Anya Allegra Saugstad
Paper Mountains (of memory)
full length work in creation.
Excerpt showing January 2022 at Left of Main, and The Scotiabank Dance Centre.
Plastic Orchid factory residency
January 2022, for the creation of Paper Mountains.
ongoing collaborations with Mount Pleasant Film Company as choreographer, co-director, and dancer.
site specific live dance and violin performance at the shores of bodies of water. premiered at Vines Arts Festival 2019, and has since toured to Kelowna BC. Available for booking. looking to perform this work near more bodies of water.
curator for Venus art gallery under direction of Daria Mikhaylyuk
Anya Saugstad is a dancer and choreographer based in Vancouver BC, living and
working on the traditional, ancestral and unceded territory of the Sḵwx̱ wú7mesh' (Squamish), Stó:lō and Səlílwətaʔ/ Selilwitulh (Tsleil-Waututh) and xwməθkwəyə̓ m
(Musqueam) First Nations.
Anya trained at ArtsUmbrella, and holds a BFA with honours in Dance from Simon Fraser University. In addition, she has trained with San Fransisco Conservatory of Dance, and with The Performance Research Project under the mentorship of Lesley Telford. Anya has danced for Vanessa Goodman, Lesley Telford, and Rob Kitsos, among others. Anya and her collaborators create live and digital performance works that foster space for women to tell their stories through movement. She has been able to grow her choreographic work through mentorships with the Performance Research Program, The San Fransisco Conservatory of Dance, and Made in BC Dance on Tour. Anya has choreographed works for Simon Fraser University, The Rotary Centre for the Arts, Vines Art Festival, SplitScreen (Boombox), F-O-R-M, and Mt Pleasant Collective, among others.
Anyas work is often inspired by the world she dreams about; removed, intimate, empty, chaotic, or exhausting. She creates to let herself and others arrive somewhere else. Her process physically and visually tries to answer questions about who we are as complicated beings, and our relationships to others.
Falling Still is an interdisciplinary performance work about the world between triumph and collapse. The piece follows a group of women who push back against all that falls on them. Light focuses on individual dancers to reveal their moments of solitude. In contrast to the group's control and stamina, these intimate moments capture the individuals numbness, longing, loneliness, and crashing. This work focuses on the pieces of our lives that are often hidden and associated with failure. It questions our assumptions about success and ideals, as it dives into a story with two sides; the war inside us, between lightness and darkness, between being lost and in control.
Falling Still aims to capture burnout as beautifully and as humanly as vigor. It questions our assumptions about human capability, using dance theatre and sound to shed light on the silent roaring fights within ourselves.
This is a work in progress which began its creation at Mascall Dance with the mentorship of Jennifer Mascall. It's beginning ideas were shown through BLOOM, then at ArtsUmbrella through the Performance Research Project, and In a split bill performance at La Fabrique St. George 7e7 warehouse space in Vancouver BC. A longer version of the work will be shown through OpenStage at The Dance Centre in May 2021.
Choreographer: Anya Saugstad and Collaborators
Dancers: Daria Mikhaylyuk, Eowynn Enquist, Shion Skye Carter, Katarina Nesic, Maddy Gilbert, and Sabine Raskin
Sound: Stefan Nazerevich
Photo: Mika Manning
‘Ocean Roaring’ is a two part site specific dance project that follows the stories of six women on the shore of the ocean at dusk. Part one of this project is a site specific performance piece with live dance and violin. Part two is a site specific installation, in which a film of the work is projected onto fabric hung slightly in the water. The work can function as a pair of projects with the live performance by day and the film by night, or individually. ‘Ocean Roaring’ was created on the beach in Vancouver BC in 2019, and was made into a film in July 2020, aiming to continue to share the work through COVID-19. The piece focuses on tireless and urgent movement as a means to describe distance and longing between people and the land, and directs attention to the ocean as a scarce and vital resource.
This work was made for Vines Art Festival 2019, and was presented by Vines in August 2019 and 2020. It will be perfumed again at Vines Art Festival this coming August 2020. All rehearsals and performances of the work are done at Kits Beach in Vancouver BC.
This work is made possible by Vines Art Festival and Canada Council for the Arts.
Jungle is a work created to investigate separation, to accentuate the empty unknown spaces of our lives, and to bring ourselves back to our strong physical animal. It is a work that presents overlapping simultaneous scenes using light, dance and music as a means to isolate characters and their stories.
Choreography: Anya Saugstad and collaborators
Dancers: Shion Skye Carter, Kaylee Louis, Anya Saugstad, and Samantha Priya Wright
Composer: Stefan Nazerevich
Film: Asad Yahya
Photos: Brenda Nicole Kent
Almost ghost is a work which experiments with the act of leaving. It tries to show fragments of stories, about the ways we empty from one place or person to the next.
This piece was made as a commission for the Simon Fraser University in October 2018.
Choreographer: Anya Saugstad
Rehearsal Assistant: Marla Eist
Lighting Designer: Margery Liu
Dancers: Savannah Gillespie, Amy Griffith, Nelle Lee, Nancy Junjiaqi Li, Shannon Lin, Larissa Read, Melissa Swatez, Mackenzie Seaborn, Kadin Vanden Heuvel, Allison Vicente, and Vienna Wong. Music: Voice of the Dagger by Alberich & Lussuria, and Angels by Gianluca Piacenza.
Photo by Paula Viitanen
Away is about leaving. It’s about how we work through loss and change. It’s a work that physically explores being an in between, being the one left, or the one leaving. As animals, as flawed and powerful beings we must go, and in consequence be lest from one another. We are so temporary.