Curator’s Note: Santee Smith Tekaronhiáhkhwa
Nia:wen Yvonne Ng for inviting me to be a 2021 guest curator for dance: made in canada/fait au canada (d:mic/fac). It was an honour to be a part of the curation process in summer 2020, it felt urgent yet unpredictable as the pandemic was raging and impacting our dance community. Little did we know witnessing dance videos online would quickly become how we maneuvered through lock downs.
For my curation, I let each of the submissions wash over me and made my decisions based on what resonated and intrigued me as a fellow creative. The threads that wove into each of my artist selections were feminine centered storytelling, reaching in and back to the primordial, internal transformations with intense and symbolic physical language. In all three we see, feel, and experience the striving for working these threads, a movement created for the need to share stories.
In Liliona Quarmyne’s “Resonances of a Warrior Boy, we witness “the idea of the body as a story.” A solo journey which is multi-layered, calls on ancestral remembrance moved into a performance realm, activation of space/time in a transformational way, and the creation of symbolic architecture.
In Alexis Fletcher’s Altar’d performance, we travel in the journey with her into the inner landscapes. Altar’d delves into the archetypical, psychic spaces which are intensified by the use of design, light and shadows.
Meghann Michalsky’s ReAWaken performance resonates with the primordial, ancient feminine. The strength of the trio work is captivating, especially with the choreographic language that is developed based on the rawness of new volcanic earth and the form of women. ReAWaken resonates with me on another level in the Onkwehon:we understand that “ we are made of earth”.
I’m thrilled the recovery back to live performance is well on its way. Moving the presentation from 2021 to 2023, Yvonne Ng graciously honoured the work of the artists and the curation process. For that we are grateful…please enjoy the dance.
Wed Aug 16
Thur Aug 17
Fri Aug 18
Sat Aug 19
Sun Aug 20
Join us for a post-show chat
Sun. Aug. 20, 5:00 pm
With Alexis Fletcher, Meghann Michalsky, Liliona Quarmyne
Moderated by Mimi Beck
Mimi Beck has dedicated her career to advancing and promoting dance in all forms – as Dance Curator for the DanceWorks series in Toronto, presenting artists with multiple approaches to dance making; and as Executive Director the Canadian Network of Dance Presenters, CanDance, strengthening the dance milieu through commissioning, advocacy and research. Beck enjoys her roles as mentor, consultant and facilitator, and is thrilled to be inducted into the Dance Collection Danse Hall of Fame, recipient of the 2023 William J.S. Boyle Dance Luminary Award. She was named “One of 19 who made a difference in the arts” by William Littler in The Toronto Star, and received a Dance Ontario Award (2007) and a Harold Award (2006). From 1990 – 1994, Beck was Canadian director of a bi-lateral touring exchange with Dance Theatre Workshop (NY) and the U.S. National Performance Network. An active choreographer and performer in Toronto’s independent dance movement in the late 1970s and early 1980s, she received the first Canada Council grant awarded to a dance curator for professional development.
Banner photo by Tim Nguyen