HIGHSPOTTED performances to cap off the Fluid Fest
SERENDIPITOUS Movement and Music Collaborations
Featuring curation by Kaja Irwin and performers . . .
Kaja Irwin · Curator
Kaja Irwin is a Winnipeg-born dancer, choreographer and dance educator. After deciding to pursue a career in dance after completing her B.A. in Political Science, Kaja studied in the Professional Training Program offered at Decidedly Jazz Danceworks, developing her love of both jazz and the Calgary dance community. Irwin loves to explore movement and collaborations across art forms, including mask, puppetry, clowns and bouffon. Another passion and interest of Kaja’s is costuming, both styling and creating. Irwin is currently in her ninth season as a company dancer with DJD. She is excited to continue her collaboration with drummer Nathaniel Chiang and looks forward to continuing to explore, create and be a part of work that focuses on the connection of music, movement and human spirit.
Nate Chiang · Performer
Nate Chiang is a freelance jazz drummer living and playing in Calgary, AB. Since 2017,he has gigged extensively in Calgary and the surrounding area, notably on the Music Mile, leading both the Deane House Jazz Band and The Eden House Band. He has collaborated with a diverse array of local artists from multiple disciplines, including tap dancer Kelly Steele as part of her Jazz Quartet, and dancer/choreographer Jocelyn Mah on the piece entitled Tenderly, which was featured in festivals by Dancer’s Studio West and the Calgary Animated Objects Society. He is the drummer for the Allison Lynch Quartet, Augustine Yates Trio and the Wallpaper Trio, the latter in which he shares the bandstand with long-time collaborators, bassist, Jon Wielebnowski and saxophonist, Nate Waters. He has performed in such festivals as Block Heater, JubeFest, and the Calgary Summer Jazz Festival. His love for drumming started as a junior high student in orchestral and jazz bands. He returned to drumming later in life, studying jazz with some of Calgary’s foremost educators, through Mount Royal University and privately. He is now the Programming Coordinator at The GRAND Theatre in downtown Calgary, and is currently wrapping up playing drums in the Theatre: Calgary Show entitled TC Returns.
Cosmo Christoffersen · Creator/Performer
Cosmo Christoffersen as Osmo Cis is an emerging multidisciplinary artist based in Mohkinstis/Calgary, whose work seeks to challenge ideas around gender and center queer stories. They hold an MFA in Theatre Studies from the University of Calgary where they studied how immersive performance can impact audience understanding of historically distant texts. Cosmo's writing has been published in FreeFall Magazine, Cliterature, and Labyrinth Anthologies, and they are one half of the artist collective Lasso the Moon. For just shy of two years, they have been exploring physical performance through their alter ego, a time travelling drag king called Osmo Cis. You can catch them co-hosting the HoliGAY long weekend show at The Attic and on Instagram @cosmonautbinary.
Shemar Herbert · Creator/Performer
Shemar Herbert, a passionate dance artist and performer born and raised in Calgary (Mohkinstsis), Canada, with Jamaican and Nevisian heritage. Growing up in a musical household, Shemar's deep affinity for music ignited his lifelong fascination with dance. At the age of 9, he began his formal dance training with the esteemed Diversity Performing Arts Club of Calgary, which became the foundation for his skill development in acting, singing, and dancing.
In 2016, Shemar embarked on a journey to explore various street dance styles, including Afro House, Locking, Hip Hop, Popping, and Dancehall. Guided by talented mentors such as Katherine Burrows, Edgar Reyes, and Cody Jaxon from the Calgary-based hip-hop dance collective ILLFX, Shemar embraced the opportunity to refine his technique and expand his artistic repertoire. Along the way, he had the privilege of learning from and collaborating with esteemed figures in the street dance industry, including Shotyme Stylz, Bridgman Packer Dance, Suga Pop, Lisa La Touche, and Luther Brown.
Shemar's dedication and hard work have earned him recognition and accolades throughout his career. Notably, he was honored as the solo winner in the Artist Emerge National Dance Competition and Convention Solo (2017), Monsters Dance Santa Clara (2018), and the Calgary Talent Show (2017). In 2022, he triumphed at Battle City, showcasing his talent and artistry. Additionally, Shemar had the incredible opportunity to perform before a large audience of over 20,000 at the prestigious We-Day event in 2019, leaving a lasting impression with his captivating stage presence.
Currently serving as an Apprentice with Decidedly Jazz Danceworks, Shemar remains committed to expanding his choreographic endeavors and artistic expression. As he continues to explore his passion for dance, he also strives to honor the cultures that have historically influenced and shaped the art form. With humility and gratitude, Shemar embraces each opportunity to push his boundaries as an artist, always seeking new avenues for growth and self-discovery.
Shemar Herbert's journey is one of dedication, perseverance, and an unwavering love for dance. His modesty and genuine appreciation for the art form make him a remarkable talent with immense potential. With each step he takes, Shemar's commitment to his craft and his respect for the cultures that inspire him serve as a testament to his character and his desire to contribute to the world of dance
The Word · Creator/Performer
THE WORD aka Edward Pristolnicu is a HipHop DJ and beatmaker from Calgary. One of his first exposures to music came from messing around with his father's Vinyl and CD collection. A short time later, at around thirteen years old he found HipHop through breaking (break dancing). At sixteen years old THE WORD acquired his first pair of turntables which would ultimately shift his path from B-boy to DJ. When hearing THE WORD play you can expect to hear an authentic and original sound while also being visually captivated as THE WORD involves turntablist techniques such as scratching and beat juggling into his sets.
Kate Melvina · Creator/Performer
Kate Melvina is a singer/pianist/composer and the vocalist, writer, producer and keyboardist for Tendavillage.
Their debut single EP, which Toronto's iLiveRadio praised as “Criminally slept on” and a “Future classic” was featured on many online platforms and radio stations all over the world, featured a song that charted on the iTunes RnB chart in France and has since amassed an enthusiastic fanbase. Following the release of their debut single “Ralph Wiggum”, Tendavillage has been receiving rave reviews, including one from Atwood Magazine which described it as "a song that exists on a plane of involuntary stank face”.
The central creative force behind the group is Kate, who writes, produces and edits all the music herself. Many of her influences can be heard throughout, including acts like Stevie Wonder (Kate's hero since she was 15), Prince, D’Angelo and newer artists like Mononeon and Moonchild.
Kate was raised in a family of musicians and was surrounded by jazz at an early age. As a child, she quickly became a proficient classical pianist, winning awards in competitions like the Kiwanis Festival and wrote her first song at age 9. In her teen years, she discovered her passion for old soul music and became completely encompassed by it. Her main idol was and will always be Stevie Wonder. For the past 10+ years Kate has established herself in the Calgary music scene as a regular singer at the Fairmont Palliser/Banff Springs Hotel as well as playing at numerous popular festivals such as the Lilac Festival and Block Heater.
Sandra Lamouche · Creator/Performer
Sandra Lamouche is a Nehiyaw Iskwew (Cree Woman) from the Bigstone Cree Nation in Northern Alberta and married into the Piikani Nation in Southern Alberta. Sandra is a champion hoop dancer and an award-winning educator, writer, two-time TEDx Speaker, and choreographer. In 2007, she earned her B.A. in Native American Studies from the University of Lethbridge, a multidisciplinary field encompassing art, creative writing, history, law, and politics. Sandra furthered her education by obtaining an M.A. in Indigenous Studies, with her thesis focusing on Indigenous dance and wellbeing. With over 20 years of experience as a dancer, she has been featured in international showcases.