice moving in relation to someone’s inspired speaking/vocalizing or to practice speaking/vocalizing in response to someone’s movement as preparation for the work of The Pool.

The Pool is a score for up to five players that we will spend most of our time working on. It begins with one person who is joined by up to two others in the performance space and up to two additional others with vocal support according to a fairly simple logic. Everyone will have a chance to perform and witness.

There will be some supportive discussion as we think and feel our way through the material that we produce and witness in The Pool. There may be occasional invitations to journal in reflection.

Aisha Sasha John is interested in choreographing performances that are occasions for real and multitudinous actions of love. John recently premiered her first ensemble work, DIANA ROSS DREAM (Danse-cité) which was developed during her 2019-2022 Dancemakers choreographic residency with additional support from a choreographic residency at Toronto Dance Theatre. John’s full-length solo work debuted as the aisha of oz at the Whitney Museum in 2017, and in 2018, iterations of the aisha of is were presented at Montreal, arts interculturels (MAI) and Toronto’s SummerWorks Festival. From 2015-2017, John choreographed, performed and curated as a member of the collective WIVES, presenting ACTION MOVIE at Théâtre La Chapelle (2017) and the performance series ASSEMBLÉ through Studio 303’s Curator-in-Residence program.  John is the author of the 2018 Griffin Poetry Prize nominated collection, I have to live. (McClelland & Stewart 2017), as well as THOU (Book*hug 2014), and the chapbook TO STAND AT A PRECIPICE ALONE AND REPEAT WHAT IS WHISPERED (UDP 2021). She’s currently working on her fourth poetry collection, total and a solo performance, The Vestibule.