Woman in white tee shirt and orange pants does a backward dive into the frame from the right-hand side. Her amber hair is windswept.Portraits by Nicole Tomaselli
Dancer woman stretches arms above head in front of terracotta wall

Heather Stewart

2019-2020 Boston Dancemakers Resident

Artist Statement

Heather Stewart is an independent choreographer and dance artist currently based in Portland, ME. She has been creating and presenting original work for performance 2012. Born in Canada, Heather grew up traveling the South Pacific where she lived in Australia, Papua New Guinea, and Indonesia. After attending Etobicoke School for the Arts in Etobicoke, Canada she went on to live and work in Montreal, London, and Boston. In the past Heather’s work has been shortlisted for The Deustche Bank Award for Creative Enterprises and she has received funding and awards from The Boston Foundation, The New England Foundation for the Arts, The Somerville Arts Council, and The Canada Council for the Arts. The development of her choreographic work has been supported by residencies and organizations such as The Boston Center for the Arts, New Movement Collaborative, Espace Marie Chouinard, The Place, Centre de Création O Vertigo (CCOV), Earthdance, Tufts University, and Tanzzentrale der region Nürnberg. She received her MA in Advanced Dance Studies, with a strong focus in choreography, from The London Contemporary Dance School in 2014. Heather was faculty at Boston Arts Academy from 2017-2019 where she taught contemporary dance, choreography, and ballet. She has also had the pleasure of teaching Master Classes at several New England institutions and schools including Moving Target Portland, Moving Target Boston, Tufts University, The Boston Conservatory, and Urbanity. Fueled by physicality, her work offers intricate and complex meetings between movement and sound.

Heather developed her work in collaboration with Montreal based composer dull from 2012 until his sudden passing in 2019. Together they worked from a shared vision of performance as a place of refuge from the outside world. Their ongoing partnership was defined by a rigorous, generous, and reciprocal collaboration in which the music and choreography were given equal space and importance.

against hard air is a full-length contemporary dance work created by Heather Stewart. Developed while in residency at The Boston Center for the Arts, against hard air is the last work that she created with composer dull before his suicide in August 2019. Inspired by images of barren landscapes and decaying houses against hard air is about the way debt and shame surround our needs and desires.