i. I work as a:
Dance artist with Wen Wei Dance, Vision Impure.
ii. I do this creative work because:
Dance is how I make sense of the world; it pushes me to think of things bigger than life’s daily routines, beyond what is immediate or convenient. It is one of the most revealing art forms.
iii. Personal qualities that help me in my work are:
I consider myself a routine-oriented person; I find real pleasure and satisfaction in repetition. Although, ”repetition” is not really repetition; the same action makes you feel something completely different by the end, there’s a lot of creativity involved.
iv. The greatest challenges around doing this work are:
You must always be open to taking a risk, but then again – to walk across the street is also a risk.
v. Creative childhood hobbies:
As a kid, I loved performance of any sort; simply reciting a poem for my family was a source of excitement. And, of course, playing dress up in my mom’s closet. Painting and photography were also childhood interests of mine; and while painting didn’t stick due to the lack of patience, photography and videography are still in my life.
vi. Other creators who inspire you:
It’s what’s left in life, to work with interesting people; and I am lucky to be working with interesting people every day. Both my peers and my mentors inspire me greatly.
vii. Training that has helped me succeed in this career:
I am still training and would also like to avoid the word “succeeded”, because it is all very subjective anyways.
I joined Modus Operandi Contemporary Dance Program for my post-secondary training, and it was the right decision to make. This institution gives its students more than just profound physical skills, but also teaches you to think critically and approach anything that is “thrown” at you with curiosity and sophistication.
My other degree, which is BA in art history, also was a way to realize that everything we do in dance is a little bit painterly.
viii. A common trap that can hurt people in this career:
Forgetting that dance is something other than technique, neglecting the mental side of it. We often forget where the movements come from. They are born from life. When you play with new ideas, the point of departure must be contemporary life — not existing forms of dance.
ix. Some proud career moments:
Choosing this career.
x. If you want to work in my field, I suggest that you:
Create goals for yourself, but not expectations. Improvise. A lot. Observe.
xi. A professional goal I have for the future:
To make more of my own mistakes, to not do anything Freudian, to create my own work and interpret ideas of others.
xii. If you want to see my work, go to:
Information about upcoming performances:
Personal: Instagram @oblaco
Daria began her contemporary dance training in Valdivostok, Russia, where she was born and raised, and after moving to Canada in 2014, she continued her dance education with Modus Operandi Contemporary Dance Program, while also completing her BA in art history at University of British Columbia. Daria is currently working with companies Wen Wei Dance and Vision Impure.
While in BC, Daria also got a chance to work with MascallDance, Boombox Vancouver, Dance Victoria. As an independent artist, she presented her solo work at the Shooting Gallery Performance Series, and had her movement-based video works screened at FORM (Festival of Recorded Movement) and Body+Camera Festival in Chicago and Jersey City.
Photographer: Emily Cooper
Header Photo: Eowynn Enquist and Daria Mikhaylyuk
Photo 2: Sarah Formosa and Daria Mikhaylyuk
Photo 3: Daria Mikhaylyuk and Eowynn Enquist