A Canadian dance artist and scholar currently based on Patwin lands (Davis, California) and on Coast Salish lands (Vancouver, BC, Canada), pursuing a PhD in Sociocultural Anthropology at UC Davis. 

Her work is critical of prescriptive mind/body dualisms and hegemonic approaches to kinesthetic experience. She makes movement, textile, and text-based art in quiet, devoted, clumsy, and rigorous ways to bring creative and infrastructural change to her communities.

Ileanna is currently working s l o o o o  o  o  o   o   o   o    o    o    o   w l y with slowness and disorientation.

Her research, activist phenomenology, attends to the ways that dancers, who spend decades experimenting with their bodies as sensing and moving social intelligences, are uniquely reflective and insightful about how ideas emerge at the intersection of creative acts of meaningful performance making, pedagogical hierarchies, and social justice issues. As in: dancers invent new worlds. 

Full bio HERE

︎︎︎ Contact 


A Canadian dance artist and scholar currently based on Patwin lands (Davis, California)and on Coast Salish lands (Vancouver, BC, Canada), pursuing a PhD in Sociocultural Anthropology at UC Davis,

Her work is critical of prescriptive mind/body dualisms and hegemonic approaches to kinesthetic experience. She makes movement, textile, and text-based art in quiet, devoted, clumsy, and rigorous ways to bring creative and infrastructural change to her communities.

Full bio HERE

︎︎︎ Contact


GLAMOURING - summer 2023


In collaboration with Billy Marchenski. 
Outdoor beach slow contact, opening up, taking time.
Negotiating with the landscape, with the environment.
Attending to the ways we are already of and in the world.
A practice of attention.


Collaborative media project with Teresa Salas and Sarah Ashkin. 
Inquiring into the imaginary of flesh, skin, nature, sexuality, materiality, and how we are already plastic in an entanglement with microplastics. 


The UC Davis Department of Theatre and Dance presented White Dancer Loops, an MFA project, by graduate student Teresa Salas in collaboration with anthropology doctoral student Ileanna Cheladyn on April 11-14 in the Della Davidson Performance Studio, Nelson Hall.  

White Dancer Loops observes the hegemonies of dance and dancing bodies. We question the parameters of what is considered dance, beauty, virtuosity, and complicity through the prioritized perspectives of white and northern values of performance and spectatorship. Looking to disorient the sensation and perception of gendered, colonized, and racialized assumptions we use dance to emphasize the weaving of dancing, embodiment, and politics along lines of liberation, violence, and connection.


A solo for one refracting dancer. Tall, but not vertical. Sometimes vertical. Always slouching into the next. A solo for being there. All posture and transformation. A playlist of transmutation. 

Presented at Left of Main, as part of Left of PuSh, January 2023. 


Conceived & performed by: Ileanna Sophia Cheladyn
Outside eye & mentor & photo credit: Vanessa Goodman
Outside eye: Diego Romero

Echo Chamber - november 2022

Looking at the body as a living archive, "Echo Chamber" explores the residues of past dances. It looks at the body as a container for experience, pleasure, desire and effort. "Echo Chamber" is the newest work from Action at a Distance, created by Vanessa Goodman in collaboration with performing artist Ileanna Cheladyn, with original sound by Loscil and arresting lighting by James Proudfoot. Ileanna transports her audience to a hauntingly beautiful world thick with visceral physicality and full of soft, tender vulnerability.

Premiered Nov 20/21, 2022 at the Chutzpah Festival

Rock Garden - summer 2022

Creators: Sarah Wong & Ileanna Sophia Cheladyn

Rock Garden is an interactive installation featuring handcrafted cushions inspired by the movements of shape shifting within the life cycle of rocks. The work honours rocks as teachers for surrendering to transformation, bringing to light the relationship between resistance, rest, and renewal. As a social practice, Rock Garden enacts a relationship between art, activism, and community gathering. This work activates the body as political, recognizing the effects of oppression on bodies and cultivating a pocket of rest and ease within structures of hardness and force. Through the integration of choreography and textile design, our rock garden aims to be a soft place to land that reminds participants to slow down, release, and tend to their embodied needs.


