Canvas 5 x 5
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Company Background

Mocean Dance was founded in Halifax, Nova Scotia in 2001 by Carolle Crooks Fernando, Sarah Rozee, Sara Harrigan, Alicia Orr MacDonald, and Lisa Phinney Langley.  Now Led by Co-Artistic Directors Susanne Chui and Sara Coffin, Mocean is recognized nationally as a leading contemporary dance company from the Atlantic region. Working with both locally and nationally renowned choreographers, Mocean brings together talented artists to create exciting new work that is rooted in collaborative process, stretches physical and emotional boundaries and finds authenticity. Mocean was honoured with The Lieutenant Governor  Masterworks Art Award in 2016 for Canvas 5 x 5, which was the first time this esteemed award has been given to a Nova Scotia dance work. 

A Company-in-Residence at Halifax Dance since 2002, Mocean has produced and presented new shows annually, including Quintecentric, influx, Coast to Coast, Mappa Mundi, Given the Circumstances, Live in 3, their 10th anniversary mainstage, Decennium, Close Reach, Ordinary Rebels, Double Bill, Burnwater: Alchemy and their 15th anniversary mainstage fifteen. The company has created 35 original works with choreographers from across the country, including Heidi Strauss, Daniele Desnoyers, Serge Bennathan, Emily Gualtieri, Tedd Robinson, Sara Coffin, Susie Burpee, Sharon Moore, Susan Elliott, Roger Sinha, Michael Trent, Lesandra Dodson, Lisa Phinney Langley, Cory Bowles, Estelle Clareton, Howard Richard, Allen and Karen Kaeja, Andrea Leigh-Smith as well as company members Susanne ChuiSara Harrigan and Carolle Crooks Fernando. Mocean has also been featured in the work of dance and theatre artists Gwen Noah (Vestige) and Mary Ellen MacLean (Velocipede). The company has appeared in Toronto, Vancouver, and in theatres across Ontario and all four Atlantic Provinces.

In addition to its creation and performance, Mocean has developed successful residency programs bringing contemporary dance to communities across the region, has performed and led workshops for thousands of students, and has filmed a half-hour television special for Bravo!, which also aired on CBC. The company is dedicated to community outreach and the development of future audiences through performances, residencies, school events, workshops, informal showings and discussions. Recently, Mocean launched several projects to support the development of the next generation of artists, including Gen Y Project, Fresh Tracks! and EMERGE.

Mocean is committed to being based in Nova Scotia and contributing to its growing dance and arts community by providing opportunities for creation, performance, collaboration, development and education.

Mocean Dance is a member of Dance Nova Scotia and the Canadian Dance Assembly, Greater Halifax Arts Coalition, and many of its members belong to the Canadian Alliance of Dance Artists (Ontario Chapter).

Photograph by Holly Crooks