Author Biographies

Marc Arboleda

Marc Arboleda is an artist whose work is about asking the biggest and most general questions about the nature of existence. He employs various conventions drawn from contemporary dance, theatre and clowning in creating his solo pieces. Although his primary focus is on creating his own work, he also freelances as a dancer, actor, director, dramaturge, and teacher. Some recent performance credits include: Definition of Time (Choreographed by Iris Lau), Latium Festival Italy (KP Folk Dance Ensemble), and The Rez Sisters (Directed by Deborah Neville). He taught dance composition to students of Sir Charles Tupper Secondary. He holds a BFA in Theatre Performance and is currently completing a BFA in Contemporary Dance.

David Clennin

David Clennin is a dance artist training in Vancouver. He performed Ukrainian Dance for 15 years, touring Ukraine, Scotland, United States, and China. He was a member of Canada’s renowned Ukrainian Shumka Dancers for four years. In 2011, he moved to Vancouver and began his contemporary dance studies at Simon Fraser University. David has had the pleasure of working with choreographers such as Crystal Pite and her company Kidd Pivot, Rob Kitsos, Gioconda Barbuto, Amber Barton, Daisy Thompson, and others. In 2014 he also was a member of newly founded Toy Guns Dance Theatre based in Edmonton.


Daniella Donati

In the previous two summers I have worked for the Sunshine Coast Arts Council as an assistant helping mainly in administration, reception, and event planning. During my previous summer working with them I also had the opportunity to help with the formation of an archive. I have also volunteered with the Burnaby Art Gallery’s spring break public children’s programs. This, along with my personal practice in the arts, has helped prepare me for what I hope to achieve within the arts and my overall philosophy.


Alexander Draper

Alex Draper is a performer/composer who is currently studying electroacoustics at Simon Fraser University. In addition to performing with acoustic instruments, Alex works extensively in the digital world, using Max/MSP to create a variety of performance tools. Alex comprises half of the electro- pop duo The Crystal Ships, which recently released its debut album The Tide. The Tide was written and performed entirely by Alex and his brother Zak, and the title track has been featured on CBC radio.


Anna Dueck

Anna Dueck was born in Calgary, AB Anna’s youth was focused on Jazz, Tap, Ballet and Lyrical dance competitions across Western Canada. Anna’s training began to broaden upon acceptance into the Performing and Visual Arts Dance program at Central Memorial High School in Calgary. She is a recipient of a fine arts degree from Central Memorial and the most improved dancer award the “Grace Award” from her home studio, Boundless Dance Studio. Her passion for dance education has continued after she was accepted into Simon Fraser University and is actively pursuing a Bachelor of Fine Arts in dance. Her focus is currently on performing within SFU and pursuing an interest in arts administration through her current internship as an administrative assistant at The Dance Centre. Her repertoire includes working with Jason Stroh, Amber Funk Barton, Katie De Vries, Gioconda Barbuto, Desi Rekrut and Crystal Pite.


Isabella Flores

Isabella Flores is a dancer and dance instructor from New Westminster, BC, who is in the process of completing her BFA in Dance at SFU. Over the course of her undergraduate degree, she has performed in SFU’s dance repertory programme, where she’s had the chance to work with such choreographers as Judith Garay, Andrea Nann, Vanessa Goodman, Gioconda Barbuto, Crystal Pite, and many others. She began her ballet training at Kirkwood Academy of the Performing Arts when she was four years old, under the tutelage of Dolores Kirkwood, and shortly afterward, joined the Royal City Youth Ballet, performing in their annual productions of “The Nutcracker,” as well as numerous other ballets such as “Coppelia,” “Cinderella,” and more. Aside from her performances with RCYB, Isabella has performed in several Off-Broadway showcases in New York, in pieces by choreographers including Nikki Chalas and Q Pittman. While still focusing heavily on performing, Isabella began teaching at age sixteen and now teaches ballet throughout the Lower Mainland to all ages, specializing in children aged one to seven.

