Creative Music Workshop, for dancers too!

Get out and Move Halifax!

Working on the show Verge with local musicians, I’ve heard so much about “CMW” from musicians and dancers alike. Performers having attended this workshop rave about their experience complete with improvisational explorations, building new networks and finding ways to learn continuously outside of a classroom environment by jamming with like minded artists.
Nick Dourado, a saxophonist featured in Verge says this about the workshop
“The CMW will put you in touch with the foundation of a musician’s practice and can give you the tools to understand seemingly complex music. Perfect for anyone looking to get to the root of all music!”

 Photo by: Raphael Titsworth-Morin Verge March 2015  Saxophonist Nick Dourado with dancers Kathleen Doherty Michele Slattery and Kara FriesenRaphael Titsworth-Morin
Photo by: Raphael Titsworth-Morin Verge March 2015 Saxophonist Nick Dourados with dancers Kathleen Doherty Michele Slattery and Kara Friesen

Who better to lead the movement portion of the workshop than Susanne Chui, artistic director of Mocean Dance? Having been lucky enough to study with her in various contexts, I’ve learned how important it is to listen. To create, dialogue and instigate is fine, but where does the seed originate? Chui’s ability to lead you in stillness and encourage listening from within helps creativity bloom to it’s full potential; finding what matters and what can be discarded.

Creative Music Workshop as part of the Halifax Jazz Festival brings in all sorts of well known musicians to share their knowledge on improvisation and creativity especially in a collaborative environment. Andrew MacKelvie and Kathleen Doherty the musician and dancer power duo and masterminds of Verge, have drawn on the skills they learned at CMW and continue to share with Halifax artists through improv jams and performances.

Here’s what MacKelvie has to say about his experience
“For me the CMW has been a real training ground. It gave me the direction that I needed when I felt completely lost as an artist, and in my everyday life for that matter. I apply the lessons I learned in the workshop to all the music I make; from improvised music, to pop, all music becomes fundamentally the same. Soon you realize that these lessons also work for dance, and in film, and in writing, and riding the bus… ”

The benefits of the Creative Music Workshop are artistic freedom, and allows for the cross germination of music and dance. Dancers gain more in-depth musical understanding and musicians learn how movement can augment their musical composition and performance ability. Not only that but participation in the core program means spending 8 hours a day playing/ moving with an ensemble which is a special opportunity especially in our small city of Halifax.

There are two parts to this workshop, one is the Creative Process program the other, the Core Program. Creative Process is in the morning to help get those improv senses tingling with a continuation of practical explorations in the afternoon that equates to the Core Program of eight hours.
Musicians and dancers have started living harmoniously together, benefitting all involved with even more opportunity to draw upon movement, listening and improv while creating a wholistic experience for the audience to enjoy all different senses.

For more information on the dancer’s component of the workshop please contact Susanne Chui at

Register on the Halifax Jazz Fest Website

Creative Music Workshop
Creative Process 9am-12pm/4-11July/2015
Price: $179

Core Program
5pm-9pm/2-3 July/2015 & 9am-4pm/ 4-11 July/2015
Price: $450

Nova Scotia Community College Waterfront Campus