We are proud to present our 2019 roster of presenting artists! Come see their work on August 16 at 7:30pm at the Decidedly Jazz Danceworks theatre (Calgary), and Gala Reception at nvrlnd. boutique space on Saturday August 17 at 7:00pm. 

Creator Biographies & Headshots


Aleksandra Machnik

Graduated of Sociology and American Studies at the Jagiellonian University in Krakow. She was a dancer and choreographer with diploma issued by the Ministry of Culture and Art. 2000 - 2005, the manager of the Silesian Dance Theatre and the coordinator of the International Dance Conference of Contemporary Dance Festival in Bytom. She cooperated on the organization of the International Contemporary Dance Workshops and Solo Presentations in Kalisz and at the International Presentations of Contemporary Dance Forms in Kalisz and many other workshops and festivals in the country as a coordinator and artistic advisor. A member of the International Leadership Development Forum since 2001 - for art managers. Coordinator of the "Move the Mount" International Project, Producer of the award-winning duo Mochniej & Wygoda (W & M Physical Theatre) "Made in Poland - museum of imagination" and a duet "Uję (Ci)” choreographed by Wojciech Mochniej. She works with the W & M Physical Theatre as a tour manager and performance coordinator. In 2007 she was the company manager at the Theatre Junction at the Grand in Calgary, Canada. She produced film UNFRAMED dir. Paweł Zawadzki. Producer of the "We_selle" choreographed by Wojciech Mochniej. Producer of the newest performance by Maciej Kuźmiński "i." She gained her professional experience for many years as a manager of many business projects as a key account manager in advertising agencies, a producer of events, conferences, films and advertising campaigns as well as a marketing director and creative director. She has an experience in marketing and production supported by diploma of MBA QUEST.


Ariya Dance Collective

Ariya Dance Collective is an artist-run collaborative platform for creative exploration and professional development. Their lead team of artists work collectively with Winnipeg’s visual and performing arts community to design unique opportunities through projects and events, in addition to providing ongoing support to artists who show commitment to personal and professional growth. They invite dancers to be a part of their work, but also support those who want to explore their own ideas. “Abendrot” is a short film created by Ariya’s Assistant Artistic Director, Sara St. Godard. Sara collaborated with Victoria McMahon (Poet), Jesse Vanderhart (Photographer/Videographer), and Ally Poulson (Dancer), to create this beautiful fall-inspired film. A tragic, yet alluring charm is brought forward, as Mother Nature begins her descent into Winters deep cavity of rest. Sara wanted to capture the unique and exquisite beauty found within the prairies during the Fall season. Her vision was to have the film highlight the stunning imagery (auditory, visual, kinaesthetic, gustatory and olfactory), specific to Manitoba, as well as accentuate the gifts that Grandmother Earth has bestowed upon us. Ariya’s brilliant team of creative artists honoured that vision, and they are humbled to present this work at the 2019 Skylines Dance & Film Series.


Corinne Vessey

Corinne Vessey is a dance professional who has been training for over twenty years in various styles of dance. She has studied at world renowned facilities including the Royal Winnipeg Ballet, Shelley Shearer School of Dance, Harbour Dance Centre, The Source Dance Company, Decidedly Jazz Danceworks, and University of Calgary where she received her Bachelor of Arts (English, Dance minor) and a Bachelor of Education. Corinne continues to perform professionally and has appeared in "Acquiescence" in Soulocentric Festival, 49th Parallel Dance Company's "Watering Hole," Michele Moss' "Where in the World," The Toy Castle television series, The Source Dance Company's "Stranded," Royal Winnipeg Ballet School's "Peter Pan," and the Juno Awards, to name a few. Corinne's choreography has won numerous awards, and has appeared in the Soulocentric Festival, multiple Mpact Dance Company productions, Ignite! Festival, Alberta Culture Days, and at the Grande Opening of the Taylor Centre for the Performing Arts, as well as many other venues. Currently, Corinne teaches dance and theatre arts in the Performing and Visual Arts Program at Central Memorial High School. Corinne also is the Artistic Director and founder of Ember Dance Company, a semi-professional contemporary dance company based out of Calgary that has been producing its own feature shows and dance films since its inception in 2012.

