DEVELOPING ARTISTS GRANTS
After receiving a BA in Philosophy and Anthropology from the University of British Columbia, Vancouverite, Karen Jamieson began dancing at Simon Fraser University. She received her major dance training in New York City, studying modern techniques of Alwin Nikolais, Merce Cunningham and Martha Graham and ballet with Alfredo Corvino and Maggie Black. She performed with Yvonne Rainer and Phyllus Lamhut and was a member of and toured with the Alwin Nikolais Company. Returning to Vancouver, she taught at Simon Fraser University and co-initiated the experimental movement collective, Terminal City Dance Research, studying the physical theatre techniques of Jerzy Growtowski. She received the Chalmers award, Canada's principal choreographic award, in 1980.
She established the Karen Jamieson Dance Company in 1983 as a vehicle for the creation and production of works exploring dance as a mytho-poetic language. Her work “Sisyphus” was recognized as one of the top 10 Choreographic Masterworks of the 20th Century and she has been acknowledged nationally for her groundbreaking work in the area of community engaged and cross cultural dance specifically with the people of Haida Gwaii and the residents of Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside. In 1990 Jamieson was invited to create a site-specific work for the public spaces of the National Gallery of Canada, concurrently with a retrospective exhibition of works by Emily Carr. The company has toured nationally and internationally. Since 1996, the foundation of her dance practice has been Vijnana yoga; integrating the principles of tensegrity anatomy into her dance practice.