Olivia Shaffer is a choreographer, performing artist, and movement teacher. She is born and based on the unceded Coast Salish lands and waters of the xʷməθkʷəy̓əm (Musqueam), Sḵwx̱wú7mesh Úxwumixw (Squamish), and səl̓ilw̓ətaʔɬ (Tsleil-Waututh) territories, also known as Vancouver, BC.
She holds a BFA and a Liberal Arts Certificate from the School for the Contemporary Arts at Simon Fraser University. For the last 10+ years, Olivia has performed, taught, and created dance. Her practice is fed by contemporary research, Contact Improvisation and somatic movement practices.
Olivia is interested in creating living, embodied work, rooted in structured improvisations. By using the mediums of movement and performance, she aims to assimilate the human condition by harnessing emotions, probing paradox, and forming ephemeral yet penetrative bonds between audience and artist. Olivia considers movement as a metaphor for our ever-seeking nature, while experiencing continuous loss. She is developing a solo about the mental deterioration of a loved one, which will be presented by New Works in November 2019.
Her work has received commissions and presentations from Shooting Gallery Performance Series, The Dance Centre's 12 Minutes Max, In the House Festival, BLOOM, Art for Impact, and the Firehall Art Centre’s 12 Minutes Max.
Olivia has worked as a collaborative dance artist in works by Peter Bingham/EDAM Dance, Helen Walkley, Alvin Tolentino/Co. ERASGA, Delia Brett & Daelik/MACHiNENOiSY, Gail Lotenburg/LINK Dance, Donna Redlick/Donna Redlick Dance, Starr Muranko/Raven Spirit Dance, Vanessa Goodman/Action at a Distance, Diego Romero, Judith Garay/Dancers Dancing, Michael Kong, Katie DeVries, Daisy Thompson, Shauna Elton, Erika Mitsuhashi, Natalie Tin Yin Gan/Hong Kong Exile, Henry Daniel and Rob Kitsos.
She teaches dance and improvisation including Contact Improvisation at EDAM Dance, and at other cultural institutions for professional, pre-professional and community dancers. She has taught in Canada, the US and Southeast Asia. She is a Certified Pilates Mat instructor and teaches weekly classes at False Creek Community Centre and Ron Zalko Fitness & Yoga.
Olivia is the Assistant to the Artistic Director at EDAM Dance.
Yvonne ChewChris RandleShaina BranfmanEd SpenceJustin ReistHilary Maxwell