Alison Fudger

I am an Artist. My primary art choice is Dance, however I have a background in visual art, music, theatre and film. I graduated from the Dance Performance Studies Program at George Brown College with a Certificate of Professional Development honoured by Ballet Jorgen Canada. I have performed professionally as a dancer mostly in Toronto, but also Victoria and Vancouver. I have performed in contemporary dance shows, conventions, clubs, festivals and in film. I have danced for companies such as Valence Movement (dance theatre), Sapphire Dance Productions, Sole Power Productions and Fizzik’l. Most recently I got the chance to work with Crystal Pite and Kidd Pivot for the SFU repertoire 2014 main stage show. As well as performing I have experience as a dance teacher, administrator, competition adjudicator and I am a certified Moksha Yoga teacher. Currently I am finishing my Bachelor of Fine Arts Degree at Simon Fraser University majoring in Dance.


Jenna Lee Hay

Jenna lee Hay’s professional dance performance career found her upon stages such as onboard Carnival Cruise Line ships and the Vancouver 2010 Olympic Games. Hay’s success propelled her towards a pursuit of academia in the form of a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in dance from Simon Fraser University. Excelling in Cunningham technique, Hay was a principle performer in Simon Fraser University’s licensed remount of Merce Cunningham’s Native Green, 2014, as well as the only Canadian chosen out of five by the world renowned Merce Cunningham Trust to perform professionally in the remount of Cunningham’s Crises in New York City in October 2014. As the recent recipient of the Bice Caple Award due to academic excellence and outstanding contributions to her field of study, Hay now looks to her future goal of combining a Life Coaching Certification with a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in dance to become a knowledgable, innovative and compassionate dance artist and educator.


Rachel Helten

Rachel Helten has been heavily exposed to art as long as she can remember. She grew up surrounded by artists of all kinds. Rachel has been dancing since the age of three. She studied various genres such as: ballet, jazz, modern, lyrical and hip-hop at Mrs. Mcbrides School of Dancing and Royal City Youth Ballet. She is currently attending Simon Fraser University in her third year as a dance major. Although dancing is Rachel’s preferred language of expression she also loves to express herself through writing, acting, and singing.This past summer she toured around the lower mainland with a children’s play entitled “Ellery Zephyr and the Whispering Winds” that she co-created and performed in. This past year she has performed in SFU repertory shows “EPIC” and “Shift” where she collaborated with choreographers Wen Wei Wang, Giocondoa Barbuto, Vanessa Goodman and Emmalena Fredriksson. Most recently, she performed her own work a solo entitled “Cloak of our Shadows” in the SFU student show “Twelve”. She will continue to seek out opportunities for expression in all disciplines.

Abbey Hopkins

Abbey is a third year Visual Culture and Performance Art Studies student at Simon Fraser University’s School for the Contemporary Arts.  Having previously studied Modernist Art History at the University of British Columbia, she has recently switched her interests to a contemporary focused study.  Her writing has spanned from writing about social art practices ranging from Early Modern painting to writing about Contemporary art practices, with specific attention paid to local openings at artist-run studios and galleries.  Abbey lives and works in Vancouver and has aspirations of travelling for art writing.

Edmond Kilpatrick

Edmond is an independent dancer, teacher and choreographer. He is a graduate of the Royal Winnipeg Ballet School. He danced for three years at Les Grands Ballets Canadiens and nine years at Ballet BC where he originated the leading roles in The Faerie Queen, Orpheus and Carmina Burana and has appeared in existing works by national and internationally renowned choreographers such as James Kudelka and Jiri Kylian. He has danced with many Canadian choreographers as an independent contemporary dancer including Wen Wei Dance, and has choreographed twenty dance works; most recently Four Intimate Pieces at Vancouver’s Dancing on the Edge Festival in 2014.


Lauren Lavery 

Lauren Lavery is an undergraduate student at Simon Fraser University majoring and honouring in Visual Arts. She works mainly in sculpture, photography and painting. Her work has been exhibited in both solo and group shows in Vancouver, BC. The most recent upcoming solo exhibition titled, integument occurring in May 2015 at the Red Gate Gallery in Vancouver.


Betty Meng

Betty Meng is a contemporary choreographer, dancer and teacher based in Vancouver, BC. Having trained extensively at the Flora Pigeau Dance Academy from a young age and further training at the Simon Fraser University’s contemporary dance program, Meng has been the recipient of many scholarships and awards throughout her training. Within the four years of her undergraduate training, she has worked with many professional instructors and choreographers who have influenced her style of dancing to be a fusion of international versatility. Meng has had a great opportunity to emerge in the Vancouver dance community and has worked with several choreographers such Crystal Pite, Kidd Pivot, Rob Kitsos, Cheryl Prophet, Katie DeVries and many more in her upcoming dancing.


