W&M PHYSICAL THEATRE is the professional company founded by Wojciech Mochniej and Melissa Monteros in 1994 in Gdansk, Poland, and which changed its home base to Calgary in 2000. The name of the non-profit organization is W&M Dance Projects of Calgary which encompasses all the production initiatives created and supported by the organization. These include the touring, performance, and film work of W&M Physical Theatre, the Artists in Residence program, the WildDogs International Screendance Festival and film production program, WM2 (apprenticeship), and the Surge Co (pre-professional). In the local and international community, W&M are active as artists, educators and facilitators.
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.
MONTEROS – Melissa 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.
MOCHNIEJ – Wojtek Mochniej was born and raised in Lublin, Poland. He 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.
BOARD OF DIRECTORS
Melissa Monteros, Board President
Terry Bunce, Vice President
Steve Isom, Treasurer
Alèn Martel, Secretary
Anna Mouat, Director
Laura Stiles, Director