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Winner of the 2023 DMCA

Photo Credit: Jane-Alison McKinney

Emma Kerson

Live Art Dance is pleased to announce that Halifax-based dancer Emma Kerson is the winner of the 2023 Diane Moore Creation Award (DMCA). This annual award honours Live Art Dance’s founder Diane Moore and is inspired by her passion for dance creation and her support of Atlantic Canadian Artists. The DMCA was initiated to stimulate and sustain the creation of contemporary dance in the Atlantic Region. Administered by Live Art Dance, the award is adjudicated by an independent arm’s length jury of three individuals who have an extensive knowledge of dance in the Atlantic Region.

2023 Diane Moore Creation Award

The amount of this year’s award is $2,000 with 50 hours of free studio space at DANSpace. The DMCA is the largest non-governmental award for dance creation in Atlantic Canada. These funds have been raised through dedicated fundraising on the part of Live Art Dance, a partnership with Dance Nova Scotia and the generosity of Neal Livingston. The 2023 award will go to support a new solo work performed by Emma Kerson.

“I am so grateful to be this year’s recipient of the Diane Moore Creation Award. On a personal note, this project marks a new pivotal chapter for me, having spent the majority of my professional life away from home. Now that I’ve returned, I very intentionally decided to work with as many artists as I possibly could as both a love-letter to the community and as a desire to find connection and grounding. What’s the Use? will challenge me into unknown territory as a creator and choice-maker. This support gives me the time and space to create the process-based collaborative environments I wish to see more of, and I am honoured that so many incredible artists are coming along for the ride and asking the big questions.” – Emma Kerson

“Live Art Dance is proud to offer this annual award in memory of our founder, Diane Moore,” said Artistic Director Randy Glynn. “Each year the quantity and calibre of the applications we receive indicate what a vibrant, creative and growing dance community we have in Atlantic Canada – and we are delighted to be a part of it.”

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About Emma Kerson

Raised by the sea in Kjipuktuk (Halifax), Emma Kerson is a dance artist drawn to making as a means to understand one another through collaborative experiences. Her work has been developed in residencies thanks to adelheid, Arts Orillia, Citadel + Compagnie, Mocean Dance, MOonhORsE Dance Theatre, the National Ballet of Canada, Peggy Baker Dance Projects, and Shawbrook Residential (Ireland). She has been commissioned by Blue Ceiling Dance, The School of Toronto Dance Theatre, and has been presented by platforms across Canada. Emma has interpreted works of artists including Julia Aplin, Patricia Beatty, Elizabeth Chitty, Jennifer Dallas, Robert Desrosiers, David Earle, Sylvain Émard, Lisa Phinney-Langley, Michael Sean Marye, Jane-Alison McKinney, Sharon B. Moore, Peter Randazzo, Simon Renaud, and Tedd Robinson. In 2019 she founded Bare Nerve with Jane-Alison McKinney. Their new work hard wire will be presented through Citadel + Compagnie in September and by platforms across Ontario throughout 2023 / 2024. Emma is a graduate of Dalhousie University, The School of Toronto Dance Theatre, and in 2021 she completed her M.A. at the Centre for Drama, Theatre & Performance Studies at the University of Toronto.

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About the Project

What’s the Use? is an experimental proposal through which seventeen local collaborators / co-creators from across Mi’kma’ki have been invited into the workshopping phase. The intention is to engage with a tapestry of ideas and influences as foundational solo research on what it is to use and be used. There is obvious and intentional choreographic risk in inviting an abundance of voices. The collaborators come from a wide range of artistic mediums and practices: dancers, choreographers, visual artists, directors, stand-ups, scholars, clowns, poets, drag artists, writers, sound designers, musicians, set designers, circus artists, and actors. By sharing practices and devising new ones together, we can experience a web of ideas and entry points found only through connection. Contributing to the independent community’s resiliency, something I feel speaks directly to the spirit of Diane Moore, What’s the Use? creates opportunity for myself and seventeen local voices to speak out about use and to search for meaning, together.

Past Diane Moore Recipients