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Mentorship pair Parker Koepnick & Victoria Emilie Hill are taking part in our 2022/2023 Professional Mentorship Program,
in the discipline of movement and contact improv. They’ve been taking a holistic approach to movement, focusing on discovery and exploration in a low stress environment. Within Contact Improv and movement Victoria has mentored Parker on ranges of dynamics, lifts, emotions, inner battles, overcoming, and experimentation. This has involved many hours of rolling on the
floor, falling into the floor, and finding a way to remember to bring my knee pads to the studio.

What results do you feel have come from your participation in the Professional Mentorship Program?

“The skills I’ve learned from Contact Improvisation I carry into my other forms of art. After two years of social distancing and being closed off physically from others, it reminded me just how much I need connection with others  I’ve embraced vulnerability, I’ve become more confident as a dancer, I have a daily practice and so many tools in my movement tool box that I’m able to use when I need it. I’ve met so many lovely, kind, and generous dancers who have shared so many valuable mindsets towards movement.  I’m thankful for Rachelanne Kosatsky and her weekly contact improv classes that aren’t just a class but a very special moment in time, and for that intersection with the Instance Dance workshops by Ian Mozdzen. Because of this mentorship I found out I have so much of what I wanted from myself already, I just had to unlock it.” – Parker

Working with Parker has been such a delight.  He has an incredibly curious spirit and it’s refreshing – he has reminded me to stay curious, even throughout the seemingly mundane.  During this process, I have learned to be a better facilitator and to remember that I am also learning and it’s enriching to do that together.  I’ve grown as a dancer, and have learned new ways to think about choreographic scores.” – Victoria 

What type of work do you create?

“My main focus when I create art is alternative theatre and searching for new forms to tell stories through. I have burning questions about the world and big emotions, and they find a way to drip into my work, sometimes in a stage direction or as a gesture, or into something bigger.” – Parker

“I like to create work that is movement-forward, a little bit playful, and a little bit political.  Recently, I co-wrote a play with Tanner Manson (@tanner.manson) for TPM’s Climate & Main series (@tpmwinnipeg) called The Woman & The Whale that we are hoping to remount as a dance activated installation piece.”- Victoria

How long have you been a practicing artist?

Probably since I was about 12 years old when I performed a very strange yet surely riveting rendition of You’re The One That I Want from Grease in my cousin’s basement.” – Victoria

What aspect of your work brings you joy?

I love movement so much. It is one of the rare times all the noise in my brain finally quiets down and I’m able to just be at peace in utter release. I love dancing with someone through contact improv, and having this silent conversation with someone where there isn’t any need afterwards to have to have a conversation through speech. There is this zone I’m still trying to get to fully, the type of connection needed to move freely, to lean and be leaned on and rely completely on the other person, while they are relying on me, which is a very special feeling. I’ve been learning to take off the armor when I walk into a room, and to just be is enough.” – Parker

Parker Koepnick (he/they/ils) is a movement based actor, playwright, and poet residing in win-nipi/ Winnipeg Treaty 1 Territory. Parker has his certificate in Theatre Foundations, and enjoys the continuous learning theatre brings. Parker likes working on everything at once, and when they aren’t creating something theatre related you can find them experimenting with photography, music, or frolicking in nature.

Victoria Emilie Hill (she/they) Hi!  I’m Victoria.  I like to spend my time at the climbing gym, biking year-round, growing vegetables and figuring out how to eat / preserve all of them, dancing and making theatre, and going on adventures in the woods.  I also do marketing and communications with an amazing company called Fete Jockey Events (@fetejockey), I occasionally work at an incredible women owned and operated bakery called White Birch (@whitebirchbakery), and I’ve been the nanny to a small child since they were 10 months old and they are soon to be 9!  Writing all of this down has reminded me, yet again, how grateful I am to have this colorful life.

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