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Keynote Speaker
Photo by Georgina Reskala copy.jpg
Alva Noë


University of California, Berkeley

1:20 pm on July 4th

Location: University Theatre

Entanglement and Resistance

Human beings are organized by habit and biology. Choreography and other art practices afford us the opportunity to reorganize ourselves. In his way, biology and culture get entangled. Art shapes life and life, for its part, is made new by art. In this talk I put forward an “enactive” account of dance (art) and explore its implications for the project of studying human being.

Alva Noë is a writer and philosopher living in Berkeley and New York. He is the author of Action in Perception (MIT 2004), Out of Our Heads: Why You Are Not Your Brain and Other Lessons from the Biology of Consciousness (FSG 2009), Varieties of Presence (Harvard 2012), and Strange Tools: Art and Human Nature (FSG, 2015). His newest book is Infinite Baseball: Notes from a Philosopher at the Ballpark (OUP 2019). He is a Professor of Philosophy at the University of California, Berkeley, where he is also a member of the Center for New Media and the Institute for Cognitive and Brain Sciences. Noë is a 2012 recipient of a Guggenheim Fellowship and a 2018 recipient of the Judd/Hume Prize for Advanced Visual Studies.

[Photo by Georgina Reskala]

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Lee Su-Feh

Canada (Malaysia)

Battery Opera

Performance @ 6:50 pm on July 4th 

Downtown Calgary / East Village


Presentation @ 1:20 pm on July 5th

University Theatre


Choreography and Performance: Lee Su-Feh / Costume: Hajnalka Mandula

Co-presented with Springboard Performance


Everything is one immigrant’s way of acknowledging the indigenous territory on which she dances.

In this solo work, the dance comes out of a negotiation between what the dancer carries and the surface on which she dances. Using Daoist ritual objects such as I-ching sticks, incense and spirit paper, the dancer creates a chance-operated environment that offers obstacles and openings around which she moves. Surrendering to the inherent nature of each object – the weight, the energy and the tasks attached to each of the objects – the body is called into a dance that connects the human body to the elements.

Embedded in the piece is both a personal as well as a public ritual of acknowledgement – of who we are and where we are.


Presentation: "Looking for the simplest dance in a complex world"


I will share my preoccupations about the history of colonialism in my immigrant body and how this body can dance with the body of this land and its own history of colonialism. I will talk about my quest to find the simplest dance, a dance that emerges from instead of a dance that is imposed upon the body.


Lee Su-Feh is a dancer, choreographer, teacher, and dramaturge who has spent the last 30 years exploring the human body as a site of intersecting habits and histories. Born and raised in Malaysia, her early training began with a mix of traditional and contemporary South-east Asian dance and theatre. Since then, she has studied contemporary dance and theatre in Europe and North America with a variety of teachers and has, along the way, developed a somatic approach to movement and voice deeply influenced by her lifelong studies in Chinese martial arts, Qigong and Daoism. Since 2010, she has been exploring the Fitzmaurice Voicework® in her practice; and is a certified Associate Teacher of the method.

[Image credit: Artist Lee Su-Feh, Photography Yvonne Chew]

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(Justin Many Fingers)

Blackfoot (Canada)

Making Treaty 7 Cultural Society

1:20 pm on July 6th

Location: University Theatre

Niitoyis: Rethinking Engagement in Cultural Artistic Practice

In this presentation, Mii-Sum-In-Iskum (Long Time Buffalo Rock) will discuss examples of pan-indiginieties from an artistic and cultural perspective, in an attempt to identify the complicit interactions that will help inform the arts sector on how to better engage in culturally-informed artistic practice. He will reflect on an evolution of indigenous arts that has been recorded for a minimum of 14,000 years, leading up to the first group of First Nations artists allowed to perform in public on a theatre stage in Canada.

Throughout the past decade, Many Fingers has worked towards the creation of a truly elastic dramaturgical structure for the inception, development, and production of performance. Niitoyis (the Blackfoot word that roughly translates to “teepee” in English) is central within this structure. Throughout this process, he has worked with many elders towards an understanding of the true purpose of the Niitoyis, its significances to the community, and what the structure represents. In this presentation, Many Fingers hopes to guide his audience on a personal and communal journey of indigenous arts, exploring that which has survived over the last one hundred and fifty- three years of colonialism in Canada, as well its rich history over the thousands of years that predate it. 


Mii-Sum-In-Iskum (Long Time Buffalo Rock) is a Queer, Indigenous, disabled, and MAD artist from the Kanawa Blackfoot Reserve in Southern Alberta. His Canadian name is Justin Many Fingers, and his performing arts career includes engagements in Australia, Thailand, Nunavut, Japan, Greenland, the United States of America, and Mexico. A graduate of the Centre for Indigenous Theatre (Toronto) and the Soulpepper Actors Academy (Toronto), he has also trained in a wide range of dance styles. An interdisciplinary artist, his work spans dance, theatre, and music, and he has collaborated with leading artists from across this disciplinary spectrum in Canada and internationally. A performer-creator, programmer, producer, director, and choreographer, Many Fingers is also the Artistic Director of the Making Treaty 7 Cultural Society (

[Photo by Arnell Tailfeathers]

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