PEOPLE

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ALYSSA MARTIN

Artistic Director + Choreographer

Alyssa Martin (she/her) is a choreographer and director based in Tkaronto. She’s working on using a neo-absurdist approach to bake wonky imaginative coping mechanisms into psychedelic contemporary spectacle. Determined to help blur the distinctions of dance and theatre, she founded Rock Bottom Movement in 2012 alongside friends/collaborators. The group has since shared full-evening works in the city and abroad; including their award winning dance meets quasi-musical, hollow mountain.

 

Recently, she’s been commissioned to create new work for film and stage with Toronto Dance Theatre (Bin Chicken), Canadian Contemporary Dance Theatre (STAR SEED), and Toronto Metropolitan University (DinoLand).

 

In addition to concert dance, Alyssa works in theatre and musicals as a choreographer and movement director having worked at The Stratford Festival, Tarragon Theatre and Theatre Sheridan. She’s worked in residence at The Banff Centre, Canadian Stage and Stratford Festival LAB as well as through programs such as adelheid’s re:research, and Toronto Dance Theatre’s Emerging Voices Project. Her dance films have been featured at the Portland Film Festival, Sydney Women’s International Film Festival (Bin Chicken) and dance : made in canada fait au canada (this is not a passion project). She teaches at many post-secondary institutions as well as through her community-based NONDancer workshops.

 

She is currently creating a new multi-disciplinary work with Susie Burpee and Linnea Swan, choreographing at The Stratford Festival, creating DINO with Rock Bottom and co-creating a play through the Bulmash-Siegel Award for New Development at Tarragon Theatre with her collaborator, Telehorn. Alyssa approaches her dance with an openness for spontaneity and a deep consideration for the collaborators and audiences who come to play. She believes that new work should be created from a place of joy and curiosity in a down to earth process that worships the collaborators in a collective quest for glittering catharsis. Audiences should be trusted as co conspirators in our mission to achieve escapist moments of wonky joy.  

 

Her dream is to someday direct a production of CATS and redeem the production from it's late 2019 dip in popularity (if you would like to facilitate this for her, please reach out). 

PERFORMER/COLLABORATORS

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sam grist 

Performer + Collaborator 

Samantha Grist (she/her) is a Winnipeg-raised dancer and performer, currently based in Toronto. Sam has been a dancer and collaborator for Toronto based absurdist dance-theatre company Rock Bottom Movement since 2012, and has performed over 17 original works with the company. Sam, along with the cast of Rock Bottom Movement’s hollow mountain, won the 2020 Dora Mavor Moore Award for both “Outstanding Performance by and Ensemble” and “Outstanding Production”, as well as a nomination at the 2017 Dora Awards for Outstanding Ensemble for MANICPIXIEDREAMGIRLS. In addition to her work with Rock Bottom, Sam has worked with choreographers including Hanna Kiel, David Earle, Susie Burpee, Shannon Litzenberger, Julia Aplin, and Clare Preuss. Sam has been a guest teacher with Rock Bottom Movement, VIEW Dance Convention, Cawthra Park Secondary School, Etobicoke School of the Arts, Unionville High School, Kalos Collectives, and Toronto Metropolitan University. Sam is a graduate of the Toronto Metropolitan University Performance Dance program (BFA ‘13).She keeps begging Alyssa to make her a one-woman Charlie and the Chocolate Factory show.

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natasha poon woo

Performer + Collaborator 

Natasha Poon Woo (she/her) began training and performing as a member of Canadian Contemporary Dance Theatre in her hometown of Toronto. She went on to study at the Conservatory of Dance at SUNY Purchase College, where she had the opportunity to perform the works of choreographers Pam Tanowitz, Twyla Tharp, and Doug Varone, before graduating summa cum laude with a BFA and the President’s Award for Achievement. Natasha has performed with companies and artists in Canada and abroad including Conny Janssen Danst, the Kevin Wynn Collection, Rock Bottom Movement, The Dietrich Group, Roderick George, Benjamin Landsberg, Ryan Lee / The Platform, Gadfly and Little Pear Garden Dance Company. She is a Dora Award-winning performer with Rock Bottom for its acclaimed 2019 production, hollow mountain.

