Lecture – Opera and Consciousness

•September 11, 2011 • Leave a Comment

Prof. Daniel Meyer-Dinkgräfe is the series editor of Consciousness, Literature and the Arts for Rodopi Press, the series in which my book The Dancing Word appears.

Department of Theatre, University of Ottawa Is pleased to present

Professor Daniel Meyer-Dinkgräfe, Lincoln School of Performing Arts, University of Lincoln, UK  with the lecture

Opera and Consciousness

Opera singers and spectators alike report extraordinary, desirable, very pleasant, experiences. For singers, they include unity of music, libretto, voice, and audience; for spectators, they include chills (also referred to as thrills or frisson). In the lecture I review the existing research carried out to explore and contextualize such experiences (Maslow’s peak experiences, Gabrielsson’s Strong Emotions in Music etc.), and I add further material from recent consciousness studies.

LOCATION: 135 Seraphin-Marion Street, Room 310 (University of Ottawa, Department of Theatre)

Date and time: September 19, 6p.m.

Open for all interested parties

The lecture will be in English



Qigong Course for Performing Artists, Fall 2011

•September 10, 2011 • Leave a Comment

An Introduction to Zhi Neng Qigong, 智能气功

with Daniel Mroz, Ph.D. 

The Ottawa Dance Directive and Les Ateliers du corps present a unique opportunity to learn a rare system of Chinese restorative movement never before taught in Ottawa.

What is Qigong?

Qigong is a recent term for a body of exercises drawn from the Chinese Daoist, Buddhist, martial arts and medical traditions. Qigong literally means “energy work” or “breath work” and seeks to nourish and restore the life-force of the person who practices it. 

Qigong exercises are composed of the san jiao or the Three Regulations: the regulation of body, of breath and of mind. Qigong uses movement, controlled breathing, vocalization and visualization and can refer from to everything from powerful isometrics, to gentle restorative movement, to silent sitting meditation.

Qigong practice cultivates an appropriate and effortless response to change. Performing artists will find that qigong has a positive impact on their overall health and coordination, on their ability to absorb the multiple demands of a new performance more quickly, on their ability to recover rapidly from physical and mental stress and on their creative or lateral thinking.

Qigong training typically begins with exercises to ‘cleanse’ the body’s qi, continues with exercises that cultivate or restore the qi and builds to more active exercises that circulate the life-force throughout the organism. Training often concludes with self-massage to consolidate the recovery process.

What is Zhi Neng Qigong?

Zhi Neng Qigong is a contemporary synthesis of earlier styles. The name means ‘Intelligence’ or ‘Wisdom’ qigong. It was officially founded in Northern China the 1980s by Pang He Ming. Pang studied with numerous senior qigong exponents to create his synthesis. Many of the exercises in Zhi Neng Qigong come from the tradition of the Liu family of Hebei Province and Liu Yan Ming, a master of the style moved to Montréal in the early 1990s, where he taught both my  teacher Wong Sui Meing and my friend and colleague Barry Thompson, whom he formally adopted as a disciple.

There are five series of exercises or ‘chapters’ in the foundation practice of Zhi Neng Qigong and two ‘chapters’ in the more advanced practice. In this short course we will be concentrating on two of the first five chapters, called Lift Qi Up, Pour Qi Down (Peng Qi Guan Ding) and Form & Spirit Training Method (Xing Shen Zhuang).

Introductory Classes – All Are Welcome!

Location: Ottawa Dance Directive, Arts Court, Ottawa

Time: 10:00am-11:30am

Dates: Sept 22, 23, Sept 29, Oct 6,7, Oct 13, 14

Fee: $100.00

Contact: Ottawa Dance Directive – Lana Morton – lmorton “at” videotron “dot” ca

Please wear loose, comfortable clothing; please bring layers; please wear comfortable thin-soled, flat-soled shoes (martial arts trainers, indoor soccer shoes, wrestling or boxing shoes are ideal) as we will be standing for extended periods on a hard-wood floor.

Please note that this is not a drop-in class. Each session will build on the previous one and attendance at all classes is essential for progress.

William Lau Performing in Ottawa

•September 3, 2011 • Leave a Comment

William Lau Jingju in Ottawa

Site Updates

•July 20, 2011 • Leave a Comment

Our website, http://www.dancingword.org has been updated.

