TIME May 30 – June 2, 2016

W&M PHYSICAL THEATRE will present a new work entitled “TIME”, a physical and visual exploration of the influence of time in human experience. In conventional wisdom, time is a measure in which events can be ordered from the past through the present into the future. But what is the nature of time as social currency, and how does our preoccupation with both the past and future define the present of our lives? Time integrates scenic design, video projection, movement, voice and music in an interdisciplinary investigation of temporality. MAY 30 and 31 at 7PM & JUNE 1 and 2 at 2PM

RISING April 1 & 2 2016

RISING – APRIL 1 & 2, 2016 @ 8PM
Pumphouse Theatre, 2140 Pumphouse Ave. SW
Calgary, AB

A compelling, kinetic evening of contemporary dance presented by W&M DANCE PROJECTS with performances by WM2 [DANCE CO.] and SURGE CO. Artistic Directors: Wojciech Mochniej and Melissa Monteros. This is our season-closing performance with our pre-professional and apprentice companies!


Choreographers: Tania Alvarado, Marie France Forcier, Wojciech Mochniej, Oriana Pagnotta, Serenella Sol, Linnea Swan

Tickets: http://wmdancerising.brownpapertickets.com/


Questions: information@wmdance.com

SURGE CO. AUDITION April 3, 2016

Sunday, April 3, 2016 – 12noon-2pm at W&M Dance Projects Bay 9 – 4005 9 St. SE

The SURGE Company provides a challenging dance experience for hard working, self-motivated young artists between the approximate ages of 19 to 25. The program focuses on training, self-exploration, and choreographic endeavours in a dance company setting to explore contemporary dance as a creative art form.

Each dancer in the SURGE Company receives personal direction, guidance, and encouragement under the Artistic Directorship of W&M Dance Projects, its artistic associates, choreographers, and rehearsal directors. SURGE Company members will train, create, and engage in creative process with some of Calgary’s leading choreographers. Informal showings and creation work provide performance opportunities to further foster the dancers’ development in this tuition-based program. The company is directed by Melissa Monteros and Wojciech Mochniej.


SURGE is for dancers 19-25 years old (approximately) with some dance experience. The program is based in contemporary dance, but dancers with a strong background in other forms are still welcome to apply.

This workshop style audition consists of basic contemporary dance technique and across the floor work, as well as some short movement sequences and group exercises. There is NO need to come with any prepared choreography.

Dancers should come ready to dance in comfortable clothes or dance attire that allows us to see their basic body alignment. Please pre-register by email, and arrive early to sign-in. The company season runs September – November 2016 and January to April 2017. Weekly rehearsals are Mondays and Wednesdays 6-9pm, and Saturdays 10am-1pm.

AUDITION DETAILS Sunday, April 3, 2016

11:30am – check-in and register | 12noon-2pm – audition

W&M Dance Projects Bay 9 – 4005 9th St. SE


Email surge@wmdance.com with questions or to register.

Conference in Hawaii; paper presented and projects in progress

It has been a while since we have had even a second to post.  This month we begin a 6 month sabbatical from the University of Calgary which allows us to focus sharply on our creative work.  We have just presented a paper here in Honolulu, with Adrianna Kabza on the development of Gdansk Dance  Theatre and  its place in  post-communist Poland.   This is the first step in a book we are co-authoring on this topic.  We met some incredibly interesting and wonderful people here in beautiful Hawaii!   We are working on our new series of short dance films developing the earlier work we did which was inspired by the poetry of Pablo Neruda.  In February, we begin a  collaborative project with Montreal based musician, Nils Brown, choreographing a new approach to the compositions of Witold Lutoslawski at the Banff Centre.  April and May see us in France and Poland, meeting again with our French colleague and collaborator, Christine Fricker!

Stay tuned for more…..

BOW: post from the field #2: September 21, 2015

| from Calgary looking ahead to the Calgary performances


The Bow River runs right by Wojciech and Melissa Monteros’ home, where we three Body of Water artists are living and working together for the second week of the Calgary portion of the project. The rhythm of our workdays are determined by the weather, the perpetually shifting river, and the working schedule of the dedicated and inspiring young dancers of W&M Physical Theatre’s Surge Company. Only a few days into their season, these dancers bravely leapt into our collaboration, and into site-specific dance practices.


The other day, I waded into the river to photograph the Surge company dancing: their heads in the water, bare feet resting on the pebbles and stones, a line of still bodies drawn on the shore; an image complicated by the troubles of our world and all its’ current struggles and inequities. I noted the intense power of the dancing body (simply, eloquently, wordlessly) casting perspective for the incidental audience gathering on the bridge above us. By placing themselves in a vulnerable position, the dancers became incredibly strong. I am grateful to the Surge guest artists’ willingness to work with us on this creative process. It is a gift to us older artists to collaborate with young artists, and witness their bright light illuminating paths we may have danced before.





BOW: post from the field # 1: September 17,…

| from Calgary looking back to the process in Whitehorse

BOW: post from the field # 1: September 17, 2015

| from Calgary looking back to the process in Whitehorse

During a break in the rain, we drove to Long Lake in Whitehorse. We took with us the clothes and shoes and the 6-foot standard folding table around which we had constellated for a few days in the Old Fire Hall. We imagined filming a sequence on the shore of the Lake — enacting a scene of bureaucrats around a table who are in conflict with, and ineffective to protect or relate to, the wild space surrounding them — the illusion of human control maintained by sedentary paperwork, to the detriment of water and all Nature.

