Black and white photo of Marie France Forcier

FEBRUARY 4, 2023

$100 for full-day workshop


This workshop is designed for dance and devised theatre practitioners who have a pre-professional or professional practice, and who have experience, or an open-minded interest, in working with embodied imagery and somatics, including practices of meditation, yoga, body-mind centring, Skinner Releasing, Alexander, and more. 

Participants should bring warm clothing, and pen and paper for note taking. There will be a break between sessions and participants are encouraged to bring their lunch.


An exploration of techniques for autobiographical sourcing.

The School of Toronto Dance theatre is pleased to announce our latest workshop which facilitates artistic research in the field of Contemporary dance.

As a contemporary concert dance choreographer and praxis-as-research academic, Marie France Forcier examines and centres the intersecting point between psychological trauma, contemporary choreography, and somatic practices in her research. Working in collaboration with Dr. Allison Crawford (Associate Professor in the Department of Psychiatry at the University of Toronto), this workshop disseminates preliminary findings of investigating best practices for directors who ask artists to source autobiographically in an embodied creative process.

In this day-long workshop, participants will explore techniques for autobiographical sourcing in choreographic and/or embodied performance creation. Although the research of this workshop is based in trauma, the workshop is not meant therapeutically, nor will it be looking at individual’s histories head on. Participants do not have to have traumatic histories, but rather, an interest in looking at non-narrative ways of generating work from one’s embodied memory.

The morning session will begin with a talk led by Dr. Allison Crawford on embodied memory, including, but not limited to, the most recent understandings of psychological trauma’s effect on body and cognition. The participants will then experience and discuss the autobiographical sourcing methods. In the afternoon, the workshop will build upon these methods in conjunction with the creation of short solo studies within this framework, with the option of presenting the work to the group for discussion, or just to be witnessed.

Voluntary feedback questionnaires will be distributed at the end of the day.


The School of Toronto Dance Theatre
80 Winchester Street, Studio A
10:00 AM – 4:30 PM

Two dancers wearing colourful clothing standing on stage with high contrast lighting.



Marie France Forcier, MFA, is a choreographer, performer, writer, and pedagogue of European descent contemporary dance forms. Through creative practice and community engagement, she researches at the intersection of somatic practices, trauma studies and choreography. Her body of creative and performance work has been presented on platforms of various scales across four continents. An Associate Professor of Dance at the University of Calgary’s School of Creative and Performing Arts, she is, in parallel, pursuing a PhD in Creative Practice at Liverpool John Moores University through the Transart Institute (New York/Berlin).



Allison Crawford, MD, PhD, FRCPC, is a psychiatrist and Clinician Scientist at CAMH, an Associate Professor in the Department of Psychiatry at the University of Toronto, and adjunct faculty in the Dalla Lana School of Public Health. In addition, she has a PhD in English Literature from the University of Toronto. Arts-based approaches to psychological trauma, at both individual and community levels, is one area of her research, including cultural adaptation of narrative methods. She is currently Principal Investigator on a project with the Inuit Circumpolar Council, and the Arctic Council, engaging circumpolar youth in suicide prevention through digital storytelling.

Photo credits
1. Marie France Forcier. Photo by Suzanne Nolan.
2. Marie France Forcier and Cindy Ansah. Photo by Tim Nguyen.