photo by Fleck of Light
Laura Cannon is a site-specific choreographer, performer, teacher and mother based in Portland,Or. She studied on a performance scholarship at the University of Texas at Austin and holds a BFA in Dance. She performed professionally in the late 90’s and early ‘aughts in Austin with dance companies Sharir+Bustamante Danceworks, Deborah Hay, and Blue Lapis Light among others. A prolific performer and creator in Austin, she was awarded numerous times for her choreography, performance and costume design. In 2006 she received the John Bustin Award for Conspicuous Versatility in the Arts from the Austin CriticsTable. She fell in love with participating in collaboratively devised theatre and became a member of The Rude Mechs and Salvage Vanguard Theatre. She was a founding member of Blue Lapis Light, a performance company whose mission of presenting site-specific dance regularly featured, dancing off of or swinging between the buildings of the Austin skyline. During this time she also worked as a certified Pilates instructor, was Blue Lapis Light’s rehearsal director and taught contemporary dance as adjunct faculty at UT Austin.
Laura moved to Portland in 2009 and stepped away from performing to have 2 children. She started teaching and performing at the Echo Theater Company 2014. With her wealth of knowledge and experience in aerial harness teaching and performance she launched ETC’s robust harness dance programing. She has codified a method for teaching aerial wall-walking that is now used to train other teachers and created an approach to bungee dance that she coined “Rebound Movement”.
Laura founded ProLab Dance in 2019 and began focusing on movement experiments in various locations with this fluid group of movers from a variety of dance backgrounds. Laura directed ProLab’s debut work “We Belong Here”, a live theater performance that incorporated filmed site-work. It was presented at the Fertile Ground Festival of New Work 2020.
In the height of the pandemic she led ProLab in creating the dancefilm “Remythification”, an examination of the roles that femmes play in Greek mythology. It was set in and around Portland’s portion of the Willamette River. “Remythification'' premiered at the Fertile Ground Festival of New Works 2021. Most recently Laura directed ProLab in an immersive and interactive site-specific dance performance at the Zidell Yards called “IMPACT”. It was part of Dance Wire’s Momentum dance concert in August of 2021.
Laura has been finding inspiration and success in making dance for film as well. She directed “Medusa”, featuring the ProLab, that has so far been shown at international screendance festivals in Italy, India and Serbia and received an Honorable Mention from the Mobile Dance Film Festival at the Harkness Dance Center in New York. “Garden Bed”, which was self-filmed during Portland’s second Covid lockdown, is danced by Laura and her two children and has been shown in Italy (winner, Vesuvius International Film Festival), India, Serbia and is currently a finalist at the Inspired Dance Film Festival 2021 in Austrailia. Laura was recently selected to be a 2021/22 Dance Ambassador for Portland’s Dancewire.
Laura Cannon 2021 - photo by Fleck of Light