Omer Yukseker

KELLY KEENAN (MTL) & INVITEES — Movement educator’s forum: Touching & Training

Oct. 7 to 11, 2019 – 1:30 p.m. to 5 p.m. (Mon.-Fri.)
$75 with the support of *Emploi-Québec (or $195, non-eligible rate)
$17 drop-ins unless full (or $41, non-eligible rate)
Participants should have a teaching practice / Bilingual teachers
Capacity: 25 people, priority for full week attendance

Facilitated by Kevin O’Connor and Kelly Keenan in dialogue with the invitees and the community, the Movement Educator’s Forum aspires to demystify what the teacher in the studio next to you, or the week after you is doing; to exchange knowledge through practice and generate dialogue between practitioners. The Movement Educator’s Forum chooses a broad theme topic every year and invites movement practitioners to share their knowledge on the topic through their practices.

This year’s forum invites Eroca Nicols, Ivanie Aubin-Malo, Kelly Keenan, Nita Little and Xavier Therrien to explore the concept of touching.  We ask how does each teacher understand touching in their teaching practice.  What kind of trainings, histories, questions, ways of worlding, sense-abilities, space – times, power dynamics, attentional practices, consenting, co-sensing, and relations cohere in each kind of touch practice? Whom and what do we touch in each mode of training? We begin knowing that touch is never pure or innocent.  What strategies might we cultivate so touch in its multiple forms can be one tool for training and learning?  How might it be (re)configured, or done otherwise or made different for those who demand or practice other modes of touching? Throughout the forum we will collectively catalog diverse ways of thinking through, practicing and teaching with touching. 

The MEF is intended for movers with a teaching practice but welcomes movement enthusiasts who are interested in movement teaching and the topic.

Monday October 7th
Ivanie Aubin-Malo

Ivanie’s work has been described as “very touching. The vocabulary comes from the land and the regalia, so when we practice, we need to understand that we are making the grass or the fancy shawl or the jingle dress move. The objects are sacred, the dancers dance to keep them moving, and if you can no longer make them move, you pass them on. Her work also touches us through story.” (Marie Claire Forté, dancer, 2019). 

Dancer, choreographer and curator, Ivanie Aubin-Malo graduated from the L’École de danse Contemporaine de Montréal in 2014. The following year, she met her mentor Curtis Joe Miller who transmitted the Fancy Shawl dance.  Honoring her Wolastoqey roots, Ivanie dances and approaches subjects in relation with her indigenous identity.  Based in Tiohtia:ke/Montreal, she collaborates with multiple talented artists such as Tanya Lukin Linklater, Elisa Harkins, Emilie Monnet, Lara Kramer, Neven Lochhead, Naakita Feldman-Kiss, DJ KXO, Buffalo Hat Singers, Moe Clark, Barbara Diabo, Marie Belzil from Moment Factory, Soleil Launière, Leticia Vera and Alexandre Morin. Since 2015, she has performed professionally and shared her passion in both contemporary and powwow dance nationally, internationally, in reserve and off reserve. Ivanie’s new solo piece called «MULA» premiered at Tangente in Montreal in November 2018.  For the next three years as guest curator in Tangente, she aims to introduce emergent indigenous artists to the Montreal contemporary dance community so that we can aknowledge the island of Montreal as being a place of creativity and coexistence.  

Tuesday October 8th
Nita Litte: Tactility of Attention 

This workshop stretches our understanding of Body and Mind into the territory of embodied attentional movement and relational practices that lie invisible in places/states for which there is no language . Our practice will locate somewhere between the one and the other. We invite this realm into our dance because it illuminates a field of movement choices, technical detailing, and creative possibilities for communication between dancers and between dancers and worlds that extend beyond the human. Through its workings, we can experience selfhood as multiple, being as an ecology, and the dancing self as more than human.

Nita Little is an activist for relational intelligence through improvisational dance practises that began with the emergence and development of Contact Improvisation (CI). A dancer, teacher, choreographer, and dance theorist, she worked with Steve Paxton on what became CI in 1972. Little received her PhD in Performance Studies in 2014. She tours worldwide on a regular basis working for dance companies, at festivals, conferences and universities teaching, lecturing, and choreographing. Her writing investigates ecological actions of attention and the creative potentials present in entangled relations. She initiated the Institute for the Study of Somatic Communication (the ISSC) in 2016 with dance research ensembles (which all share CI in common) participating from around the globe.

