Olivia C. Davies is a Vancouver-based performer, choreographer and community-arts facilitator of Anishinaabe, French-Canadian and Welsh heritage. Her practice has intrinsic ties to feminist politics and social justice. Davies’ works often explore the emotional and political relationships between people and places. Her work is currently based on the ancestral and unceded Indigenous territories of the ʷməθkʷəy̓əm (Musqueam), sḵwx̱wú7mesh (Squamish), and sel̓íl̓witulh (Tsleil-Waututh) First Nations
After training at York University, Davies gained professional experience as a compelling improviser in Toronto’s live music and cabaret scene. She pursued commissions to choreograph for gala presentations, fashion shows, festival stages, burlesque revues and music videos. Upon moving to Vancouver in 2011, Davies apprenticed with Body Narratives Collective, Raven Spirit Dance and Starrwind Dance Projects. She is a founding member of the MataDanze Collective (2005), Circadia Indigena Aboriginal Arts Collective (2016), and Crow’s Nest Collective (2016). Davies is current artist in residence at The Dance Centre for the 2018-2019 season. She recently curated Vancouver’s first annual CoexisDance Western Edition with dancers and musicians from the city’s vibrant live improv community.
Davies’ choreography transmits narrative. She has collaborated with Canadian spoken word artists Julie Peters (I Want, 2018) and Melissa Frost (Gidaashi, 2019) and with award-winning author Carmen Aguirre to adapt the short story Open Fire (2015). Davies combined forces with celebrated Coast Salish storyteller Rosemary Georgeson to create Crow’s Nest and Other Places She’s Gone (2017) exploring the shifting landscapes of refuge and dispossession experienced by Indigenous women. Directions (2018) was a site-specific activation of a residential property in East Vancouver that subverted the traditional view of audience/performer and was inspired by elements of the architectural design evident and the unseen forces of the natural world.
Davies’ community-engagement practice includes facilitation of Home: Our Way dance and story weaving workshops, Seniors Dance and collective creation labs. Davies facilitates spaces for movers to find their unique expression of personal legacy. Her work has been presented across Canada in Ontario, Quebec and British Columbia since 2004.