Janice Pomer has been teaching and performing in the fields of dance, theatre and music since 1976. Early enterprises include establishing the Toronto Festival of Fools (A veritable fool’s paradise of talent. Globe & Mail 1980), and with Kay Purdy co-founded Jabberwock Full Theatre Co, a dance, mask, mime, and storytelling ensemble that toured festivals, theatres and schools in central and eastern Canada. (Their wild and zany expressions were able to excite ones childlike imagination, making one more than mere spectator. Halifax Chronicle-Herald 1981).
From 1985 – 2008 Janice choreographed and performed in multidisciplinary productions with composer, percussionist and sculptor Barry Prophet featuring dance, percussion sculptures and micro tonally tuned glass instruments (Mesmerizing. Now Magazine 1997, Inspiring and innovative. London Free Press 1993) and site specific works incorporating movement, body sculptures, traditional and experimental wind and percussion instruments at outdoor venues including The Tree Museum, The Cambridge Sculpture Garden, The Haliburton Sculpture Forest, and New Adventures in Sound Art Festival (When Pomer plays the Bamboo Quiver she intertwines herself and makes the instrument one with her body… excerpt from A Symphonic Passage through Sensuality, Ingenuity and Nature by Betty Yee-Wan Cheung 2002).
A dedicated dance educator Janice has created hundreds of projects for movers of all ages and levels of ability in elementary, secondary and post secondary institutes. As Basic Elements Janice and Barry received numerous Ontario Arts Council awards supporting their performance and educational work in urban and rural settings, in the North and in First Nation communities.
Janice has taught at some of Canada’s premiere dance and theatre training venues including performance coach, theatre and dance teacher at the Canadian Contemporary Dance Theatre (1983 – 1995), the National Ballet of Canada’s educational programs (1990 – 1997), clowning and movement with Deaf and hearing actors at A Show of Hands Theatre Co (1995 – 1999), and physical theatre specialist at Young People’s Theatre (1985 – 2000). Janice currently runs the Contemporary dance program at Pegasus Studios, visits schools throughout Ontario through a variety of programs including the Ontario Arts Council’s Artists In Education roster, and mentors emerging dance artists.
In 2001 Human Kinetics USA published Janice’s first book Perpetual Motion, Creative Movement Exercises for Dance & Dramatic Movement. The success of the first publication lead to the creation and release of a second book Dance Composition, An Interrelated Arts Approach. Both works have received international praise and are recommended as essential movement resources by Ontario’s Ministry of Education.
Photos by Stephan Rose, Reva Pomer & Barry Prophet