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By Anya Saugstad / Furious Grace Dance Theatre

About Here it is

Small Title


‘Here it is’ is a new project created in response to my ongoing fear of death. It acknowledges our brief existence, and the longing and pain we hold in a world where we leave one at a time. 
‘Here it is’ first started as an experiment in making only an ending, and then expanding the ending until it was a fuller work. It bloomed from my selfish love of making endings to pieces. The research uses loops of movement based on states of being, to empty and fill the space between two dancers. Within the context of this work, I am interested in exploring the body as a being that lives as an animal and as a plant. It’s steeped in the remembering of our animal self that is killing and competitive, and out plant self that is loving and persevering. It asks what our purpose is, and how we find belonging in life. The research of this work is a remembering of how all along we are made of the same skin and bone marrow and blood as a wolf, a tiger, and a bear. We are hungry. We are eyes wide catching prey. We are licking our young. And then one day just as we had entered, we leave it all.
The work was inspired by a quote in the novel ‘Pure Colour’: “That we are made to die, one at a time, here in the first draft of existence—that is the pain and the longing. That is the beautiful.” (Sheila Heti)

Anya and Artists

Anya Saugstad and Artists


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 rage, 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’. 

Project Details

Performance type: Here it is was originally created for an outdoor stage venue. The work can be adapted to a variety of locations as long as there is a Marley or sprung floor.

Duration: 20 minutes 

Audience type: General Audience

General Technical Requirements: Here it is requires a Marley or sprung floor, and a sound system. The work requires there to be two small piles of soil on stage, and a door or opening at the back of the stage that the dancers can walk through (this can be a curtain, door, two walls, or a door at the back of the theatre).

Here is is can be adapted to many different locations including outdoor theatres.

Number of people on tour (including choreographer): 3

CHOREOGRAPHER: Anya Allegra Saugstad in collaboration with the performers.
DANCERS: Shana Wolfe and Nasiv Sall
MUSIC: Stefan Nazarevich
COSTUME: Julie Newton

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

Community Engagement  

Community workshops for young dancers and adults:​​ Workshop consists of guiding participants through an improvised warm up, teaching repertoire from the company, and skill building in collaboration and choreographic creation. Age ranges can be anywhere from 10 years and up to adults with dance experience. Also open to improvisational classes for adults not in dance but interested in somatic movement practice. Fees are based on CADA East rates at $75-$100/hr. Workshops are taught by Anya Saugstad.

Mini Mentotships:

Through touring we would love to engage with young female identifying or non binary dancers who see themselves going in to professional dance as a career. We are interested in setting up a mini mentorship type opportunity for individuals from the community to spend time in rehearsals and the theatre with us. They would be invited to shadow the work in rehearsal, or be an outside eye and give notes, help in the theatre, and be given time to connect and meet the company with time for one on one conversation. As a company of emerging femme and non binary artists, we are interested in sharing our knowledge and paving the way for femme voices in performance.

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