…without a smile. A contemporary dance solo exploring the phenomenon of people (mostly women) smiling at the people (mostly men) who sexually harass them. Smiling as a defence mechanism. How/who can we safely correct? How can anything change if we do not tell others what behaviours make us nervous? The internal battle between safety and standing up for oneself. Immediate preservation vs. a better future. This paradoxical behaviour illustrated with the most visceral art form, dance.
About the Artists
Allison Elizabeth Burns, choreographer & project instigator (she/her)
Allison Elizabeth Burns is a choreographer, performer, producer, and teacher. She has worked on dance, theatre, and multidisciplinary projects. Her choreography has been presented at the Alberta Dance Festival (2018), Dark Horse Dance Projects (2017), and in the Toronto, Montreal, and Ottawa Fringe Festivals (2010-2019). She has choreographed for Odyssey and 9th Hour Theatre. She has performed in choreographic works by Riley Sims, Noémie Lafrance, Jérôme Bel, and Renata Soutter, and has toured North America. Allison is the recipient of several awards for her artistic pursuits. She graduated from Concordia University with a degree in Contemporary Dance with distinction (2010).
Alya Graham, collaborating performer (she/her)
Born in the Yukon, a natural mover, Alya Graham relocated to Ottawa to attend the professional contemporary dance program at The School of Dance. There, she participated in choreographic processes with renowned choreographers such as Sarah Williams, Tedd Robinson, Dana Gingras, and Mélanie Demers. In the years since her 2014 graduation, Alya has had the pleasure of working with choreographers Caroline Barrière, Jocelyn Todd (Lawless Dance), Marissa Wong, Amelia Griffin, Meagan O’Shea (Stand Up Dance), Charles Cardin Bourbeau, Sylvie Desrosiers, Cathy Kyle-Fenton, and Yvonne Coutts (Ottawa Dance Directives). Alya has been choreographing her own work since 2015.
Nicole Lizée, composer of the music used for this work, Son of the Man with the Golden Arms (she/her)
Called “a brilliant musical scientist” (CBC) and “breathtakingly inventive” (Sydney Times Herald, Australia), award winning composer and video artist Nicole Lizée creates new music and video from an eclectic mix of influences including the earliest MTV videos, turntablism, rave culture, glitch, Hitchcock, Alexander McQueen, and 1960s psychedelia. Her commission list of over 50 works includes the Kronos Quartet, the New York Philharmonic, the San Francisco Symphony, Carnegie Hall, and the National Arts Centre Orchestra. Awards and nominations include the 2019 Prix Opus for Composer of the Year, the 2017 SOCAN Jan. V. Matejcek Award, the Canada Council for the Arts Jules Léger Prize, two JUNO nominations and the Canada Council Robert Fleming Prize for achievements in composition.