She is currently performing with Côté Danse. Natasha is the Rehearsal Director for Human Body Expression, and previously served as CCDT’s Associate Artistic Director and Rehearsal Director.
She is a double Leo with a strong agenda and serious kombucha passion. 

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drew berry

Performer + Collaborator 

Drew Berry (she/her) is a Toronto-based multidisciplinary performance artist and teacher. Her mediums include dance, theatre, photography, videography, and classical piano. In 2016, Drew joined Rock Bottom Movement and since has participated in residencies at the Banff Centre, Canadian Stage, Canada’s National Ballet Open Space Program, and Toronto Dance Theatre as well as performing in five full-length works. Her performance in hollow mountain, was awarded two Dora Mavor Moore Awards for Outstanding Production and Ensemble. Other collaborators include: Jaberi Dance Theatre, Portal Dance, Emma Kerson, Nico Al Ajillio, Irma Villafuerte, Kate Hilliard, Opera 5, Alias Dance Project, Nostos Collective, and Kaeja d’Dance. Drew is the resident photographer/videographer with Kaeja d'Dance and has done freelance work with numerous Ontario based companies and organizations. A graduate from Quinte Ballet School of Canada’s post-graduate program, Drew holds her BFA (Honours) from the Performance Dance program at Toronto Metropolitan University.She has a complex relationship with Taylor Swift and her body of work. 

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brayden jamil cairns

Performer + Collaborator 

Brayden Jamil Cairns (he/they) is a Toronto based artist and member of Alyssa Martin's company, Rock Bottom Movement. He left rural Ontario in 2015 to train at Ryerson's School of Performance. Since his training, Brayden has worked with the likes of Rodney Diverlus, Anne Plamondon and many of his peers in collaborative processes. Brayden is interested in movement that can be enjoyed by people from all walks of life. He enjoys binding dance and lived experience to create challenging works of art, utilizing different media such as writing and film. Many of these ideas come from a powerful need to uplift the queer and BIPOC communities. Brayden will often be found researching what it is to feel pleasure and what can come from self-exploration.He is currently looking after a neighbour’s daddy long-legs spider and recently assisted with rescuing two baby squirrels.

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pony nicole herauf

Performer + Collaborator 

Pony Nicole Herauf is a multi-medium performer/director, and the creator of the art haus (notice me) KID VICIOUS. Her films have been featured and awarded at festivals such as the Vancouver International, Whistler, TIFF, TIFF Next Wave, Chattanooga, Forest City, Myrtle Beach, the Los Angeles Independent Short Awards, and on CBC Gem. Sound design, composition and musical performance credits include: hollow mountain (Rock Bottom Movement), and fantasylover (Rock Bottom Movement).

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mary-dora bloch-hansen

Performer + Collaborator 

Mary-Dora Bloch-Hansen is a queer/femme/non-binary multidisciplinary artist who creates works both local and abroad. Their artistic research examines the speculating body as a spiritual, political and somatic vessel. Mary-Dora has created works for Tafelmusik Baroque Orchestra (Toronto), WIPE Berlin Film Festival, DOCK11 Video Dance (Berlin), and New Blue Dance (Toronto). They have performed and collaborated with various artists such as Amanda Acorn, Will Kwan, Amanda Smith, Ismael Ivo, The BOX NYC, and David Earle. Mary-Dora has been a collaborator of Rock Bottom Movement for over 5 years. They can read minds.

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david bernstein 

Dramaturg, Writer + Creative Advisor 

David Bernstein has served as dramaturg and writer for Rock Bottom's "MANICPIXIEDREAMGIRLS", "Dolphin", "string quartet no. 14 in g major" and "fantasylover". Recently, his 7-part serial play "Lift You Up (Just Like Patrick Swayze)" was presented in February 2020 at Teater Momentum in Odense, Denmark. David graduated from the MA Writing for Performance and Dramaturgy program at Goldsmiths, University of London in 2019. He believes in Troy Bolton and artisanal honey. 

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NOAH FEAVER

Lighting Designer 

Noah Feaver is a Dora Award Nominated Lighting Designer. He has been working with Rock Bottom Movement since the 2016 Premiere of MANICPIXIEDREAMGIRLS. Education includes the X School of Performance and The Banff Centre, as well as mentorships with several prominent Canadian lighting designers. Noah is a member of the Associated Designers of Canada. He is Sam’s understudy in all productions. Instagram: @nfeav