AD Kathleen Rea Artists Archive          

Kathleen Rea danced with Canada’s Ballet Jorgen, National Ballet of Canada & Tiroler Landestheater (Austria). She fell in love with contact improvisation (CI) 21 years ago and has been involved in the CI community ever since. She has choreographed over 40 dance works and been nominated for 5 DORA awards. Kathleen has a learning disability that throughout her life has meant that writing take 4 to 8 times longer than the average person. It is one of life’s great surprises and mysteries for her that despite the struggle she developed a love of writing and is a published author (“The Healing Dance” -Charles C. Thomas Publisher, as well as blog and academic writing). She has a Master’s in Expressive Arts with a minor in Psychology. She has a passion for functional movement and is a teacher candidate of the Axis Syllabus. She is the director of REAson d’etre dance productions a not-for-profit contact improvisation based dance company that produces a weekly dance jam in Toronto, the Contact Dance International Film Festival and dance-theatre productions. Being on the autism spectrum she also identifies as being neuro-atypical and works to educate the world about neurodiversity.

Tristan R. Whiston
is a multi-disciplinary artist who has worked in Toronto’s arts community for over 25 years as a director, dramaturge, writer, performer, and community artist. Tristan has written and directed five audio documentaries for CBC; most notably, his work, Middle C, won the 2007 Premios Ondas Award for International Radio. As the Artist-in-Residence at Central Toronto Youth Services (2004 to  2010), Tristan directed Gender Play,a theatre project working with LGBTQ youth exploring experiences of gender identity. Tristan recently collaborated with Moynan King on an integrated art and sound performance piece called trace, which toured Canada in 2015. In 2016, Tristan travelled to England where he was dramaturge and performer on Hush, a new musical written by Alex Bulmer which was presented at the London International Festival of Theatre and at the Royal Exchange Theatre in Manchester.


Brayden Cairns is a Toronto based artist who is currently a member of Alyssa Martin's Rock Bottom Movement. He moved to Toronto in 2015 to train at Ryerson’s School of Performance; throughout his time, he has performed works by some brilliant choreographers: James Kedulka, Anne Plamondon, Peter Chin, and Matjash Mrozewski, among others. Brayden is interested in binding contemporary dance and his experience with culture to form challenging opinions; many of these ideas stem from the need to uplift the queer and poc communities. He is most recently working on a production by Kathleen Rea and Vivian Chong titled "Dancing with the Universe" premiering April 2020.

Vivian Chong’s first love is drawing. Ever since she could hold a pencil, she drew day and night and, after formal training, eventually worked as a graphic designer, video editor, and 3-D animator. After a rare medical reaction to ibuprofen left her without sight, she experienced a creative rebirth and became a medal-winning triathlete, an access-focused yoga instructor, a motivational speaker, a musician, a dancer, and performer. She is part of the Brazilian percussion ensemble Samba Elégua and performs regularly with them in community events in Toronto. In 2016, she created and perfor- med a one-woman show, The Sunglasses Monologue, which toured throughout Canada. In 2020, she collaborated with choreographer Kathleen Rea to create Dancing with the Universe, a dance- theatre production starring Chong along with a cast of five dancers and a musician. She was featured in the documentary A Whole New Light, profiled in CBC Arts, and appears — with her guide dog, Catcher — in the children’s book Claire Wants A Boxing Name. Chong and Catcher often hike together, and have, over the last two years, trekked the entire 275 kilometers of the Oak Ridges Trail through rain and shine.

Karen Kaeja is an award-winning performer, choreographer, mentor, community builder and project instigator whose work interrogates relational feminine perspectives. “The mastermind behind Porch View Dances” Toronto Star, she develops performance platforms provoking collaborative relationships between dancers, everyday people and the body. Co-Artistic Director of Kaeja d’Dance with Allen Kaeja, her awards include the 2019 Dance Ontario Lifetime Achievement Award, the CDA “I Love Dance” Community Award and the Paul D. Fleck Fellowship for Innovation (Banff). She has been honoured with 7 Dora Mavor Moore nominations, including 4 for Crave (winning outstanding male). “When she dances, her reserve turns into something almost violently intense.” Globe and Mail. Karen is distinguished in The Canadian Who’s Who, was a finalist for the TAF Muriel Sherrin Award for International achievement, the CDA Innovation Award, NOW’s Best Local Choreographer and twice nominated for NOW’s Best Dance Company. Commissioned and presented by performance series around the world, she continues to dance for many of Canada’s brilliant choreographers, including Kathleen Rea’s productions since 2002. Karen is the Stratford Festival’s first movement dramaturge, engaged for the 2020 premiere of Wendy and Peter Pan.

