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I choreograph, teach and costume contemporary dance. I make felt matryoshkas. I sew quilts and burping cloths for babies. I knit things both flat and 3-dimensional. I am drawn to texture and nuance and am simply inspired to create. I appreciate the care and love inherent in hand-made work.
As for the company name, Pocket Alchemy: creating, performing and witnessing art is alchemical to me: a bit of back-alley, sleight-of-hand magic that even when my own retains a dust of surprise, an element of the fantastic. Pocket Alchemy it is.
There are 2 little boys who make me mom — a creative, inventive, improvisational journey at every moment! I attended Waldorf school as a child, which inspired early knitting adventures, a wide imagination and a firm appreciation of wonder. Eventually I found my way to The School of Toronto Dance Theatre’s Professional Training Program in the late 1990s where I studied contemporary dance. I worked in various capacities at The Dance Current magazine – from news editor and writer to circulation and advertising to managing editor – over 10 years and I still work as an independent arts administrator. I am surrounded both personally and professionally by a wealth of creative, excellent folk who help keep me grounded, silly, inspired, edited and generally filled with goodness.
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CRAFTS & TEXTILES
I love to make things and when I’m not making things, I’m thinking about making things. Primarily I stitch and sew, though I also carve a mean rubber stamp, wield both glue stick and gun quite deftly. I adore the myriad of textures available in paper, the possibility in a bolt of fabric, a skein of yarn or floss. Dreams of making and actually making – that’s what makes me hum.
At the moment I make a LOT of smaller and larger felt matyoshka dolls as brooches and decorations and toys:
I’m also focused on the creation of a regular line of burping clothes, quilts and play mats for babies:
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At the centre of myself, I’m a dancer. Inspired by the collision of words and movement, my dance works often include the integration of text, audibly or on the sets or costumes. I develop my choreography through a “sourdough” process of words informing movement, movement inspiring text and so on.
My company’s dances have been co-produced by the Toronto Fringe Festival and DanceWorks in Toronto and have been presented across Canada at festivals such as Artrageous in Whistler; fFIDA, Small Potatoes, Series 8:08 and Dance 2 Danse in Toronto; and the Atlantic Fringe Festival in Halifax.
“I have compiled some of my performance memories from the year  … August: Susan Kendal’s The Amelia Project with text by Lindsay Zier-Vogel and danced by Lorraine Aston. The piece, based on stories of the female pilot Amelia Earhart, has just the right amount of space in its composition. I felt the quality of the thinner air that one would experience while flying a thousand feet above the earth.”
~ Megan Andrews, The Dance Current magazine
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The lovely collision of the things I adore: sewing and dance! I fell into costuming in a right-place-right-time moment at the age of 19.
Costuming has proved to be the most excellent parallel career to my dance work and has slowly but surely become the thing I do more than anything else as a professional contractor with both dance and theatre jobs finding their way to me.