Kristen Lewis and David Westcott are Walking Bear Productions. We are a husband and wife team, working independently and with great freedom and fervor on Salt Spring Island, B.C. Our small island home provides a fertile creative haven, where we can delve deeply into performance-making, without the distractions of city life. Our works are designed to travel easily, and we welcome touring and residency opportunities in both large and small communities.
As interdisciplinary artists, we play multiple roles in the process of creating, producing, and performing innovative, relevant, and impactful performance works. We work together on all aspects of our performance work, and move fluidly between the roles of writer, choreographer, and dramaturg. For the performance delivery, Kristen most often appears as dancer and actor/performer, and David as director and multi-media artist. We are concerned with creating works that ask hard questions and demand much of both performers and audience, but that ultimately present a hopeful, life-affirming view of the human condition. It is our goal to create performances with the audience in mind, with a view to leaving audiences changed for the better.
We began collaborating in 2010, and formed Walking Bear Productions in 2012. We have created two original works of solo dance theatre to date: Paradise is Jagged, a 60-minute multidisciplinary solo (dance, dramatic monologue, multi-media) and Primordial, a 35-minute dance solo. Both are meaty, ambitious works that search for meaning and redemption among the ruins of contemporary culture.
Paradise is Jagged premiered on June 29th, 2013 at ArtSpring on Salt Spring Island, and later played at the Nanaimo Fringe Festival in August 2013, and at a by-request repeat performance at ArtSpring on November 11th, 2013. Primordial premiered on July 4th, 2015 at ArtSpring. Both are live and tour-ready, and we are excited to share these powerful works more broadly in 2016 and 2017.
We are currently in the research and creation phase of three more evening-length works: unobserved, an improvised dance performance on the theme of visibility and obscurity, delivered in 8 installments to 8 different audiences;Spanish Trilogy, a dance-play about passion and sacrifice, seen through the eyes of a Bullfighter, Flamenco Dancer, and the Bull; and 4 Rooms, an interdisciplinary performance examining a unique indigenous perspective on life and the spirit world. Unobserved premieres in September 2016; Spanish Trilogy premieres in the spring of 2017.
In addition to creating our own work, we run the Salt-Spring based Children’s Dance Workshop, where Kristen teaches Laban-based creative dance to children as a vehicle for encouraging self-esteem and creative confidence in our local youth. We work together to produce two children's shows annually, in December and April; the children perform in the first half of the show, and for the second half, we invite local professional and amateur dance artists to present pieces to inspire the children.
ABOUT KRISTEN LEWIS
Kristen is a dancer, actor, and performance artist. She is serious about the importance of potent, truthful live performance, and has been performing for most of her life. She brings to the stage an intense presence that animates our work. Her current training regime is characterized by great rigor and creative freedom----logging long, happy (if occasionally grueling) hours alone and with David to develop the strength and sensitivity needed to be maximally powerful onstage. Every week she learns more about the natural basis of movement through her own extensive training and exploration in the dance studio, and by observing and teaching her young dance students. Kristen graduated from Dalhousie University in 2001 with an honors degree in multidisciplinary studies. Her first play, David and Davida, appeared in 2002 at the Atlantic Fringe Festival, to rave reviews. She has since created a dozen performance works, across the disciplines of dance, theatre, and performance art. Meeting David Westcott in 2010 marked the beginning of an expanded period of creative vision for Kristen.
ABOUT DAVID WESTCOTT
David is an Elder and medicine man in the Lakota and Cree tradition, and a versatile inter-disciplinary artist. David currently works in the media of video, dance and performance-creation. He brings to the table a fresh, no-nonsense perspective, strong leadership skills, an incredible intuitive sense, and a deep affinity for the magic of theatre and dance.