Andrea Nann is a contemporary dance artist, arts educator, founding artistic director of Dreamwalker Dance Company, and creator of Conscious Bodies Methodology®, an embodied community practice. Andrea dances to reach across distance and to experience herself and others in celebration of possibility, plurality, imagination, originality, and belonging. She is recognized as a sector innovator, community advocate, connector and knowledge mobilizer who is responsive and sensitive to community needs and objectives, with a strong track record of devising and producing inclusive, public engagement initiatives in communities in and outside of Tkaronto.Through her work Andrea enlivens Dreamwalker's invitation to awaken and experience oneself in relationship with Self, Others, Environment and All that Is.
Andrea creates works for the stage, film, and outdoor sites. Her work investigates contemporary approaches to creation that interpret human experiences through collaboration with artists and producers from all artistic disciplines. She often works in collaboration with dance artists Brendan Wyatt and Sarah Chase, and with visual media artist Elysha Poirier. From 2012-2016 Andrea devised and produced a 4-year/4-city multi-arts collaborative process, The Ontario Shebang, with major productions in Guelph, Burlington, St. Catharines, and Kingston. She also created and produced 9 editions of The Whole Shebang Toronto (2004-2015).
A graduate of York University’s Department of Fine Arts in 1988, Andrea was a full-time member of the Danny Grossman Dance Company for fifteen years from 1988-2003 where she created, performed and taught major roles from the works of Mr. Grossman and guest choreographers. Over a 34-year career she has contributed to the creation of new works by over 70 dance and theatre creators from across Turtle Island. In 2019 she received a Dora Mavor Moore Award for Outstanding Performance by an Individual in Dance.
As an Artist Educator Andrea has devised and guided programs for Toronto District School Board and school boards across Southern Ontario. In 2018 in association with the City of Toronto Newcomer Office, Andrea created The Welcome Project, addressing inclusion and cultural literacy based on internal and external challenges faced by Newcomers to Canada. In 2020 (during global lockdown) she created The Welcome Project - Sharing Stories, moving online and bringing together newcomers, immigrants, mixed-abilities youth, dance artists, Indigenous artists, and individuals from 2SLGBTQ+ communities, promoting mental health and wellbeing, social inclusion and positive inter-group communication.
Nann works across intersections of performing arts disciplines, most recently touring to Teatro a Mil festival in Santiago Chile as Associate Director of Buddies in Bad Times production Kiinalik: These Sharp Tools (2023); in Pure Research for Nightswimming (2023) as Associate Artist with writer/theatre artist Anne Wessels; choreographing and performing for Koerner Hall presentation of Laila Biali Winter Songs; and choreographing and performing in Kevin Drew’s music video for singer songwriter Jenn Grant. She also co-directed 7th Cousins: An Automythography by Erin Brubacher and Christine Brubaker and contributed to the book of the same title. As a creator she has composed and choreographed over 50 works for the web, stage, film and various outdoor sites. Through these experiences she establishes core values and skill-building strategies to support the high level of collaboration involved in Dreamwalker’s work: inclusiveness, transmission, synchrony and equanimity are among these values. Andrea is deeply involved in her local community, serving on local committees to raise awareness of issues facing low income residents and local Artists, and spearheading neighbourhood information sharing gatherings. In 2017 she and her husband Andy Maize were recognized for their contributions to Ward 9 Davenport. The issue of lack of hospitable creative space for Artists has led Andrea to forge unique partnerships with venue holders resulting in long-term community partnership agreements/artist residencies at 918 Bathurst, Grace Centre for the Arts, and with Working Women Community Centre. Andrea is a certified Gyrokinesis (sensory-based, energy practice/movement methodology) and Gyrotonic trainer.
Andrea has also appeared as a guest artist with Canadian touring companies Peggy Baker Dance Projects, Co. Erasga, Tribal Crackling Wind, Astrid Dance, Volcano Theatre, Proartedanza, Dumb Instrument Dance and Modern Times Stage Company.
Andrea was resident artist of Soulpepper Theatre Company (2012-2014), Young Centre for the Performing Arts (2008-2012), and Canadian Contemporary Dance Theatre (2008-2009); and visiting artist at FirstOntario Performing Arts Centre (St Catharines 2015-2016), River Run Centre (Guelph 2013-2015), Burlington Performing Arts Centre (2014-2016), City of Kingston/Grand Theatre (2013-2015), Brock Centre for the Arts (St. Catharines, 2013-2015), Pia Bouman's School for Creative Ballet & Movement (2013), Scotiabank Dance Centre (Vancouver 2013), Shadbolt Centre for the Arts (Burnaby 2006-2007), and the Iris Garland Visiting Choreographer at Simon Fraser University (2012). In 2016 Ontario Contact recognized Andrea as Artist of the Year for her contributions to the Performing Arts touring sector in Ontario.
Her creative collaborators include author/poet Michael Ondaatje; poet/musician Gord Downie; dance/literature artist Sarah Chase; composer cellist/vocalist Anne Bourne; dancers Brendan Wyatt and Gerald Michaud; visual artists Wayne Ngan, Michael Caines, Elysha Poirier, Cindy Mochizuki and Janet Morton; pianist Andrew Burashko; opera singer Patricia O’Callaghan; theatre artist Maiko Bae Yamamoto; architect/designer Michael Fohring, composers Josh Classic Roots DePerry, John Gzowski, Rick Hyslop, David Buchbinder, Joshua Van Tassel, Ben Grossman and George Gao; designers Noah Feaver, Simon Rossiter, Ken MacKenzie, Aisling Sampson, Cheryl Lalonde, Peter Chin, Arun Srinivasan, Glenn Davidson, and David Duclos; musical group The Skydiggers, Jenn Grant, Lori Cullen; producer Kevin Drew; singer/songwriters Andrew Cash, Josh Finlayson, and Andy Maize; poet Chris Chambers; video artist Samm Higgison; digital media artist Tom Kuo; interdisciplinary artist Helen Yung; electronic musician Nilan Perera; visual artist Cindy Mochizuki; shadow artist Annie Katsura Rollins. Some of her dance work has been translated to film and video by filmmakers Peter Mettler, Nick de Pencier, Brian Johnson, Lisa Hayes, Alexandra Seay, Henry Mak, and Veronica Tennant.
Andrea believes that dance and embodiment can shift attitudes and ways of being, tuning us into what makes each of us distinct, to what we share, and ultimately how we can live together in wonderment and peace.