workshops, classes, mentorships

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current sessions

across abilities, generations, heritage, gender  

always Email for schedules/dates:                

always Email for schedules/dates:                

always Email for schedules/dates:                


CYCLES practice : dance like yourself    

JUNE :  in Park : Online

With Maxine Heppner : register  

drop-ins OK    email:

Propose now : The Choreographic Marathon         

pro exchange for movement artists in all forms                                DECEMBER 2020     


CYCLES practice : dance like yourself    

JUNE :  in Park : Online

With Maxine Heppner : register  

drop-ins OK    email:

Propose now : The Choreographic Marathon         

pro exchange for movement artists in all forms                                DECEMBER 2020     


CYCLES practice : dance like yourself    

JUNE :  in Park : Online

With Maxine Heppner : register  

drop-ins OK    email:

Propose now : The Choreographic Marathon         

pro exchange for movement artists in all forms                                DECEMBER 2020     


CYCLES practice : dance like yourself    

JUNE :  in Park : Online

With Maxine Heppner : register  

drop-ins OK    email:

Propose now : The Choreographic Marathon         

pro exchange for movement artists in all forms                                DECEMBER 2020     


CYCLES practice : dance like yourself    

JUNE :  in Park : Online

With Maxine Heppner : register  

drop-ins OK    email:

Propose now : The Choreographic Marathon         

pro exchange for movement artists in all forms                                DECEMBER 2020     

June-July-August  online & meetups

UNPACKING Technique  


Limited places- Register now     


IGAC Studio#103, Artscape, 180 Shaw Str., N of Queen W., Toronto


Dance like Yourself...

Dance for All Movers, cycles practice, alignment principles, moving with expression, vocal freedom, self-creation, exchange/mentoring.

  • email to register

  • June : join us in the Park & Online

  • $15-20-25-30/class Dropins OK. Discount for pre-registration

  • pkg cards & mentoring by arrangement

  • ALWAYS Email to say you’re coming:

  • It’s all about the practice. Low on cash… pwyc... we’ll figure it out.


The goal - Dance like Yourself. Practice expression through awareness, alignment and coordination of simultaneous action, attending to breath, impulse and energy, mobility, strength, power with ease, using the Cycles Practice approach.


Sessions are structured for participants to work at their maximum capacity within their area of personal expertise, skill and age and can be experienced as both high and low impact depending on your interests and needs. Professionals and all movers.

Cross-genre. All Abilities. All Access.


“Maxine’s process and understanding of movement is at a high theoretical level that also is profoundly human. Her methods first intrigued me and now have actually changed the way that I perform. She has managed to develop a practice that integrates both intuition and intelligence: Content & meaning translated into impulse, control of physical energy, and three-dimensional space. The result is dance that is more detailed, more grounded, more substantial, more sensual, more human. She has led me to dance right to my nerve endings – exhilarating!”

                                                   T. Segawa, Japan

“out of our usual framework, you allowed me to break free of pressures I had felt previously and had repressed, pushing us to focus on creative capacities.”  

L.Stevens, Montreal

“challenges movement awareness, opens possibilities and new layers to work on, combine, construct or deconstruct. It feels like the motion is inexhaustible in resources & possibilities.”  

S. Premus, Slovenia.


practising presence

Action Theatre based practice for all movers & sounders

next open session TBD
Email to arrange for private or group sessions


About Practicing Presence

THIS WORKSHOP is for everyone interested in body-based improvisation who wishes to enhance and refine their expressive imagination, develop vocal, verbal and physical performance skills; All movers-sounders of All abilities.

Applicable to all ages for self-expression, being in the world, performance, education, social service work, etc.


          based on the practices of ACTION THEATRE, created by master improviser Ruth Zaporah. 

MAXINE HEPPNER is a trained Action Theater performer and teacher, one of the few in Canada. She studied and performed Action Theatre from 1991-98, along with artists who are now Ruth’s principle teachers including: Sten Rudstrom, Cassie Terman, Sabine von der Tann. Since being an Action Theater ensemble member, she has integrated it into her own practice these many years. In this workshop Maxine will share the roots of this training with participants and explore applications for self-expression, rehearsal, devised creation and personal practice and awareness. 