Wednesday October 9th
Kelly Keenan: Feeling Dancing

Starting from an anatomical understanding of the body we will explore how it may influence our felt experience of our bodies in motion.  With the help of the floor and partners, we will translate an amplified sensorial experience to nourish a deeply felt solo dance practice.  Feeling Dancing also refers to the slippage between a state of somatic sensing to an experience of dancing. I will share with the group prompts for dancing and dances that move me accompanied by music that touches me.

Kelly Keenan is a Montreal-based dance artist and teacher. Her fascination of the perceptive capacity of the body is reflected in both her teaching and artistic work. As a teacher her workshops are foremost concerned with the felt experience of dance with strong influences from somatics and manual therapy  including the Axis Syllabus, Anatomy Trains, Feldenkrais, Material for the Spine among others. Kelly teaches regularly for pre-professional (Concordia & UQAM) and professional dance institutions offering continued training for professional dancers including Studio 303, le Régroupement Québécoise de la Danse, L’Artère (QC), The Toronto Love-In as well as abroad and grass-roots DIY workshops.  As a performer Kelly has collaborated most recently in works by kg Guttman, Katie Ward and Adam Kinner. Her choreography addresses the contradiction that dance, as a kinaesthetic practice, is generally performed for the spectator and accessed through the visual sense by creating dances that you “feel” rather than “see”. Kelly is currently pursuing an MA in Concordia’s Individualized program at the hinge of dance studies, art education and sensory anthropology.

Thursday October 10th
Xavier Therrien

As an osteopath and yoga teacher Xavier has encountered both the therapeutic and harming potential of touch. Influenced by intention, knowledge and context, touch is both a necessity for happiness and a cementing tool for connection between human beings. In his workshop you will experience the wonderful expansion of the senses through mindful partner stretching within a hatha yoga practice.

Xavier Therrien has completed his B.Sc. in Osteopathy at the Collège d’Études Ostéopathiques of Montréal in 2015, he also certified in Ashtanga and AcroYoga. For over 9 years at Naada yoga, Xavier has taught a hatha based practice inspired by a grounded and honest presence to sensations. His discovery of Ashtanga yoga was the turning point for a way back into a healthy lifestyle of mindfulness without the stain of competition inherited by his past as a volley ball player.

Friday October 11th
Eroca Nicols: Nature Drag and/or Rocks don’t Apologize

Shame is a human invention. Might we work on disinviting/disinventing ourselves from humanness not as a way of escaping accountability but perhaps as a practice for remembering the myriad materialities we are capable of embodying. Being with tangible and practical ways of undoing shame with sensation and adaptability as our guides and being in states of active rest, together, with intention.
A bit more.
After first setting up clear consent parameters around touch and engagement, I will facilitate a session,of nature drag improvisationrestlisteningfeeling, for one of four elements, earth, water, fire, or air.
Holy fuck this shit sounds hippie AF when I write it but there we go. I will give a talk on the provenance of this practice and my work with death, grief, queer self-defense, anti oppression through touch clarity and Performanceremony and/or Shitual.

Eroca Nicols is currently known a dancer/choreographer/teacher but her multiplitous practice stems from a family of semi-mystical nomadic trailer people, years working as a janitor, and a BFA in video/performance art and sculpture from California College of the Arts (formerly and Crafts.) Their teaching, dancing and training are deeply influenced by continued study of ritual, biomechanics and Brazilian Jiu Jitsu.

All workshops are for professional performing artists. Some require advanced dance training.

Registration – Please contact (514) 393-3771 or at To reserve your spot, payment is required 2 weeks before the start of the workshop.

Payments – check, cash, credit card (3% fee) or by Interac transfer (write to for procedures)

Who can benefit from the subsidized rate by Emploi-Québec?
– Artists or cultural professionals, Canadian citizens (or permanent residents) living in Montreal
– Employment Insurance or social assistance recipients are welcome (please notify your agent at Service Canada or MTESS)
– Part-time students

 Who has to pay the full rate?
– Foreigners or people residing outside Montreal
– Full-time students

Reimbursement policy– No reimbursement possible without a good reason (ex: sickness or injury).

Studio’s accessibility – Consult this page for detailed information.