Pro Series II: Just Breathe, Okâwîmâwaskiy

January 20-21, 2022 at 7 p.m. and 8:30 p.m.
University Theatre, University of Calgary

$22 (adults) /$17 (students*/seniors)

*Part of the Claim Your Seat program, available at the door only while quantities last.

**Jan. 20 at 7 p.m. is SOLD OUT**

Dance Pro Series 2

An immersive performance addressing climate change and eco-anxiety

Co-created by Cree artist Sandra Lamouche and settler dance faculty member Melanie Kloetzel/kloetzel&co.

Just Breathe, Okâwîmâwaskiy offers an immersive journey into and out of climate anxiety. Questioning our cultural response to such anxiety, the presentation will involve small groups who are taken on an excursion of hope, deceit, folly and serenity as they attempt to uncover alternatives to a shocking fate.

Trigger warning: This is an immersive performance where audience members will be asked to participate. The performance’s themes could trigger climate anxiety.

Accessibility information: Audience members will be required to remove their shoes, walk, use stairs and sit on pillows. A portion of the performance will take place outside.

Artistic Directors' Note

Just Breathe, Okâwîmâwaskiy (Just Breathe, Mother Earth) developed from a joined vision. It all began when Sandra Lamouche and Melanie Kloetzel met through the 10 Ways project, a social media film project by TRAction, a climate arts collective based in Mohkinstsis (Calgary). After being selected through a national call for artists, Sandra created a one-minute short for the 10 Ways project called ‘Stewardess of the Land’, an ironic collision of flight attendant procedures and Indigenous protocols. As this project burrowed into Melanie’s brain, she received a vision of a performance work addressing climate anxiety that was deeply related to Sandra’s offering. After discussing this vision, Sandra and Melanie came together in a collaboration to expose and address the paradoxes around eco-anxiety in Eurocentric capitalist cultures.

And now, we would like to take you on an immersive journey. As you enter the world of Just Breathe, Okâwîmâwaskiy, we ask you to notice any responses to climate anxiety that may develop. What do these responses tell you? As you and your fellow travelers navigate these responses—perhaps experiencing hope, deceit, serenity or even fear—we also hope you may glimpse some alternatives to our shocking fate.

We would like to thank you, as audience, for your willingness to be part of this research journey.

Creators and performers

*indicates kloetzel&co. performer

Sandra Lamouche

Director and Performer

Sandra Lamouche (she/her; MA) is a Nehiyaw Iskwew (Cree Woman) from the Bigstone Cree Nation in Northern Alberta. She married into the Piikani Nation in Southern Alberta and is now a proud mother to two boys with braids. In 2007, she completed her BA in Native American Studies from the University of Lethbridge, and in 2021, she successfully defended her MA Thesis at Trent University, titled “Nitona Miyo Pimadisiwin (Seeking a Good Life) Through Indigenous Dance” which examines Indigenous Dance as a Social Determinant of Health and Well Being. Sandra is a multidisciplinary creator, artist, writer and storyteller, a Champion Hoop Dancer, an award winning Indigenous Educational Leader, and a two-time TEDx Speaker. She has over fifteen years of experience in ten international styles of dance including ballet, tap, jazz, lyrical, modern, contemporary, hip hop and powwow styles, and the hoop dance. She has performed, collaborated with, studied and trained with Indigenous Dance Companies such as "Daystar Modern Dance Creations" with Rosalie Jones, founder of Modern Native Dance (Rochester, NY); "Dancing Earth: Contemporary Indigenous Dance Creations" with Rulan Tangen; "Compaigni V'ni Dansi" Metis and Contemporary dance with Yvonne Chartrand (Vancouver, BC); "Kahawi Dance Theatre" with Santee Smith (Toronto, ON); Jack Gray of "Atamira Dance Company" (New Zealand), O. Dela Arts (Ontario), and Raven Spirit Dance (Vancouver). 

