tethered - meghann michalsky & katherine semchuk (Canada)


Supported by Canada Council for the Arts, New Dance Horizons, Evolved Movement Arts, Toronto Dance Foundation, Intergalactic Arts Collective

18.07 - 28.07

tethered (working title)

Residency at Vitlycke – Centre for Performing Arts

“During our time at Vitlycke – Centre for Performing Arts we will be working on a duet inspired by Esther Perel’s theories around the balance of two contrasting human needs: security (stability) and freedom (change). The work investigates intimacy, forced closeness, dependence and abandonment. Through the use of partner work and tight spatial parameters, we are exploring the fluctuating levels of dependence in a relationship and the cyclical nature of care; how one may resist or surrender to support.

In the spiritual world, it is believed there are different kinds of soul mates; one is called a twin flame which refers to two people in a relationship that are two halves of a whole being. As individuals, twin flames have similar strengths and weaknesses and feel intensely connected over shared pain or trauma — they tend to mirror one another’s lives. Comparably, Greek mythology tells a story that humans were originally created with four arms, four legs and a head with two faces. Fearing their power, Zeus split them into two separate parts, driving them to spend their lives in search of their other halves.

When we encounter our twin flame or other half, we are confronted with our own holes, insecurities, darknesses and our inherent human fear of being alone. This collection of repressed aspects of our identities that Carl Jung referred to as our “shadow self” comes to the forefront in the intimate presence of someone else’s darkness. Relational conflict pushes us to face our shadows; our failures and corruption, and allow us to heal through discomfort and transcend repetitive patterns.

The paradox between one’s selfishness and selflessness in a relationship is a perplexing puzzle and never-ending act of balancing. We find it fascinating how the switching of roles in contemporary partner work can emulate this just as clearly as it is felt in a romantic relationship. The risk, the trust, the deciphering, the frustration, the achieving are all parts of the journey to better know ones’ self and the other.

Our hope with this duet is to show the complexities of human relationships: repetitive behaviour, repetitive relationships, security, care, comfort, complacency, mirroring, power dynamics, euphoric experiences, and toxicity."

- Meghann Michalsky & Katherine Semchuk

Katherine Semchuk

Katherine Semchuk is a dance artist currently based in Tkaronto (Treaty 13 Territory). She is a graduate of Victoria School of the Arts and The School of Toronto Dance Theatre where she received the Kathryn Ash Leadership Award. Within the arts, she advocates for sustainability, intergenerational and peer to peer sharing, and creating space and opportunities for emerging artists.

Katherine has worked with a multitude of dance groups and artists including Good Women Dance Collective (GWDC), Kaeja d’Dance, Mile Zero Dance, Peggy Baker Dance Projects, The Platform TO, Project InTandem (Meghann Michalsky and Sylvie Moquin), Mateo Galindo Torres, Sasha Ivanochko, and Naishi Wang. She feels liberated when she is able to act as a physical portal for her own and other collaborator’s stories, ideas and sketches.

She is fascinated by the use of spirals, momentum and opposition/conflict in the body, and integrates these functions into her ever-evolving movement practice. Her work has been presented through Expanse Festival, Feats Festival of Dance, FODAR (Market Dances), Mile Zero Dance, New Dance Horizons, and Nestfest. In fall 2021, Katherine’s new solo work “In pieces’’ was presented by Mile Zero Dance and Springboard Dance’s Fluid Fest, which includes live music by composer Julian Anderson-Bowes. She is currently working on a project called “Inner Works: A Solo Study’’ which includes commissions from Tia Kushniruk, Sasha Ivanochko and Peggy Baker. She is grateful to have been supported by GWDC’s New Work Award, Edmonton Arts Council, Alberta Foundation for the Arts and Canada Council.

Katherine has been an active member of Nostos Dance Collective since 2014 (a platform for emerging artists to connect and practice creation and performance), was the program coordinator for Kaeja d’Dance’s Open Circuit: RBC Emerging Artist Program and Moving Connections, an online community movement practice, and a member of the working group for Choreographers’ Network TO. At the end of 2021, Katherine initiated westside movement sessions: a series of classes facilitated by emerging instructors in Tkaronto.

The culmination of her movement experiences and values are best sorted through in an ever-changing teaching practice.She has shared her physical practice and passion for movement with Ballet Edmonton, Canada’s National Ballet School, Decidedly Jazz Danceworks, The School of Toronto Dance Theatre, The University of Alberta, and YYC Contemporary Training.

Meghann Michalsky

Meghann Michalsky is a dance artist working in Alberta. She is the Artistic Director of YYC Contemporary Technique Training and the Co-Artistic Director of Project InTandem, two programs that offer opportunities to emerging artists in Canada. She was awarded the 2019 RBC Emerging Artist Award at the Mayor’s Lunch for Arts Champions – she is the first Dancer/Choreographer to receive this award. In December 2021, she was selected for a residency at the prestigious Banff Centre in Canada.

Since completing her BA in Contemporary Dance, with a concentration in Choreography and Performance, at the University of Calgary in 2014, she has rigorously pursued her dance technique training in Canada as well as in Israel, Portugal, Sweden, the U.K., the Netherlands, Germany & Austria.

Her most recent choreographic works have been presented at University of Calgary, Chutzpah Festival, Jeanne & Peter Lougheed Performing Arts Centre, Project InTandem, Fluid Festival, Stream of Dance Festival, Convergence & abroad in Finland. Her research starts with her trust in the body and investigating how bodily experiences are deeply embedded. She creates highly visceral works that combine intense musculature and athletic physicality with subtle internally driven flow-based movements. Her movement signature has been described as vigorous, raw, and interknit. Her knowledge of Hip-Hop and Krump movement principles has influenced her development of isolated, rhythmic, bound, and fast-twitch movement qualities into her contemporary choreographies.

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