Artists in Residence Research Series: Call for Submissions

Dates: The Research Series runs January-March, 2021


A residency program designed to support the creative processes of artists from all disciplines engaging in dance and/or movement-based research by providing resources such as artists fees, rehearsal space, and public presentation opportunities. The purpose of the residency is to allow for in-depth research, critical thinking, risk-taking, professional development, skill enhancement and an exchange of ideas.

Four (4) artists or artistic teams will be selected to participate in the 2021 Research Series via this application process. No less than two (2) of these teams will be Manitoban-led, and up to two (2) of these teams will be out-of-town-led. We encourage applicants from local, national, and international contexts with access to wifi to apply.

Young Lungs Dance Exchange (YLDE) is committed to the principle of equitable access and strives for a fair, cooperative, respectful, and safe environment that protects and promotes human rights and affirms the dignity of all persons. A minimum of one (1) Black, Indigenous, or artist of colour (or artistic team-lead) will be selected of the four (4) projects. We encourage you to self-identify.

YLDE has funds set aside to support a portion of accessibility-related costs. We are happy to work together with artists to secure the appropriate and necessary budgeting requirements.

Applications will be reviewed and chosen by a selection committee.


Resources facilitated by YLDE during the residency:

• A budget of $3,500 for artist fees and additional labour and/or materials
• Access to an accessible studio space (up to 40 hrs)
• Access to technical support for virtual-based projects (up to 15 hrs)
• Access to YLDE workshops throughout the residency period
• Concluding roundtable discussion regarding the research undergone during the residency (online format)
• Public presentations of the research (online format)
• Presentation of your work will be documented
• Research will be considered for both written and visual essays published on the Young Lungs website

Each artist/group is required to adhere to the following:

• Adapt research format to meet Covid-19 safety protocols. We also encourage exploration with the parameters which physical distance has provided for the fields of performance and embodiment.
• Demonstrate/share their research at the online Research Series presentation. This event will be open to the public
• Participate in public discussion/talk back sessions on the artist’s research
• Develop an online workshop based on their research. This event will be open to the public
• Share their process with a commissioned writer, photographer, and other artists participating in the Research Series (ie. virtual studio visits, phone conversations, etc.)
• Submit a final report at the end of the residency detailing activities and feedback


To apply please submit the following information by email to [email protected]

DEADLINE TO APPLY: Sunday, November 29, 2020.

  1. Contact information: Full name, preferred pronouns, email, home address, phone number
  2. A description of the research project (800 words max.): Explain the inspiration for your project and why you wish to undertake it at this time. Discuss your proposed research process, including a brief explanation for how your process will work well within restrictive Covid-19 safety protocols
  3. Artistic statement (400 words max.): For collaborations, this can be a combined statement or include the statements of each applicant
  4. CV (two-pages max.): For collaborations, please include one CV per collaborator
  5. Biography of the lead artist(s) (each 250 words max.): If you are selected, this text could be used for promotional purposes (press release, website, social media, etc.)
  6. Brief description of a proposed workshop based on your research (150 words max.)
  7. Two items of support material: This can include recent dance or movement work/research, or relevant materials to provide context for your research proposal. Support material can be sent in the form of weblinks or attached documents with your emailed application. The jury will be asked to spend no more than 8 minutes on each submission’s support material. Please provide information on what you would like the jury to focus on if you are providing material that is longer than 4 minutes/1 written page/5 images each.
  8. Budget: This is a critical part of the application. Make sure you are allocating enough funds towards maintaining a professional rate for all collaborators. YLDE suggests using the following guideline for dance artist fees – The CADA/West recommended MINIMUM for an hourly wage is $26.00/hr for professional artists. Materials, mentorship/consultation, and specific requirements should also be considered in the budget.

For questions, including further accessibility funds information, about our residency program, please do not hesitate to contact Zorya Arrow at [email protected].

Photo credit: Deanna Peters and Less San Miguel, Research Series (2019), Photo by Omid Moterassed.

