Maxine Heppner, award-winning senior contemporary dance, theatre, intermedial artist & educator in Canada, the European Union & East Asia, is known since the 1970’s for her large-scale performance works (“audacious”) and intimate chamber pieces (“reaching a new state of mind”) (“exposing the heart of the human condition”).
Honours include grants, commissions, awards worldwide, including Chalmers’ Senior Arts Fellowship; 3 Toronto Theatre Dora awards for co-creations; Japan Foundation International Collaboration award “Rage project” (2012); NOW’s top 10 dance shows 2009- “tiKrima!” with 140 performers; Toronto Star’s 2012 Favourites “Volaré”; Audience Favourite Guelph Dance Festival 2014 “Here&There”; Critics Choice and Audience Favourite 2006 Indonesia Bienale “Papoutsia-Shoe Show” in cooperation with StudioHanafi Indonesia, filmed in Greece.
Ms.Heppner and Dr. Sharpley have been collaborating and researching embodied performance and the integration of sound and movement since the 1990s.
In 1989 she first came to South East Asia as a guest artist. She was honoured to be colleagues with distinguished arts pioneers including in Singapore Kuo Pau Kun, Goh Lay Kuan, Lim Fei Shen, Angela Liong, Ong Keng Seng and cohorts, sharing workshops, discoveries and performances in that critically creative period in Singapore, and in Indonesia with Sardonno, Guismiati Suid, Farida Oetoyo, Rendra, I Wayan Dibia, Tony Probowo, Hanafi, and many more over the past 30 years. Hosting her as guest artist and/or mentor, include (Singapore)Lasalle & Nanyang academies, The Substation, Practice Performing Arts, ECNAD, NUS-Yong Siew Toh music conservatory, Sonic Design; (Indonesia) across the national STSI arts college system, IKJ, Kreativitet, Sumber Cipta, Gumarang Sakti, Studio Hanafi; (China) Hong Kong Academy for Performing Arts, City Contemporary Dance Company, Guangzhou Contemporary Dance Company; (Vietnam) Hanoi Academy of Dance, Vietnam Musicians Association; (Philippines) International Dance Festivals; (Japan) Kinsei R&D, DanceMedia Japan, Dance Cream, Sephanic Arts Dance, to name a few.
Working across professional and community environments at home and abroad led her to establish Across Oceans Arts (1996) to facilitate collaborative art-making across viewpoints, generations, and heritages. Activities change with the times. Ongoing are the Choreographic Marathon professional exchange and 7 Days of Creation residencies.
Ms. Heppner’s work is founded on perceptions of cyclical action-energy-time. She studied in her youth in Montreal with mentors Elsie Salomons (expressionist contemporary dance) and Sifu Lee (Tai Chi). These approaches are the foundations that carried her through professional training in major modern dance and theatre techniques across world cultures. Critical to her mature artistic development have been her associations with improvisation master Ruth Zaporah (Action Theater) and life-long collaborators in ASEAN.
Ms. Heppner teaches and coaches creative process and performance, integrated movement-voice, choreography, Action Theatre, and Cycles training, for professionals and all abilities. She founded Claude Watson High School of Performing Arts Dance Department (1982-87), led Koffler Centre Contemporary dance (1978-91), has been faculty at Concordia (1993-2001), York and University of Toronto, and institutions and professional companies worldwide. Arts advocate, she co-founded the International Network for Cultural Diversity and the Canadian Alliance Dance of Artists.
The book Writings on Collaboration published in 2008, and articles are in many journals and periodicals.