Instead, shortly after carrying the table down the hill to the shore, Anne and I waded it into the water, pushed the table legs into the silt, yelling and laughing from the impact of the cold water. With the immersed table, we created the brief illusion of standing (dancing, sitting, crawling) almost on the surface of the water. For the Body of Water performance in Whitehorse on Friday September 4th 2015, we immersed three tables this way, end to end with enough space to wade between them. The cold water gushed off our heavy black clothing when we stood up. The shoes may still be wet. 

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Milan Kozánek graduated of the Academy of Performing Arts in Bratislava (Slovakia). He works as an independent choreographer and teacher. Milan has got many experiences as a teacher in the institutions such as SEAD – Salzburg Experimental Academy of Dance, Northern School of Contemporary Dance in Leeds (UK), Tanz Quartier Wien and Konservatorium Wien University (Austria), Grotowski Institut in Wroclaw (Poland) and many others.
Together with his wife Zuna Kozankova, Milan is a co-founder of the Artyci Dance Company. The goal of the company is to combine creative and pedagogical activities. Their current aim is to develop the Art and Education Center Pangea in the Eagle Mountains (Czech Republic).

The class is focused on using the natural way of the movement of human body. Understanding the bone structure, movement and energetic centers, perceiving mutual motion relations of the body have become the basis for the whole class that includes floor work, technical exercises, variations and an important last part where one can experience the new knowledge in practice.
During the class, we will focus on listening to our inborn instincts and learn how to use them in movement, we’ll discover and develop chained reactions that our body offers and we’ll search for new movement possibilities, using the weight of the body and its parts. We will use the floor work, dynamics (as an important part of the movement), impulses, fallings, acceleration and working with the space.


Join us for the auditions for the Surge Company’s 2015/2016 Season which launches in September 2015.


W & M Physical Theatre’s Waiting Rooms in Heaven Reflects On The Life (Not) Lived


Presented at the University Theatre, W & M Physical Theatre’s preview of its latest work in development Waiting Rooms in Heaven summons poignant reflections on life and the life (not) lived.

The piece takes place inside a room decorated with pristine white chairs. The only exit is a door atop some stairs, but out this door are a flock of birds that obscure the sky. This place is nowhere exact or well-defined. It is a metaphysical space whereupon eight unfortunate individuals enter into without any answers nor any clarity. Regrets from the past soon reemerge and make heavy the souls of those trapped in this mysterious unknown.

There is woven into this piece this desire that life choices were not so permanent. It is an idea that repeats itself as a wish that life were written in pencil than in pen, that one could go back and do things differently. It is an idea, however, that removes the opportunity to not only learn, but to also experience life in the moment. After all, what is a life stripped of its spontaneity? What is a life interrupted by fear and anxiety?

Driving this idea of doing one’s life over again are the “what ifs” the adult characters of this piece find themselves trapped within. Repeated again and again are what the characters wish they could have done differently if only ‘this’ or ‘that’. It is fitting then that the there is an almost violent sense of control in the movement. As if trying to change the outcomes of some past scenarios, the dancers attempt to manipulate and bend to their will the other. Their efforts are in vain just as wondering “what if?” is a futile attempt at changing the past. Where they manage to exert any sort of “real” control is in throwing the rows of chairs into one large pile. Of course, what meaningful impact does such a destructive action have in the grand scheme of things?

The company has incorporated in this piece four actors who range from 10 to 60 years old. It makes sense that the two adult characters would carry some baggage as they certainly have had the years to accumulate such burdens, but what about the little girl and teenager trapped in this room with the others? How do they, who appear to be brother and sister, fit in this place? Perhaps their baggage is of the second-hand kind, the kind handed down through the generations. If this is the case, then perhaps their wish is not to have lived life differently, but to have been born into a whole different life altogether.

The piece ends on a hopeful tone when the door is opened once again and, this time, soaring birds greet the characters. It is an invitation to let go and move on, to fly away and live a life unrestrained.

Here, the company’s latest work explores the idea that the gravity of our burdens are only as great as we allow them to be. While the current circumstances of our lives may be cemented as a result of choices made, the life not yet lived remains to be written. And this life that waits for us relies upon on the right state of mind which, in the end, makes all the difference.

With this only being stage one of development, it will be interesting to see how the piece evolves and what it will ultimately resemble when W & M Physical Theatre brings Waiting Rooms in Heaven to Calgary again in 2016.

W & M Physical Theatre’s Waiting Rooms in Heaven ran at the University of Calgary’s University Theatre Jan 22 – 24, 2014. The piece was presented as part of U of C’s School of Creative and Performing Arts’ Dance Pro Series.

Choreographed by: Wojciech Mochniej with Melissa Monteros
Performers: Wojciech Mochniej, Laura Henley, Rufi O. Rodriguez, and Serenella Sol
Guest Performers: Valerie Campbell, Valerie Pearson, Griffin Cork, Ruby June Bishop, and Kent Brockman (bass)

For more information about the show, visit: 


THE CUBE – Pumphouse Theatre, Calgary  @ 8PM, April 3&5

“The Cube by Melissa Monteros opens a fantastic door into a parallel universe: a voyage into the deepest feelings of human beings, their reactions and ways of confronting who they are in the world. With a mixture of movement, video and live music, this piece presents a captivating atmosphere that invades the space with a magical mood, full of passion and intensity. From the beginning to the end, The Cube presents a whole new perspective on the world, through movement, while thousands of colors and sounds complete the effect of the dance, making it pleasurable to the senses.”

By Sisa Madrid – published through the U of C ADDF Dance Blog