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Deanna Witwer

Deanna Witwer holds a BA in Dance from the University of Calgary, collaborative with Kinesiology and specializing in performance and choreography. She is the Artistic Director of Calgary-based contemporary dance company Corps Bara Dance Theatre, and was previously a company member for ten years. Outside her work with Corps Bara, Witwer has performed with company kloetzel&co (under the direction of Melanie Kloetzel), has presented and performed work in New York City and Calgary’s Project Dance, Calgary’s Alberta Dance Festival and was commissioned in 2013 to create a work on the University of Calgary’s first year dance majors for their Montage performance.


Danielle Sturk

A multi-disciplinary artist, Danielle Sturk began her career as a dance artist and choreographer, performing in Winnipeg, Vancouver, New York and Montreal from 1986-1997. She was co-founder and artistic director of the Montreal dance company Graffiti Tango from 1990-1996. Graduating in film studies from the University of Winnipeg, Danielle is an independent film artist creating in documentary and experimental forms with the support of various arts councils - notably reeds / quenouilles (2008) and documentaries such as Vivre de A à Z : un regard sur l’alphabétisation (2004 – selected for two Blizzard Awards), Who Has Seen Allan King? (2009), Inhale Exhale (ONF -2009), and most recently, the hybrid documentary ciel(s), selected by several Canadian film festivals. She also collaborates as artistic director or director for a number of multidisciplinary stage productions and special events, as well as television and radio programs produced by Radio-Canada, CBC, Les Productions Rivard and Eagle Vision.

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Eric Cheung & Alimzhan Alan Sabir

Born and raised in Calgary Alberta, Eric Cheung is a dance artist who specializes in the street style of Popping. Eric is currently working with Ouro Collective, in which last season performed in the new creation "HAKO". As an artist, Eric strives to always show the most authentic version of himself whenever he performs. Exposing his truths in his movement and intention in every performance. He is passionate about pushing the boundaries of street dance and its possibilities by exploring into different domains. Such as performing in Virtual Reality (VR), creating short films and bringing street dance into a contemporary light.

Alimzhan Alan Sabir is a Director/Cinematographer based out of Canada. Making his directorial debut with a short film E_GO, which premiered on Booooooom, showcased on Nowness and was further curated as a Vimeo Staff Pick. His work ranges from music videos to commercials to feature length films. He was recently nominated at the Ampia Awards for his cinematography work on a feature film “A Gentleman”, and editorial work on Bosco’s music video “Cruel.” He believes in sincerity, his goal is to explore and express real emotions and stories on analog and digital mediums. He dedicates his work not only to motion picture, but also photography, where he showcases street style, fashion and more editorial work.

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Eric Pauls & Michael Janke

Introducing Eric Paul's and Michael Janke, and their experimental documentary 'Process.' Eric Pauls and Michael Janke have worked together on several projects, including on the feature film To the Mountain. Michael usually takes on the role of cinematographer, while Eric handles the writing and directing responsibilities. However, their close working relationship on Process blurred the line between the two roles and so, to the benefit of the film, chose to share responsibilities. Process premiered at NorthWest Fest and was nominated for a Southern Alberta Independent Film Award for Best Short Documentary. An experimental documentary about two emerging choreographers as they each take on their first long-form contemporary art pieces. Forgoing traditional interview format, the film relies instead on sights and sounds to convey the narrative of the film. The audience is placed in the rehearsal space with the dancers as they attempt to create something tangible out of the intangible. The struggle of working towards perfection is written on each of their faces. The film then moves onto the stage where the work put in by the choreographers is placed under the spotlight.



Formally "Arise Dance YYC", ESIRA started in 2015 when co-artistic directors Jessalyn and Abby met with a common interest to bring faith to dance, and dance to faith. The company is thriving and growing immensely; taking on more opportunity within the church as well as expanding choreography to share in other events. Through their performances, they hope to inspire and point people towards the Ultimate Artist!

Choreographers: Maryn Bjorndahl, Jessalyn Britton, Abby Scott.

