The Grasshoppa Dance Exchange is dedicated to the fine and not-so-fine art of Hopping. Essentially, Hops are unannounced performances that take place outdoors in public places. Unsuspecting observers are not solicited for financial contributions. Hops are inspired by the environment in which they hoppen (natural, human, etc.). A Hop may carry a theme, address a reality or propose something altogether different.
The act of bringing dance into unusual spaces is empowering for performers and observers alike. The contract between the audience and dancers is re-written, expectations are side-stepped and risks are revisited. Observers participate in the performance by simply being 'in the way'. The public place becomes a venue of social research and artistic choices; an arena where imagination is celebrated and dancers participate in the actions of the day.
Participation is at the heart of this social movement.
"I came by during the roadside performance today. I loved it. It took me a while to get out of my 'pedestrian' reverie, initially I must admit I was struck by the strangeness of it. The more I saw the more the drums beat and the more I got sucked in. I loved it! Especially when you danced around the man sitting on the bench." -Aris Polyzos, Ottawa, Canada
1. To be outside
"I've learned more about politics by dancing in one crosswalk than I have in all my years at University." - Luca, Political Sciences student, Bologna, Italy
Early on in Hopping experiences, Grasshoppa instigator and director, Maureen Shea, recognized the need to develop a practice that supported and addressed the specific demands of this performance form. 'Dance Farms' are the sessions that precede Hops and