Canadian Maxine Heppner is an international dance artist, director and teacher of contemporary dance and interdisciplinary theatre. Known for bold and innovative projects, she has received numerous awards, grants and commissions in Canada, the USA and abroad in her 40-year career. Maxine came from Montreal to Toronto in the early 70’s, an exciting time that fostered the talent of many of Canada’s leading dance, theatre music and performance artists today. She was/is guest artist to many festivals, companies, conferences and schools since the late 1970’s as well as producing her own projects. Since 1989 Maxine has been collaborating with prominent contemporary dance, music and visual artists in Canada, the USA, Indonesia and throughout Southeast Asia. In 1996 she made her first tour to Europe where she now works regularly. In 1999 and 2002 her work was seen in Australia. She creates contemporary ensemble and solo works. She has led community arts projects from the most remote region of central Kalimantan to inner-city urban North America.
Honours include “Krima” in Now’s 2009 and 2010 favourites, “Volare” in The Star’s 2012 best, audience favourites at Jogjakarta Bienale 2006 (“shoe show”) and Guelph Dance Festival 2012 (“Here and there”), Japan Foundation recognition for “My heart is a Spoon” 2012, International Puppetry Assoc Citation for Creativity to the 1994-95 Shadowlight collaboration of “in Xanadu”, and 3 Toronto Dora Mavor Moore Awards and 2 nominations.
Always deeply involved in the environment of the creation, relationships and residencies have been ongoing over many years rather than surfing the international touring networks. Maxine has quietly and consistently distinguished herself for her own creative work and as an inspiration for students and professionals in the areas of performance, education, and community projects. Her work focuses on contemporary creation founded in physical expression be it pure choreography or multi-arts projects. She is known as an individual of extraordinary empathy and creativity and being instrumental in foundation building with fellow creators, performers, students, educators and community and international networks.
Maxine’s explorations in creation and education have run concurrently throughout her career, working with all ages, all abilities in inner cities, rural villages, professional training programs, companies, universities, community programs worldwide. In Canada her institutional teaching includes founding head of the dance department for the Claude Watson HIgh School for Performing Arts, developing foundation dance curriculum for the Toronto School Board, being faculty at Concordia University, LADMMI, York University, and University of Toronto. She teaches creative process, choreography, performance and integrated voice-movement techniques, her Cycles practice, and she is a trained Action Theatre teacher.
As well as her international career in performance and inter-medial cration, her photography and movement videos have been seen in Berkeley, Toronto, Montreal, Melbourne, Singapore, Tokyo, Yokohama, Jakarta, and Athens and she has been production manager for National Geographic, History, HBO Channels, and Japanese TV documentaries, and Canadian, Italian and Indian feature films.