Melanie Kloetzel


Melanie Kloetzel (she/her; MFA, PhD) is a settler performance maker, scholar and educator based in Treaty 7 territory (Moh’kinsstis/Calgary). Director of the dance theatre company kloetzel&co. and co-director of the art intervention collective TRAction (which produces the Climate Art Web), Kloetzel has developed events, workshops and encounters in theatre spaces, alternative venues, spaces of public assembly, and online environments across four continents. Her award-winning films have garnered such awards as Best of Fest (Sans Souci Festival of Dance Cinema, USA), Best Documentary (Mabig Film Festival, Germany), a Boss Female Short (Freedom Festival International) and a Best Experimental Film Award (GO Independent International Film Festival, USA). Her publications can be found in Dance Research JournalContemporary Theatre Review, Choreographic Practices, Dance Research, New Theatre Quarterly, and the International Journal of Performance Arts and Digital Media, among others, and her books –  the co-edited anthology Site Dance: Choreographers and the Lure of Alternative Spaces (2009), the co-authored (Re)Positioning Site Dance: Local Acts, Global Perspectives (2019), and the co-authored Covert: A Handbook are currently available from University Press of Florida, Intellect, and Triarchy Press, respectively.

Jocelyn Leiver


Jocelyn H. Leiver (she/her) is an alumnus of the University of Calgary Dance and Music programs, and a company member of kloetzel&co. since 2015 (Faust, the Anatomy of a DiseaseMEN in Charge film; It Began with Watching stage/site/tour; Dance of the Puppets short film; RoomsTragedy, a sequel). She is a multi-disciplinary artist with credits in theatre, musical theatre, film, choreography, and as a collaborative pianist. She is co-founder of EDJE Dance Theatre, whose work has been presented in Alberta and California, and is currently developing a new work thanks to the Canada Council for the Arts.

Taylor Ritchie


Taylor Ritchie (she/her) is an accomplished performer, dance teacher, and arts enthusiast based in Mohkinstsis (Calgary, Alberta). She completed her BA in Dance at the University of Calgary, with a concentration in choreography and performance with distinction. Since emerging in the local arts scene, she has performed with companies like kloetzel&co. and Corps Bara Dance Theatre and has performed across Canada in Regina’s Stream of Dance Festival, Calgary’s Skylines Dance & Film Series, Fluid Fest, and Alberta Dance Festival, as well as Edmonton’s Prairie Dance Circuit and The Works Art & Design Festival.

Hannah Isbister


Hannah Isbister (she/they) is a Calgary based artist with a BA in Dance from the University of Calgary (2020). From the Isbister, Sinclair and Dreaver Métis of Saskatchewan and Hanevelt family of Holland, it is through these ancestors that they have the pleasure to live, work and study in Calgary. Recently they have worked with kloetzel&co. in the dance film and performance of The Coming Silence, and with Lisa Calverley in the dance film UnRavel, as well as completed Les Femmes Michif Otipemisiwak’s Reach For The Sky Women’s Leadership Program. 

Shondra Cromwell-Krywulak


Shondra Cromwell-Krywulak (she/her) is a dance artist based out of Mohkinstsis (Calgary) Alberta and is a graduate of the Univeristy of Calgary’s BFA Dance Program (2019). After graduation she has continued her training with YYC Contemporary Training and recently completed a residency with Dancer’s Studio West. Shondra has performed for established artists including Melanie Kloetzel, Michèle Moss, Marie France Forcier, and Heather Ware. Her work has been presented in university performances, and most recently her film French Vanilla with Chocolate Sprinkles was presented in Dancer’s Studio West Quick and Dirty Festival (2021).

Alèn Martel


Alèn Martel (he/him/his) is a Canadian-born South / West Asian 'contemporary' dancer, university researcher and educator, and performing arts centre (PAC) professional working in Moh-kíns-tsis | Wincheesh-pah | Kootsisáw, Treaty 7 Territory (Calgary, AB). His main research areas include creative process, global dance history and dance studies (with emphasis on pre-20th century), and dance and computer science.  He has his Bachelor of Arts in Dance from the University of Calgary (2012) and his Master of Arts in Ethnochoreology (2014) from the Irish World Academy of Music and Dance at the University of Limerick.