The ‘upcoming’ page: http://www.dancingword.org/index.htm

The ‘performances’ page on ‘Shah Mat’:


The ‘collaborators’ page:


Chen Zhonghua teaching in Ottawa, September 2011

•July 17, 2011 • Leave a Comment

Chen Taiji Ottawa-Gatineau Workshop
“The quality of teaching is second to none!”

Master Joseph Chen Zhonghua, a disciple of grandmasters Hong Junsheng and Feng Zhiqiang, will be giving a Chen Taiji workshop in the national capital area. Master Chen is the International Standard Bearer for the Hong Chen Taiji Practical Method system (http://practicalmethod.org).

September 16, 2011 (Friday evening)
Time: 7 to 10 pm
Location: Gilles-Vaillant Tai Chi Center
109 rue Wright, Gatineau
Content: Silk Reeling – basic training and techniques
Cost: $45

September 17 & 18, 2011 (Saturday and Sunday)
Time: 9 am to 4:30 pm (both days)
Location: University of Ottawa, Theatre Building
135, Séraphin-Marion, Room 303, Ottawa
Content: Chen Style Practical Method System
Yilu, Push Hands Techniques
Cost: $90 for one day (Saturday or Sunday) or $150 for both days

* Special: All 3 days for $175

Registration: Rachelle Bergeron (Je peux répondre à vos questions en français.)
rachelle.bergeron@rogers.com 613.898.5146

Note : The workshop is open to taiji enthusiasts of all levels.

Atelier Chen Taiji à Ottawa-Gatineau
“La qualité de l’enseignement a aucun pair!”

Maître Joseph Chen Zhonghua, un disciple du grand-maître Hong Junsheng et Feng Zhiqiang, donnera un atelier de Chen Taiji dans la région de la capitale nationale. Maître Chen est le Porteur international de l’étendard du Système de méthode pratique de Chen Taiji de la famille Hong (http://practicalmethod.org).

Le 16 septembre (vendredi soir)
Heure: 19h à 22h
Lieu: Centre Tai Chi Gilles-Vaillant
109, rue Wright, Gatineau
Contenue: Roulement de la soie – formation et techniques de base
Coût: 45$

Le 17 et 18 septembre (samedi et dimanche)
Heure: 9h à 16h30 (les 2 jours)
Lieu: Université d’Ottawa, Édifice du théâtre
135, Séraphin-Marion, pièce 303, Ottawa
Contenue: Système de méthode pratique de Chen
Yilu, techniques de pousse-main
Coût: 90$ pour une journée (samedi ou dimanche) ou 150$ pour 2 jours

* Spécial: 3 jours pour 175$

Enregistrement: Rachelle Bergeron
rachelle.bergeron@rogers.com 613.898.5146

Note : L’atelier est ouvert aux fervents de taiji de tous les niveaux.

Invitation to Laboratory Presentation of Shah Mat, July 2011

•July 2, 2011 • Leave a Comment
Dear Friends,

You are invited to our laboratory presentation Shah Mat on July 7, 8 & 9 at 7:00pm at the Ottawa Dance Directive in the Arts Court. The performance is ‘pay what you can’ with a suggested donation of $10.00. Tickets can be reserved by emailing me or contacting me through this blog. Please do reserve as seating is limited to 40 spectators per show.

We’ve been in the studio since April 29th working with various master teachers. Vocalist Natascha Nikeprelevic (Berlin) spent a week sharing with us her approach to improvised contemporary vocal music. Actor Gey Pin Ang (Singapore) led us in a detailed exploration of physical action, song and the role of body-memory in acting. Composer Rainer Wiens (Montréal) challenged us with complex rhythms and my partner Laura Astwood (Ottawa) put us up on stilts!

Along with all this, we have continued to practice our own approach to actor training and original performance creation. The vehicle for all these explorations is Shah Mat, a new script by American playwright Michael Geither, who wrote Circe/Landfall the performance which we presented last year at the Canada Dance Festival.