Cassy Oberndorf

Originally from the Okanagan, I have left my heart in so many places it has become hard to define one specific place as home. I currently reside in Vancouver, in the most definitely beautiful British Columbia. I am a soon to be graduate with a Bachelor of Arts in Communications and Creative Writing Certificate from the Faculty of Arts and Technology at Simon Fraser University. Until recently, I was the Social Media Coordinator for Earls’ Flagship Test Kitchen, where I learned the art of conveying messages in small platforms while simultaneously discovering that social media was not something I wanted to do forever. You can find my work in journalistic papers, poetic collections, and self-published through my website.

Melissa Panetta 

Melissa Panetta began training at the young age of five years old at Dance Steps in London, Ontario. She continued her love for dance at the Oakville Academy for the Arts in Oakville, Ontario, training and competing for over nine years in a variety of styles including ballet, jazz, tap, contemporary, hip hop, and acro. Receiving distinction in her R.A.D. Advanced 1 ballet exam, Melissa began teaching younger dancers from ages two to eight in ballet and jazz. Melissa is now in her third year at Simon Fraser University majoring in a Bachelor of Fine Arts in dance and minoring in kinesiology. She continues to grow as a dancer performing and choreographing in multiple shows and events including the remounting of Merce Cunnngham’s Native Green, Crystal Pite’s Singularity, Stacey Tookey’s The Collective, multiple student-run shows and the Toronto Pearson Airport Street Festival. She recently spent the summer in New York City training and performing at the Cunningham Trust Studio where she hopes to start her professional career.

Xin Xuan Song

Xin Xuan Song is a freelance stage manager who completed her Theatre Production and Design Program at SFU last Fall. Selected credits include: SM on the SFU production of The Unnatural and Accidental Women (directed by Steven Hill, 2015), and The Cold War (directed by DD Kugler, 2014), and ASM on the Presentation House production of Since You Left Us (directed by Amiel Gladstone, 2014). She also worked as a production intern at Ballet BC in 2014 as well as PuSh International Performing Arts Festival in 2015. Her upcoming stage management project is The Peaceful Sea (written and directed by Angela Ferreira) at rEvovler Festival 2015.

Sydney Thorne

Sydney Thorne is a multi-disciplinary artist from Vancouver, BC. Music remains her primary practice— since 2011 she has performed as a vocalist and banjo player with the folk trio Dogwood and Dahlia, who released a self-titled album in 2014 following a Canadian tour. Sydney is presently developing a vocally driven solo project that will be presented as a collaborative multi-media production in the late autumn of 2015. She studies Visual Culture and Performance Studies at Simon Fraser University, sells cheese to pay her rent, and will cook you dinner if you ask her to (or if you don’t ask her to.)

Alisa Vink

Alisa Vink began her dance training at the age of thirteen in Vancouver at Tri-City Dance Centre, under the direction of Shannon Stewardson. To further her training, Alisa Vink is currently enrolled in Simon Fraser University’s School for Contemporary Arts BFA dance program. While attending SFU she has worked with various choreographers including, Rob Kitsos, Cheryl Prophet, Santa Aloi, Crystal Pite, Kidd Pivot, Katie DeVries, Amber Funk Barton and Gioconda Barbuto. She has also performed and choreographed for the SFU Student Dance Concerts Twelve and Scatter. Outside of SFU, Alisa Vink has been a dance assistant to Sarah Brewer-Clowes. Upon graduation, Alisa Vink looks forward to performing and working with different local choreographers.


Amanda Williamson

Amanda began her journey in performing arts as primarily a singer and received formal training at Capilano University’s musical theatre program. She has worked as a performer for Uncle Randy Productions, Capilano Suspension Bridge, Cornerstone Theatre (Alberta), Positivity Entertainment (U.S.) and Tickle Trunk Players. Since continuing her training at SFU, she has directed a one act play Wanda’s Visit, as well as co-wrote and performed in three theatre shorts. Amanda also teaches at Evergreen cultural center, works as Queen Elsa for My Little Princess Birthday and as a vocalist for Beauty Shop Dolls, a vintage a capella/acoustic trio.