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Michaella Haynes

Born and raised on Vancouver Island, BC, Michaella Haynes currently resides in Calgary as an emerging dance artist and educator. As a young artist, her passion for contemporary dance was ignited while performing in works by artists such as Crystal Pite, Julia Carr, and Alysa Pires, inspiring her to further her education at the University of Calgary, where she recently received her Bachelor of Fine Arts with distinction in Contemporary Dance. During this time, Michaella performed in the works of Marie France Forcier, Michèle Moss, Davida Monk, Melissa Monteros, and Heather Ware, while studying under the mentorship of many internationally acclaimed artists. She is thrilled to begin pursuing her passion professionally, and to be presenting an excerpt of her work a __ in Progress as part of this years Skylines Dance and Film Festival!


Morgan O’Neill-Sharp

Morgan O’Neill-Sharp completed a Bachelor of Arts in Dance with a concentration in Choreography and Performance at the University of Calgary in 2016. She continued her dance training with two years in the Decidedly Jazz Professional Training program from 2016-2018. Within the program at Decidedly Jazz, O’Neill-Sharp choreographed Hugh, Juko and Chuck for the production of Footprints in 2018. Her early training consisted of ten years of competitive Irish Dance giving Morgan the strong rhythmic foundation that she continues to build on through her dance training. As she continues with her professional career in dance, she plans on exploring rhythm-based dancing with a focus on musicality and percussive movement.


Nicole Charlton-Goodbrand

Nicole Charlton-Goodbrand is a dance artist based in Calgary, Alberta. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in Dance from the University of Calgary, a Bachelor of Arts graduate diploma from The School of Alberta Ballet, and a Professional Dancers’ Postgraduate Teaching Certificate from the Royal Academy of Dance (Berlin). She has performed with La Caravan Dance Theatre, Corps Bara Dance Theatre, mixOLOGYdanceMine, J-SIK Movements, O2 Dance Company, Surge Co., Dancers’ Studio West, Project InTandem, and with choreographers Davida Monk, Linnea Swan, and Pamela Tzeng. Nicole’s choreography has been presented in the Annual Alberta Dance Festival, Dance Montage, has been commissioned by Ember Dance Company, and was part of W&M Physical Theatre’s Artist in Residency Program. Nicole is a dance educator, teaching contemporary and ballet technique at North Calgary Dance Centre, has been a sessional instructor at the School of Creative and Performing Art at the University of Calgary, and has taught as a guest instructor for W&M 2/Surge Co., The School of Alberta Ballet, Ember Dance Company, and O2 Dance Company.


Pawel Zawadzki

Born in 1986 in Bydgoszcz (Poland). Graduated the Nicolaus Copernicus University in Torun with diploma "Every Day Bastards, Every Night Superheroes" nominated to the StarPoint Praha'11 - european artistic diplomas awards. During the studies - founder of two film groups: PawianPictures (over 20 commercials and short film forms, repeatedly appreciated in web contests) and BlueOne (music videos). In the years 2014-16, Creative Director in an interactive agency (Panasonic, Lindt, iSpot, Coty, Dilmah, Skanska, Uncle Ben's, Mattel). Till today - commercial director (Coca-Cola, TVP, TVN, Comarch, Rochstar Events, Universal Music Poland), author of creative concepts and independent director. His VR 360 project "SMS Joke" tells the true story of a student from Cameroon, sentenced to 10 years in prison for a text message. The film was created in cooperation with the Amnesty International Poland and it was a part of the global Write for Rights 2016 campaign.