Katriona Dunn

Katriona Dunn, BFA'22, is a theatre designer, technician, creator, and occasional stage manager. She recently graduated from the University of Calgary Drama program with distinction. During her time at the university, she worked as an assistant designer on We The Same and Formations, as costume designer on Horse Girls, and designer for Wagonstage. She was recognized with the Macdonell Award in Performing Arts and the Marilyn Perkins Award in performing arts. She recently had her Vertigo Theatre debut with Murder on the Orient Express as assistant costume designer, and looks forward to continuing to work and grow in the theatre.

Calum Maunier

Calum Maunier, BFA'22, is a technical director, theatrical designer, technician and creator. He recently graduated from the University of Calgary Drama program with distinction. His most recent design work was for Cantata with Sage Theatre. He is currently working at Wordfest and just finished the Imaginairium 2022 festival as the technical director, as well as providing technical and design support at cSPACE. He looks forward to supporting Frankenstein with Theatre Jupiter as TD and PM.


Production support: Melanie Kloetzel/kloetzel&co.
Script adaptation (meditation): Camille Mori
Devised script: Melanie Kloetzel and Jocelyn H. Leiver
Script adaptation (meditation): Camille Mori
Voiceover: Jocelyn H. Leiver
Music: Sherryl Sewepagaham (performed by Luminous Voices) and Phyllis Sinclair (from the album Ghost Bones)
Sound design: Calum Maunier and Melanie Kloetzel

  1. Staff

    Director BRUCE BARTON
    Associate Director PENNY FARFAN
    Dance Division Lead MELANIE KLOETZEL
    Drama Division Lead CHRISTINE BRUBAKER
    Music Division Lead ROD SQUANCE
    Production Manager ANDREW NORTH
    Communications and Marketing Advisor AURELIE MAERTEN
    Department Operations Manager MARY LOU MENDYK
    Academic Program Specialist ROSABEL CHOI
    Academic Program Specialist CONSTANTINA CALDIS ROBERTS
    Graduate Program Advisor ALISON SCHMAL

  2. Theatre Services

    Venue & Client Relations Manager DAVID FRASER
    Venue Business Administrator ABIR BACHIR
    Booking Administrator CATHERINE ROULEAU
    Front of House Manager LIZZY EVASHKEVICH
    Audio Technician ALEX BOHN
    Lighting Technician JASON SCHWARZ
    Scenic Carpenter SCOTT FREEMAN
    Stage Technician BRANDON DELA CRUZ

A special thanks to the UCalgary Division of Dance and the Centre for the Research in the Fine Arts (CRFA) for the support for this project, as well as to the amazing group of people who were willing to jump into this project in a very short time frame – Jocelyn, Taylor, Hannah, Shondra, Alèn, Steph, Calum, Katriona, and Camille. Your efforts have been nothing short of remarkable! Also, a huge thanks to Indigenous musician/composers Sherryl Sewepagaham and Phyllis Sinclair for their generous contribution of music to support this project.

kloetzel&co. is a dance theatre company committed to works that span stage, site, and screen. Begun in New York City, kloetzel&co. now makes its home on Treaty 7 territory (Moh’kinsstis/Calgary) in Canada. The company’s research projects, which frequently address issues of social and environmental justice, emerge from practice-as-research methodologies. kloetzel&co. is particularly dedicated to artistic collaboration and interdisciplinary practices and attempts to foster creative experiments with writers, filmmakers, composers, designers, visual artists, landscape designers, and musicians in each place along its choreographic journey. Award-winning films from the company have been presented across four continents, and live presentation highlights include New York presentations at Movement Research at the Judson Church, Danspace, and The Flea Theatre, international presentations at The Painted Bride Art Center (Philadephia), Dusk Dances (Toronto), Horizons Concert Series (Flagstaff), and The House Theatre (Plymouth, UK), as well as in hotels, train stations, board rooms, parking lots and gallery spaces across Turtle Island. kloetzel&co. is directed by Melanie Kloetzel (MFA, PhD) who has created over fifty works for the company.