I am a theatre director, acting teacher and a specialist in physical and vocal performance. I currently lead Les Ateliers du corps, a theatre training and performance creation studio in Ottawa, Canada. I was the founding director of One Reed Theatre Ensemble, based in Toronto, and was a co-founder of La Compagnie du Pont-fleurs, which was based in Montréal, the city where I lived from 1989-2005.
in Le Jardin des Poiriers, 1995, photo by Denis McReady
I teach in a several contexts: in an undergraduate liberal arts theatre studies program, in a graduate program in directing, in professional masterclasses and in my own studio, Les Ateliers du corps. I've led workshops for the Magnetic North Theatre Festival, for Théâtre la Catapulte, for Çati Dans in Istanbul, Turkey, for the Breton-language company Teatr Piba in Brittany, France, as well as for graduate and undergraduate students of performance at the Universities of Kent and Lincoln in the U.K.
teaching for Teatr Piba in Brittany, France 2010
photo by Anne-Sophie Zika, with Erwan Cloarec
I apprenticed as a performer under Canadian director and acting teacher Richard Fowler and his company Primus Theatre from 1993 to 1997. The training offered by Fowler and Primus was originally developed at the Odin Teatret in Denmark and presented a coherent and integrated approach to physical and vocal technique as well as the creation of original theatre. I also participated in Victor Garaway’s Project Group during the last year of its existence, where I learned a unique approach to hatha yoga, Hindu mantra recitation, contact improvisation and butoh. I studied voice and singing with W. Steven Lecky and Stefka Iordanova and rhythm and musical improvisation with composer Rainer Wiens.
in training with Primus Theatre, 1997, photo by Laura Astwood
Martial Arts Practice
A student of the Chinese martial arts since 1993, I am a 20th generation lineage holding disciple of Chen Taijiquan under Master Chen Zhonghua. I am also a 6th generation practitioner of Cailifoquan, a 4th generation practitioner of Tang Peng Taijiquan and a 3rd generation practitioner of Zhi Neng Qigong under Master Huang Xiao Ming (Wong Sui Meing). I hold an instructor's diploma in qigong under Master Kenneth S. Cohen with whom I have trained for over a decade. The Canadian Taijiquan Federation recognizes me as a Senior Associate Instructor. In addition to my work with these teachers, I have cross-trained widely, studying with such mentors as Allen Pittman, Sam Masich and Randall Goodwin. In 1994 I had the honour of studying Kalarippayattu with the late Gurukkal Govindankutty Nair for three months full time at the C.V.N. Kalari in Thiruvananthapuram, Kerala, India.
with Taijiquan Master Chen Zhong Hua, 2007, photo by Scot Jorgensen
I was taught Daoist meditation in the Longmen tradition by Kenneth S. Cohen and in the Zhengyi tradition by Michael Saso. I was introduced to the practice of Tibetan Dzogchen meditation by Chögyal Namkhai Norbu and to the practice of Tibetan Chö by Lama Jigmé Jinpa.
practicing ‘kamera yoga’ on Daqingshan, 2007, photo by Daniel Mroz
Academic Training and Activities
I am an associate professor in the Department of Theatre of the University of Ottawa, where I teach graduate and undergraduate theatre courses in English and French. I hold a PhD in the practice of interdisciplinary arts from l’Université du Québec à Montréal (Études et pratiques de arts, 2005). Since 2007 I have been a participant of the Working Group on Performance as Research at the American Society of Theatre Research's annual conference.
My principal area of activity is in research/creation, focusing on devising original performances and innovating in the pedagogy of performer training. I have published several scholarly articles on the use of martial arts in actor training and on the practice of devised theatre. My book presenting an integrated approach to the use of martial movement in training and creation, The Dancing Word is published by Rodopi Press, Amsterdam. My university web page contains additional academic details.