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About Paper Mountains



Paper Mountains is a work that explores how we hold memory through movement. The piece uses choreography created during many months in solitude, and translates that movement on to bodies, spaces, and paper planes, to describe a fragmented story of loneliness, celebration, and longing.

The inspiration for Paper Mountains drew from seeing videos that my collaborators and friends were posting online of themselves dancing alone during the COVID-19 lockdown. I was inspired to share these intimate and lonely moments with more people, and so I collected the videos I had taken of myself dancing over the year, re-learned the dances in these videos, and then transposed that material into a collection of choreographed ensemble scenes.

Within a swarm of over 1000 paper planes, five dancers express movement stories drenched in vigorous and urgent physicality. Paper Mountains is about time, memory, flight, and longing.

Anya and Artists

Anya Saugstad / Furious Grace Dance Theatre


Anya Allegra Saugstad (She/her) is a dancer and choreographer based in Vancouver BC, on the unceeded territory of the Sḵwx̱ wú7mesh', Stó:lō and Səlílwətaʔ/ Selilwitulh, and xwməθkwəyə̓ m First Nations. 
'Anya and Artists' create live, digital, and site adaptive performance works that foster space for emerging femme artists to tell their stories through movement. Anya is interested in creating vigorous and physically exhausting choreographic stories that express celebration, strength, and urgency. Anya encourages her collaborators to show rawness and vulnerability as femme presenting bodies in performance. Anya has danced with Vanessa Goodman and her company ‘Action at a Distance’ and toured through the USA, Canada, and Germany performing ‘Core/Us’ and ‘Graveyards and Gardens’. Anya has created work for ArtsUmbrella, LamonDance, Simon Fraser University, Method Dance, and Coastal City Ballet. Anya’s work has been presented through The Scotiabank Dance Center, The Rotary Center for the Arts, F-O-R-M film Festival, The San Francisco Conservatory of Dance, and Vines Art Festival as well as self presented works, performances, and tours. Anya received the Iris Garland Emerging Choreographer Award in 2023/24 for her work ‘Paper Mountains’. 

Performance type: This work is adaptable to alternative spaces, but fits best in theatres or inside locations such as studios and warehouses.

How do you define this work: Contemporary dance, Live performance.

Length of performance: 55 minutes.

Audience type: General Audience.

General Technical Requirements: 'Paper Mountains' was created for a warehouse space, studio, or theatre and can be adapted to many different locations. 'Paper Mountains' requires a Marley floor, and a sound system. The work has a lighting plot for spaces with stage lighting.

Does the work require tech residency: The work does not require a technical residency.

Number of people on tour with lighting designer (including choreographer): 7

CHOREOGRAPHER: Anya Allegra Saugstad in collaboration with the performers.

DANCERS: Daria Mikhaylyuk, Eowynn Enquist, Nasiv Sall, Sabine Raskin, and Shion Skye Carter.

MUSICIAN/SOUND: Stefan Nazarevich.

LIGHTING: Andie Lloyd

Photo of Nasiv Sall and Shana Wolfe Photo curtosy of artist 2.png

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