Emily LeBlanc, is a contemporary dancer and choreographer from Toronto. In 2011, she graduated from Concordia University in Contemporary Dance.  Since graduation, she has performed in Montreal’s Nuit Blanche, Bouge d’Ici and Montreal Fringe Festival. Her choreography Resonant Tide was developed in residency at Lakestudios in Berlin and has been programmed in Berlin, Montreal and Toronto.  In addition, she is a certified Biodynamic Craniosacral therapist and is an avid student of the Axis Syllabus. 

Benjamin Landsberg
 is a Toronto-born contemporary dancer and independent choreographer. Since his completion of Ryerson University’s Performance Dance BFA Program, he has performed and collaborated with MOVE: the company, Compagnie Flak, ProArteDanza, and Landerer&Company, and toured worldwide. He has danced in works by Robert Glumbek, Jose Navas, Michael Caldwell and Felix Landerer, and is currently in process with Amanda Acorn and Andrea Peña. As a choreographer, Landsberg’s work has been commissioned and presented internationally by Commedia Futura, Ryerson University, Festival Quartiers Danses, and Dance Ontario.

Suzanne Liska
 has choreographed and danced in works for CanAsian KickStart, DanceWorks CoWorks, Dusk Dances, and Dance Matters, receiving grants and awards through York University, the Toronto Arts Council and Ontario Arts Council. Since 2008, Suzanne has had the honour of performing in several of Kathleen Rea’s works. Recently in 2019, Suzanne co-choreographed “Thread Bound” a dance-theatre duet with Kathleen, reviewed as “elegant and evocative...relentless energy and beautifully executed choreography” (Bateman Review 2019). Suzanne has also originated in roles for choreographers Maxine Heppner, Pam Johnson, Karen Kaeja, and Susan Lee. Suzanne’s next project is a co-creation with dance artist Takako Segawa along with composer Heidi Chan. As a Certified Alexander Technique Teacher and a Teaching member of ATI (Alexander Technique International) with a B.A., B. Education, and a SHHRC funded MFA in Choreography, Suzanne teaches professional dancers, actors, community dancers, and high school and elementary school students. She has taught workshops for Collective Gulp in Ottawa, CCDC in Calgary, CINN in Tokyo, and Leviathan studio in BC and in Toronto for Randolph Performing Arts College, Ryerson University, George Brown and Humber College. She is contract Faculty in York University’s Dance department.

Hannah Drover (RDDP Apprentice) is originally from St. John’s, Newfoundland. She is a 2019 graduate of George Brown College Dance Performance Program and has trained with Canada’s Ballet Jörgen and Kittiwake Dance Theatre. During her time at George Brown, Hannah had the opportunity to perform new works created by Darryl Tracy, Apolonia Velasquez, Derek Sanster, and Irma Villafuerte, among others. She has enriched her growth as a dancer through various summer intensive programs, including Kenny Pearl’s Emerging Artist Intensive, as well as the International Summer Dance Intensive with Arts Umbrella, where she had the privilege to learn and perform works by Jirí Kylián, Mats Ek, and Crystal Pite. Hannah is currently participating in a choreographic mentorship with the Artistic Director of Human Body Expression, Hanna Kiel; and has previously choreographed new works for Kittiwake Dance Theatre, Neighbourhood Dance Work’s Festival of New Dance, George Brown Dance’s Ensemble, and The Garage

Elise Tigges (RDDP Apprentice) is an emerging dance artist based in Toronto, Ontario, and co-founder of Lofty Goal Project, a Toronto based arts collective. Originally from Vancouver, BC, she moved to Toronto to continue her training at George Brown Dance and has since completed programs with Canada’s Ballet Jörgen, the Goh Ballet Academy, Colorado Ballet, Alias Dance Project, and Peggy Baker Dance Projects. Elise has performed at New Blue Emerging Dance, Dance Ontario Weekend, and with The Garage collective. She has also furthered her choreographic research through the creation of two pieces for the George Brown Dance Ensemble program, one of which was presented in Toronto’s Lights Dance Festival, and the other in George Brown Dance’s Unleashed. Lofty Goal Project produced their first show, Moving Forward: Untitled, in September 2019 where Elise premiered Time in the Tides. Elise works as a rehearsal assistant with Canada’s Ballet Jörgen and George Brown Dance, and teaches across Toronto. Outside of the studio, she is a writer and has been a contributor for The Dance Current since the spring of 2016. Elise is thrilled to be a part of Dancing with the Universe.


