Human Body Expression
Founded by choreographer Hanna Kiel, Human Body Expression strives to break the mold of traditional dance aesthetics to create hybrid movement forms and cultivate artistic individuality. HBE seeks to tell stories and explore narratives that pulse from the very heart of human feeling; that are touching, arousing, disturbing, exciting, and everything in between. HBE’s artists embody the raw and chaotic force of human emotions to impact audiences on a visceral level. Drawing on the ever-evolving distinctive personal dance style that Kiel has developed over more than two decades as a dance professional, her company aims to present technically strong and accessible choreography with high production values, inspiring audiences of all backgrounds to become more engaged with dance.
Dora winner Hanna Kiel is from Seoul, South Korea, and moved to Vancouver in 1996. She has presented her work at 12 Minutes Max, PlanB Singles and solos Festival, Dancing on the Edge Festival and Pulse at the Scotiabank Dance Centre in Vancouver. In 2007, she collaborated with Yoko Ono as a dancer and choreographer at the Centre A. Moving to Toronto in 2008, Hanna has continued choreographing for: Rosedale Heights School of the Arts, Conteur Dance Academy, George Brown Dance, Ryerson Dances, School of Toronto Dance Theatre, Kenny Pearl’s Emerging Artist Intensive, IGNITE, ProArteDanza, Ballet Jörgen, Alias Dance Project, The National Ballet of Canada, Canadian Contemporary Dance Theatre, Toronto Dance Theatre and Decidedly Jazz Danceworks in Calgary. She was an E-choreographer in 2015 for Springboard Danse Montreal and one of the choreographer at Osez 2018 in Quebec city. Hanna is the artistic director of Human Body Expression and one of the founders of “The Garage” dance development and exchange collective group.
A dance artist for more than 3 decades, Bonnie is a multiple Dora Award nominee for performance and choreography and was named one of “Toronto’s top five dancers,” by Eye Weekly magazine.
Highly regarded as a teacher, mentor and outside eye, Bonnie was Rehearsal and later Associate Director of Dancemakers for nine years. She trained at Claude Watson School for the Arts and the School of Toronto Dance Theatre (now Dance Arts Institute), where she is currently on faculty, and is a contemporary teacher at Toronto Metropolitan University. She has performed with many of Canada’s most respected artists and companies, including Winnipeg’s Contemporary Dancers, Fondation Jean-Pierre Perreault, Claudia Moore and Hanna Kiel.
Bonnie’s writing has been published in the Dance Current, Eye Weekly, Toronto Star, Toronto Life and the Fall for Dance North program magazine.
Ryan Lee is an independent artist working as a creator, collaborator, performer and educator. He graduated from Toronto Metropolitan University with a Bachelor of Fine Arts and has been fortunate to have the opportunity to work with companies such as Human Body Expression, ProArteDanza, Toronto Dance Theatre, Kaeja d’Dance, Anandam Dancetheatre, inDANCE, The Chimera Project, Frog in Hand, Transcendence Project and TOES for Dance.
Ryan has been commissioned to make choreographic works for ProArteDanza, Anandam DanceTheatre, George Brown College, Dance Arts Institute, The Emerging Artist Intensive, Canadian Contemporary Dance Theatre, Etobicoke School for the Arts, Cawthra Park, and Rosedale School for the Arts. Ryan’s work has been presented at festivals such as Dance Ontario Dance Weekend and SummerWorks.
Ryan holds a faculty position at Centennial College and has been a contract lecturer at Toronto Metropolitan University since 2020. In 2019, Ryan co founded The Platform, a Toronto based collective focused on creation through collaboration. Ryan has been working with Human Body Expression since 2013, touring internationally and collaborating on works for stage and film.
