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.
The world premiere is in two days. Kramer listens carefully as her collaborators troubleshoot. Like her work, she is focussed, intuitive, and highly perceptive. A seasoned choreographer with five full-length works, a slew of residencies, and a company under her name, Kramer gracefully brings the discussion to a resolution. There is still more work to be done.