Philippe-Alexandre Jacques

Mr. Jacques has dedicated his life to dance since the age of ten when he began training at Greta Leeming Studio of Dance in Ottawa. He studied tap, jazz, and ballet and received Advanced ADAPT Certifications in jazz and tap by the time he departed the school seven years later. After receiving recognition from both local and national dance competitions, he was accepted into the Royal Winnipeg Ballet School Professional Division at 17. After graduating from the Professional Division, he continued his studies in the RWB School’s Post-Secondary Aspirant Program where he had the occasion to perform and tour internationally in many RWB Company productions, such as Twyla Tharp’s The Princess and the Goblin, Galina Yordanova’s The Nutcracker and Jorden Morris’ Moulin Rouge® The Ballet. Most recently Jacques performed with the Winnipeg-based company Q Dance. While still a student, Mr. Jacques also extensively explored the realm of choreography, creating for his fellow Aspirants and for more independent projects such as X Years, a piece commissioned for the David Suzuki Blue Dot Tour and My Fair Ladies, commissioned by the University of Manitoba for the Faculty of Law’s 100thanniversary celebration. His desire to expand his knowledge in contemporary movement has led him to participate in programs such as the Nederlands Danz Theatre Summer Program and Springboard Danse Montréal, where he had the opportunity to learn works by renowned choreographers such as Crystal Pite and Jiri Kylian. Working as a mentor for young choreographers is very important for Mr Jacques; therefore, upon graduation from the Aspirant Program, Mr Jacques began working with the RWB as artistic coordinator for their hugely popular First Steps Choreographic competition while continuing to dance and choreograph independently. The yearly production allows him to work with the aspiring young choreographers in the RWB School Professional Division, as well as to liaise with the members of the local arts community selected as adjudicators. Mr. Jacques is also responsible for coordinating the Manitoba implementation of the massively successful Sharing Dance Day. The national initiative promotes the health and well-being of all Canadians by providing free dance classes and rehearsals to the community at large. Other mentorship projects include his role as an adjudicator for 150 & Me, where he reviewed projects submitted by young artists from across Canada for inclusion in the highly competitive national program. Motivated creatively by the need to “speak up” and an ardent believer in dance as a medium of connection and community, Mr. Jacques has collaborated with numerous organizations in Winnipeg, most of which are non-dance oriented. The very heart of Mr Jacques’ choreographic journey is one of collaboration. Each opportunity has further educated him and fueled his belief in the use of dance as a tool to explore humanity and create social conscience through movement. For example, in July 2015 he presented Text Me at the Winnipeg Fringe Festival. It was created for Beyond Borders ECPAT Canada, to bring attention to the issue of the sexual exploitation of children. It received positive feedback from reviews and audience members, some of whom were survivors of sexual trafficking. The year continued with the creation of another strongly themed piece, Una Vida Mejor. Mr Jacques collaborated with Armando Perla, curator for the Canadian Museum for Human Rights (CMHR), on a solo for Jaime Vargas, former principal dancer with the RWB, on the subject of agricultural migrant workers. The moving piece was presented at conferences in Mexico City and Malmö. His exploration of humanity continued in 2016, when, in partnership with Dr. Roberta Woodgate of the University of Manitoba, Mr. Jacques created a stigma-breaking series of dance videos on the subject of children with severe anxiety. This last process was a great learning experience in the translation of complex human emotion into movement. Mr Jacques also continues to create pieces for the Royal Winnipeg Ballet School. One such piece was the one-act story ballet Little Match Girl commissioned by the RWB School for their year-end production, Spotlight. Most recently Mr Jacques embarked on a collaboration with SESQUI, on a piece for their 360 Movie, HORIZONS, which has been created for the 150th celebrations of Canada. A new and inspiring way to see and understand Canada, SESQUI offers a revolutionary 360° cinematic experience. Mr Jacques’ piece, filmed in the Winnipeg Airport and danced by the RWB Company focuses on the subject of mobilization in Canada. HORIZON will be touring nationally throughout the year as part of the celebrations of Canada’s 150th Anniversary. Mr Jacques is currently hard at work on the creation of a new project, for which he received a Individual Artists Grant from the Winnipeg Arts Council. The project centres on the translation of cooperatives and empowerment into movement and choreography based on research he undertook in Guatemala. Each of these unique opportunities has fueled Mr Jacques’ belief in the use of dance as a tool for understanding concepts of social justice and human dignity. Through his work as a choreographer Mr Jacques exhibits his whole-hearted commitment to putting public art in front of the community at every opportunity and to raising awareness of prevalent social issues through movement. This prestigious award would allow him to continue along his road to development as a choreographer and artist. The development process takes time, and, in order to pursue his studies in research and choreography nationally and internationally, he relies on, and appreciates the generous support and recognition of the local arts community.


