Panelists and Artists

Embody (In My Body) panelists and artists.

Julie Lebel is the artistic director for Embody (In My Body) choreographer and facilitator of the performance by the Foolish Operations Ensemble / Dancing the Parenting.

Julie Lebel graduated from UQAM with a bachelor degree in Dance in 1998 and is based in Vancouver since 2005. Her choreography was shown at in urban and rural communities across Canada. Her approach to art making is collaborative and multidisciplinary, involving musicians, visual artists, film makers and writers. Julie dedicates much of her practice to site specific & community based art (productions with multi-generational non-dancers, dance flash mobs research and psycho-geography projects). Julie Lebel’s current projects are Findings/Trouvailles a residence with the Roundhouse Community Dancers, Foolish Operations Ensemble, a group of parents dancing with their young children and Hello Hello, an ensemble piece for four dancers and four musicians. Since 2012, under the mentorship of Karen Jamieson, she explores the relationships between community engaged dance and professional dance.

Patricia Reedy is the keynote speaker and is Director of Teaching and Learning at the Luna Dance Institute (California). She share the amazing work of the Luna Dance Institute, a nationally-acclaimed dance education organization based in Berkeley, CA. Established in 1992, their mission aims to bring creativity, equity and community to every child’s life through the art of dance. Luna uses active inquiry to deepen the learning experience of children and adults, improve teaching practice and build high quality arts programs. As they bring all children to dance, they develop future leaders, choreographers and visionaries.

Luna’s Professional Learning Component and their Model Programs work in tandem to explore the confluence of neuroscience (brain), literacy (communication), creativity (play) and relationships (community)–all connected through the moving body. Their efforts to build cultures of dance have taken root in communities throughout California.

Susan Hoppenfeld is our conference consultant and panelist. She will present aspects of Reggio Emilia Principles and how they connect to the practice of the Foolish Operations Ensemble.

Susan Hoppenfeld is the Director of the Karen and Gary Simkin Family Child Development Centre at the Jewish Community Centre of Greater Vancouver where twelve licensed programs offer care and education for 175 families in learning through play environments inspired by the schools in Reggio Emilia, Italy. Before her move to the JCC, she was the Family and Children’s Program Coordinator at the Vancouver Art Gallery for fifteen years, producing an array of programs including supersunday, their monthly interactive family day. She is also an instructor at Vancouver Community College in the Early Childhood and Education Department. A long time advocate for families with young children, Susan believes that children’s capacity for kindness and compassion, creativity and critical thinking skills are the foundation of our future. Movement is truly an intrinsic component in growing these skills and dispositions.

Elizabeth Mackenzie is a visual artist who works and writes about the reconciliation of art and motherhood. She is our panelist and will discuss the aspects of art practice when it intersects with parenthood.

Elizabeth MacKenzie’s work has been characterized by an interest in maternal ambivalence, monstrous bodies, interrogations of portraiture and considerations of the complexity of familial and other interpersonal relations. Her site-specific drawing installations have been shown across Canada including exhibitions at the Mount Saint Vincent Art Gallery (Halifax), the Agnes Etherington Art Centre (Kingston), the Glenbow Museum (Calgary), the Mackenzie Art Gallery (Regina), the Burnaby Art Gallery and the Vancouver Art Gallery. She maintains an ongoing commitment to collaborative and community-engaged practices, critical writing and teaching.


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