A starting point for body-oriented theater improvisation, a training method and artistic practice rolled into one. It integrates body and spirit, furthers spontaneous and conscious expression. In Action Theater™, the improviser follows the ever-changing interior of her/his imagination and responds to it with movement, sound and/or language.

Action Theatre™offers a map towards increasing one’s awareness and meeting the incredible variety of personal phenomena. Working solo and in groups, participants are lead through improvisation exercises. The exercises are simple, playful and challenging. These exercises develop one's capacity to stay in the present moment and fine-tune perception. They awaken feelings, thoughts, and memories; draw out imagination, intuition and encourage creative expression. The exercises renew one's ability to play and gain new personal insights.

IN THE WORLD OF AWARENESS little difference exists between theater and the street. Who we are, how we think we are and how we work with our perceptions and reactions is the same everywhere. In this workshop, we improvise inside of forms that have movement and theatrical frameworks, yet what we learn affects our daily lives.

'THE MAIN WORK MODE is physical: the physical body and feelings that are contained inside. The training helps performers expand their physical forms and inhabit those forms with humanity.

Through practicing solo and with partners, Action Theater™ develops a better understanding of ensemble architecture, the use of space and composition.


In exercises, all action is broken down into shifts, transformations and/or development. These exercises help establish the balance between inner and outer awareness. They specifically limit areas of action and response to open to the unknown, break free of fear and embrace the unfamiliar. Action Theater™includes sound/vocal work, language and movement.


BY BRINGING AWARENESS to actions’ interior, Action Theater™ leads the performer back into her body, broadens the range and quality of her movement. It helps develop a unique and idiosyncratic vocabulary, frees the individual and brings each performer to a fresh, new relationship with their movement.


WHEN IMPROVISING, thoughts occur inside of actions while the actions are taking place. These thoughts are energetic parts of each moment, similar to kinesthetic sensation. And they can steal from the moment or add to it. If the improviser blocks these thoughts, then the improvisation stiffens and breaks down. If on the other hand, the performer greets these thoughts and incorporates them, the improvisation expands.


TO IMPROVISE SKILLFULLY one must be aware of the responses that are available within each given moment. This kind of awareness takes practice, dis-covering and saying yes to what arises from the body and mind. If the performer doesn’t know herself, hasn’t investigated her quirks and desires, she will lose track of form and content. When the performer is seduced by form, she loses her awareness. Who is she when she is doing this particular movement? How does she feel? When she is seduced by content, spatial use will decline, the particular qualities of movement will be lost, the body may be forgotten. What kinesthetic sensation triggers the feeling state that triggers the action that triggers the kinesthetic sensation? How and when does this cycle occur and where does awareness enter?


ACTION THEATER™ enters the performance process, quiets the busy mind and allows for new choices. It helps the performer recognize her habits and moments of “turning off.” It builds performance skills and serves as source work for the creation of set pieces. It increases performers’ presence. Performers feel more connected to their experience, connected to their partners. They feel embodied and alive.


More info: >


learning the Ways of the Dancer

private and group workshops available on request


MOVING VOICE - integrated voice & movement technique - also see below "impulse, energy, form"

  • private and small group sessions by appointment.

  • Springing from the Linklater technique and integrated physical practice.

  • enquire: info(at)



  • the philosophy of weightless movement: how correct postural alignment is effortless, prevents injury, and supports psychological balance

  • bodily relaxation exercises, involving breathing and focusing

  • individual postural alignments

  • movement exercises and self correction


  • Like a book club but for dance and contemporary performance.

  • Never again say “great…but I don’t Get It” ?

