Remembering Amelia

Amelia Itcush, dancer, bodyworker, movement analyst passed away in 2011 and upon her passing, gifted her communities with an astonishing body of work and a rich library of information and pedagogy. Amelia’s workshops, which were always full, were sustained not only by returning students captivated by her teaching, but also by a continually expanding range of interested newcomers.  Amelia certified the following four individuals as formal practitioners of the Itcush Method and Mitzvah Technique, all of whom are partners in the Remembering Amelia project: Kathy Morgan, Chihiro Tsubota, Ashley Johnson and Kana Nemoto. Amelia’s ideas and methods must be documented in order to assure that future generations of artists and the general public have access to her important teachings: transformative training methodologies for the body, professional development insights, and a range of other unique resources which aid with musculo-orthopoedic dexterity and creative dance mastery.’

–  New Dance Horizons Canada Council grant 2012

Amelia Itcush

‘Amelia was one of Canada’s first modern dancers and foremost independent movement analyst. 
She grew up in Regina, Saskatchewan and moved to Toronto to become a founding member of Toronto Dance Theatre. It was during her distinguished career that Amelia developed physical pain problems. Amelia, while developing her own method to change these problems, was introduced to Nehemia Cohen. Amelia was the first certified teacher of the Mitzvah Technique taught by Nehemia Cohen. During her years of training with Nehemia and afterwards, Amelia created and refined a series of exercises based in the Mitzvah Principle. Amelia developed her own understanding of the body’s potential to correct itself structurally bringing about a dynamic form of posture. As a result she developed new approaches to the hands -on table work, chair work, floor exercises and dance technique. Through in-depth analysis of the Mitzvah Principle she identified the BALANCING FORCES of the body which are essential to freedom of movement. Amelia named this work The Itcush Method.– quote from the website of Kathy Morgan:

‘Remembering Amelia’ Interactive Exhibit & Gathering

‘The tour of the ‘Remembering Amelia’ project celebrates the life and work of dance elder Amelia Itcush.  As a dance artist, teacher, mentor, fitness pioneer, healer and one of the country’s finest somatic movement analysts, Amelia gifted her communities with an astonishing body of work that is relevant to all people looking to release movement potential, heal injury or create work. Presented by New Dance Horizons (Regina, Sk) touring seven locations around Canada and funded by Canada Council for the ArtsSaskatchewan Arts Board and Dance Saskatchewan Inc. this interactive exhibit of drawings, movement toys, and video acts to serve as a public inquiry into the past and future impact of the Itcush Method.

– New Dance Horizons Canada Council grant 2012

Check out ‘Remembering Amelia Notebook’ by Susan McKenzie, scribe for the ‘Remembering Ameila’ project and Article on Remembering Amelia for Dance Saskatchewan.


‘Curated by Robin Poitras and assisted by Ashley Johnson, the Remembering Amelia exhibit is conceived as a site-specific ‘virtual dance studio’. This space includes a display of Amelia’s drawings depicting her bodywork ideas installed alongside select film and video, including documentary footage that is carefully drawn and presented from Amelia’s life-work: 30 years of dance-inspired body teachings.’

–  New Dance Horizons Canada Council grant 2012


‘Interviews and conversations with artists, practitioners and students in each of the touring cities compliment the screenings. At each site exhibition site, presenters will conduct public conversations about Amelia’s work, lead workshops, classes and private sessions and perform along with key partners in studio dance performances, influenced by Amelia’s teachings. Visitors will have an opportunity to explore the virtual studio, workshop, performance and public dialogues in order to consider Amelia’s ideas as proposed through her unique practice.’

–  New Dance Horizons Canada Council grant 2012

Tour Dates & Locations

Presenters Kana, Chihiro, Robin and Ashley

MacKenzie Art Gallery and New Dance Horizons 

Regina, SK – February and April 2013

Presenters:  Robin Poitras, Ashley Johnson, Kana Nemoto, Kathy Morgan, Elaine Hanson, Connie Moker-Wernikowski, Chihiro Tsubota, Davida Monk, Dr. Francine Morin, Jennifer MascallSusan McKenzie, Ronnie Yee, Benoit Lachambre.

empty sock exercise display

Chapel Gallery

North Battleford, SK – May 2013

Presenters: Robin Poitras, Kathy Morgan, Ashley Johnson, Kana Nemoto.

Itcush Method class with Ashley Johnson

Open Space Artist Society

Victoria, BC – August 2013

Presenters: Robin Poitras, Ashley Johnson

Two Chair prop demonstration by Ashley Johnson

Dance Centre

Vancouver, BC – September 2013 Presenters: Robin Poitras, Ashley Johnson, Kana Nemoto, Elaine Hanson, Susan McKenzie, Jennifer Mascall

Dancers Studio West (Calgary) gathering November 2013

Dancers Studio West

Calgary, AB – November 2013

Presenters: Robin Poitras, Ashley Johnson, Kana Nemoto, Davida Monk.

Dance Saskatchewan

Saskatoon, SK – May 2014 Presenters: Kathy Morgan, Erica Jacks, Robin Poitras, Kana Nemoto, Ashley Johnson

Ashley and Kana perform small chair demo at final gathering

New Dance Horizons

Regina, SK – December 2014 Presenters: Susan McKenzie, Robin Poitras,Kana Nemoto, Ashley Johnson