Grace Salez

Grace Salez

Director of Dance for the Camera 2015 – Independent Filmmaker – Performance Artist – Educator

Grace is a Graduate of the film/video & multimedia program at Emily Carr Institute of Art and Design, 1995/1998. Grace’s video practice has been in the form of short personal experimental videos. As a student at ECIAD, Grace combined her interest in video with dance during a workshop with the founder of the ‘Dance for the Camera’ movement, Bob Lockyer. At a subsequent workshop with Lockyer, his last workshop, Grace met Ellen Bromberg and invited Ellen to mentor and help develop DFTC in Victoria which celebrated its 5th season in 2010. How dance or movement is framed and filmed to best express, and elicit in the viewer, a strong sense of wonder, is what Grace aims to help each individual participant of DFTC accomplish in their short dance video projects.

Grace was a lecturer on video art in the visual arts department at the University of Victoria from 2007 to 2011. Since 2008 Grace has added to her video practice, performance art, and performers with OPEN ACTION, a collective of performance artists in Victoria. Her interest in sharing her knowledge of the importance of the personal voice in video, keeps Grace busy teaching, lecturing, and mentoring various interest groups in her community.

Grace had the honour of being awarded ‘Best Short Video’ for, Cream Puff Theory (2003), by the GVCAC. She has also been honoured with the Blair L. Sadler International Award (2006) for her work as a DOP and editor of the documentary, A Living History. Her short independent videos have been screened at VIFVF, herland film & video Festival, Edges, Unsung Heroes, AGGV, Open Space, AntiMatter, Scene + Heard and other venues. Awards are appreciated, but Grace’s biggest reward was knowing that a participant of DFTC, Ally Voye, received an emerging filmmaker award at the Dance on Camera Festival in New York for her short dance video ‘RED’ which she produced at our DFTC summer intensive in 2007.  2011 is ending on a good note for Grace as she was delighted to have been invited to LIVE2011!, the art performance biennale in Vancouver BC. As well as being a founding member and Director of DFTC, Grace is also a founding member of MediaNet, a nonprofit center for film/video artists, as well as a sponsor for the Dance for the Camera summer intensive programs in Victoria, BC.

Grace is thankful to have been the recipient of grants from The Canada Council of the Arts, BC Arts Council, and Arts Initiative (City of Victoria), Cinevic Short Film production grant, MediaNet Short Video production grant.

Constance Cooke  

Co-Director of Dance for the Camera 2015 – Choreographer, Dancer, Educator of Contemporary Dance, Filmmaker

Cooke is a Canadian Dance Artist with a professional career that has spanned over 25 years.

Her recent works for stage include commissions by Ballet Victoria, Cadence Contemporary Dance, White Birch and the premiere of Triangular Forest at the 2011 Romp Festival In 2012, Cooke will premiere two new works for stage, begin rehearsals with Canadian Dance Icon Rachel Browne, for a new screendance, travel to Winnipeg for a teaching residency with Winnipeg Contemporary Dancers Senior Programme and return to Saskatoon for the commission of a new work for White Birch.

Cooke is an Independent Dance Artist, Artistic Director of The Victoria School of Contemporary Dance and Fizzik’l, a semi professional company attached to the school and on Faculty with The Bridge Program with Ballet Victoria and The Victoria Academy of Ballet. She is also the producer of Kinect a mentorship program for young and emerging choreographers in Victoria. Constance is thankful to have been the recipient of numerous awards, scholarships and grants from The Canada Council of the Arts, BC Arts Council, The Manitoba Arts Council, The Vancouver Foundation and Dance Victoria.

Cooke has produced a number of short dance videos including ‘Anarchists Footwear’ which had its American debut in New York (2009) at the Dance on Camera Film Festival. She is an invited guest choreographer and teacher for some of Canada’s leading dance training centers. She had the delight to teach movement for the frame with film legend David Hinton during the CanAsian Dance Festival in Toronto.  She has taught alongside Ellen Bromberg for the past 6 Dance for the Camera intensives in Victoria, BC, Canada.

In conjunction with Dance for the Camera intensive Constance has refined a program of instruction for choreographers, dancers and filmmakers, focused on creating innovative movement specifically with the camera frame in mind.

Dance artists, who have spent a lifetime creating for the stage and the theater proscenium will find that embracing the camera frame as the proxy for the audience, is a significant reorientation. As participants move away from their preconceived, creative processes that are primarily related to the stage, they will find a lot to explore in this new orientation.

Every Dance for the Camera creator has a host of both choreographic and image-based tools with which to shape and direct the audience experience. Moving image concepts and practices offer exciting new possibilities in terms of scale, time and choreographic composition. Location is rarely neutral and offers a new dimension to every production.  And the choice of a moving or still camera adds yet another tool for expression.

Constance has created a program of structured improvisation to explore these and other ideas concerning both movement and image with DFTC participants.


Grace Salez and Constance Cooke would like to acknowledge Ellen Bromberg for her mentorship to both of us during our five DFTC summer intensives. With Ellen’s encouragement we venture to keep DFTC Victoria alive as a creative, supportive and productive dance for the camera program for all participants and dancers. Thank you Ellen, and we wish you continued creative energy in all your future projects!

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