Photo: Alvin Collantes
Natasha Powell is part of the 2018-19 cohort of the Ontario-Quebec project. Inspired by the success of Jouer dehors, this program, which aim is to develop dance production skills for artists who identify with Indigenous or racialized communities, is an initiative launched by the CanDance Presenting Network, La danse sur les routes du Québec and Ontario Presents.
“I’ve been a professional dance artist for about 15 years. Street dance had been at the forefront for a number of years, but I’ve trained in a number of different dance styles. While I was living and working in Vancouver in 2007, I met Moncell Durden aka iLL Kozby from the MOP TOP Crew. He came to teach dance classes in hip hop and house, and previewed a documentary he produced and directed entitled Everything Remains Raw — a documentary that highlights the evolution and similarities of socials dances coming from black and latin communities in the United States. I’ve always been interested the history associated with black social dances so the film resonated and sat with me for quite some time.
Fast forward to 2011 during a late night rehearsal, I tore the meniscus in my left knee. While I was frustrated and sad at that time, it was really my body telling me that I needed a break, which gave me time to re-evaluate what was important to me as a dance artist.
Hello! I’m Nova Bhattacharya. My parents came to Canada from West Bengal, India in the late 60’s and first settled on Mi’kma’Ki in eastern Canada. When I was born, they named me Nova to honour Nova Scotia and their dreams for a new life.
Growing up in an immigrant culture had a huge impact on my outlook on life and my approach to my art. I was constantly witness to people’s curiosity about differences and celebration of commonalities. In dance I’ve always been fascinated by differences, different physiques mastering the same movement, different personalities expressing similar emotions. This led to many collaborations with artists whose training and techniques were vastly different from my bharatnatyam background.
Aria Evans is part of the 2018-19 cohort of the Quebec-Ontario project. This pilot project offers assistance to artists who identify with Indigenous or racialized communities.
“My name is Aria Evans, currently based in Toronto, I grew up on Vancouver Island and have East Coast roots. I am a multidisciplinary dance artist and film maker.
I started making work because I couldn’t fully relate to the stories that were being placed on me and I didn’t see myself represented in the work I was going to see. I wanted to weave my experiences as a person of mixed race (Mi’kmaq, African, settler heritage) into the fabric of our culture. With the ultimate goal of finding a place of common ground, I create collective stories with people of different cultural backgrounds.
I’m currently developing my first full-length work — In The Abyss
This pilot project offers assistance to artists who identify with Indigenous or racialized communities. Its aim is to develop dance production skills. Inspired by the success of Jouer dehors, this program is an initiative launched by the CanDance Presenting Network, La danse sur les routes du Québec and Ontario Presents. This project is made possible thanks to the Québec-Ontario cultural exchange program and the Conseil des arts de Montréal.
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