Company History

making waves since 2001

Canvas 5 x 5

Canvas 5 x 5 (2012), Photo Credit: Holly Crooks

Mocean Dance was founded in K'jipuktuk/Halifax, Nova Scotia in 2001 by Carolle Crooks Fernando, Sarah Rozee, Sara Harrigan, Alicia Orr MacDonald, and Lisa Phinney Langley. Now led by Co-Artistic Directors Susanne Chui and Sara Coffin, Mocean is recognized nationally as a leading contemporary dance company from the Atlantic region. Working with both locally and nationally renowned choreographers, Mocean brings together talented artists to create, produce, and tour exciting new work annually.

Mocean was honoured with The Lieutenant Governor of Nova Scotia Masterworks Art Award in 2016 for Canvas 5 x 5, which was the first time this esteemed award has been given to a Nova Scotia dance work.

A Company-in-Residence at Halifax Dance since 2002, Mocean has produced and presented new shows annually, including Quintecentric, influx, Coast to Coast, Mappa Mundi, Given the Circumstances, Live in 3, Decennium (10th anniversary mainstage), Close Reach, Ordinary Rebels, Double Bill, Burnwater: Alchemy, These Versions of Us, Fifteen (15th anniversary mainstage) and Wild Within.




These Versions Of Us

These Versions of Us (2018), Photo Credit: Jeremy Mimnagh


The company has created 46 original works with choreographers from across the country, including Syreeta Hector, Lydia Zimmer, Sarah Prosper, Heidi Strauss, Daniele Desnoyers, Serge Bennathan, Emily Gualtieri, Tedd Robinson, Susie Burpee, Sharon Moore, Susan Elliott, Roger Sinha, Michael Trent, Lesandra Dodson, Lisa Phinney Langley, Cory Bowles, Estelle Clareton, Howard Richard, Allen and Karen Kaeja, Andrea Leigh-Smith as well as company members Sara Coffin, Susanne Chui, Sara Harrigan and Carolle Crooks Fernando. Mocean has also been featured in the work of Dance Artists Rebecca Lazier (There Might Be Others) and Gwen Noah (Vestige), Architect Sarah Bonnemaison (My Mother’s Kitchen), and Theatre Artist Mary Ellen MacLean (Velocipede). The company has appeared in Toronto, Vancouver, San Francisco, Northampton (MA), Derry (NH), and in theatres across Ontario and all four Atlantic Provinces.

In addition to its creation and performance, Mocean has developed successful residency programs bringing contemporary dance to communities across the region, has performed and led workshops for thousands of students, and has filmed a half-hour television special for Bravo!, which also aired on CBC. The company is dedicated to community outreach and the development of future audiences through performances, residencies, school events, workshops, informal showings and discussions. In addition to the annual choreographic lab CLEaR Forum, over the years Mocean has developed several projects to support the development of the next generation of artists, including Gen Y Project, Fresh Tracks!, EMERGE, and Next Wave.