Ethereal and Performative: Art by Susan McKenzie

A photograph of a dancer in mid-movementDuet by choreographer Connie Moker Wernikowski. Dancers: Carleigh MacDonald, Natasha Molnar-Fluter. Photo: Tien Johnson

Susan McKenzie is an artist, teacher, dancer, and choreographer based in North Vancouver, BC. Susan’s works are often ethereal and performative, blending dance with other conceptual ideas. The artist often takes a collaborative approach to work and life, and sits on the board of directors of Vancouver’s Southeast Asian Cultural Heritage Society.

A photo of some young dancers observing birdsBird research, observation at Woscana Bird Sanctuary


I like the way that Susan blends her work in dance and choreography with community activism. For example, in our previous feature of Susan’s performance, dance, and writing, we looked at the artist’s work as an educator with the Jumpstart Performance Company. Susan helped to cultivate a love of dance in a number of different communities.

A screen capture of Susan McKenzie's art


In Susan’s New Dance Horizons gallery on her art portfolio website, we as the viewers get to take a fascinating look at the process of choreographing a dance – in one set of photos, a group spends time at a bird sanctuary, collecting cast-off feathers as inspiration, before engaging in a flight-themed dance number.

A photo of dancers at a New Dance Horizons workshopThe Flutter Dance, all-ages dance workshop (Qu'appelle Valley performance, 2016), Dancer: Robin Poitras and Company. Photo: Tien Johnson

Written by: Dallas Jeffs
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