A multi-media portrait based on the life, art and writings of Canadian artist Emily Carr (1871-1945), composed of text, slides, music and rigorous theatrical dancing. Traces of Emily Carr is an audience-oriented dance piece and a humorous and poignant portrait touching on many of the universal themes that artists live and work with today.  Over the last decade Traces of Emily Carr has toured across Canada, through the highlands of Scotland and performed at the Spoleto Festival in Italy.

Recent Performances

January 18, 2008                  Clarke Theatre, Mission, BC
January 26, 2008                  Lester Centre of the Arts, Prince Rupert, BC
January 31, 2008                  Sid Williams Theatre, Courtenay, BC
February 1, 2008                  Mary WInspear Centre, Sidney, BC
February 5, 2008                  Michael J. Fox Theatre, Burnaby, BC
February 8, 2008                  Malaspina U & C, Crimson Coast Dance Society, Nanaimo, BC
February 9, 2008                  Art Spring,  Salt Spring Island,  BC
February 16, 2008                Vernon and District Performing Art Centre, Vernon, BC
February 21, 2008                Peterborough New Dance & Public Energy Theatre, Ont
February 22, 2008                Peterborough New Dance & Public Energy Theatre, Ont
March 7, 2008                       Maurice Young Millennium Place, Whistler, BC

Choreography: Jennifer Mascall
Musical Compositions: Veda Hille
Narration: Penelope Stella
Costumes: Nancy Bryant
Photography: Andrew Denton
Set: Pechett & Robb
Lighting: John Macfarlane

Three female dancers, optional live band.
58 minutes.

Costumes: Both modern and period pieces including bustles, linen jackets and long skirts that hook up like curtains on top of spaghetti strap lingerie tops and bloomers.
Dance: Non-stop, theatrical and full of flow.
Music: The band performs the music in a constructed loft or pit if available.
Set: The portable set looks like a dolly, a ladder and a wheel chair. These are used as props to represent a spectrum of personal attributes that were significant aspects of Carr’s life: her easel, her relationship to her father, her mental condition, etc.
Slides: Andrew Denton’s photographs of aspects of Carr’s paintings and writings.
Text: The text and musical compositions are based on Carr’s writings and incorporated into the dance vocabulary and photography.

Educational Offering & Performance

Traces of E. Carr
An Interdisciplinary Approach to Cultural Studies

Target Audience: Senior Secondary Schools
Performance / Workshop / Residency: Tailored to meet your school’s needs.

Visiting Consultation (with Booking): Free
Performance: $650
Non-Local Performance: $750 - $1000
Interactive Artist Talks: $150
In-School Workshops: $150 / Workshop, Minimum Two Workshops
Student Performance Studio Residency (Per Session / Per Student): $12, Minimum Four Students
Student Performance Residency School Group Rates are available.
(Please add GST to all fees.)

After taking the enormously successful Make A Dance Program to elementary schools across Canada for the past five years, Mascall Dance was asked what arts education programming they offered specifically for secondary schools. In response to that need, choreographer Jennifer Mascall and educator Jean Cunningham collaborated to develop an interdisciplinary approach to learning about literature, history, visual art, cultural studies, geography and more.

This educational program is based on the original performance work, Traces of Emily Carr: The Brutal Telling an engaging journey into the life of one of Canada’s most celebrated artists. This creative, non-fiction dance piece uses Carr’s vivid journals and published writing as source material to delve far into the recesses of her eccentric life. The work explores the personal drive and perseverance that informed her powerful art. Carr’s story also serves to illustrate that part in each of us that struggles to realize our most personal dreams.

Through this program, students learn not only about dance and the performing arts but also about the early history of British Columbia, indigenous native cultures, sociology, Canadian literature, geography and the evolution of contemporary art in Canada. This flexible and affordable program provides various ways for schools to identify their needs and program accordingly. Full performances of Traces of Emily Carr are also available for presentation at inter-school district venues. In addition to performances, Mascall Dance offers workshops, student performance residencies and artists talks to best meet your schools needs.


Traces of E. Carr
Duration: 1 Hour

Two years in the making and with 125 performances across Canada and abroad, Mascall Dance brings this uplifting portrait of Emily Carr to high schools in a pilot interdisciplinary program designed to stimulate and enlighten youth ages twelve and up. The performance features an easy to follow biographical storyline narrated by director Penelope Stella; a pumping fast-moving visceral dance choreographed by Jennifer Mascall; an original rock/pop musical score by Veda Hille; costumes by award wining designer Nancy Bryant; set design by Pechet & Robb; projections and lighting by John Macfarlane.

Traces of E. Carr speaks to the creative process in all of us, using Emily Carr’s history as a lead into many topic areas. By giving a context to the life of Carr, the work provides relevant information about the history, social values, politics and geography of Victorian and early 20th Century British Columbia. Issues of racism, nature, indigenous peoples and their art are explored. Through the narrator’s words and the dancers actions, Emily Carr’s eccentric life and times come alive.

The dance within Traces of E. Carr expresses different psychological moods. The thematic material explores feelings of fear, loneliness, grief, anger, discovery, joy and eventually transcendence. These themes are highly resonant with youth who are at a stage of personal development where any insight regarding adolescent rights of passage and healthy articulation of feelings is useful. After the performance, an interactive student / teacher discussion is facilitated by Mascall Dance. The piece is discussed with the whole group and then followed by smaller group discussions, which provide a more in-depth look at how the content relates to our lives.

In-School Workshops

Minimum Two Workshops

Using Traces of E. Carr as a point of departure, small student groups are formed and they begin to develop their own short pieces. Performance skills, movement, music, attitude, style, text and story context will be part of the training. Students may choose to focus their work on set design, expression, or even creative research. Workshop teachers guide them through a process to determine personal objectives for their work.

Teachers and students will be guided through the process of producing a showcase of original student work for presentation in their local school venue. Workshop areas include: the artist selection process, order and manner of presentation, and audience marketing.

Interactive Artist Talks

90-Minute Session

Students talk and work directly with visionary artist, Jennifer Mascall, to discuss the creative process, body movement, working collaboratively with other artists and ways to express feelings and thoughts through performance. Students will be walked through simple exercises during discussion. If requested, an Artist Talk could also include composer, Veda Hill, the dancers, designers and other members of Traces of E. Carr's creative team.

Student Performance Residency

Minimum Four Students
Group Rates Available

The focus of the Student Performance Residency is to train student performers in the creation and presentation of artistic works to an audience. Students are given the opportunity to get together with students from other schools who have participated in the Mascall Dance training, to workshop their pieces and present their work at the Mascall Studios in the West End of Vancouver. Classes will be held at the Mascall Dance Studio (St. Paul’s Anglican Church, 1140 Jervis Street, Downtown Vancouver).

The E. Carr Dancers

Ann Cooper
Rhonda Cooper
Desiree Dunbar
Marissa Gomez
Andrea Gunnlaughson
Ziyian WanK
Marthe Leonard
Tonja Livingstone
Olivia Thorvaldson
Deanna Peters
Kim Tuson