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Jamee Valin : riff, choose, hone

Jamee Valin (choreographer-interpreter)

Jen-Yi Hum & Jannine Saarinen (assisting creation) (Toronto)

Jamee Valin (choreographer-interpreter) Jen-Yi Hum & Janinen Saarinen (assisting creation) (Toronto)


Build series of movement characters that together become a solo work re: “aspects of self”.


Material objects (personal laundry) are inspirations to reveal her many identities.

Use different postures of the body in different outfits (clothes) and the movements associated with the characters’ physical “work” life as a starting points.


Develop physicality that will support each character.

Continue explorations re:“female” identity, in this piece particularly: image via clothes.


  • Re-enter personal movement world after many months of dancing other peoples’ movement.

  • Within the process:

Keep self from answering or settling creative questions too quickly

Examine the actual natures of tasks’ physicality before going into “story” or even before saying “this is the character”.

Avoid attachments to narrative too early in the process.

Do contrasting behaviours to discover movement personalities.

Questions that arose from Mentors:

  • What do you want to dance? A story? A human state?

  • From where do you want to dance?

  • From your head? ideas --> form;

  • From your guts? sensation --> pure physicality?

  • A concept of character becomes a “persona” on stage- how to transform a creative idea into the blood of that persona?

Questions that arose from Jamee:

  • How do I keep snippets of choreography when they do not fall into the current draft?

  • How does practical logistics affect the development of movement material? i.e. It was challenging when I created movement at three different clothing pile configurations and worked with other props to weave ideas and material together this early on.

  • What is the role of the other people in the room?

  • What is the difference between outside eye, director, choreographic mentor? What do I most need from the others?

  • What is helpful about creating so quickly? Am I working more through impulse because I am doing a marathon?


  • Approaching each session as creating a “sketch” (rather than trying to “finish” what she had been working on in the previous session) made it possible to sift through many of her ideas at this early research stage.

  • In each subsequent creation time she was able to shift her approach so she never got creatively stuck.

Development/skill building:

  • Stream-of-consciousness creation

  • Transforming inspiration of exaggerated “work” movement into more abstract dance movement

  • Experimenting with contrast between real tasks (“action actuelle”) and the identities suggesting by the clothing with the inner life of the persona.

To practice:

  • Draw dramatic context from physical experimentation.

  • Recognize the kernel or heart of the action, discover its internal movement and build from there, before constructing the order of the dance.

Next steps:

  • Open the sketches to further play to enhance and deepen movement material and character development.

ABOUT: JAMEE VALIN (2016 Vancouver-Toronto) solo dance artist, choreographer, educator, performer and producer, trained at York University and George Brown College for Dance Performance Studies and Fine Arts Cultural Studies as well as mentored with Dreamwalker Dance Company, Project CPR, MascallDance, PuSh Festival, National Artist Program, and the Cultch Ignite! Dance Mentorship. She has performed and choreographed for Dance: Made in Canada, Dusk Dances, Dancing on the Edge, ROMP!, 12 Minutes Max. Miss Valin was a co-producer for To.Be.Announced in Vancouver, BC and Artistic Director of Valence Movement (dance theatre) and now lives in Toronto.

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