Cast & Crew
Dustin Stamp is a fancy dancer from Saddle Lake Cree Nation. He is a northern style fancy dancer and says his favourite thing about performing is seeing and hearing the audience’s reactions. He started fancy dancing eight years ago – his daughter started dancing a year prior and said she didn’t want to do it alone, so he has been doing it ever since. For Dustin, dancing is important because it connects him to his culture and his roots, even while living day-to-day life in the city.
Chrissy Nepoose is a First Nation Cree woman from Samson Cree Nation, Maskwacis. She is very devoted to her culture, family and takes pride in her Cree native heritage.
Karen Fennell is a contemporary dance artist originally from Newfoundland, based in Montreal since 2004. Since completing her BFA at Concordia University, she works as a dancer and choreographer on a diversity of projects for stage, video, installation, and site-specific performance. She has performed in the work of choreographers Dana Gingras, Tedd Robinson, Martin Messier, Sasha Kleinplatz and Maria Kefirova (among others), and worked extensively with musician Jackie Gallant and visual artists Chloe Lum & Yannick Desranleau. She is currently in an ongoing process of researching, practicing and performing a new solo work, which she began developing as an artist-in-residence at Atlantic Center for the Arts (Florida) under the mentorship of master artist Deborah Hay. She also works as a performer in the multimedia work of Sarah Wendt & Pascal Dufaux, and maintains a teaching practice in the GYROTONIC® and GYROKINESIS® Methods.
Sasha Kleinplatz is a choreographer, teacher and curator based in Montreal, Canada. She is the co-founder (along with partner Andrew Tay) of Wants&Needs danse, a collective focused on creating non-traditional contexts for choreographers to make work, and for audiences to engage with contemporary dance. She is the co-creator of the curatorial projects Piss in the Pool, Short&Sweet, and Total Space Party, initiatives that have been part of numerous festivals, and theatre seasons, and which have also been produced in the United States and Europe. Sasha‘s work has been performed throughout Canada and parts of the United States. As a choreographer Sasha is thinking about community, consent, and the possibility of finding magic by mistake. She is currently finishing a masters degree focused on dancing for plants.
Thea Patterson is a Montreal and Edmonton based choreographer, performer, and dance dramaturg. Her performance practice revolves around an acute set of questions regarding the body, objects, perception, vitality, and time. Her early choreographic works include Rhyming Couplets (08), and A Soft Place to Fall (06) (which was made into a BravoFact film) and the dance I cannot do (2013). An interest in collaborative models then led to the co- founding of the collective The Choreographers (2007-2011) who went on to make several works together. From 2007 to 2015 she was dramaturg, and co-artistic director with Peter Trosztmer on seven acclaimed works, including Eesti: Myths and Machines (2011) and #Boxtape (2014). She has also provided dramaturgy for several independent choreographers including Katie Ward, Sasha Kleinplatz, Andrew Turner, Lois Brown and Nathan Yaffe. From 2014-16 she completed a Research Creation Master’s degree at DAS Choreography in Amsterdam which explored emergent choreographic forms, and other methods for altering aspects of spectatorship. Thea has several ongoing collaborations, as a dramaturg, and collaborator, choreographer and performer in Montreal, Portugal, Edmonton, and Newfoundland. Her most recent work Silvering (2020) was presented at Mile Zero Dance in Edmonton. As well, she is a SSHRC funded PhD student in Performance Studies at the University of Alberta.
Ainsley Hillyard (she/her) is an Amiskwacîwâskahikan (Edmonton)-based artist of settler descent. She is a choreographer, performer and educator who works in contemporary dance and theatre. Her artistic work is immersed in the curiosities and connections between these two forms. She has worked as a choreographer, performer and producer for various theatre and dance companies in Amiskwacîwâskahikan (Edmonton) and received numerous Sterling nominations and awards for her performances and choreographies. One of her favorite ‘heart’ projects was creating Jezebel, at the Still Point, a performance starring her French bulldog, Jezebel, where they travel through space attempting to figure out time travel so that Jezebel never has to die. In her free time right now she enjoys going for long walks in Mill Creek Ravine with Jezebel and reading feminist sci fi.
Alison Kause is a founding member of the Good Women Dance Collective and a teacher in Dance Education with Edmonton Public Schools. She is a graduate of the Grant MacEwan Dance Program and the School of Contemporary Dance at SFU, as well as the Education program at the University of Alberta. She has trained and performed across Canada and been inspired by work with local and international colleagues. Alison is inspired by the challenge of finding an intersection between being an artist, mother and teacher – these roles constantly demand attention, inform one another and provide diverse perspectives.
