Land Acknowledgement and Anti Racism Statement

W&M Dance Projects acknowledges that the lands on which we live and create are the traditional territories of the people of the Treaty 7 region in Southern Alberta, which includes the Blackfoot Confederacy (comprising Siksika, Piikani, and Kainai First Nations), the Tsuut’ina First Nation, and the Stoney Nakoda (including the Chiniki, Bearspaw, and Wesley First Nations).  The City of Calgary is also home to the Mètis Nation of Alberta, Region III.  

We honor and give thanks to the Indigenous people of the Treaty 7 region as the stewards of this land, called “Moh’kins’tsis”, the traditional Blackfoot name; which we know as the City of Calgary.

W&M Anti-Racism Statement

As an organization and as individuals we will continue to assert our stance against systemic racism and the overt and covert acts and omissions that enable it while asserting our commitment to excellence in the arts. W&M has a longstanding value of working toward social justice for all peoples but we acknowledge that continued efforts must be made. Racism is dehumanizing to everyone it touches. We affirm our identity as an anti-racist organization and are resolved that our anti-racism commitment be reflected in the life, culture, and practices of our organization as we continue to learn about and take a stand against racism. We resolve to provide accessibility to unconscious bias workshops, lectures, and discussions around racism in arts and education to our board and artists. While we are proud to say that our hiring practices over the last decade demonstrate diversity, such as the inclusion of 40% racialized artists across our stage and film projects, we understand there is still work to be done.    

W&M Discrimination and Harassment

The Company is committed to providing and maintaining a work environment free from discrimination with regard to race, place of origin, ethnic origin, colour, ancestry, disability, age, creed, sex,  marital status, sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression; free from workplace harassment and sexual harassment, where all individuals are treated with respect and dignity, can contribute fully, and have equal opportunities. The conduct and behaviour of Members must be business-like and free from bias, prejudice and harassment.

COMPANY

W&M PHYSICAL THEATRE is the professional company created by Wojciech Mochniej and Melissa Monteros in 1994. The name of the non-profit organization supporting their works is W&M Dance Projects of Calgary; the umbrella name encompassing the contemporary dance initiatives under the artistic direction of Wojciech Mochniej and Melissa Monteros. Through the leadership of Monteros and Mochniej, the reputation of the performing company of W&M Physical Theatre has grown and their work tours often and broadly. The artists also create and produce dance films which further extends their visibility. In the community, both local and international, they are active as educators and facilitators. Their initiatives in the community include the Artists in Residence program, WM2 (apprenticeship), and the Surge Co (pre-professional) which are well established. It is a company that continues to demonstrate artistic excellence, audience growth, and strong initiatives in professional activity, education, and community development.

Artists’ Statement
As artists, we are interested in remaining open; open to inspiration, to finding a connection between how we live and respond as humans and the political and social currents that surface in our environment, and to exploring the deeper and sometimes darker currents that lurk below the surface. We strive to use an abstract physical form to create a readable language. All of this is informed by our experiences from Poland and from Finland and influenced by European theatrical forms. The feeling is what drives the work. We try to create layers in images that stimulate thought. The artistic vision is hopefully evolving, maturing, deepening. We are trying to find a more precise, distinct voice; so that each work is a culmination of what we are discovering – to take that forward into the next process. We are looking for a sense that we have completed this era or phase, that all these layers and lines have come back to make a complete whole.

 

The Artistic Directors

MOCHNIEJ  – Born and raised in Lublin, Poland, Wojciech Mochniej is the Artistic Director of W&M Physical Theatre, founded in Poland and based in Calgary. He is full time faculty in the Division of Dance at the School of Creative and Performing Arts. A professional dance artist of international repute, Mochniej continues to perform and choreograph in Canada and Europe, an international profile which contributes significantly to his students’ global perspective on contemporary dance and dance theatre. With Monteros, his work has been seen in Austria, Estonia, Finland, France, Poland, Germany, Sweden and Italy, as well as Canada.

MONTEROS – is Artistic Director of W&M Physical Theatre which she founded in 1994 with Wojciech Mochniej. She has been a guest  teacher and performer for dance companies, universities and festivals in Europe and North America, and her artistic work is informed by her frequent collaborations with international artists. She was a Fulbright Award recipient to Poland and is named in the Report on Contemporary Dance for the Congress on Polish Culture (2009) for her contributions to contemporary dance. With Mochniej, her work has been seen in Austria, Estonia, Finland, France, Poland, Sweden, Germany, and Italy, as well as Canada. Monteros is currently Professor and Chair of Dance at the University of Calgary in the School of Creative and Performing Arts.

Collaborators

Production and Management: Calvin Becker, Aleksandra Machnik and M7 Productions

Lighting Design: Steve Isom

Film: Krysztof Solek and Film Polska 

Music: Wojciech Frycz, Aleksandra Bilinska

Dance Artists: Christine Fricker, France (new project) Marie France Forcier, Canada (new project), Iris Heitzinger, Austria (WeSelle, Framed, Unframed, Cells), Miku Tsuchiya, Japan, (Bone Songs stage and film, The Cube, Skins film) Laura Henley, Canada (Weselle, The Cube, Waiting Rooms in Heaven, Time, Triangular Theories of Love...), Serenella Sol, Canada (Weselle, Waiting Rooms in Heaven, The Cube, Time, Triangular Theories of Love…), Rufino Rodriguez Canada (Waiting Rooms in Heaven, The Cube, Time, Triangular Theories of Love), Mark Medrano Canada/USA (Bone Songs stage and film), Odessa Johnston (Weselle, Painted Bird)

Rehearsal Direction and Assistance: Odessa Johnston, Samantha Ketsa

Board of Directors

Board President         Melissa Monteros

Vice President            Terry Bunce

Treasurer                   Steve Isom

Secretary                    Alèn Martel

Director                      Anna Mouat

Director                      Laura Henley