  • Group discussions and visits to shows. 


embodied musicianship


group and private tutoring available on request

next sessions : Singapore: Oct 28-November 30 by appointment

“There are three regions of my musical world: the literal Playing of music -­‐ when I cause the sound of the music to come out of my instrument -­‐ is the middle region of my world of music. To one side is my Physical Self, to the other side is the Sound (Music) created through my playing of the Musical instrument (e.g. piano). 

Just as with the middle instrument (piano), I practice my first instrument, my physical self, to achieve maximum mobility within the musical world I have put myself.


The only wrong is to not do it at all. 
The only right is that you are doing it in an ongoing way. 

Everything else is in the details.”


Impulse, Energy and Form

Integrated Movement and Voice  : seasonal & available on request

For professional and pre-professional artists and educators in dance, theatre and public speaking

ABOUT THE WORKSHOP: We begin with the premise that Movement and Voice are indivisible and physical. We begin with impulse. Impulse sets energy in motion. Motion takes shape, direction, space. Structures develop. From there on, it’s a matter of paying attention with open mind and senses, and the creation/interpretation begins. All of this happens on the inside, the outside and between each one of us.


Each of the two days is divided into 3 sessions, with the second day continuing the practice started on Day 1. The morning session includes a warm-up that is a series of very simple exercises to awaken awareness, isolation of body parts, coordination, and circulation. Then concepts of internal and external forms of impulse, energy and articulation will be explored through guided individual practice. The first afternoon session is an integrated movement and vocal technique class. Concepts explored in the morning will be applied to set exercises and combinations (with both movement and voice) presented in dance class format. The second afternoon session is for independent explorations of the day’s work. Participants will practice alone, and with witnesses, to experiment and begin to make the work personally relevant. 

Maxine Heppner is a master teacher, mentor and guest artist of contemporary dance and interdisciplinary performance in Canada and internationally. She has been leading explorations in voice & movement interation since the 1980's, teaching in Toronto and Internationally. As well as her diverse movement experience, her training is based in Linklater vocals (through David Smukler with whom she taught at York University (1997-99), Action theatre method, Wayang performance techniques, research through Phyzikal Theatre and her own processes. Maxine is known as a performer and creator of bold, large-scale performance works (“audacious”) and intimate chamber pieces (“reaching a new state of mind”). Her company, Across Oceans is dedicated to approaching art as a collaborative activity whose fundamental experience is a physical one. She teaches dance, integrated movement-voice technique, creative process, choreography and her “cycles series practice”. Her personal practice, evolving since the 1970’s, has developed from training in classical, modern and contemporary dance and theatre forms, Linklater vocal technique, contemporary and traditional arts of Southeast Asia, Action Theatre of Ruth Zaporah, and ongoing research into neurological patternings and modes of experience and memory with neurologist Tim Kennedy of the Neurological Institute of Montreal. This wide range of experiences has led her to an approach that does not presume aesthetic preferences, but examines impulse, energy and the expressive natures of their many forms.


Energy, Flow and Focus: creating dance with the strength of contradictions

available on request

ΕΛΛΗΝΙΚΑ here : Energy, Flow and Focus: (GR lang)



Sessions build on Flow & Focus work and intensive choreographic development ending in a studio showing. 


This weekend or 4-day workshop examines and experiments with how you as the dancer or choreography can simultaneously use constant energetic Flow and Single thematic Focus to develop choreography. 

During the first day we will strengthen our awareness and use of personal and group flow, and then working with this, identify flash points of interest within a constantly evolving physical exploration. We will work in group, duet and solo forms.

Practice will be as mover and observer. 

During the second day we apply the first days’ work to an inverted approach. The flash points will become dominant themes inside which we will explore ways to deepen and expand the expression of a single theme…using energetic flow as a source of creative intelligence. Practice will be as interpreter and choreographer (depending on participant’s stated interests.


Days 3 and 4 will be for choreographic development exploring how to use these concepts and experiences to create dances.

Maxine Heppner developed this workshop series to challenge the advanced-intermediate dancer/choreographer to investigate Energy as a primary source for dance. It grows from her research on the cycles of  neurological patterning and energy impulse that she applies to her creation and movement and voice practices.

