© Chris Randle

/ Senescence / and / 49.3° N, 123.6° W /

Olivia Shaffer / Diego Romero / Alex Mah /

Part tale, part dream sequence, Senescence is a duet between Olivia Shaffer and Alex Mah, in which dance, spoken word, live and electronic music are woven together to propound the liminal spaces that surround the final stages of life. Emerging from the experience of caregiving for her father, who had dementia and Parkinson’s disease, Shaffer reflects on the metamorphosis that occurs as essential features of one’s selfhood and identity are stripped away.

49.3° N, 123.6° W is a contact improvisation duet between Shaffer and Diego Romero that aims to exist in an environment of constant change. This piece captures moments and then watches as they are released downstream. It emits our simultaneous separateness and oneness, held by our past and our future, as we ride the wave to be there.

Choreographer, Performer Olivia Shaffer Choreographer, Performer, Dramaturg Diego Romero Musician, Performer Alex Mah Contributing dramaturg's for Senescence Raïna von Waldenburg, Chick Snipper

This tour is made possible with support from the Canada Council for the Arts. Previous phases of development of the work were supported by Vancouver International Dance Festival, Peter Binghma/EDAM Dance.

Kanadische Botschaft

Olivia, Diego, and Alex are from Vancouver, Canada. They have performed together since 2017 as company members with EDAM (Experimental Dance and Music).

Olivia Shaffer is a choreographer, performing artist, and movement teacher. Her passion lies in the creation of organic, embodied performance rooted in structured improvisations. Olivia is inspired by diverse artistic collaboration which has led her to interpret the work of more than 20 choreographers. She is the assistant to the Artistic Director at EDAM, where she also teaches dance, including Contact Improvisation. Olivia has a BFA in dance from Simon Fraser University. She has taught and performed in Canada, the USA, Europe, and Asia.

Alex Mah is a composer and interdisciplinary artist whose scores use verbal notation to deal with ideas of open forms, performer choices, and the sensing body. He holds a BFA Music from Simon Fraser University (CAN) and an MRes from Bath Spa University (U.K.) under James Saunders, and has studied privately with Antoine Beuger (Wandelweiser). He has performed across Canada, Germany, Denmark, and the U.K..

Diego Romero dedicates himself to choreography, contact improvisation, and continental philosophy. Over the past several years, Diego has run a performing arts space located inside of a shipping container called Boombox. Through this initiative, he has produced the work of 30+ artists as well as self-producing three of his own works. Along with this, Diego has