Multidisciplinary Performance

In addition to Balinese dance and singing opera, I’m passionate about clown, movement, theatre, circus arts, storytelling and any combination of these arts! In larger theatrical works, I have performed with the Dusty Flowerpot Cabaret (stage managing the Valley of Ashes; as The Seeker in The Listening Jar; and as Lily White in Hard Times Hit Parade), as well as repeat performances with the In The House Festival‘s annual Haunted House, monthly shows, and Summer Festival ( http://www.inthehousefestival.com ) .

Lily White with the DFC, photo by Diane Smithers
Lily White with the DFC, photo by Diane Smithers

I’m also a member of the Vancouver Thriller Dancers, and we offer true-to-the-original choreography and zombie characterization, and have been a fixture at Hallowe’en events around Vancouver for the last five years. You may have also seen me as part of The Ladies In White ( http://theladiesinwhite.wordpress.com ), a movement- and clown-based performance troupe, specializing in events and festivals, enlivening the space and entertaining the crowd with whimsy and beauty.

Ladies in White, photographer: Diane Smithers
Ladies in White, photographer: Diane Smithers

Given that melding performance modalities is my passion, I generally approach or am approached by productions with an attitude of creating what the show needs with the talents I possess. If you need an opera-singing Ice Queen, a four-legged ghostly stilt character, a zombie, a storytelling gypsy, or whatever your mind can think of, I might just be the right person. Or if you have a show, but need help creating the character (or even the show!), that is also a realm where I thrive.

Ice Queen (opera, monologue, costume); Photographer: Diane Smithers
Ice Queen (opera, monologue, costume); Photographer: Diane Smithers

Performance disciplines include, but are not limited to: Singing, monologue acting, group acting, clown/character, partner dance, solo dance, stilt walking (2 or 4 legged, short stilts), stage managing/directing, script writing.

Any ideas you may have, feel free to contact me to discuss and create!

Rates vary depending on the event. Discounts are available for private events with limited budget. Corporate rates apply.

Average rates: $250 for dance, character or stilting (3-4 20 minute sets per evening); $400 for opera (additional fee if a new costume is required)

Vancouver Thriller Dancers are bookable at $100/dancer (up to 10 dancers)

Vancouver Thriller Dancers
Vancouver Thriller Dancers

 

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Balinese Dance Lessons, Lecture, and Performance

My love of Balinese culture began in 2007, quite by accident, when I attended a gamelan rehearsal out at UBC, just to check it out. I was on the verge of moving to Montreal, but I figured I should see what this “gamelan” thing is all about–I loved it.  And, since the musical director of the group said I could only play with the group if I stayed the whole year, I decided to scrap the idea of moving away, and play gamelan instead.  Thus began an epic love affair with Balinese music and dance.

Legong with Gamelan Gita Asmara
Legong with Gamelan Gita Asmara, photo by Diane Smithers

Since then, I have played thousands of hours of Balinese music, and took up Balinese dance in 2009.  We were lucky enough to have two Balinese teachers in residence (I Wayan Sudirana, Ni Putu Widiantini), up until Summer 2012, and so studying dance and performing locally was possible.  In both 2010 and 2012 I travelled to Bali to live for months at a time, with the sole intention of taking lessons from local musicians and dancers.  In Bali, the masters are accessible, and many love to teach any student with passion, Balinese or foreigner.

In my most recent trip, I was extremely fortunate to learn from I Dewa Nyoman Irawan and Ni Kadek Dewi Aryani, both internationally acclaimed dancers, and extremely generous teachers.

Learning with my teacher, http://www.dewa-nyoman-irawan.com
Learning with my teacher, http://www.dewa-nyoman-irawan.com

 

I am pleased to offer Balinese dance lessons with focus on basic technique, and survey of styles.  If you feel called by this type of dance, there is a semi-professional Balinese Gamelan in Vancouver, and you would be welcome to join us in any concerts we put on.  www.gitaasmara.ca

Lesson rate:

$10/person/hour* group lesson

$20/person/hour*private lesson

*I am happy to teach 1.5 hours for a 1 hour rate if the student wishes!

 

Performance rates vary based on event, please call or email me to ask for private, festival, and corporate rates merisdangergoodman at gmail dot com

Voice Lessons and Operatic Performance

Coming from a musical family, I chose to study classical singing in 2001, after many years of singing in choirs.  This led me to study opera at Kwantlen Polytechnic University and the University of British Columbia, as well as privately with Roelof Oostwoud (UBC) and Karen Nimerala Acampora

http://www.karennimereala.com

Ultimately, I found that studying music in an academic setting was leading me away from experiencing the true passion I longed to feel in singing, so I struck out on my own journey with the voice, with a vision to bring operatic styles to grassroots theatre and performance art.  I had images of the old Italians singing operatically as they hung the laundry across the alleyways in Venice, which very much contradicted the high-brow theatrical experience which I feel opera has become, removed from so many.  This journey has ultimately been successful, and both  as a solo performer, and in collaboration with The Dusty Flowerpot Cabaret ( http://www.dustyflowerpot.org ) , I have brought “opera singing” to the people of Vancouver, in my own way.

An impromptu public singing moment in Florence, complete with adorable bystander.
An impromptu public singing moment in Florence, complete with adorable bystander. Photographer: Cherry Li

In lessons, my goal is to help students achieve their ultimate vocal health and strength in whatever singing style they wish, by way of classical technique and focus on body awareness.  I firmly believe that this technique provides the most versatile and solid basis for singing in any style, as well as speech.  I ask that all of my students work on at least one classical piece, simply to practice this technique in multiple musical environments, and am happy to let the student choose songs from other genres as well.  We spend the better part of each lesson (one hour and 15 minutes, at least) on body and breath awareness, and integrating that with vocal production. Singing is physical, and I draw heavily upon dance and yoga backgrounds to help my students gain a greater awareness of their whole instrument–the body!  My favourite moments in teaching are when a student’s eyes light up as their body and voice respond in a new and exciting way to an exercise we are doing.

Lessons are $40/lesson (ranging 1-1.5 hours, depending on the material)

Package of 4 lessons for $120, paid in advance

Payment plans or trades are an option for students requiring alternate financial arrangements, upon request.

Performances upon request with similar sliding scale to Balinese Dance Performance (see above).

Here’s what my students have had to say:

I approached Meris  while preparing for auditions to Capilano University’s Classical Voice Program.  One standout feature of the lessons were how fun they were.  Meris has the unusual talent of being able to make a student feel unconditionally accepted and encouraged, while being hilariously direct and sometimes even sassy.  I passed the audition with flying colours – I overheard one of the adjudicators refer to me as “the diction guy” – and I’m certain I would not have been able to do it with just my singing-in-the-shower experience.  If you would like fun, warm, and, most importantly, effective singing lessons, this woman has my  recommendation.”  -Devon Goodman

Meris can listen to me sing, and within a few moments she has pinpointed key areas of body and breath connection that open my voice to whole new levels. Her sensitivity and understanding of vocal technique inspires confidence. Whether prepping an audition, improving a style, or experimenting gymnastically – lessons with Meris will free your true voice!”      -Francine Dulong

Dance Voice Performance