Wojciech Mochniej

Co-founder, Co-Artistic Director W&M PHYSICAL THEATRE. Born and raised in Lublin, Poland, Mochniej has studied with and performed in the work of a number of prominent New York artists including Anna Sokolow, Talley Beatty, Mark Haim, Stephanie Skura and Risa Jaraslow. He has also performed in the work of Alpo Aaltokoski (Finland), Avi Kaiser (Belgium/ Israel), Paula Ross, Davida Monk and Darcy McGehee (Canada), and others. As an improviser he has studied with Ray Chung, Chris Aiken, David Dorfman and Martin Keough. He has performed with Ray Chung both in Poland and in Calgary. Mochniej’s work in theatre includes study with Polish actors, Jan Peszek, Grzegosz Bral, Jacek Ozimek. He was an original member of Silesian Dance Theatre, Poland, (1991-1994) which is identified as the first professional contemporary dance company in Poland. There, he met Monteros and launched the company (W&M) with her in 1994. Mochniej has been an artist in residence for the Bruckner Conservatory, Austria, and for many festivals in Poland and abroad. He created work for “So You Think You Can Dance” Poland. In Calgary, he was a member of Theatre Junction’s Resident Company of Artists based at The GRAND, and a frequent teacher for Decidedly Jazz Dancework’s company class. He has received awards for his contributions to dance in Poland from the cities of both Gdansk and Lublin. His solo work has been presented in Calgary, at the Full Moon Dance Festival in Finland, at the National Theatre in Warsaw and throughout Poland. “Dance Europe” named his performance of Solo Work, Just Po Prostu “Best Performance by a Male Dancer”. With Monteros, his work has been seen in Austria, Estonia, Finland, France, Poland, Germany, and Italy, as well as Canada. Mochniej is a full-time dance faculty member at the University of Calgary. As Instructor in the Dance Division, Wojciech Mochniej teaches contemporary dance, choreography, dance and the camera, dance improvisation, and dance repertory and performance. A professional dance artist of international repute, Mochniej continues to perform and choreograph in Canada and Europe, an international profile which contributes significantly to his students’ global perspective on contemporary dance. Mr. Mochniej has very high expectations of his students’ commitment to their learning and personal development as dance artists. He believes passionately in challenging students to take risks and inspires students to push beyond their comfort levels. He has been a Guest Artist/Instructor in the department of Dance at the University of Calgary since 1995.

Performers (click on image for more information)


Gala Artists - Live Performances (August 17)


Jason Galeos

Born in Norway, Jason Owin F. Galeos is a dance artist based in Calgary, Alberta, Canada. His dance studies are based on Hip Hop, House, Funk Styles and Contemporary Dance. He has danced for Tara Wilson, Saxon Fraser,Melissa Monteros, Deanne Walsh, Wojciech Mochniej, Michele Moss, Pamela Tzeng, Zahra Shahab and Sylvie Moquin. Since 2007, he's been recognized in the community for his unique movement and cross genre approach. In 2012, He earned his BA at the University of Calgary, Majoring in Contemporary Dance. In 2015, Galeos started J-SIK Movements: the spontaneity and immersion of hip hop culture and the choreographic maturity of contemporary dance, where he evolved as a professional dancer. In 2017, Galeos co-produced his very first production in collaboration with Purposely Soulful "Fall of the Leaf | HØSTEN BLADET." In 2018, Galeos collaborated with Ember Dance Company and presented "Die Münze (The Coin)" provided by Springboard Performance and Good Women Dance Collective. Galeos continues to further his career internationally and currently resides in Calgary as an Apprentice Dancer for Decidedly Jazz Danceworks.

Taylor Ritchie

Taylor Ritchie is an emerging professional dancer, aspiring performer and choreographer from Calgary, Alberta. She graduated from the University of Calgary in 2016 with a Bachelor of Arts in Dance, featuring a concentration in Choreography and Performance with distinction. Training under Wojciech Mochniej, Melissa Monteros, Melanie Kloetzel, and Davida Monk, she has developed a strong and versatile base in Contemporary dance.

Gala Film Artists