From a media release:
MAI (Montréal, arts interculturels) presents
Choreographed by Daina Ashbee
Performed by Paige Culley and Areli Moran
Part of the MAI’s new Série Création bourgeonne
Friday, October 3 and Saturday, October 4, 2014
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With a disconcerting lucidity, Unrelated boils with feelings of emptiness, and erupts with violence suggesting the loss of culture, identity and community.
Over 1,200 Aboriginal women have gone missing or been murdered in Canada over the past 30 years
MONTREAL, September 2014 – Unrelated is a personal creation that expresses the struggle of Aboriginal women through a reconstruction of their identities. Choreographer Daina Ashbee communicates the cruelty and vulnerability these women are confronted with, while exploring cultural devastation, violence and self-destruction. Presented at the MAI (Montréal, arts interculturels) on October 3 and 4.
One of today’s burning issues is the disappearance of Aboriginal women in Canada. According to new police figures, over 1,200 native women and girls have disappeared or been murdered in Canada over the last three decades. The level of violence is striking. While they are only 4 per cent of the population, native women and girls represent 16 per cent of female murder victims and 12 per cent of the country’s missing women and girls. The recent ‘Am I Next’ online campaign was started by Holly Jarrett, a cousin of Loretta Saunders. Jarrett says she hopes those three chilling words will frighten the nation into action: www.cbc.ca/news/aboriginal/indigenous-women-ask-am-i-next-to-raise-awareness-about-missing-and-murdered-1.2757295.
Unrelated is a dark, intense and disturbing work about this heinous reality. With a disconcerting lucidity, the piece unveils the feeling of emptiness; the loss of Aboriginal language and rituals. Ashbee’s dance draws on both the contemporary and traditional- her creations are deliberately vulnerable and often sensual. A study of the subconscious in its corporeality, the choreographer deconstructs and transforms the frames of reference that conditioned her own self-image, incorporating repetition, resistance and falling.
For Ashbee, the art of dance brings her closer to her own body and to the awareness of her own thoughts and processes, “Articulating this awareness through choreography helps to uncover my connection to the environment, the earth and to my ancestors.” She continues, “In a society full of traps to confuse, numb and desensitize, my work uses and acknowledges the density and complexity of the human structure by exploring its innards, its thought processes, its energy and its capacity for life. Blood, water, organs, bones, energy and thought all figure in the creation. I project shapes from within.” Ashbee’s choreography is an investigation of the body in order to address the subconscious. She explains, “My work is a deepening of my own consciousness. My hope is to destroy frameworks that have warped my body and self-image as a way to repair and prepare for a new beginning.”
Choreographer/dancer Daina Ashbee began working on Unrelated in 2012; a compilation of movement and choreography manifested through the research of First Nations women’s issues in Canada. This research leads Ashbee to create a movement score which delves into the bodies of the performers and addresses sexuality and self-identity. Here, struggle and disconnection are common themes that can be seen physically in the performers’ bodies. Unrelated is stunningly interpreted by dancers Areli Moran and Paige Culley. Lighting design is by Timothy Rodrigues, dramaturgy by Su Feh Lee and Lara Kramer.
Unrelated will tour to four Mexican cities in 2015 after its world premiere at the MAI.
To learn more about Daina Ashbee and her projects: www.dainaashbee.com
New this season at the MAI is the Série Création bourgeonne. This latest component of their program presents works from emerging Montreal artists. These interdisciplinary creations offer extraordinary art within the reach of every budget.
Unrelated (2 shows only) October 3 and 4 at 8pm
Daina Ashbee at the MAI
3680 rue Jeanne-Mance
A discussion with dance critic Philip Szporer will follow Friday night’s performance.
Tickets: $18 regular, $15 group (10 or more)
October 3 special: two tickets for $25, available only up to 24 hours prior to the show
Reservations: (514) 982-3386 or online- http://m-a-i.qc.ca/en/index.php?id=418 (+ service charge) www.facebook.com/events/1504375353144692/
UNRELATED (Teaser) from Daina Ashbee on Vimeo.