Clala Project

Choreographer/s | Tomoyo Yamada in collaboration with the dancers

Name of piece | Uchi うち

Venue | Firehall Arts Centre

Uchi うち (2023) reflects on complex cultural identities of artists residing amidst a multitude of cultures, and explore the significance of the word “home” and “belonging” as it relates to diverse people and contexts. Uchi expands the concept of home material objects within the household and relationships with people can shape and transform our identity. This 20 minute piece is a collage of fragmented ideas and stories around the idea of what a “home” means to each collaborator. We use movement, video projection, text, sound, lighting and a wooden set that resembles a house to explore multiple meanings of domestic space.

Clala Project is an interdisciplinary arts collective formed officially in 2019. They are based out of Vancouver BC, respectfully creating on the land and home of the xʷməθkʷəy̓əm (Musqueam), Sḵwx̱wú7mesh (Squamish), and Sel̓íl̓witulh(Tsleil-Waututh) Nations. Clala's work is performative, primarily presenting contemporary dance, digital art, film, and theater performance. Each project begins with research, exploring concepts of culture, belonging, upbringing, and various customs imparted on artists throughout their lives. The collective works to develop understanding of self and culture through interdisciplinary art. They have presented at Open Stage at the Dance Centre (2020), Dancing on The Edge (2019) Vines Art Festival (2019) and the Powell Street Festival (2021) Uchi うち (2023) at the Beaumont Studios, and short film Stuck in 2020 (2020).

Choreographer: Tomoyo Yamada

Tomoyo Yamada is an interdisciplinary artist whose primary media are dance and choreography. Born in Japan and educated in the United States, she has spent most of her life traveling between North America and Japan, negotiating distinct cultural identities. Her practice is influenced by her ongoing research into identity politics and her self-reflexive interrogation of transnational cultural difference. Upon receiving her bachelor’s in Health and Sports Science in 2016, Tomoyo has been presenting works both in North America and Japan. She also translates workshops and creations for dancers invited to Kyoto International Dance Festival (Kyoto, Japan) amongst many independent artists from around the globe in Japan.

Composer/Sound Design: Nicole Halim

Nicole Halim is a sound producer and designer. She values success in her creative career field from challenging opportunities, creating new perspectives, and continuing her passion for sound, communication media & film. The possibilities in sound originality and innovation fascinate her. She values proficiency and creativity with sound and is something she truly wants to explore and develop. The challenges relating to her dyslexia have encouraged and pushed her to take the initiative and solve problems with different obstacles and opportunities. She stays on the cutting edge of the field and learns from extensive experience and skills on her career path, growing her network in the sound industry.

Lighting Designer: Christian Ching 

Christian Ching is an emerging technical director, producer, lighting designer, and scenographer with an interest in design and biological systems. He is a graduate of Simon Fraser University (2021) with a double degree in Theatre Production and Design and in the Biological Sciences. His practice revolves around collaboration and the consideration of ecological aspects of design. In his free time, he likes to run RPGs, draw, and make music.

Projection Designer: Sam Mason

Sam Mason is a Vancouver-based filmmaker and writer who graduated from Simon Fraser University’s SCA Film program. He currently works in the Learning & Outreach area of the Cinematheque Cinema in downtown Vancouver, developing and teaching various filmmaking programs across the city. His own cinema seeks to frequently engage with theatre and dance, both recorded within film and live alongside actual projection, in a bid to explore and better understand our physical and mental relationship to the spaces around us. While he hopes the presentation and form can expand on what cinema can be, he also focuses on intriguing and warm narratives that can hopefully spark joy in any who watch.


Shion Skye Carter is a dance artist originally from Gifu, Japan, who lives and dedicates time to their artistic practice in Vancouver, Canada as a settler on the unceded, ancestral territories of the xʷməθkwəy̓əm (Musqueam), Skwxwú7mesh (Squamish), and Səl̓ílwətaɬ (Tsleil-Waututh) Nations.

Through choreography hybridized with heritage art forms and language that interact with digital and sculptural objects, Shion’s work is alive in content and multidisciplinary in form, activating spaces through their performances that navigate the complexities of the body’s internal and external worlds. Shion holds a BFA from Simon Fraser University, is a certified yoga teacher, and is the grateful recipient of the Iris Garland Emerging Choreographer Award (2022) and the Chrystal Dance Prize (2023).

Anja Graham is a contemporary dance teacher, choreographer, and performer from “Langley, B.C.” She has trained in ballet, contemporary, and various styles of modern dance while completing her BFA with a major in Dance and a minor in English. She is currently working as a high school dance and English teacher while completing a Masters in Arts Education at Simon Fraser University. Anja values engaging in all facets of dance production from organization and direction to performing; she is most passionate about choreography as an aesthetic and conceptual experience and teaching as a means of sharing her passion and cultivating a love and curiosity for movement in her work.

Charlotte Telfer-Wan (performer/artistic producer) is a contemporary dance artist, artistic producer, and kinesiologist respectfully working on the land and home of the xʷməθkʷəy̓əm (Musqueam), Sḵwx̱wú7mesh (Squamish), and Sel̓íl̓witulh(Tsleil-Waututh) Nations in Vancouver BC. Her artistic work focuses on interactive and multidisciplinary performance art, often in the form of installations. Charlotte is interested in shifting the framework of how an audience experiences dance, creating without boundaries between the stage and spectators, and encouraging the decommodification of dance and dancers. Charlotte completed her Bachelors of Fine Art with Honors in Contemporary Dance at Simon Fraser University with a minor in Kinesiology. She has been co-producing and creating with Clala Project since 2019.

Kevin Soo-Locsin is a dancer and choreographer from Surrey who holds a BFA in Contemporary Dance from Simon Fraser University. His work in arts administration, production, and performance, and began with a summer internship for DanceHouse back in 2018. He then started on the dance reproduction team with Eponymous where he now coordinates the daily operations for many of its prestigious clients. Kevin also teaches dance at PraiseTEAM Studio and The Happening Dance Studio. He is passionate about mentoring the dancers and arts enthusiasts of the future and has been doing so since he first began teaching in 2007. Kevin has been dancing with Clala Dance Project since 2019 enjoying creating fun, interdisciplinary, and thought-provoking work with the group.

Special thanks to Hiromoto Ida for his support and mentorship.


June 18th @ 7:00 PM

June 20th @ 9:00 PM

Approx. Running Time: 65 minutes

Photos by Lula-Belle Jedynak. Performers pictured are Shion Skye Carter (in green), Anja Graham (in blue), Charlotte Telfer-Wan (in red), Kevin Soo-Locsin (in yellow).
Photos by Lula-Belle Jedynak. Performers pictured are Shion Skye Carter (in green), Anja Graham (in blue), Charlotte Telfer-Wan (in red), Kevin Soo-Locsin (in yellow).
Photos by Lula-Belle Jedynak. Performers pictured are Shion Skye Carter (in green), Anja Graham (in blue), Charlotte Telfer-Wan (in red), Kevin Soo-Locsin (in yellow).
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