DanceHouse and 149 Arts Society Present NEXT: New Dance in Development

DanceHouse and 149 Arts Society, with support from the National Arts Centre (NAC), have come together to envision a project in direct support of the dance community. On December 15, 2021, that vision will be presented virtually as NEXT: New Dance in Development – a residency and live stream sharing of works in progress from five emerging Canadian choreographers.

Tickets are free and the presentation can be viewed from across Canada at 4:00pm PT, 5:00pm MT, 7:00pm ET, and 8:00pm AT at

Through NEXT: New Dance in Development, these emerging creatives – All Bodies Dance Project artists romham pádraig gallacher and Lance Lim, Shion Skye Carter, Ralph Escamillan, and Zahra Shahab – have been offered two weeks (November 29-December 13) of shared development time in the Fei and Milton Wong Experimental Theatre at SFU Goldcorp Centre for the Arts, a state-of-the-art theatre. Residency time includes access to technicians and all technical gear on site, allowing artists to begin experimenting with theatre resources which they would not easily have access to in the studio. Following the development period, artists will gather on Wednesday, December 15 at 4:00pm PT for a 75-minute, live stream sharing of their works in progress. Everyone is invited to join the live stream as we witness new works beginning to unfold, catching a glimpse into the next generation of contemporary dance in Canada.

NEXT has been made possible with support from Canadian Heritage through their COVID-19 support measure, Canada Arts Presentation Fund Program, Support for Workers in Live Arts and Music Sector Fund. Through this unique funding stream, the three partnering organizations have generated contracts with over 30 arts workers, choreographers and collaborators from across Canada, including dancers, designers, composers, technicians, and production and administrative personnel. And for many of these creatives, NEXT will be one of the first times they are back in the studio and back in the theatre developing new work since the COVID-19 pandemic began.

The NEXT: New Dance in Development emerging artists are:

All Bodies Dance Project

All Bodies Dance Project (ABDP) is an inclusive dance company located on the unceded territory of the Musqueam, Sḵwx̱wú7mesh, and Tsleil-Waututh Nations. In our work, differences are regarded as creative strengths as we explore the choreographic possibilities of diverse ways of moving and perceiving. Our work straddles between labels of community-engaged and professional practice. We aim to dismantle assumptions, biases and default notions around contemporary dance, the theatre, and the dancing body. We offer accessible and inclusive dance classes for people of all abilities, genders, and backgrounds.

  • Romham Pádraig Gallacher is an interdisciplinary artist who’s been dancing/performing/scheming/creating with the ABDP since 2014. For romham, ABDP is an ongoing process of exploring the peripheries of their ever-changing body; learning what new/awkward/beautiful creations and connections we can make with our tangled/disagreeable/inconvenient dancing bodies.
  • Lance Lim is a disabled interdisciplinary artist who grew up in Strathcona, and his original movement background came from studying martial arts and Wu Shu. Lance joined ABDP in 2016 and performed in TRACE. He continues to be an active member of his local community and is passionate about dance, movement for everyone, and creating community dance.


Shion Skye Carter

Shion Skye Carter is a dance artist originally from Tajimi, Japan, and is based in Vancouver, Canada, on the unceded, ancestral, and occupied traditional lands of the Coast Salish peoples. Through choreography hybridized with calligraphy, video and sculptural objects, her work celebrates the intersection of her ethnographic and queer identities in connection with her heritage. As co-founder of olive theory, an interdisciplinary duo with musician Stefan Nazarevich, Shion collaborates to experiment at the intersection between embodied performance, installation art, and live sound.

Ralph Escamillan

Ralph Escamillan is a queer, Canadian-Filipinx performance artist, choreographer, and teacher based on the unceded territories of the xʷməθkʷəy̓əm, Sḵwx̱wú7mesh, and Səl̓ílwətaʔ/Selilwitulh Nations. He has trained in a breadth of dance styles such as Street, Commercial, and Contemporary – and has worked and toured with Company 605, Co. Erasga Dance, Kinesis Dance Somatheatro and Out Innerspace Theatre, apprenticed with Kidd Pivot (2014) and guest dancer for Ballet BC (2020). He is currently working with Wen Wei Dance and Mascall Dance. His second full length work, ‘whip’, premiered at MAI (Montréal, arts interculturels) early November 2021, and is in the process of developing a new work ‘Piña’ that draws inspiration from the traditional Philippine textile it is named after and the cultural significance surrounding it.

Zahra Shahab

Zahra Shahab is an independent dance artist and choreographer living on the traditional, ancestral, and unceded Coast Salish territory of the Sḵwx̱wú7mesh (Squamish), and Səl̓ílwətaʔ/Selilwitulh (Tsleil-Waututh), and xʷməθkʷəy̓əm (Musqueam) Nations. She is a graduate of the University of Calgary School of Creative and Performing Arts as well as the Modus Operandi Contemporary Dance Training Program. She has presented choreographic work and experimental films in Calgary at the Fluid Festival, Calgary Underground Film Festival, University of Calgary, and Alberta Dance Festival; in Vancouver at Dance in Vancouver, The Dance Centre’s 12-minute max, Shooting Gallery Performance, Festival of Recorded Movement, PushOFF, and New Works Performance; Toronto at the Toronto Dance Theatre’s Emerging Voices Program; and Mexico City’s Movimiento en Movimiento.

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