Meet the Foolish Operations team!

Julie Lebel – Artistic Director

Photo by Riz Herboza

Born and raised in north-eastern Québec, on the ancestral lands of the Innu Nation, from a family of settlers of French and Irish ancestry, Julie Lebel now gratefully lives and dances on the ancestral and unceeded Indigenous territories of the xʷməθkʷəjˀəm (Musqueam), Sḵwx̱wú7mesh (Squamish), and səl̓ilwətaɁɬ (Tsleil Waututh) First Nations. She is a francophone choreographer invested in community engaged dance and in interactions between public space and community – involving musicians, visual artists, film makers and writers with a body of work spanning 20 years. She is the artistic Director of Foolish Operations, connecting people of all generations through new dance experiences, especially with and for very young children. She is a member of Lower Left Collective (USA, Germany, Norway and Canada) teaching and performing Ensemble Thinking. Julie is a proud mother of very active twin girls who act as first consultants in all her creative endeavours.

Caroline Liffmann – Artistic Associate

Photo by Sarah Cavanaugh

Caroline Liffmann is a performance maker with a home base in contemporary dance.  She has worked as a choreographer, creator, performer, improvisor, arts educator and community arts facilitator since 2003, and has been a Foolish Operations fan and co-conspirator for 10 years.  Currently Caroline works with the company as a dancer, outside eye, and consultant on trauma-informed practice.

Sarah Gallos – Artistic Associate

Photo by Adam Blasberg

Sarah Gallos is a bilingual performance artist and facilitator, originally from Eastern Canada (born in Montreal to 1st generation Nova Scotians). She has worked with Foolish Operations for over 10 years as a dancer. 

When she became a mother 7 years ago, she began participating in Dancing the Parenting practice. The crossover of ensemble improvisation and attachment based parenting skills feed the magic of Foolish Operations’ creations. 

Most recently, she’s taken on administrative and facilitation support of Dancing the Parenting while continuing to create performance works with the Foolish Operations team.

Sophie Brassard – Artistic Associate

Photo by Bee N. Kent

Sophie Brassard is a Vancouver-based francophone dance artist and arts administrator. Since 2017, she has been working with Foolish Operations as a dancer (Paper Playground & Moving Resting Nesting) and since August 2020 she has supported the organisation with communications and marketing. 

Indigo Grant – Intern, Langara College

Hola! My name is Indigo and I’m currently pursuing a degree in recreation while working and learning with children and youth here at Bowen Children’s Centre. Having been born in India, raised half of my life in Canada and the other half in Mexico, I’ve gained a rich sense of culture, tradition and perspective on life from each place.

I knew I wanted to pursue a career that involved character and community building at a young age as I was gifted valuable opportunities to play, grow, discover and build my character through camps, programs and sport clubs. My goal is to leave a positive, lasting and magical memory for children and families.

Xin Xuan Song – Artistic Producer

Born and raised in China, Xin Xuan Song moved to Vancouver for college and subsequently graduated from Simon Fraser University with a Bachelor’s Degree in Theatre Production and Design. In addition to being a freelance Stage Manager, Xin Xuan works as the Artistic Coordinator and Film Series Programmer with Kay Meek Arts Centre. New to Foolish Operations, Moving, Resting, Nesting is Xin Xuan’s first project with the company, and she looks forward to many more. 

Meredith Kalaman – Artistic Associate

Photo by Eric Saczuk

Meredith Kalaman is a two time Chrystal Dance Prize recipient, dance educator and enjoys both dancing in other artists work and creating her own. She has created pieces about; giraffes, girl guiding, exploring constellations, superheroes, female identity and the impacts of gender socialization. Choreographers that have left a particular influence on her include; John Ottmann, Noam Gagnon, Farley Johansson, Karen Jamieson, Peggy Baker, Judith Marcuse, Judith Garay, Julie Lebel and Kate Franklin. Her first full length work Femme Fatales toured to Victoria, Edmonton and and was presented at Ufertstudios in Berlin in 2017. Presentation highlights including sharing the stage with the Good Women Dance Collective, Dance in Vancouver 2017, Dancing on the Edge and New Works.  Meredith is a graduate of the Ballet BC Mentor Program. Most recently she has been training with Raïna von Waldenburg in I AM ONE WHO which is based on the work of Jerzy Grotowski. She is interested in shifting the context of how ballet relates to our 21st century bodies and inviting bodies to be in dynamic movement. Her company credits include: MovEnt, Judith Marcuse Projects, Dancers Dancing, Joe Ink and Foolish Productions. She has commissioned works from Noam Gagnon, Farley Johannson and John Ottmann and created two dancer theatre solos with Sophie Yendole. Meredith is thankful to be and artist who grew up in Vancouver on the traditional, ancestral and unceded territory of the Coast Salish peoples–Sḵwx̱wú7mesh (Squamish), Stó:lō and Səl̓ílwətaʔ/Selilwitulh (Tsleil-Waututh) and xʷməθkʷəy̓əm (Musqueam) Nations. She is now grateful to reside on the land of the Mi’kma’ki in Nova Scotia. 

Meredith has been working with Foolish Operations since 2014 and is grateful for the wealth of experiences and knowledge Julie has invited her to, in bringing mobility and movement to all bodies and ages. She has a particular fondness for her time performing in Tricoter and the gift of dancing in community with live music.

Marie-Pier Gilbert – Artistic Associate

Photo: PO Cadieux

Marie-Pier Gilbert completed her studies in contemporary dance at the School of Dance in Ottawa and since then has worked as a performer, choreographer, curator and teacher.   

Over the years, she has developed an interest in dance in an outdoor context, where she can invest in different places of exchange with audience members. She primarily collaborates with Julie Lebel (Foolish Operations), Meagan O’Shea (Stand Up Dance) and Geneviève Lauzon Danse. HELMUT, her first creation in an outdoor setting, is part of the Jouer Dehors program (La Danse sur les routes du Québec) and has been presented several times in Montreal as well as at the Maison du Québec in Saint-Malo (France). In 2020, she created Connexions Momentanées, a travelling music and dance performance, which allows her to meet citizens.   

Marie-Pier now resides in Montreal, while continuing to participate in the development of the artistic community of Ottawa. In 2015, with her colleague Jocelyn Todd, Marie-Pier created Dark Horse Dance Projects, a creation and performance platform which is entering its sixth year of programming.