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January 2023: Harmanie Rose:
Who is Harmanie Rose in a sentence?
A passionate, creative professional dancer dedicated to making dance more inclusive for folks with disabilities.
Tell us a bit about your work and practice.
I’m a disabled contemporary dance artist, facilitator, and choreographer. As an artist with Spina Bifida, I dance in and out of my manual wheelchair. I facilitate collaborative spaces for all bodies to create connections that uplift disabled, MAD, and marginilized artists. In addition, I am growing a dance practice that explores the vulnerability of the disabled lived experience, exploring movement that is authentic to bodies not often represented in dance.
My work has been presented and supported by All Bodies Dance, Dumb Instrument Dance, Vines Art Festival, Arts Assembly, and CRIPSiE. My mentors and inspiration are Naomi Brand, Alice Sheppard, and Donna Redlick. In addition, I have taught classes at All Bodies Dance, Canucks Autism Network, National Access Art Centre, and Propeller Dance Theatre.
How long have you been dancing?
I have been dancing since 2006. I started taking a wheelchair dance class concurrently with being in my first dance performance, and initially, I said yes to help create more opportunities for folks with disabilities. However, I quickly fell in love with it and began to study and perform earnestly. I helped create a dance company for mixed-ability dancers in Edmonton, iDance Edmonton, to give myself and others with disabilities a place to dance. When I moved to Vancouver in 2014, I joined All Bodies Dance and was influential in shaping the company. In 2017, I began working on my solo practice.
How does dance fit into your life currently?
When I’m not teaching dance, I’m taking classes, talking to friends about dance, or generally dreaming about the endless possibilities of movement.
How would you describe dance’s impact on your life?
I started dancing right after I began using a manual wheelchair full-time. Dance helped me learn how to find the freedom of moving with my wheelchair and taught me how to embrace my disability and myself. It has also helped me make valuable connections and long-lasting friendships. Before I entered the world of integrated dance, I was on the brink of giving up, thinking that with my increased impairment, my life was over. Dance helped me realize I was just at the beginning. Sixteen years later, I still feel that I have just begun to dip my toes into the endless potential of this vibrant art form.
What three core values drive your engagement with dance?
My dance practice involves inclusiveness, radical acceptance, and pushing boundaries. These values are in all aspects of my dance work.
Do you have a particular practice that you carry out daily, or have you implemented new approaches to adapt to the current climate?
The past few years have given me a deep appreciation of the spaces we inhabit. I spent countless hours dancing everywhere in my house, on my balcony. I connected deeply to my neighborhood’s parks, trees, and infrastructure. I became inspired by this beautiful world and how my chair and I can connect to it. This knowledge helped me connect deeper to myself as a mover. I often find time to spend time with gravity on the floor. Or if I’m outside, I find myself dueting with a tree or the ocean waves. It is nice to take a break and be in the moment.
What are the most significant benefits of being a Dance Centre member?
The Dance Centre has always done its best to make the space safe and accessible. I appreciate access to affordable studio space and the rich community of local dancers. In addition, I plan to explore more of the Dance Centre programs and membership discounts in the coming year.
How have you been spending your time during the COVID-19 pandemic, and what are you most looking forward to?
During the pandemic, I have developed my teaching practice with more opportunities to work with companies across Canada without leaving my living room. I also began to deepen my solo and site-specific practices. I’m looking forward to moving these practices indoors and developing work for the stage that combines the beauty of site-specific and outdoor work with natural set pieces and costumes.
Interested in becoming a Dance Centre Member? Learn more here
We support the development of dance in BC as a resource centre providing programs and services for dance professionals.
Photos: Vines Art Festival 2019 Shanna Venor Dancer Harmanie Rose; Jason FA Cole and Stephanie Alexandra Service
Makeup Artist: Angie Balbon dancer: Harmanie Rose