Alana Gerecke

Study program:
Banting Postdoctoral Fellow, Department of Theatre and Performance Studies, York University
Current affiliation:
York University

Alana is exploring how public performance art can shape and improve social behaviours in our cities

A contemporary dancer and co-founder of the Behind Open Doors Arts Collective (2004-present), Alana Gerecke is a 2011 Trudeau scholar based at Simon Fraser University. Her dissertation examined the spatial and social politics of contemporary dance set in public, urban places along Canada's west coast. 

Doctoral research

Moving Publics: "Bodies in Urban Spaces"

Alana Gerecke's research brings public space research together with performance and dance studies to examine the social implications of site-based dance in urban spaces throughout North America. She draws from current debates about the role of art and culture in urban sustainability to challenge a widely held assumption that performance in public places effects a democratization of performance and the public sphere in equal measure. Alana explores both the possibilities and limitations of site dance in challenging and changing the ways we move in and through our public spaces.

A 2011 Trudeau Scholar and a 2009 Queen’s Fellow, Alana Gerecke completed her PhD in the English Department at Simon Fraser University (Vancouver, Canada). Her dissertation examined the spatial and social politics of contemporary dance set in public, urban places along Canada’s west coast. As she works to complete her doctorate, Gerecke is developing a praxis project examining the social choreography of flash mobs in a Canadian context. She has presented her research internationally and has been published in Dance Research Journal, Performance Research, Canadian Theatre Review, The Dance Current, and Renegade Bodies: Canadian Dance in the 1970s (Dance Collection Danse, 2012). Gerecke is a Graduate Fellow with SFU’s Institute for Performance Studies. Recently, she served on the organizing committee of the Canadian Society for Dance Studies conference (2014) and was an invited participant in the prestigious Mellon Dance Studies Summer Seminar (2013). Also a professional contemporary dancer, Gerecke is a co-founder of the site-specific improvisation group, Behind Open Doors Arts Collective (2004-2013). She was a company member with EDAM Dance (2006-2013) and has danced with various companies including Battery Opera, Projet In Situ, Jennifer Clark Projects, Mutable Subject, LINK Dance, and others. Alana continues to perform as an active independent dance artist, dance facilitator, and teacher.