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Government of New Brunswick

Sarah Power

Sarah Power Headshot
Sarah Power, photo: Lorne Power

Originally from Saint John, Sarah has been working as a professional independent dance artist and teacher since graduating from Toronto Metropolitan University in 2001. She is a founding member and current Artistic Director of Connection Dance Works.

Sarah is an Associate Teacher with Cecchetti Canada and certified in the American Ballet Theatre National Training Curriculum Levels Pre-Primary through Level 5. She is the Director of the Intermediate and Senior Ballet School at First City School of Dance. Sarah’s teaching philosophy centers on creative movement, age-appropriate anatomical alignment, and healthy self-image.

Her career has included collaborations with musicians, dancers, filmmakers, play writes, designers and visual artists. She has received grants for Professional Development, Residencies and Creation projects through the Canada Council for the Arts and artsnb.

Sarah continues to learn and develop work through her practice of Authentic Movement, a way of discovering movement inherent in the body instead of inventing it.

I’m interested in intuition itself and how it can unfold. For me, it is a process of witnessing and waiting for something to happen. I see it as sitting in the middle of the creative experience, paying attention.

What led you to become a dance artist?

I took ballet lessons starting at age three and at age seven my teacher at the time in Hampton, NB, said I needed to train somewhere more serious. I became serious about dance! I went on to train in contemporary dance and studied at Metropolitan University of Toronto.

Subject is too dark
subject is too dark- Choreographer and Director. Premiere 2019, Imperial Theatre. Produced by Connection Dance Works

How did your training and experience help you to create and innovate in your artistic practice?

My training gave me discipline and ambition. My experiences in the dance world gave me rigour. Through this, I found I love to work, collaborate and be with artists from different disciplines. It allows me to see creativity in new ways and approach the creation process from a new point of view. The work is the drive that keeps me engaged and the desire to continue making and creating.

What stimulates you most about your practice?

My artistic practice is in the Authentic Movement method. Simply, there is a witness and a mover, the mover moves with eyes closed, waiting for an impulse and follows that impulse.

This practice is never ending. The creativity I find within myself and others when I am acting as witness is endless. This brings me a deep joy to be able to source creativity within myself, and connects me to those whom I witness, seeing their own creativity bubbling up.

With far arms
with far arms- Choreographed by Darryl Tracy. Dancer. 2017

How has living and working in New Brunswick helped and/or inspired you on your journey?

I returned to New Brunswick in 2007 after spending roughly 10 years in Toronto. I saw the potential in Saint John and New Brunswick but knew I had to pioneer opportunities. Carving paths for myself and dance artists here has been my mission ever since.

What motivates your creativity?

Teaching dance and collaborating with other artists. Watching students grow and develop, and their ambition and potential are motivation for my creative practice. Watching artists work and collaborating is engaging. It’s exciting to see an idea come to life and when a fellow collaborator has a breakthrough; it’s often surprising.

Still Buffering
Still Buffering- Choreographer and Director. Premiere May 11, 2024, Imperial Theatre, Saint John NB. Produced by Connection Dance Works

How does your creative process unfold as you create an artwork?

Working in the Authentic Movement practice is slow, it unfolds in its own time. I have been collaborating with musicians, actors, dancers, play writes, designers, costume designers, film makers and visual artists; with all these artists whom I collaborate with, each bring their own experience and expertise. This leads to a lot of discussion but also, moving with eyes closed and self-contemplation and reflection. The depth in which an artist is willing to go in the practice is what is created.

She pulled her head out of the oven and vanished
She pulled her head out of the oven and vanished. - Choreographer and performer. 2018

What is your long-term vision and what do you hope to achieve?

I hope to continue to work and live in New Brunswick sharing new work and collaborating with artists.

Why do you think it's important to make art and pursue an artistic career?

Making art to put in the world is important because the community needs to have a shift in their day-to-day normal activities. We need to inspire our communities and governments to not get stuck in their bubbles and react in the same way.

What have you learned about yourself and New Brunswick's artistic community through your work?

We work really hard for everything we do and present. Every opportunity and dollar we receive is valued and the work demonstrates that.

What do you think is the impact of artists' work on communities and the province as a whole?

Art making in all forms is what keeps New Brunswick interesting, alive and vibrant. Art connects people from various parts of the province and within various cultural communities. We all play a part and share in creating more connection, vibrancy and engagement.

What advice would you give to people who want to pursue a career as a dance artist?

Go for it! Dance artists are rare in New Brunswick which means you can carve your own path and create new opportunities. Be aware that being a dance artist you are also an administrator, your own advocate, grant writer, event planner, collaborator, producer, technician… the list goes on. But you do get to wake up and go take dance classes or teach them, rehearse and create new work and work with other amazing artists.

Where can we follow your work?

Love NB arts and culture? Share your favourites. #inspiredbyNB