A force on the Canadian scene, Kaeja d’Dance celebrates twenty years this month. Here, images of co-artistic directors Karen and Allen Kaeja provide a view into the past, while excerpts from our online interview reveal glimpses of new work and future directions.
“Through multiple historical moments, we notice First Nations dancing that both destabilizes and supports power structures constructed on rigid foundations of ‘race’, ‘whiteness’ and ‘indigenousness’ as Canada continuously re-imagines diversity and the place of indigenous peoples inside it.” Dance researchers Lisa Doolittle and Anne Flynn share their research into the relationship between First Nations dance and Canadian cultural policy. Excerpts from interviews with Blackfoot dancers offer first-person perspectives on the experience and significance of dancing.
Most dance artists and presenters must negotiate the tension between creating work that meets their artistic goals, that is accessible to their community and that provides the fiscal support required to live as an artist and to run a company. Emma Doran speaks with artists, organizations and presenters across the country to discuss who they envision their audience, how they are seeking to reach those individuals and what constitutes meaningful engagement with them.