Bio

Jennifer McLeish-Lewis

Performer – Producer – Choreographer – Teacher – Radio Host

Jen PortraitJennifer McLeish-Lewis is a west coast based contemporary dance artist working internationally. She has performed in Brussels at the Danse en Vol Festival with MACHiNENOiSY’s Body/Building (2003), down the west coast of the United States with Karl Frost’s Axolotl (2005), in Berlin with Felix Ruckert’s United Kingdom (2006), and at The Banff Centre during a residency with The Tomorrow Collective (2008). In May 2007 she was the assistant-director of a piece by Martha Carter at the Dance Week Festival in Zagreb, Croatia.

For the last three years she has been moving in a theatrical direction with her work, co-creating and performing in Radix Theatre’s Fever (Hive), in her own pieces like fishgirl (Battery Opera’s Bob’s Lounge and Leaky Heaven Circus’s BLiNK) Privileged White Girl (at The Carroll Street Festival) and The Naughty Elf (BLiNK). A major theme and through line in her work is the sacred feminine.

GraffitiJennifer trained across Canada at The Alberta Ballet School of Dance, The School of Toronto Dance Theatre and MainDance, which she graduated from in 2002. In 2003 she was the recipient of the Holly Body Tattoo BC Emerging Dance Artist Award. Jennifer was a company member of mmHoP from 2002-2009, performing in stage and film work and at times as rehearsal director or choreographer’s assistant (martamartahop.com). Along with the artists mentioned above, Jennifer has performed works by Peter Bingham, Susan Elliott, David Pressault, Helen Walkley, Delia Brett and Daelik. Her training in contemporary techniques, ballet, contact improvisation and yoga, as well as her experience in club culture make her a versatile interpreter.

Jennifer was a founding member and one of three co-artistic directors of The Tomorrow Collective; a company that produces the interdisciplinary performance series Brief Encounters. The “artistic blind date meets creation under the gun” event created a buzz in the Vancouver arts community as “one of the city’s hottest ongoing series” –The Georgia Straight, 2007. As a platform for accessible and inspiring interdisciplinary work, Brief Encounters is funded by the Canada Council for the Arts and The City of Vancouver. Jennifer left The Tomorrow Collective in 2009 to pursue her solo career.

"Soft Animal" choreographed by Jennifer McLeish-Lewis

“Soft Animal” choreographed by Jennifer McLeish-Lewis

Jennifer has had her choreography presented at professional venues such as The Dancing on the Edge Festival, Dances for a Small Stage, Signal and Noise, The Scotia Bank Dance Centre’s DanceLab Series, Lucky Trimmer (Berlin) and in a short film for the National Film Board of Canada. Jennifer is a certified Hatha Yoga instructor who has taught since 2004. As a contact improvisator she leads workshops, classes and jams in the form. Her most recent creative endeavor is an all women’s radio show called GIRLcrush on Cortes Radio, every Wednesday afternoon from 1-3pm PST.

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