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Sunday, May 19, 2024

20 questions (pandemic edition) with Liliona Quarmyne

This week we check in with Halifax choreographer, dancer, actor, singer, community organizer, and facilitator, Liliona Quarmyne.

During this time of social distancing and dark venues, Halifax Presents continues to check-in with members of our arts community to find out how they are staying creative and managing during the pandemic.

This week we check in with Halifax choreographer, dancer, actor, singer, community organizer, and facilitator, Liliona Quarmyne.

1. How are you staying creative during the pandemic?

Staying creative = parenting during a pandemic.

2. What’s the one thing getting you through?

The hope that we’re learning from all of this. And my kids. Black Lives Matter.

3. How are you staying in contact with family and friends who are not in your bubble?

Backyard physically distanced visits and lots of video calls.

4. What is the biggest lesson you’ve learned so far during the pandemic?

That I have even less faith in the system that I thought. And that’s saying something! But also that I believe more than ever that change is possible.

5. What do you feel the most grateful for right now?


6. What is something you are doing now that you don’t normally?

I’m doing a lot of the same things. Just having to do WAY more of them.

7. What skill have you developed since the pandemic started?

The ability to traverse the full range of human emotion in a single day.

8. What have you missed the most?

Being alone!

9. Your #1 pandemic survival tip.

Rewrite the rules. No judgment.

10. Your biggest indulgence since the pandemic started.

Cooking really good food. And chips. Lots of chips.

11. What have you stockpiled?

Um, chips.

12. What have you been reading?

I’ve been choosing fiction by Black authors, but number 16 below keeps winning.

13. What have you been watching?

Everything. Some good and a lot of mediocre.

14. What have you been listening to?

90’s hip-hop playlists and Broadway shows!

15. What are you doing for exercise?


16. The one thing you haven’t been able to live without?


17. Do-it-yourself haircut or the natural look?

Bubble family haircuts for the win!

18. Night owl or early riser?

Answering that would require some sense of time, which I have completely lost.

19. Will you be the first out as restrictions are gradually lifted or taking a wait-and-see attitude?

Somewhere in the middle.

20. What’s the first thing you will do when this is all over?

Go see my parents!

Meet Liliona Quarmyne

Liliona Quarmyne has an eclectic background and a diverse set of trainings and experiences. As a result, she wears many hats – choreographer, dancer, actor, singer, community organizer, and facilitator.

Liliona’s work stems from the idea of the body as story – an ever-shifting, layered meeting place of moments and memory that is a constant conversation with time, space, land, and other bodies. Liliona sees her body as a link to past and to future generations.

She choreographs and dances across Canada and internationally, creates and performs original works as an independent artist, facilitates community programming, and is the Artistic Director of Kinetic Studio.

Her scope of work is broad but is particularly focused on the relationship between art and social justice, on the body’s ability to carry ancestral memory, and on the role the performing arts can play in creating change.

You can find out more about Liliona online at or follow her on Instagram.

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