Memorial announces Dancer-in-Residence for Fall 2016 

March 21, 2016

Memorial University (St. John’s and Grenfell Campuses) and its partners, Creative Gros Morne and DanceNL, are pleased to announce that the Memorial University Dancer-in-Residence for 2016 will be Julia Taffe.

The Dancer-in-Residence program takes place over six weeks in three different locations in Newfoundland and Labrador. During the Fall 2016 term, Julia will spend two weeks in each of St. John’s, Corner Brook, and Gros Morne National Park. In each location, she will pursue personal research as well as engage with students and the wider public. As well as supporting artistic research and development, the residency is a unique opportunity for community engagement by bringing new skills and perspectives to Memorial, and the greater community.

Choreographer Julia Taffe combines art, environment and adventure, making dances on buildings and mountains. Julia is the founder and artistic director of Aeriosa, a vertical dance company based in Vancouver. Aeriosa transforms neighbourhoods into theatres and explores wild environments as dramatic stages for live dance.  Julia has choreographed site specific works at locations such as: Stawamus Chief Mountain, Taipei City Hall, Cirque du Soleil Headquarters, Vancouver Library Square, Banff Centre, Scotiabank Dance Centre, Toronto’s 58-storey L Tower, the traditional Coast Salish territory of Vancouver’s Stanley Park and the traditional Nuu-chah-nulth territory of Clayoquot Biosphere Reserve on Vancouver Island. Julia and Aeriosa received the Canadian Dance Assembly “I Love Dance” Innovation Award in 2012. Julia is the second woman to achieve the Association of Canadian Mountain Guides Rock Guide certification. As well, she has worked as a climbing guide, instructor, coach, rigger, stunt performer and mountain safety tech for film and TV productions from British Columbia to Morocco.

“We received more than 35 applications from across North America,” said Alex Fallis of the selection committee, “and Julia’s stood out not only due to her unique artistic practice- vertical dance- and the strength of her research program, but also because of her previous artistic work that engages with geography and history. The committee felt that this aspect of her work would be an excellent fit in Newfoundland, and we aim to facilitate events and opportunities for interaction across the island.”

Specific events in each location will be announced in the coming months.

For an interview, or more information, please contact

Alex Fallis 

Division of Fine Arts (Grenfell) 


(709) 637-7190 

Pamela Gill

Communications co-ordinator (Grenfell)


(709) 637-2187