Frog in Hand is a dance-theatre company based in Mississauga, Ontario. We are curious about human nature and the spaces we inhabit. Our mission is to uncover, make, and share stories through dance. We contribute to community by sharing resources, knowledge and experience through creation, performance and education.
We carefully attend to what we make and how we make it. We craft innovative work reflecting our passion for movement as a medium to transcend language. We are committed to engaging spaces in ways that recognize and honour diverse stories and storytellers. We create site- specific experiences as platforms for artistic exchange, collaboration and social change. We contribute by sharing resources and knowledge through creation, performance and education.
Frog in Hand artist Jt Papandreos shot by Hernani Sagra
"We listen for, amplify, create and share stories as platforms for collaborative artistic exchange, community engagement, education and social change."
Two Sisters, Many Frogs
Frog in Hand began with a cast of frogs performing circus tricks under the artistic direction of sisters, Noelle Hamlyn and Colleen Snell, who were one and five years old at the time. From this whimsical debut springs our firm belief that art begins in humble places – including the mud and grass of our own backyards. Although we are now a diverse collective of dancers, choreographers, musicians, actors, spoken word poets, designers and visual artists, we are still inspired by where we find ourselves.
We are storytellers. We are inspired by local tales, people, and communities that now extend beyond our back yard to include professional training at The Banff Centre, LADMMI, School of the Art Institute of Chicago, London Contemporary Dance School (UK), Shiseikan Budojo (Tokyo) and Barefoot College (Tanzania). With dance at the forefront, we blend disciplines, treasuring the interaction between space, place and the possibilities of narrative. We seek to blur boundaries that separate art forms, artists, audiences and communities; we collaborate with others who have similar aspirations.
Frog in Hand Company members have trained with Gaga Movement (Israel), Jacob’s Pillow, Third Rail (NYC), Peggy Baker Dance Projects, and ProArteDanza. We are all committed to listening for stories and working in community context. Since our first professional performance in 2012 we have produced 45+ original creations and 3 festivals sharing stories with audiences in parks, schools, gazebos, staircases, fountains, abandoned factories, elevators, galleries, street corners and theatres.
Statement & Actions in Solidarity
Frog in Hand stands with Black and BIPOC communities in the fight against systemic racism. On June 28th, 2020 we released a statement affirming this stance, and outlining actions we would take to address these oppressions. In September 2020 we released a follow up and update on the actions taken so far. You can read our statement, and the steps we are taking to follow up, on the page below. We are open to feedback and listening. We understand this learning process is ongoing and lifelong.
Before we learn to write, we learn to speak. Before we learn to speak, we learn to listen. We listen to our families as they tell us stories. Colleen & Noelle, Frog in Hand Co-Founders, have a Canadian story, born to parents and grandparents from the West and the North of this land we now refer to as Canada. Colleen & Noelle have learned they are newcomers, settlers on this land. It is important that as settlers they listen and learn the stories of the land on which they live, work and create. We acknowledge the heritage of our two founders is but one piece of the tapestry that is Frog in Hand. Frog in Hand is a collective of artists with diverse backgrounds and histories, heritages and family stories of their own.
We work in site specific ways, often outside on the land, in public space. Frog in Hand operates on lands that are part of the Treaty Lands, Treaty 13A, known today as Mississauga. For thousands of years, Indigenous peoples have inhabited and cared for this land. Specifically, this is the territory of the Anishinabek, Huron-Wendat, Haudenosaunee, Ojibway/Chippewa peoples and most recently, the territory of the Mississaugas of the Credit First Nation. This territory was the subject of the Dish with One Spoon Wampum Belt Covenant between the Iroquois Confederacy, and Confederacy of the Ojibwe and Allied Nations to peaceably share and care for the resources around the Great Lake of Ontario. Frog in Hand respects and affirms the inherent and Treaty Rights of all Indigenous Peoples across this land. We honour the Indigenous Nations and Peoples’ self-determination and sovereignty.
This image is of local lands; the water tower is one of the oldest structures here in Mississauga. This picture was taken by artist and friend Nettie Seip. Frog in Hand works on these lands frequently, and they deeply inspire us. When we work here, we feel our responsibility to the delicate environment we exist within. Like the land, we believe the Arts contribute to healing; our relationship with the natural environment and the Arts contribute to the decolonizing journey we share.
As we work on these lands, Frog in Hand invites us all to consider how we will write the stories of our future... How we will choose to live together, how we will find ways to honour one other, and the delicate environment we exist within.
Thank you for joining us as we tell our stories.