Shah Mat is the Persian phrase from which the expression “checkmate” derives. The original inspiration for this piece was a post-apocalyptic scenario of political intrigue that I dreamed up after a holiday spent reading the speculative fiction of Iain Banks and Alastair Reynolds:

Traveling from South to North across the Central Desert, the Doctor’s caravan is destroyed when it happens across an ambush in progress, set to assassinate the King of a small Northern state. The Doctor saves the King, who adopts her as his personal physician and good luck charm. She is introduced to the Game, the national obsession in the King’s northern state. The Game grants its most skilled Player the reward of Rulership. The attack on the King was a part of the endless maneuverings of the Game. A stranger to the etiquette of the Court, the Doctor’s solitude is mitigated by her teaching. The Doctor befriends the King’s Consort and saves her vision by removing her cataracts. She also teaches the newly-sighted Consort massage and anatomy. The Doctor falls in love with the King, but never tells him, even though it appears that he is interested in her…

The team at work on this piece includes Paul AuClair, Artem Barry, Mallorie Casey, Jean-François Dubé, Laurie Fyffe, Fanny Gilbert-Collet, Brandon Groves, Colin Lalonde, Gabrielle Lalonde, Emmanuelle Lussier Martinez, Katelin Richards, Amelia Schembri, Marc Tellez and myself. Our work on Shah Mat is far from over, but after six energizing weeks in the studio, we feel moved to share some of what we’ve been working on; we’d love to see you there.

For Les Ateliers,

Daniel Mroz

Ang Gey Pin’s A Creative Stream

•July 2, 2011 • Leave a Comment

As part of our ongoing series of performances by our visiting teachers,
theatre artist Gey Pin Ang presented her work
demonstration ‘A Creative Stream’ at the Ottawa Dance Directive,
Arts Court, on Saturday June 18th.

A Creative Stream: a work demonstration by Performer Gey Pin Ang

Gey Pin Ang is a Singaporean actor and teacher who works in Europe. In ‘A Creative Stream’ Ang will share her way of working in dialogue with her audience. Extracting fragments from her performance, she will introduce her physical research on the texts and songs she weaves together in performance. She will share her approach to creating and performing, the impulse behind her creation, how she combines her materials into the flow of the ‘creative stream’ and the relationship between the artist and her creation.

Ang Gey Pin

In a seemingly paradoxical trajectory, Singapore artist Ang Gey Pin works away from her home country in order to discover the roots of her Chinese heritage. Ang participated in Grotowski’s final Objective Drama session at the University of California-Irvine in the late 1980s. Once back in Singapore, she co-founded Theatre OX (1995-2007). As its artistic director, she led Theatre OX’s research into Chinese performative elements and performances in unconventional spaces.

Ang was a member of the Workcenter of Jerzy Grotowski and Thomas Richards (Italy) for nearly a decade, touring across Europe and Asia with the company’s Project The Bridge: developing theatre arts. She performed lead roles in the Workcenter’s One breath left (UBU Special Award, Italy) and Dies Irae:  My Preposterous Theatrum Interioris Show. Working since 2006 as an independent artist, Ang teaches, performs and collaborates with various international artists. She has presented works, acted as artist-in-residence and pedagogue at the Grotowski Institute (Poland), LASALLE College of the Arts, Nanyang Academy of Fine Arts (Singapore), the University of Kent at Canterbury (United Kingdom), Wesleyan University and Yale University (United States), among other renowned institutions. Ang has created and performed for audiences in Europe, Asia, North and South America. Her work is featured in scholarly journals and books< dedicated to intercultural theatre, including:  The Workcenter of Jerzy Grotowski and Thomas Richards' 'Opere E Sentieri' (Volume I, Bulzoni Editore, 2007), Paul Allain's "After Grotowski: The New Generation"
Theatre Quarterly 18.1, 2002) and Cláudia Tatinge Nascimento's Crossing Cultural Borders Through the Actor's Work: Foreign Bodies of Knowledge (Routledge, 2008).

Ang holds a Bachelor of Arts degree with distinction from the University of Hawaii-Manoa and is a recipient of theatre awards granted by the Singapore National Arts Council. Works she created, performed and collaborated include:  By the Way (2006), Winter Never Come Spring Already Arrived (2007), Feast of You Shen (2008/2009) andWandering Birds (2010).