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Let’s consider, to start with at least,


- Listening with the Body

- Imagination

- Intuition

- Connectivity through the screen

- Attention

- Energy,

- The Room itself

- Knowing and Learning.


General working online

referring to your experiences as a dance artist working online:  

What do you LACK? (general or detailed e.g. too small, no angles)

What do you GAIN? (e.g. new skill, privacy)

What do you NEED? (future actions)


Listening with one’s Body

Are you maintaining the somatic base of your dance? listening with your body/spirit? How?

Are you fulfilling that function in other ways?



perceiving what is not actually present

Where is Imagination

When creating? (choreographer, director, interpreter)

When receiving? (viewer student, teacher, creative circle)


accessing all you know without conscious effort

Where is Intuition

When creating? (choreographer, director, interpreter)

When receiving? (viewer student, teacher, creative circle)


between artists

How do you & collaborators connect?

What has to be explicit? (e.g. can’t “sense” X so discuss more)

How is working with known vs new colleagues?

Digital room as workplace:

being together in the screen room

Is online changing rehearsal structure/flow/setup/time? How?

What interpersonal interactions do you encourage-nurture-discourage-need? How?


How do you filter the actual room (e.g. your home) to concentrate in the virtual room?

How do you bridge the flat online to 3D understanding?

Energy consumption

Does online feed or rob you?

How do you prepare for online vs studio?

How are your energy levels and transfer different?

What is the impact on co-artists? on the work?

Energy production

How is the screen an energetic performance space?

What performance techniques do you use to energize online movement?

What choreographic techniques do you use to create energy of the dance?

Creating in the digital room

Is the online space generative? Describe

Is the work a placeholder? For what?

Is the material skeleton-propositions for later development? How?

Dance/movement Material

Are you starting from scratch? working with previous studio material? Differences?

Does the digital room change your choices? the idea?


Where does Impulse live in all this?

Known Artistry

How are you using your expertise?

How does what you know-and-do-well serve you online?

How/what do you prepare-practice for the online room?

What is fascinating? Just necessary?


Learning Artistry

What have you been learning?

For effective online creation/rehearsal, what do you need to practice? to learn?

Are you conscious of changes in your work? Describe?


Inspiring Artistry

Perceptions, Forms, Experience?

How are you working with no shared kinaesthetic experience?

Are your perceptions altering? What? How?

Is a new form developing for you? Describe


Why online

Why not just wait until you can be in close proximity in the studio?


Is it Dance?

Is your dance as you know it transforming? Describe?

Is your dance being subjugated to film-making norms?

Is your online work still Dance? How?



© of document and thoughts herein are property of Maxine Heppner and Jessie Fraser. Any and all use and/ or references made must be attributed to Maxine Heppner and Jessie Fraser, and/or Across Oceans Arts “On Online”


Maxine Heppner teaching.jpg

Invitation to the Forum

At this time we need to be sharing our thoughts and experiences on all these questions and topics and more. 

JOIN the FORUM Aug 11-  Sept 15 to delve more deeply into the issues,  


These thoughts sparked the online conversations with 25 movement artists in the depth of Toronto’s 2nd lockdown of November-December 2020. What have we discovered since then?

These Sparks! were developed by Maxine Heppner in conversation with Jessie Fraser, September - October 2020. in Toronto Canada, for Across Oceans’ choreographic marathon special platform “on Online”. Maxine Heppner is a senior creator-performer of live and inter-medial performance. Jessie Fraser is a creator and archivist in physical theatre performance.


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