Helen Walkley

Choreographer/s | Helen Walkley

Name of piece | blocking

Venue | Firehall Arts Centre

With serendipity, rigour and ingenuity, dance artist Josh Martin performs a solo together with 250 small cedar blocks. Moments emerge and transform: whimsical, primal, risky, futile and tender. Balance is fragile, tested, and there are no mistakes. Composer James Maxwell and light designer James Proudfoot frame and hold Josh with their sound and light, expanding and condensing his world. Developed through a collaboration with Josh that has spanned four years, Helen Walkley’s choreography reveals the body, breath and stillness.

Choreographer: Helen Walkley

Since 1980 Helen Walkley has, as a contemporary dance artist, certified Laban Movement Analyst and somatic movement educator, lived in the U.S., Germany, the Netherlands and Canada - choreographing, performing and teaching. She completed an MFA in Interdisciplinary Studies in the School for Contemporary Arts/SFU in 1996 and has since been based in Vancouver. In 2020 Helen received the Dance Centre’s Isadora award, which recognizes an artist’s contribution to the BC dance milieu.  In 2022 she received the Lola award


Creative Collaborator / Performer: Josh Martin

Josh Martin is a dance artist residing on the unceded ancestral territory of the Coast Salish Peoples. As a performer and collaborator, he has worked with many creators such as Justine A. Chambers, Out Innerspace, Dana Gingras, Serge Bennathan, Vanessa Goodman, Wen Wei Wang, Helen Walkley and as a member of Le Groupe Dance Lab (Ottawa). For over 15 years, Josh Martin has been an Artistic Co-Director of Company 605, a Vancouver-based arts organization producing and presenting various dance projects, regularly touring its collaborative creations throughout Canada, and internationally in the USA, Central America, Europe, Asia and Australia.

Composer - James Maxwell

James Maxwell is a composer of concert music and music for contemporary dance, theatre, film, and media, and is Artistic Co-Director of Restless Productions. Recent works include The Refrain: Getting in sync with the world, for Fight With a Stick performance and Many Worlds, by choreographer Rachel Meyer. Upcoming and in-progress works include new collaborations with Fight With a Stick Performance, Rachel Meyer and Helen Walkley, a new work for Tempest Flute Choir, and a new interdisciplinary performance project with Restless Productions.


Lighting Designer: James Proudfoot

Lighting designer James Proudfoot from Edinburgh, Scotland, where he received his initial theatre training, has been living in Vancouver since 1993. Specialising in the realm of dance lighting, James has contributed designs for dance works to many local and national companies.


Construction of the blocks: Chris Nichols

A co-founder and co-owner of Wood Shop Workers Co-op in Vancouver. Founded in 2013, Wood Shop Workers Co-op makes and sells reclaimed wood furniture and interiors, commercial millwork and metalwork, and engages in community collaborations including DIY workshops. As a democratically run worker-owed organization, Wood Shop's mandate is to provide meaningful employment to its members while growing the cooperative economy and being at the forefront of material reuse in Vancouver.


Rehearsal Assistant - Kelly Mcinnes

Kelly McInnes is a dance artist concerned with embodying care & creating as a way to reconnect with the Earth. Her Craniosacral Therapy practice and passion for collective healing powerfully inspires her artistry. She is grateful to have worked as a choreographer, performer & community-engaged facilitator with many brilliant artists on beautiful projects over the past decade. Kelly delights in sharing dance through community classes & collaborative creative processes with youth, adults & seniors. She also enjoys supporting the creative processes of her colleagues. 


Helen gratefully acknowledges the support of SFU Woodward's Cultural Programs and SFU's School for the Contemporary Arts, Link Dance Foundation, The Dance Centre (Isadora Award, Lola Award and Special Projects and Partnerships), the BC Arts Council and private donation. Helen also extends her gratitude to her collaborators James Maxwell, James Proudfoot and Josh Martin. Big thank you to the Dancing On The Edge Festival. 

The first research of working with blocks transpired in a residence with Crimson Coast Dance/Nanaimo in 2004. Thank you, Crimson Coast Dance.

Helen and her collaborators are grateful to live and work on the unceded territories of the Musqueam, Squamish and TsleilWaututh First Nations. 

June 19th @ 7:00 PM

June 20th @7:00 PM

Approx. Running Time: 50 minutes

Photo by Chris Randle feat Josh Martin
Photo by Chris Randle feat Josh Martin
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