Artist in Residence: Gianna Vacirca


Gianna Vacirca will be in residence at the Ruth Carse Centre for Dance April 15 – 26, 2019.

Public work-in-progress showing Friday, April 26 at 2:00pm at the Ruth Carse Centre for Dance.

“My residency will be spent creating an urban myth from my imagination titled: Nefarious Fuzz. A quest to find and return the daughter of the moon after she disappeared in 1969, after the first lunar landing. I will choreograph and write scenes to discover and uncover story, and we will dance to discover characters and conflict. I’m most excited to integrate choreography in collaboration with dancers and actors into my personal practice as I become more and more interested in choreography as play/theatre direction. This residency marks the first workshop of Nefarious Fuzz and will include artistic collaboration with Skye Demas, Rebecca Sadowski, Christina Nguyen, Oscar Derkx, Teresa Krohman, Isabel deBlois, Lin Snelling, Amber Borotsik, and Ainsley Hillyard.”

Gianna Vacirca is an Alberta actor, dancer, educator, and collaborator. She holds a Bachelor of Fine Art in Acting from the University of Alberta and has returned as a sessional instructor to her alma mater as a movement coach and choreographer since graduating in 2011. She has mentored emerging artists participating in the Nextfest festival in Alberta as well as dance and creation in Junior High Schools as part of Azimuth’s Outreach Program.

In her career, she has been nominated for two Sterling Awards in Acting for Mercy of a Storm with L’Uni Theatre and Northern Light Theatre; as well as for her role in The Believers by Mad Fandango Theatre Collective. In 2018, Gianna performed in Minosis Gathers Hope by Christine Sokaymoh Frederick, directed by Matthew MacKenzie, and choreographed by Santee Smith; the show travelled to Toronto’s Theatre Center and was nominated for Outstanding Performance – Ensemble, in the Dora’s Theatre for Young Audience Division.

Throughout her career, she has had the pleasure of working with Northern Light Theatre, L’Uni Theatre, Expanse Festival, The Capitol Theatre, Thou Art Here theatre, Firefly Theatre and Circus, the Edmonton International Street Performers Festival, Trunk Theatre, Catch the Keys Productions, Brian Webb Dance Company, Alberta Aboriginal Performing Arts, Freewill Shakespeare Festival, and Punctuate! Theatre. In addition to acting and dancing, Gianna enjoys creating her own site-specific theatre and dance. The Van, written and performed by Ben Stevens and Gianna, took place inside her 1999 Dodge Grand Caravan, Rigor Mortis (created by Vacirca) featured 4 generations of Gianna’s family, from age 8 to 80, and was performed in a hearse and parking lot of a funeral home in the inaugural Found Festival in Edmonton’s Old Strathcona neighborhood.

Dance and theatre have taken her all over the country where she has performed in both French and English in both dance and theatre productions. The past 3 years especially have been full of dance in Alberta and around Canada. In 2016/17, Gianna was a part of Amber Borotsik’s The Moon at Midnight which opened The Brian Webb Dance Company season and travelled to Fluid Fest in Calgary, New Dance Horizons in Regina, the Winnipeg Contemporary Dancers in Manitoba, and the Chinook Series in Edmonton. The past two years have been spent touring Bears in British Columbia (Belfry Theatre, The Cultch), Toronto (Theatre Center, Factory Theatre) and throughout Alberta (Downstage Theatre in Calgary, Rubaboo Festival in Edmonton, community centers in Maskwacis and Saddle Lake First Nation, and artsPlace in Canmore); performing in the Freewill Shakespeare Festival’s Hamlet (Ophelia) and Comedy of Errors (Luciana); The Maggie Tree’s Blood: a scientific romance (Poubelle) by Meg Braem and the Citadel Theatre in their production of Miss Bennet: Christmas at Pemberley (Anne de Bourgh) by Lauren Gunderson and Margot Melcon, directed by Nancy McAlear.

This year also saw her return to choreography. She was the choreographer for Thou Art Here’s production of Shakespeare’s Will by Vern Thiessen in Edmonton in the historic 1886 downtown cemetery.