Alida Kendell is a dance artist and mother to her 3 year old daughter. She works primarily in Treaty 6 territory with the Good Women Dance Collective as a performer, choreographer and teacher. Pandemic restrictions have returned Alida to a solo practice that investigates durational improvisation as an escape from and return to self. Alida’s recent participation in the Hack Lab (Theatre Direct) has inspired her to work in ways that incorporate the experience of motherhood rather than working despite it.
Kate Stashko is a dance artist currently based in amiskwaciy waskahikan / Edmonton, and she has been a part of Good Women Dance Collective since 2012. She has worked with artists including Peggy Baker, Justine A. Chambers, Mélanie Demers, Helen Husak, Mile Zero Dance, Lin Snelling and Heidi Strauss. Kate toured the Prairie Dance Circuit (presented by Brian Webb Dance Company) and has presented her own work throughout Canada, including collaborations with local musicians, actors, poets and visual artists such as Medgine Mathurin, Nisha Patel, Shawn Pinchbeck and Brandon Wint. Kate trained at the School of Alberta Ballet before graduating from The School of Toronto Dance Theatre in 2007. In 2018 she travelled to Tel Aviv to attend the Gaga Winter Intensive. Kate writes and teaches dance and Pilates. She is completing a degree in Psychology and Political Science at Athabasca University, and is an avid cyclist, gardener and coffee drinker.
Rebecca Sadowski is overjoyed to be performing in Convergence for the first time this season! Rebecca is an Edmonton- based Métis performer and choreographer. She is an artistic member of the Good Women Dance Collective and curates dance programming for the Nextfest Festival. Rebecca holds a BFA in dance from Ryerson University and teaches dance with dancED Movement Projects. Rebecca has previously worked as an understudy with Good Women Dance Collective and Northern Light Theatre’s 2019 co-production of The CARDIAC SHADOW by Clay McLeod Chapman. She also took part in the production of THE BEGINNING OF HAPPINESS, a collaboration with vocal quartet, Femme, which will be released as a film later this season. Rebecca recently performed in BEARS by Matthew MacKenzie with Punctuate Theatre and the Citadel Theatre, and will perform in AYITA by Teneil Whiskeyjack at Skirtsafire Festival in the new year. Rebecca has also produced several dance pieces including THE SASH MAKER, which was developed into a dance film in 2020 with cinematographer Tamarra Lessard, as well as BREAKING BAPTIST produced by Catalyst Theatre. Rebecca continues to deepen her connection to her Métis roots by learning jigging and the traditional skill of finger-weaving sashes. She is so grateful for the Good Women and their ongoing support and encouragement in her performance and choreographic pursuits.
Beth Dart (she/her) is a director, producer, lighting designer, and theatre creator, and is honoured to collaborate with the Good Women on another Convergence! She is the co-artistic producer of award-winning indie theatre company Catch the Keys Productions, best known for Dead Centre of Town, an annual site-specific theatre experience inspired by the true crime and ghost stories of Edmonton’s past. She is the Artistic Producer of Common Ground Arts Society and Festival Director of Found Festival, Edmonton’s multidisciplinary found space and site-specific arts festival. Beth is dedicated to collaborative creation, and has directed over 20 new works. Select directing credits include Tracks by Mac Brock & Ensemble (Vena Amoris Projects), Jezebel at the Still Point by Ainsley Hillyard, OCD, Functional, and the premiere of Gemini by Louise Casemore (Defiance Theatre), 900 Seconds by Christine Lesiak (Small Matters Productions), Fossegrim & Nøkk by Megan Dart, Leif Ingebrigtsen & Sierra Noble (Alberta Opera), and Curio Shoppe (Catch the Keys), Snout (Catch the Keys/Azimuth) and Ursa Major (Catch the Keys/Workshop West Playwrights’ Theatre) by Megan Dart. She is currently developing an immersive musical, VAULT, with local powerhouses Megan Dart and Lindsey Walker, slated to premiere April 2022.
Andrea Handal Rivera (she/they) is a Latine stage manager and theatre artist from Santa Tecla, El Salvador and currently based in Treaty 6 Territory. They hold a degree from the University of Alberta’s BFA Stage Management Program, and are super excited to collaborate with the incredible artists at Convergence this year! Select theatre, festival, and film credits include: The Garneau Block (Citadel Theatre), Holiday Project (Amoris Projects), Hamlet in Isolation (Thou Art Here Theatre), Work Plays Schools Program Modules (Alberta Workers’ Health Centre), until the next breath (Catalyst Theatre), Crave (StoneMarrow Theatre), Edmonton International FringeTM Theatre Festival (Fringe Theatre Adventures; 2016-2021). They would like to thank their mom and COVID bubble for keeping her sane and safe throughout the last 20 months.