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Hosted by Aria Evans, the artistic director of Political Movement, Season 3 of The ‘D’ Word is all about science and the mind. This season we will be exploring how ideas like curiosity, embodied physics, and shifting trauma through movement influence and interact with dance artists.

Season 3 Episodes
The Team

Aria Evans, host

Aria Evans (they/she) is an award winning, queer Toronto-based interdisciplinary artist working in dance, theatre and film. Aria is a certified Intimacy Coordinator and draws on their experiences of being multiracial (Afro-Indigenous, settler) to capture meaningful social and cultural themes through their interactive art. Collaboration is the departure point for the work that Aria creates with their company Political Movement. Aria was co-Artistic Director of hub14 from 2013-2018 and the Toronto, Ontario and Canada Council for the arts have supported Aria’s endeavours as well as the National Arts Centre, Buddies In Bad Times Theatre, CAHOOTS, Why Not Theatre, Volcano Theatre, Nightswimming Theatre, Jumblies Theatre, Native Earth Performing Arts, Nova Dance and b current. Aria is currently the Metcalf Artistic Director Intern at Soulpepper Theatre Company.

Photo credit: Tyler J Sloane

Grace Wells-Smith

Producer

Grace Wells-Smith is a journalist living in Toronto. Currently, she’s the managing editor of The Dance Current magazine and has been published by CBCToronto StarSaltwire Network and Intermission. In 2020, she produced the podcast “Why, Tho?” with author Alicia Elliott. Wells-Smith holds a master of journalism from X University and a BFA in dance performance and choreography from York University. She has also completed an internship with the CBC’s investigative unit in Toronto.

gracewellssmith.com

Photo credit: Jonathan Elliott

Dance – it’s something you do in your kitchen, on the dance floor or something you show off to your friends, right?! But what if we told you that dance influences the world and how we fundamentally live our lives. Hosted by Mingjia Chen and Britta B. over 6 episodes, The ‘D’ Word Podcast speaks with non-dancers and how dance has completely transformed their lives in ways you would never guess. The ‘D’ Word is crafted to expose the ways in which the world is affected by dance and movement, in order to highlight how fundamental it is in our lives.

Episodes
The Team

Britta B.
Host

Britta B. is a Toronto-based spoken word poet, teaching artist, emcee and voice actor.  Most recently, Britta was recognized as a 2020 Finalist for the Toronto Arts Foundation Emerging Artist Award. 

She is an alumna of the Banff Centre for Arts and Creativity Spoken Word Residency and a 2018 Toronto Arts Council Leaders Lab Fellow.  Her works have featured in print, in sound and onstage in notable spheres such as CBC Arts: Poetic License, LitFest Bergen, TEDx, college and university campuses, as well as various poetry and art festivals across North America. 

Currently, Britta is a Creative Writing MFA candidate at University of Guelph.

Visit her at www.brittab.com
Twitter/IG: @missbrittab

Photo Credit: Gilad Cohen, IG: @mrgiladcohen

Mingjia Chen
Host

beijing-birthed, toronto-dwelling vocalist-composer mingjia (MING-jee-ya) (she/her) writes music that’s equal parts fantastical & relatable, & performs it with courage & honesty. aside from making mischief with her chamber ensemble tortoise orchestra, she has performed with & written music for grammy-award-winning artists roomful of teeth and andrew yee, matt mitchell, james fernando, the science of what ?, david occhipinti, juliet palmer, christine duncan, GREX, pleasure craft, pomes, emily steinwall, & more. she has performed at various venues and festivals across canada, china & the US, & has produced 4 releases as a band leader. her EP feel seen, is described by the wholenote as “beautiful, mature and exceptionally coherent”. i care if you listen describes mingjia as “(having) strong command of timbral combinations” and “one to watch”. she enjoys drawing, dancing & watching the nickelodeon smash hit series avatar: the last airbender. since quarantine began mingjia has been taking lots of socially distanced walks & learning to play the guitar.

Photo Credits: Meg Moon, IG: @meg_moon

Grace Wells-Smith
Producer

Grace Wells-Smith is a journalist living in Toronto. Currently, she’s the managing editor of The Dance Current magazine and has been published by CBC, Toronto Star, Saltwire Network and Intermission. In 2020, she produced the podcast “Why, Tho?” with author Alicia Elliott. Wells-Smith holds a master of journalism from X University and a BFA in dance performance and choreography from York University. She has also completed an internship with the CBC’s investigative unit in Toronto. 

gracewellssmith.com

Photo Credit: Jonathan Elliott

The ‘D’ Word Podcast is part of the 2021 Arts Encounters programming, which includes off-stage ways of connecting with dance, artists, and community. Arts Encounters is produced by Sam Hale.

Hosted by Aria Evans, the artistic director of Political Movement, Season 2 of The ‘D’ Word is all about activism. We are jumping into the work of three dance artists who through performance, choreography and production, are driving social justice. Through conversations about representation, caregiving and reclamation, we spotlight the issues that these artists care about to answer the question: How is our sector leading social change? Featured on the show is Ravyn Wngz, co-founder of ILL NANA/DiverseCity Dance Company and co-founder of Black Lives Matter Canada; Susie Burpee, a contemporary dance artist and mother; and Ruthe Ordare, a founding member of the all-Indigenous burlesque troupe, Virago Nation.

Episodes
The Team

Aria Evans
Host

Aria Evans (they/she) is an award winning, queer Toronto-based interdisciplinary artist working in dance, theatre and film. Aria is a certified Intimacy Coordinator and draws on their experiences of being multiracial (Afro-Indigenous, settler) to capture meaningful social and cultural themes through their interactive art. Collaboration is the departure point for the work that Aria creates with their company Political Movement. Aria was co-Artistic Director of hub14 from 2013-2018 and the Toronto, Ontario and Canada Council for the arts have supported Aria’s endeavours as well as the National Arts Centre, Buddies In Bad Times Theatre, CAHOOTS, Why Not Theatre, Volcano Theatre, Nightswimming Theatre, Jumblies Theatre, Native Earth Performing Arts, Nova Dance and b current. Aria is currently the Metcalf Artistic Director Intern at Soulpepper Theatre Company.

Photo credit: Tyler J Sloane

Grace Wells-Smith
Producer

Grace Wells-Smith is a journalist living in Toronto. Currently, she’s the managing editor of The Dance Current magazine and has been published by CBC, Toronto Star, Saltwire Network and Intermission. In 2020, she produced the podcast “Why, Tho?” with author Alicia Elliott. Wells-Smith holds a master of journalism from X University and a BFA in dance performance and choreography from York University. She has also completed an internship with the CBC’s investigative unit in Toronto. 

gracewellssmith.com

Photo Credit: Jonathan Elliott

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