Photo Credit: Sarah Wong


SLOWNESSES - ongoing 2022

Slownesses is an ongoing practice-based research project thinking about slowness in the body. See the entire page devoted to slowness for the hot goss on slow

dream cellscapes - summer 2021/winter 2022

International digital-installation-practice. Conceived by Alice Weber. Supported by Critical Path. Canadian collaborators: Vanessa Goodman & Ileanna Sophia Cheladyn.

“Treating the spreadsheet as a choreographic field, ‘Dream Cellscapes’ encompasses installation and choreography to explore the idea of cells as containers of desire. The cell refers to a contained space. It is also the smallest unit of life. Where there is life there is desire, and while the cell contains/holds/structures — desire flows.

By taking the spreadsheet as the choreographic field, this project explores this idea of cell as container of desire. Between cells and bodies, desire to spills and overflows, a cellular dream; a cellscape. As performers move across IRL and online embodiments, going slack and reanimating, the work asks what flows between cells, both digital and biological. There are questions of spectatorship that undermine a conventional, phalloccularcentric gaze. It’s like watching a sleepover through a bedroom window, except the window is your phone and instead of bedsheets its spreadsheets. They know you’re watching but they don’t mind – which makes you press your face right up.
Corrupting office software for their fantasy, and along with it expectations of time, gaze and presence, Dream Cellscapes looks at digital embodiment and the porousness of desire.”

monolith - spring 2021

As part of Mile Zero Dance’s Dance Crush series. 

“Made possible by The Canada Council for the Arts, monolith illustrates how women are exploited by powerful figures, oftentimes under the guise of good intentions. The main character, Subject 71 is confined to an existence where she must meet the expectations and cater to the demands of The Monitor: a narcissistic and malicious being whose masked face continues to glare with manipulative expression. The Monitor’s commands may be delivered with grace but are in fact insane and inhumane. Subject 71 has no choice but to smile and appease. Her own existence, purpose, and dreams are directly tied to The Monitor’s whims and can be taken away at any moment.

The themes in monolith speak to the experience of many female artists who are placed in situations where they are expected to obey those in higher positions without asking “why?” or even “is this appropriate?” Danced by Kushniruk herself, the sentiment is drawn from her own experiences as a professional dancer.”

Tia Ashley Kushniruk (Concept, Co-writer & Performer)
Rizwan Mohiuddin (Director/Co-writer)
Kristen Innes Stambolic (animation)
Emmett Verhoog (Original Score)
Ileanna Sophia Cheladyn (Rehearsal Director/Movement Director)
Jake Tkaczyk (Production Manager)
Nicholas Lehmann (Cinematographer/Editor)
Alexander Boldt (Videographer)
Kenzie Bowes (Lighting Designer)
Susannah Haight (Costume Consultant)

Undressing Scores - spring 2020

Excerpt from practice-based research period, supervised by Peter Dickenson: 

WHAT AM I WORKING TO TRANSMIT? Attention, social position, sensation, connection, expression, effort, interest, slowness, patience, responsibilities, lineages, the knowledge of movement and of broader gestural implications… something like agency, too.

1.    Undress as slowly as you can. Speak as quickly as you can about a predetermined topic, or an embarrassing story.

Become floor, shake obscenely, be the representative for all humans and be a disgusting human-looking creature, avoid using your hands and feet to locomote, roll your eyes back, see without your eyes, be rhythmic to your physiology which is not the same uniform rhythm of a song, uncomposed orifices and limbs, composed for no one.

download full text here

Fever Dreams - fall 2020

From plastic orchid factory’s 2020/2021 season:

“INCUBATIVE and ADAPTIVE underpin fever dreams, plastic orchid’s 2020–2021 season.
Artists-in-Residence will work at Left of Main to imagine how their interests reach into a world in perpetual transition. Sitting alongside these incubative deep dives, our collaborations for presentation will be adaptive and responsive in nature and by design...

As we sit on the precipice of the unknown, where the unforeseeable and unimaginable are woven into the fabric of our daily lives, we've invited this season's artists to reflect on their practices in this book/let, which we offer in print and digital forms. All of the messiness that binds us in this moment is bound here, as we search for and approach practicing in a different kind of tomorrow. ”
Click here to view Ileanna’s reflection/text.