Nicole Decsey is a rehearsal director, performer, choreographer, artistic director, arts critic, and dance instructor based in Mississauga and Toronto with a BFA in performance dance from Toronto Metropolitan University. After receiving her BFA and participating in many dance intensives across the country Nicole developed her own grassroots dance company: Nicole Decsey Dance Projects. Her latest work We Lost You A Long Time Ago premiered on February 25th 2023. Aside from her work as a director and performer in events and venues such as Nuit Blanche Festival, Toronto Fringe, and On The Edge Fringe Nicole has worked as a crew member in lighting, costuming, and administrative positions. For the past 10 years Nicole has been an instructor in dance schools throughout the GTA. Nicole Decsey has been fortunate to work with Human Body Expression as a rehearsal director on multiple projects and is excited to continue this work.
Manager / Producer
Elise is a dance artist, educator, and administrator based in Toronto, Ontario. Originally from Vancouver, BC, she is a graduate of the George Brown Dance Performance program. Elise has performed at New Blue Emerging Dance as a part of the Creative Crunch project, with the Garage TO dance collective, REAson d’etre dance, and Ballet Jörgen. She has choreographed for the George Brown Dance Ensemble program, and had her work presented in Toronto’s Lights Dance Festival and GBD’s Unleashed. Elise is also the co-founder of the arts collective, Lofty Goal Project. She has extensive arts education and administration experience, developing and delivering programming across Canada, and has had her writing published in The Dance Current. Elise is currently completing an undergraduate degree at the University of Toronto.
Originally from Prince Edward Island, Adam Campbell is a versatile composer, sound designer and musician. As a composer he has collaborated on numerous Human Body Expression projects including BODY (2023), What Happened to Lee (2022), FOUR (2020) and Alone Together (2020), as well works for CCDT (Sonata of Shadows, 2023) and Kaeja d’Dance (Lasterday, 2023). As a sound designer Adam has worked on productions at Stratford Festival, Blyth Festival, Capitol Theatre Port Hope, Edmonton Opera, Lights On Stratford and more. As a drummer and percussionist, Adam regularly performs in the pit for musical theatre productions (Mirvish Productions, Stratford Festival) and is a member of both TorQ Percussion Quartet and the Ladom Ensemble. His debut solo singer-songwriter album, ‘Guess I’m A People Too,’ was released in 2019 and features a quirky mix of folk, rock and 90’s-tinged music. Adam lives in Stratford, Ontario, with his wife Alice and their cats Ninja and Nazca.
Kelly Shaw is a BFA honours graduate from Toronto Metropolitan University’s Performance Dance program, and recipient of the University’s 2018 Jack McAllister award. She is a Tkarón:to/Toronto-based free-lance dance artist who has collaborated with several Toronto based companies including Human Body Expression, ProArte Danza, Guillaume Cote (Cote Danse), Transcendance Project, Frog in Hand, Alysa Pires Dance Projects, Helix Dance Project, among others. She is also a 2010 and 2018 Dora Mavor Moore nominee.
Kelly has toured internationally and recently remounted a Kevin O’Day work for Ballet Hagen in Germany, Fall 2022. She is a dance educator and choreographer for concert, pre-professional and competition dance. Also works in Film and Television, choreographing lately for Star Trek (Strange New Worlds), How to Die Alone and Witch Mountain (Disney +). Additionally Kelly is a Pilates and Barre instructor, as well as a certified life coach, offering work in the realm of somatic healing and holistic mindfulness.
Natasha Poon Woo
Natasha Poon Woo is a freelance dancer, rehearsal director, and dance teacher. She began training and performing at Claude Watson School for the Arts and with Canadian Contemporary Dance Theatre (CCDT) in her hometown of Toronto, Ontario. She is a summa cum laude graduate of SUNY Purchase’s Conservatory of Dance, where she performed works by Pam Tanowitz, Twyla Tharp, Doug Varone and Kevin Wynn. Natasha has since danced with Côté Danse, Compagnie de la Citadelle, The Dietrich Group, Roderick George, The Platform, Hit & Run Dance Productions, and Conny Janssen Danst, among others, and is an ongoing collaborator and Dora Award-winning performer with Rock Bottom Movement.