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Julie-anne Saroyan | Creative Producer

Julie-anne loves to share with and connect people through dance. Saroyan’s approach is to “bust down the theatre walls”, and bring dance out of traditional brick-and-mortar venues. For her, the evolution started in bars, but in the past few year’s she’s taken it a step further: outside. Today, many performances are hosted on the corners of a bustling street, stages the size of the dancer, and even in a running fountain. The surprise and innovation is one of the most fun aspects of her work, and she delights in the audience anticipating where they’ll be performing next.

Saroyan’s work focuses on capacity building in the dance sector both through the incubation of new choreographic work and the development of promising artists through uniquely designed workshops, mentorships, and hands-on residencies; as well as cross sectoral collaborations and strategic partnerships.  She challenges them to push the boundaries of their styles and movements, and is continually inspired by their dedication and passion.

In 2001, Saroyan co-founded the company and kicked off the series Dances for a Small Stage in Vancouver.  Since then, Julie-anne has she has produced over 50 installments of the series Dances for a Small Stage in Vancouver, including three installments in Ottawa at the The National Arts Centre.  Small Stage shows are a collection of 5-7 minutes dances that showcase a wide variety styles and genres of dance - including Contemporary, Ballet, Urban, Tap, Flamenco, Bhaṅgṛā, Indian Classical, Chinese and Japanese Classical and Contemporary, Scottish Highland, Burlesque and many others - that reflect the depth of unique and talented dance artists. Small Stage has always been a vessel for limitless creative exploration, which results in daring discoveries for their audinece.

Saroyan has had the pleasure of working with many dance artists and companies including Ballet BC, Margie Gillis, Emily Molnar and Crystal Pite/Kidd Pivot, whom she toured with Internationally for more than 10+ years.  She also was on Faculty at Simon Fraser University from 2005-2007 as the Production/Stage Management Instructor in the School for the Contemporary Arts.

Saroyan’s holds a BFA in Dance and Technical Theatre from York University in Toronto and trained at The Banff Centre in 1993 for Dance Stage Management and 2016 for New Fundamentals: Leadership for the Creative Ecology.  In 2014, Saroyan had the pleasure of mentoring with Farooq Chaudhry in London, UK. His ideas and concepts surrounding the role of the cultural entrepreneur in the dance world is fundamental to Saroyan’s approach.

Saroyan has also worked extensively in Corporate Special Events and has created and produced large scale Awards shows and team-building events in Vancouver and internationally including Barcelona, Malta & Phoenix and Hawaii.  Clients include: BP International Engineering Conferences, Nike, Visa International and Buckingham Palace.

Most recently Saroyan has been producing live and digital dance events and mixing reality, by combining real world dance and virtual objects.  This includes creating a digital dance augmented reality mobile app for I0S and Android platforms. Her work involves connecting people to spaces by animating the public realm through dance. These unique experiences show the audience a side of dance and technology that is new for many, and challenges them to rethink the way performances are viewed. Saroyan is inspired by identifying and bringing together artists who share Small Stage’s values of passion, hard work, risk-taking, curiosity and trans-cultural artistic expression.

You don’t have to follow the rules. I’m a rule breaker. I don’t want to draw people in to what I’m doing, I want to go out. It’s my rebellious side.
— Julie-anne Saroyan, small stage creative producer