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Kaelin Isserlin, Arin Aronyk-Schell and Morgyn Aronyk-Schell: Twinning and entry to set choreography

The CM 2021 was conducted in English, French, Portuguese, Spanish and Japanese. Notes are in the chosen language of the participant. Translation available at >

Driving themes:

  • Contrasting dynamics

  • Relationship

  • Improvisation versus setting material

  • Responsivity

  • Siblings

  • Body states

  • Co-existing in different worlds


  • Move from creating improvisational tasks for dancers to making set material.

  • Find ways to generate new material.

  • Discover what the material they are making conveys in terms of form and meaning.

Beginning with:

  • 3-minutes of duet choreography, with a variety of shapes, rhythms and planes.

  • Strategy of offering tasks to the dancers that relate to contrasting one another.

  • Using these improvisations to generate ideas for structured material.

  • Strategy of one dancer making a movement offer and the other contrasting what the other established.

  • Full commitment of dancers and good relationship between the three participants.

  • Sense of playfulness and readiness to develop relationship or “personality.”

  • Being physically all together in the studio (after pandemic lockdowns).


  • Determining some sections of set choreography.

  • “To notice how much we can lean into specific opposing or complementing things, for example one always being turned in and the other person always being turned out; or one person being very physical and the other person being very emotional - how to have juxtaposing ideas existing in one spot, creating one thing.”

  • "Take tasks and let my subconscious pour into something and see what happens.”

  • Interest in narrative

  • To interpret symbolism through an understanding of genuine and practical sensation awareness.


  • What is the meaning [for you as choreographer] in this material that you have generated?

  • What are the rules of the game you are playing? the audience can enjoy but still feel lost- can you make the rules explicit? or which rules are best made explicit? how to make them explicit?

  • In the final work do you still want to leave space for improvisation or do you prefer to set all the moments?


  • Used to improvising, how to choose material?

  • How to create more material?

  • How to determine a bigger arc for a longer work?


  • Setting rules and seeing what personality, character and sensations arise from the rules.

  • Two people moving in contrast who oppose and complement each other at various times.

  • To anchor meaning derived from lived experience, share personal experiences for inspiration; then use these personal layers as entries to structure.

  • Moving from unison moments to out-of-sync moments to complete contrast.


  • The dancers are sisters and they didn’t know Kaelin was responding to the concept of sibling relationships.

  • There’s a secret logic in close relationships. Identify how much the audience perceives of their relationship and what to make perceivable and what to keep secret (refer to "rules" reference in "questions" above).

  • Tensions are uncovered. How to keep up with shifting dynamics in intimate relationship.

Development and Skill-building:

  • Working together for longer durations.

  • Developing material.

  • Setting choreography versus improvisational task, while still maintaining respect for the vocabulary that emerges from dancers’ insights and imagination.

Questions from mentors:

  • Is there a subject that you are working from?

  • What are you following?

  • You expressed interest in narrative. What ideas or concepts are you using to develop your narrative?

General observations:

  • How to share with audience the rehearsals’ spontaneity? Re: humour, comic risk, surprising movements, ability to create wonder and curiosity.

To practice:

  • Working with longer durations until they fall into new sensibilities around each other.

  • Keep playing.

  • Keep following these questions about siblings to inspire more nuanced material.

  • In the initial proposal, Kaelin mentioned getting inspiration from Tarot card readings and symbols. This elicited material, keep working with this strategy.

What next:

  • Keep practicing together.

  • Video the rehearsal material and examine the videos to capture flows of dancers working in contrast - notate moments that really felt interesting and share those moments with the dancers to see if they can find something of the energy and quality of those moments together again.

  • Developing transitions from one remarkable contrast to another.

Key words:

Contrasting dynamics, relationship, improvisation versus setting material, siblings, body states, co-existing in different worlds, responsivity.

Biographies as of 2021

Kaelin Isserlin (they/he) is a multidisciplinary visual dance artist based in Tkaronto. A recent

graduate from The School of Toronto Dance Theatre and a queer freelancer, Isserlin is exploring

their connection to rules, structure, agency and language. Isserlin has had the opportunity to

work with Apolonia Velasquez, David Norsworthy, General Effect Dance Productions, Marc

Boivin, Noemie LaFrance and (notice me) KID VICIOUS to name a few.

Under the guise of an OVERSIZE LOAD, Kaelin has created their first full show “Space We

Make” presented in Riverdale Park and the community project “Winter Correspondence”. Kaelin

frequently collaborates with friends in a project titled ‘blank space’, offering space for people to

lead their individual practices with participating dance artists in a multitude of art making forms.

They will start a second session late 2021.

Arin Aronyk-Schell (She/They) I am someone, somewhere, doing something. From Edmonton, AB a bountiful city created in favor of the unfavorable I jumped at chances and went crazy at dances and got tied up in so many

fictions that I had to run from the hills. Trying to make amends with polarizing forces. A Gemini caught between two sides - finding comfort in the in betweens and nowhere nears. Making the most of the leftovers, generating material, gathering forgotten thoughts. I am making mistakes like it's my job, I do it with purpose. I get better every day, I am learning in unconventional ways, I’ve done a lot and very little. I’m still trying to find the right words.

Morgyn Aronyk-Schell (She/Her) began her dance training in Edmonton, Alberta and in 2016 she

moved to Tkaronto where she trained at and graduated from The School of Toronto Dance Theatre. Following graduation she travelled to Mexico for a residency with La Escuela Profesional de Danza de Mazatlán. She has worked with Frog in Hand, Kaeja d’Dance, the Citadel + Compagnie, Human Body Expression, Wind in the Leaves

Collective, and Tiger Princess Dance Projects and has performed in Nextfest, the Toronto and Edmonton Fringe Festivals, InSitu, Dance Ontario DanceWeekend, SummerWorks and the Festival des arts de Saint-Sauveur. Morgyn is also an arts educator for youth through Tiger Princess’s Swallowing Clouds program.


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