A native of Montreal, Maxine Heppner’s impressive career as an artist spans over 45 years. Maxine has held the titles of director, dancer, choreographer, actor, singer, photographer, production manager and teacher of Contemporary Dance and Interdisciplinary Theatre, often simultaneously. The recipient of numerous awards (including 3 Doras), her work has received international acclaim, and has been shown in festivals worldwide including the Canada Dance Festival, Danceworks, Dancing on the Edge, Athens Olympic Arts Festival, Indonesian International Bienale, and European Cities of Culture. Despite bumps along the way – most recently, she suffered a serious injury and concussion from a bike accident – Maxine’s career shows no sign of slowing down. Known for her bold and innovative projects, community work and creative teachings, DUO is thrilled to be working with Maxine on her upcoming 2015 production OLD STORIES, presented in association with DanceWorks Co-Works. Read Maxine’s full bio HERE.

A big thank you Adam Sidsworth, a George Brown student who completed a Co-op at DUO this past fall, who chatted with Maxine about her professional career.  Below are 10  facts that he gathered about Maxine that you may not know…

  • In Montreal in the 50’s ad 60’s, her dance mentor, Elsie Salomons, instilled in her the aesthetics of German expressionism and the practices of post-modern creation.
  • She moved to Toronto in 1973 to attend York University focusing on dance composition and dance therapy. Upon graduation she worked with adults at the Clarke Institute (CAMH) and children with autism and developmental challenges through the Reena Foundation. She also developed the  14-year contemporary dance division at the Koffler Centre.
  • Before Across Oceans Arts she co-directed and created with Philip Shepherd and Jay Fisher as Dora-winning Phyzikal Theatre, exploring links of dance, theatre, and mime, with David Smukler as tutor and David Fox as stage director. Earlier collaborators include Holly Small, Grindl Kuchirka, and Marie-Josee Chartier.
  • In 1989, a solo bicycle odyssey across Indonesia began her bi-hemispheric career as an ongoing guest artist and collaborator in the contemporary arts communities across East Asia and internationally.
  • From 2001-02-03 she ran the atHome project; 3-week residencies involving over 200 Canadian artists and international partners sharing with the public strategies on collaboration in the arts. A book/dvd collection on the discoveries is available for $10. (To order e-mail info@acrossoceans.org)
  • She now runs the Choreographic Marathon, a three-day ultra-intensive professional exchange on the principles of choreography.
  • She founded the dance program at Claude Watson High School of the Arts and has been faculty at York University, Concordia University, and University of Toronto.
  • She is a trained Action Theatre performer and teacher.
  • She is one of the founders and first chairperson of the Canadian Alliance of Dance Artists (CADA).
  • Alongside her international performance career, her photography and movement videos have been seen worldwide.



OLD STORIES and a very Short Story Festival
Feb. 5-8, 2015
Scotiabank Studio Theatre (6 Noble St. Toronto)

Maxine Heppner’s lifelong fascination with basic impulses and complicated dancing once again takes the stage in her upcoming dance show OLD STORIES which reveals public legends shared by a community of storytellers and the private world of a woman living amongst them.

Presented in association with DanceWorks CoWorks.

Featuring a stellar cast: Takako Segawa, Phyllis Whyte, Junia Mason, Lo Bil and Lilia Leon.



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