REAson d'etre dance productions' Artists Archive

Aya Belsheim Close Knit (2007)

Johanna Bergfeldt

Aurthur Bernard

VIVID (2002), Studio VIVID (2005), VIVID (2006)

Contact Dance Film Festival Headline Artist (2015)

Piotr Biernat

Fleeting (2002)

Travis Birch

VIVID (2006)

Tom Brouillette

Fleeting (2002), Long Live (2008)

Yves Candau

Dawn Carlton

Unraveling (2011)

Bodies in the Moment (2002)

Bill Coleman

Courtnae Bowman

Men's Circle (2017)

VIVID (2002), Elysian (2002)

Bess Callard

Studio IRE (2005), IRE (2006)

Dianne Chappitus

Bodies in the Moment (2001)

Monique Comeau

Close Knit (2007)

Eryn Dace-Trudell

Fleeting (2002)

Amy Ehrhardt

Close Knit (2007)

Samantha Farruggio

Anna Finkel

Unraveling (2011)

Studio IRE (2005), IRE (2006)

Nicole Fougère

Miranda Forbes

Marrow (2003)

Unraveling (2011)

Francisca de la Mora

Sharon Fridman

Bodies in the Moment (2002)

Contact Dance Film Festival Headline Artist (2015)

Ella Gladstone

Lapinthrope (2005)

Amy Hampton

Elysian (2002), Fleeting (2002), Marrow( 2003)

Anna Hein

Lapinthrope (2005), Frauenmythos (2000)

Tom Hui

Bodies in the Moment (2002)

Dwain Jones

Bodies in the Moment (2002

Pam Johnson

Janet Johnson

Bodies in the Moment (2001), VIVID (2006)

Unraveling (2011)

Robert Halley

Long Live (2008)

Allen Kaeja

Bodies in the Moment (2002), Lapinthrope (2005), Men's Circle (2017)

Karen Kaeja

Bodies in the Moment (2002), Fleeting (2003), Marrow (2004), IRE (2006), Long Live (2008), Unraveling (2011)

Andre Kamienski

Kirstie Keenan

Emily LeBlanc

Martine Lamy

Contact Dance International Film Festival (2017)

Unraveling (2011)

Etched (2019)

Night Shells (1995)

Marlene Latour

Close Knit (2007), Long Live (2008)

Paul Lewis

Suzanne Liska

Men's Cirlce (2017)

Close Knit (2007), Long Live (2008), Unraveling The Tight Weave (2011), Folding Into You (2019)

Taylor Lorette

Close Knit (2007)

Sarah MacDonald

Mayumu Minakawa

Shiela Muir

Unraveling (2011)

Contact Dance International Film Festival (2017)

Bodies in the Moment (2001-02), Frames (2002), VIVID (2003)

Eva Muller

Frauenmythos (2000)

Emma Murray

Pieces of Undressing (1999)

Kousha Nakhaei

Rudi Natterer

Yvonne Ng

Malgorzata Nowacka

Men's Circle (2017)

Men's Circle (2017)

Fleeting (2003)

VIVID (2002), Lapinthrope (2005)

Chelsea O'Brian Long Live (2008)

Lisa Otto

Marrow (2002), Fleeting (2003)

Lisa Pijuan

Bodies in the Moment (2001 & 2002)

Marlowe Porter

Close Knit (2007)

Allison Rees Cummings

Jessica Runge

Series 8:08 (2002)

Unraveling (2011)

Deltin Sejours

Alexander Short

Malcolm Shute

Meghan Smith

Men's Cirlce (2017)

Contact Dance Internattional Film Festival (2017)

Contact Dance Internattional Film Festival (2017)

Close Knit (2007)

Holly Small

Unraveling  (2011)

Teisha Smith

VIVID (2006), Long live (2008), Unraveling (2011)

Veronica Smyth

Close Knit (2007)


Harold Tausch

Mateo Galindo Torres

Bodies in the Moment (2001-2002)

Men's Cricle (2017)

Men's Cirlce (2017), Etched (2019)

Lee Walder

Harriet Waghorn

Tom Weksler

Long Live (2008), Unraveling (2011), Groundswell (2012)

Contact Dance International Film Festival (2017)

Contact Dance International Film Festival (2017)

William Yong

VIVID (2002), Lapinthrope (2005)