Meet the 2020 Research Series Artists in Residence:

Emily Solstice Tait

Emily Solstice Tait is of mixed settler and Ojibway heritage, from Treaty 5 Territory, living in Treaty 1 Territory, Winnipeg, Manitoba. She is a 2019 graduate of the Professional Program at the School of Contemporary Dancers and a multidisciplinary artist with her practice crossing into theatre, devising, choreography, and stage management. Past projects include performing with Odette Heyn- Projects/Canada Day Live Ottawa & Winnipeg Symphony Orchestra, WCD’s Actualize (Ming Hon) and Calibrations of Flux (Jolene Bailie), Théâtre Cercle Molière Marathon De Crèation (Miguel Fortier), Stephanie Ballard and Dancers, Sarasvati Productions, Theatre New Brunswick/ Confederation Centre for the Arts (PEI), Raven Spirit Dance & Vines Art Festival (Vancouver), Rouge-gorge/ New Dance Horizons (Regina), New Blue Emerging Dance (Toronto), and in Creando Lazos a Través de la Danza (Léon & Guanajuato, México).

Mark Dela Cruz

Mark Dela Cruz markiatsu (Mark Dela Cruz) was born into a family of farmers in barangay Osmeña of Solano, Neuva Viscaya. At the age of 8, he immigrated with his family of 4 to North End Winnipeg, Manitoba. His foundations in dance came from dance classes offered in high school and from weekly sessions with a hip-hop dance crew. After high school, he completed his Honours Degree Bachelor of Arts through the School of Contemporary Dancers. He now works with a Toronto-based charity called Outside Looking In that brings dance classes to Indigenous youth in remote First Nation communities.

Neilla Hawley

Neilla Hawley is a contemporary dance artist based in Winnipeg, Manitoba. In high school, her only plan for the future was to win the lottery at eighteen – a dream she abandoned at nineteen to become an artist. In her career thus far, she has had the opportunity to perform the works of Rachel Browne, Harold Rhéaume, Stephanie Ballard, and Jolene Bailie. Neilla has worked professionally in Québec with Le fils d’Adrien danse, in Léon & Guanajuato, México for Creando Lazos a Través de la Danza, and here in Winnipeg with Gearshifting Performance Works and Winnipeg’s Contemporary Dancers. She is a member of BOSS Dance Team, a hip-hop team that performs and trains in Winnipeg and she holds a BA Honours in Dance from The University of Winnipeg (School of Contemporary Dancers).

* Emily Solstice Tait, Mark Dela Cruz and Neilla Hawley will be collaborating during this research process.

Meryem Alaoui

Meryem Alaoui is a dancer-choreographer from Morocco, living in Toronto, Canada. Her work is often an invitation towards a softer, more contemplative and sensorial experience of dance.

A graduate of the School of Toronto Dance Theatre, she has danced for choreographers Amanda Acorn, Peggy Baker, Jennifer Dallas, Karen Kaeja, and Antony Hamilton with the company Dancemakers, among others.

Her choreographic works ‘Sand Body’ and ‘Solo (not solo) Water Study’ have been shown in Toronto, Montreal and Hamilton. She was most recently commissioned to create a solo for principal dancer Sonia Rodriguez, through the National Ballet of Canada’s CreativAction program.

She’s been studying Body-Mind Centering® since 2016, with support from the Ontario Arts Council and the Dancer Transition Resource Centre.

Sasha Amaya

Sasha Amaya works performance, installation, choreography, and direction. Trained first at the Royal Winnipeg Ballet School, she holds degrees in philosophy and urban studies, and is fascinated by the ways in which space, place, history, and imagination work together. Particularly interested in the relationship between space, sound, music, movement, and dance, Sasha enjoys regular collaborations with dancers, musicians, composers, and architects. In 2020 Sasha continues to co-lead a WAC WITH ART project, as well as support the Cluster Festival for New Music + Integrated Arts through her role as a board member.

*Meryem Alaoui and Sasha Amaya will be collaborating during this research process.

Improv Score for the COVID-19 Age

In lieu of the workshop they were going to be leading in March 2020 that was canceled due to COVID-19, current Research Series artistic team Neilla Hawley, Mark Dela Cruz, and Emily Solstice Tait are sharing with the public an improv score they have put together as a part of their creative research. 

Curious?!? Give it a read below, and launch into a physical exploration!

We’ve all settled into our COVID-19 lives and, as May pulls us further and further into, we can see the end to social distancing on the horizon. This time of near (or complete, for some) isolation had us thinking about our research for the YLDE Research Series in a new light. The focus of our research as Artists-In-Residence was collaboration: radical collaboration between three artists, the space around us, and the audience. When we found ourselves no longer able to be in the same room with each other, we leaned into the isolation and imagined our work for one person. This improvisation score is what we came up with. As we anxiously await the day we can all be in the same room again, we can offer to you a way to be alone with your thoughts and your movement while connecting with what you have around you. 

