Artistic Directors:

Aryo Khakpour is a Vancouver based multidisciplinary performer, director and dramaturg. He holds a BFA in Theatre Performance from Simon Fraser University, where Penelope Stella, DD Kugler and Steven Hill mentored him. Aryo has been involved in multiple theatre, dance, and film productions in Vancouver.

His most recent performances and collaborations were with Justine Chambers’ Family Dinner (Canada Dance Festival and Hong Kong Arts Festival), battery opera’s M/Hotel and Terroir Tours, and Theatre Conspiracy’s Foreign Radical Canada Hub at Festival Fringe in Edinburgh, and Carrefour in Quebec City).

Aryo cofounded The Biting School, which has been presented at Dancing on the Edge Festival, Dance Days Victoria, rEvolver Festival, Dance in Vancouver, VIDF, Firehall Arts Centre, Montreal Arts Intercultutels, and PuSh International Festival.

The Biting School is the company-in-residence at PuSh Festival and The Dance Centre.

Aryo is interested in the dynamics of power, implications of ideologies, repetition of mythologies, and cultural adaptation. Aryo most recently directed Disagreeable Tales 1.0 and 2.0 (based on a compilation of Christian moral tales), and translated and codirected Suddenly Slaughter (based on an Iranian play in dialogue with Islamic passion plays), which was presented at PuSh International Festival in 2019.

Originally from Tehran and based in Vancouver, Arash Khakpour is privileged to be a dance artist on the unceded territories of the Musqueam, Squamish and Tsleil-Waututh First Nations. He is a graduate of Out Innerspace’s Modus Operandi training program, has completed the Cultch’s Youth Mentorship program, and is a recipient of the contact improvisation scholarship at EDAM under the direction of Peter Bingham. Arash has had the privilege of working with Wen Wei Dance, Out Innerspace Dance Theatre, Kinesis Dance Somatheatro, Company 605, Constance Cooke, and David McIntosh (Battery Opera) among many others.

Arash’s choreography has been presented at Dancing on the Edge, Art for Impact, Dance Days Festival (Victoria BC), Dance In Vancouver, rEvolver Festival and Vines Art Festival. Arash’s desire is to see whether the theatre can be a place to interrogate the body and to investigate the alternate ways of being. He is interested in dance as a language to research human conditions through historical, social, political and existential interpretations. Arash is the cofounder of Vancouver’s guerrilla performance group Pressed Paradise, cofounder of the dance-theatre company The Biting School (alongside his brother Aryo Khakpour), and the founder and co-host of How About A Time Machine, a podcast on the history of Canadian performance.