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12 Minutes Max

12 Minutes Max: Exploration and Inspiration

Three groups of dance artists discuss the works they have been developing during the winter 2020 session of 12 Minutes Max, supported by facilitators Idan Cohen and Raina von Waldenburg. These works can be seen in a studio showing on February 18 at 6pm.

All Bodies Dance Project

12 Minutes Max lives in a strange space. It’s performance, but it’s also exploration – a sort of conditional sharing of something that will ultimately be something more… or something else entirely.

For us, the greatest challenge has been keeping that in mind.

In each rehearsal, we divide our time between generating new material, and more deeply investigating the material we already have. As we’ve progressed, we’ve found that the greatest value has been in the second option. Where we began by presenting multiple challenges – multiple choreographic “obstacles” – and advancing the score by moving through each one, we seem to have arrived at a single obstacle with the score emerging out of the myriad ways to engage with it. With the support of our mentors, we’ve realized that 12MM is not about the length of the whole as much as the depth of a part.

Since improvisation is a central pillar of All Bodies Dance’s practice, we also ask ourselves how to make that process of deepening part of the 12MM sharing – and possibly the finished piece. Where we began wanting to share what “worked” in meeting our choreographic obstacle, we’ve found that the most compelling choreography lives in the process of sharing the genuine possibility of failure.

Particularly in the fields of integrated and mixed ability dance, there is often a desire to show dancers in wheelchairs as capable of “unexpected success”: seemingly effortless extension, fluidity, and acrobatics, for example. Though our piece leaves room for those things as points of contrast, we find ourselves most challenged to use 12MMs compact rehearsal process to make space for (and present) struggle and effort. Not as a dancer in a wheelchair and a standing dancer, but as two collaborating human bodies exploring balance and imbalance alike.

Two dancers from All Bodies Dance Project rehearse together


Brenna Metzmeier, Eowynn Enquist, Isak Enquist, Sarah Formosa, and Ted Littlemore

As a collective of emerging dance artists we have begun sharing space weekly. We have found a flow of working, where we begin each day warming up our bodies in a shared improvisation that progresses into a leader/follower technique class, which continues to organically shift from peer to peer, offering space for curiosity and a sharing of practice. We work towards drawing from each of our individual approaches to finding momentum, clarity, and physical expression. Our main objective has been to hone in and share our most arousing physical desires with each other, collectively generating and putting these interests into practice.

Currently, we are working together creatively to produce a new work. We are at the initial stage of research and development. The first primary concept we have been exploring is exaggeration. This has materialized in investigations of time, character, and movement, each individually dialing through levels of seriousness and absurdity.


Dance artists sit together on couches


Oksana Augustine

I am working with the feeling of losing control vs. gaining control over one’s body and mind. My inspiration for this is drawing from my own experiences with my dreams at night. I am interested in finding pleasure while exploring the darkness within the mind through sound, time, speed, and illusion.

Dance artist Oksana Augustine rehearses


12 Minutes Max Studio Showing

Tuesday February 18, 2020 | 6pm
Scotiabank Dance Centre
Free Admission

More about 12 Minutes Max

Photos: Oksana Augustine, Eowynn Enquist courtesy of the artists , All Bodies Dance Project by Erik Zennström