This improvisational score starts consists of a solo exploration, an object collaboration, and an exploration in collaboration with the space around you. Change the rules as you need and want to. The suggested times are only suggestions. Follow where you lead. The score is a little complicated, but so was our research. We’ve provided our thoughts, suggestions, and some some bits about our research at the bottom.

Things to do before you begin:

  • Choose a room
  • Collect three objects to interact with. They should vary in their importance, uses, size, texture, and sensory impact.
  • Choose two things that held your interest today: one specific interest, one broad interest. We define a specific interest as something small that pulled your attention that day and a broad interest is a larger event/subject that you’re interested in. Ex: you noticed birds chirping outside your window this morning, and you’re particularly interested in the works of a certain fashion designer.
  • Make sure you have a timer

Music suggestions:

Using Headphones:

Solo exploration:

  • Start with your specific interest
  •  Find a comfortable position to start and set your timer for five minutes
  • Start by considering your specific interest. How does it sit in your body, how does it encourage you to move? Follow where it leads until you hear the timer
  • Take a moment to reflect on the experience
  • Set your timer for seven minutes and explore your broad interest. Afterwards, take a moment to reflect

Object collaboration:

  • Take the objects you have chosen and place them around the space
  • Your task is now to engage with one of your interests and use that as a starting point to engage with each of your objects. Effectively, you are working in collaboration with the objects
  • You have the choice of setting one fifteen minute timer in which you work with each of the objects during that period of time, or you can set the timer for three intervals of five minutes and collaborate with one object at a time
  • Find a place in the room to start, set your timer, and begin your exploration
  • Afterwards, take time to reflect

Environmental exploration:

  • Consider the entire space. The walls, the other objects in the room, the lighting.
  • How can you bring the environment into your existing collaborations? How can you collaborate with your environment via one of your interests?
  • Set your timer to fifteen minutes
  • Choose how you’d like to start, whether it be with an interest or with an object collaboration.
  • As always, take time to reflect once the improv has concluded

Our Considerations


Our research began with a question of what happens when two ideas  – in our case, two interests – are brought together. Is it possible to preserve the integrity of each interest, how do the interests impact each other, and what challenges, strategies, and discoveries do we make when we engage with each other? We found that beginnings need structure but that structure can be morphed or abandoned in real time to serve the work, that feelings of boredom and frustration are useful, valid, and can lead to deep creativity if handled with care, and that collaboration requires trust, perseverance, and hope.

Object choice:

Some examples are: a sentimental piece of furniture, a guitar, and  a package of Oreos. Some loose string, a bell, and an exercise bike.

  • Something Mark is currently exploring is revisiting specific moments in his life that conjure a certain emotion. He calls them “room memories”. You can consider this as you choose your objects if that’s what you’re into.

Solo exploration:

We have found that sometimes the chosen interest, this initial consideration, leads you nowhere interesting. Boredom here is not a failure, it is something else to be explored. How much troubleshooting and conscious decision-making did you have to do to keep yourself engaged? How far from your interest did you stray in an attempt to stay interested?

Object collaboration:

The idea here is not to continuously remain true to your interest, but to allow it to evolve to serve the collaboration. That being said, you can take moments to reconnect with yourself and with your interest – there is no expectation that your attention should always be on the collaboration. Your priorities are in flux.

If collaborating with an inanimate object seems impossible, consider what the object is: what does it do, what does it mean to you, why do you have it? Then let your interest bump up against the information you have about this object and explore their intersections. Maybe your body will become a garment that that fashion designer created and you move every time you play a note on the guitar, maybe you transition into your workout on the exercise bike because you’re bored of this shit. Whatever happens, happens. 

It’s good to remember that you and your objects cannot move in the same ways. Is this a roadblock or an opportunity?

Environmental collaboration:

Allowing your priorities to be in flux will be important here. 

Thoughts will always change – be mindful and be mindful of being mindful. This can help you minimize your adjustments as you get going so you can relax into the work. Remember that you are both following and curating ideas.

Please click the download button below for a PDF copy.