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“exposes the very heart of the human condition”

“inspiring, unsettling, beautiful”

“a breath of fresh air”

Maxine Heppner Feb2017.jpg

Maxine Heppner • dance & inter-medial creator, performer & educator known for foundation-building and award-winning approaches to performance since the 70’s in Canada, Europe & Asia.

Across Oceans Arts is her platform for inclusive collaborative projects across arts, humanities, science, heritages, and communities.

Brief Bio

Canadian Maxine Heppner is an international dance and inter-medial creator, performer, director and teacher of contemporary dance and interdisciplinary performance. Her work focuses on contemporary creation founded in physical expression be it pure choreography or multi-arts projects. Known for bold massive ensemble pieces and intimate chamber works,  she has received numerous awards, grants and commissions in Canada, the USA and abroad in her 40-year career.


Maxine's early training was in Montreal with masters Elsie Salomons, Seda Zare, Eva von Guensey and Sifu Li. She moved to Toronto in the early 70’s, an exciting time that fostered many of Canada’s leading artists and is now a major centre of arts in North America. Groups she was active in include the MusicDance Orchestra, 15Dance Lab, Pavlychenko Studio, Theatre Centre, Music Gallery, Phyzikal Theatre. In  1989 her career became cross-hemispheric collaborating with prominent dance, music, theatre and visual artists in Canada, the USA,  Singapore, Indonesia, Japan & throughout Far-East Asia. In 1995 she first toured Europe where she now works regularly. Since 1996 she leads Across Oceans Arts to facilitate collaborative artmaking across arts, generations, abilities and heritages in Canada and internationally.

Honours include Now’s Top 10 dances of 2009 and 2010 favourites "KRIMA!"; The Star’s 2012 best “Volare”; Audience favourite at  Guelph Dance Festival 2012 “Here&There”; Critics' Choice and Audience Favourite International Bienale Indonesia 2006 “shoe show”; Japan Foundation International Collaboration Award 2012 “Rage: My heart is a Spoon”; International Puppetry Assoc Citation for Creativity (1995 Shadowlight collaboration “In Xanadu”); 3 Toronto Dora Mavor Moore Awards and 2 nominations.

Maxine’s explorations in creation and education have run concurrently throughout her career, with all ages, all abilities in inner cities, rural villages, professional training programs, companies, universities, festivals worldwide. She teaches creative process, choreography, performance, integrated voice-movement, her Cycles Practice, and she is a trained Action Theatre™ teacher.


Always deeply involved in the environment of the creation with ongoing relationships and residencies over many years, Maxine has quietly and consistently distinguished herself through her creative work as an inspiration in performance, education, and community projects. She is known as an individual of extraordinary empathy and creativity and being instrumental in foundation building with fellow creators, performers, students, educators, communities and international networks.


As well as her career in performance, Maxine's photography and movement videos have been seen internationally and she is production manager for TV and film for the likes of National Geographic, History Channel, Japanese TV  and Canadian, Italian and Indian features.

If I can't dance to it... it's not my revolution.

-Emma Goldman

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