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Meagan O’Shea – something blue

Choreography by Meagan O’Shea, installation by Martha Cockshutt

December 6. 2006 @ 8PM

Market Hall Performing Arts Centre, 336 George St. N

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Tickets $12 – $8, call (705) 745-1788 to reserve.

Meagan O’Shea:
something blue
dance theatre and interactive installation

something blue was developed over the past several years while O’Shea was in residence at various dance venues and research centres around the world, including Peterborough New Dance, fabrik Potsdam in Germany, Earthdance in Massachusetts, Le Groupe Dance Lab in Ottawa, The Banff Centre, Sunshine Coast Dance Society and Linda Raino Dance in BC, and at her home studio, HUB 14, in Toronto.

something blue is O’Shea’s third ‘story quilt’, a format through which she engages audiences through tactile participation. The first two, first kissed (2004) and As I unravel small maps of my spirit (2005) involved the creation of quilts, the patches of which, when touched, triggered the sounds and images of people telling stories. something blue is the first time she has applied the technique to an article of clothing. O’Shea gained national acclaim as a performer for her 2003 dance-theatre solo Night Stills, which was presented by Peterborough New Dance and numerous theatres, festivals and venues across Canada and the US.

Downloadable Photos for the Press…

Artists’ Biographies

MEAGAN O’SHEA – choreographer and performer
Meagan O’Shea is an interdisciplinary contemporary dance and theatre artist who divides her time between creating new work, performing, training, and teaching. Nationally acclaimed as a performer, Meagan O’Shea “is becoming the first lady of contemporary character dance” (Toronto Star). Her solo dance theatre show Night Stills has been presented across Canada and in the United Sates since its premiere in Toronto in 2003. A short dancefilm based on Night Stills is forthcoming.

Meagan’s creative interests have moved her into a realm that incorporates tactile evidence of her expression. Interested in combining sights, sounds and feelings to design a complete experience for an audience, she created her first interactive quilt and performance event on the theme of first kisses.

She has recently completed another interactive story quilt and performance event. Meagan spent last summer traveling around Canada interviewing people whose lives have been affected by violent crime. Each participant has made a quilt block that reflects there experience. These were sewn into an interactive quilt that tells each story when the corresponding square is touched. As I unravel small maps of my spirit also includes a dance solo that reflects Meagan’s experiences of meeting the participants. The work premiered in November 2005 at an awards banquet on Parliament Hill in Ottawa.

Ms. O’Shea has been a guest artist in residence at Dance Base in Edinburgh Scotland, and at The Theatre Centre in Toronto. Her choreography has been commissioned by IDAC, Lisa Pijuan-Nomura, Megan English, Dusk Dances, Dance Ontario, Whetstone Productions, and YMI Dancing. Meagan is a founding member of HUB 14, a collectively run dance and performance studio she co-created in 2004 and runs it with Ame Henderson, Jen Johnson and Jacob Zimmer. She is part of the Luscious Bellies – a kamakazee dance performance group with Tanya Crowder, Viv Moore, Lisa Pijuan-Nomura, and Allison Rees Cummings, and interdisciplinary collective 22TOES.

Originally from Ottawa, Meagan graduated from the Professional Program in Modern Dance at The School of Dance and has trained extensively with Le Groupe Dance Lab. She continues to explore the possibilities of performance and creation through workshops with the likes of Keith Hennessy, Andrew Harwood and Chris Aiken, Sarah Chase, Pam Johnson, Damien Munoz, Susan Elliot, One Yellow Rabbit, The Old Trout Puppet Workshop, and many independent masters in dance and theatre. Meagan regularly facilitates workshops and teaches dance and creation in Canada and the United States.

MARTHA COCKSHUTT is a Peterborough-based artist who has designed and built costumes for over 100 theatre, dance and performance productions in her 20-plus years as a costume designer, and designed sets for many of these works. She was designer-in-residence for 4th Line Theatre for 6 seasons and has also worked with Magic Circus Theatre, Rehearsal in Progress Theatre, and Westben Arts Festival Theatre, amongst others. Martha’s costumes were featured in the 1999 solo exhibition Sartor Resartus: A Retrospective of the Costume Designs of Martha Cockshutt at Artspace. Since 2000 she has become increasingly involved in creating original performance works in collaboration with other artists, working as a designer while expanding her playwrighting, dramaturgical and directorial skills. Recent works include Skirting the Edge: Women and Mental Health with Mysterious Entity Theatre, and A Nine Days’ Wonder with the Peterborough Thespian Society.

Movement-Based Interdisciplinary Performance Creation:
A Workshop by Meagan O’Shea
Two-day workshop:
Friday Dec 8, 4pm to 7pm and Saturday Dec. 9, 1pm to 5pm – $20
Sadleir House
751 George St. N.
Call (705) 745-1788 to reserve

Drawing on participants’ own ideas, this workshop will guide you through different ways to imagine, conceptualize, and begin creating an interdisciplinary performance work incorporating movement or dance.

The workshop will explore movement creation and choreography techniques. It applies to solo creation as well as group work, however, within the workshop participants will explore ideas on themselves, creating solo sketches. Each session will begin with a physical warm-up in the space.

This workshop lets participants take a dry run at making a piece. By beginning with an idea that is personally relevant we will discuss all the elements of making a piece, ask questions about the kind of work you want to make, and explore the different processes you can follow.

This two-day workshop is suitable for a broad cross-section of performers interested in creating their own interdisciplinary performance work.

Bring ideas you may wish to explore or use as a basis for creation.

Wear appropriate clothing and footwear for moving.

Meagan O’Shea is an interdisciplinary contemporary dance and theatre artist who divides her time between creating new work, performing, training, and teaching. Nationally acclaimed as a performer, O’Shea’s solo dance-theatre show Night Stills has been presented across Canada and in the United Sates since its premiere in Toronto in 2003. She is performing her latest work, something blue, in Peterborough on December 6 at the Market Hall Theatre.

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