Maxine Heppner challenges the advanced dancer/choreographer with her interest in Energy as a primary source for dance. Choreographer, director, performer and teacher of contemporary dance and interdisciplinary performance, Maxine is guest artist for festivals, companies, and academies in North America, Southeast Asia, Australia and Europe. She has been honoured by many awards and commissions in her 40-year career. She is invited worldwide as mentor and guest artist to teach contemporary dance, her integrated movement-voice technique, and her creation practice “cycles”, based on neurological patterning and energy impulse. Her writings about creation, artistic process and collaboration have been published in journals and many international conferences. In Canada she founded the dance department of the first high school for performing arts and has been faculty and is ongoing guest at Universities of Toronto, York and Concordia. She has shared her practice across East Asia for over 25 years. In Athens Greece where she first developed this workshop she has taught and coached for Eniamorpho, Yelp!, Kinitiras, Studio Metzis, Chorochoros, The Duncan Centre for Dance Research, Quasitellar, Rallou Manou and the Atheneum music conservatory.


Soft Parkours Dialogues

for the Adventurous & Energetic: available on request

A practice, a group, an event

Imagine being part of a small pack of  prowlers quietly sharing stories while smoothly traversing whatever is in the path.

Imagine seeing a group of prowling storytellers in the early evening glow….


Marrying Parkours Attitude with Action Theatre Spontaneity and Across Oceans Cooperation.


Practicing an embodiment of movement, story and environment.
A challenge for body/mind/interaction. 
A playground to discover fresh ideas and new ways of interacting. 

Appropriate for All ages and abilities.  

A single event can be 3-4 hours. A series can be 2 -5 sessions at 3-4 hours each session.

In every session participants develop the stories to be told, practice mobility techniques, and take to the outdoors.

An excellent way to develop group cohesion through sharing cultural & personal stories in an active creative encounter.


For more information > Contact Us

Parkour (sometimes also abbreviated to PK) or l’art du déplacement [1] (English: the art of moving) is the physical discipline of training to overcome any obstacle within one’s path by adapting one’s movements to the environment.[2] It is a non-competitive, physical discipline of French origin in which participants run along a route, attempting to negotiate obstacles in the most efficient way possible, as if moving in an emergency situation. Skills such as jumping and climbing, or the more specific parkour moves are employed. The object of parkour is to get from one place to another using only the human body and the objects in the environment. The obstacles can be anything in one’s environment, but parkour is often seen practiced in urban areas because of the many suitable public structures available such as benches, rails, and buildings.



Artists in Development: Mentorships (most current)

Email to inquire about individual / group mentoring.


Mentorships are personal programs for individuals or small groups devised to support them in their professional growth. They can last from one month to long-term and be separate from or supplement classes and trainings. 

Set Mentoring programs include the Choreographic Marathon and 7 Days of Creation. (see Across Oceans programs).


Most current artists in development have been:



Dance artist, poet, Newmarket & Toronto 2019


Dance artist, Athens Greece 2016-17


Director, new theatre 2016

Emerging choreographer, (CSARN), Toronto Canada 2015-16


Senior artist, deepening directions, Toronto Canada 2015-16


Emerging performer, director, Toronto Canada 2014


Performer, Toronto, Canada 2012-15


Performance Artist, Toronto, Canada 2012-15


Choreographer, Edmonton, Canada 2012-13


Performance Artist, Toronto, Canada 2013


Choreographer, Essen, Germany 2012-13


Choreographer, Educator, Toronto, Canada 2011

Maxine has also had the privilege of participating in the growth of artists in these organizations:

  • Yelp! Dance Company, Athens, Greece (long-term)

  • Eniamorfo Dance Company, Athens, Greece (long-term)

  • The Substation, Singapore 2004-06

  • Sonic Designs, Singapore (long-term)

  • Kreativitet, Jakarta, Indonesia (long-term)

  • ECNAD, Singapore