Midwifing Transitions: The Labour of Publishing in the History of Dance and Dance Studies in Canada


  • Megan Andrews York University, School of Arts, Media, Performance and Design – DANCE


Taking Canadian dance and dance studies as a composite subculture born from an embodied, oral practice, this performative essay brings a media studies lens and feminist perspective to bear on a recent history of dance writing and publishing in Canada. On the premise that both public congress and mediated discourse contribute to the constitution of communities and the flow of ideas, this research maps some of the individual and organizational vectors that run through the field over time—marking a provisional genealogy. It allows us to ask such questions as: How have these vectors in part configured the field as we know it today? How have the related forces and flows helped crystallize the issues that face us now? What (and who) might remain unrecognized in the gaps and interstices between these vectors? My goal is to recognize and critically frame a labour that has, in itself, played a role in midwifing the field of dance studies in this country.


Author Biography

Megan Andrews, York University, School of Arts, Media, Performance and Design – DANCE

Megan Andrews, PhD, is a dance artist/scholar, educator and writer/editor working across theory and practice in dance, somatics and performance. Her creative work, teaching and research explore improvisational and perceptual practices, and the relationship between movement and language. Megan initiated the Canadian dance magazine The Dance Current as Founding Editor and Publisher, was Executive Director through August 2016 and is now Director: Education and Special Projects. She teaches studio and seminar courses for York University’s Department of Dance in both the graduate and undergraduate programs. As a performer, she has worked with many independent choreographers across Canada and is currently developing a solo repertoire. Her writing has appeared in a variety of journals and publications. Megan is a Certified Laban Movement Analyst and a certified instructor of 3D Workout, a somatic-based conditioning practice. She works with individuals to enhance somatic awareness and effective movement patterning. Megan has played a key role in many initiatives and projects in Canadian dance including the creation of the Canadian Dance Assembly, the publication of the Canadian Alliance of Dance Artists’ Basic Dance Agreement (ON), and the inaugural Fall for Dance North Festival. Through The Dance Current, Megan co-produces the Emerging Dance Critics Programme with the National Ballet of Canada, the Dance Writers-in-Residence program with Toronto's Dancemakers, and runs the Student Reporter Project with dance students nation-wide. In these programs, she facilitates, presents, mentors and edits emerging writers. Megan received a Chalmers Arts Fellowship in 2016/2017, during which she will undertake a practice-as-research project in scoring and perceptual practices in dance.