Zaagi’idiwin: Our Mothering Heart
O.Dela Arts (Vancouver)
Olivia C. Davies, Sophie Dow, Samantha Sutherland
Nozhem First Peoples Performance Space
(Room 101, Enwayaang Building, 1 Gzowski Way, Peterborough) Venue accessibility guide available here
Nov 3 & 4, 2023 @ 7:00 PM
Nov 4, 2023 @ 2:00PM
Run time is approx. 50 minutes
Co-Presented by Nozhem First Peoples Performance Space, O.Dela Arts and Public Energy Performing Arts
Tickets are sold on a sliding PWYC scale* from $5 to $25.
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*Sliding scale pricing is offered to make our tickets accessible and affordable for everyone. All tickets are general admission*
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Zaagi’idiwin: Our Mothering Heart weaves three womxn’s stories of love and loss, reflecting on the Mothers who carry us, the Mothers who raise us, and the Mother land and Mother tongue that nourish us and fill our hearts full of hope. Revealing matriarchal legacies coursing through blood memory and the living body. Seeds of connection travelling along the flow of time. Remembering the words and the entities they represent with each breath. Movements of the heart mark the passing of moments strung together in a spider’s web of shared experiences.
Journals of adoption, a solo created and performed by Sophie Dow, extends a choreographic exploration through two journals of origin: one text from Sophie’s birth mother’s experience of pregnancy and process of offering her up; the other text from Sophie’s own reflections, queries and rumination as an adopted child.
Performance & Choreography: Sophie Dow
Sound Design: Sophie Dow
Text: Sophie Dow & Caroline C.
Piano: Chris Zabriskie, Asher Fulero, Emmit Fenn
Costume & Set Design: Sophie Dow
Lighting Design: originally by Andie Lloyd – adapted for touring
Stage Manager: originally by Kayleigh Sandorimsky – adapted for touring
Mentors: Olivia C Davies
Special thanks to Caroline, Marielle, Ed, O.Dela Arts/Matriarchs Uprising & all of my ancestors
Slip away, a solo created and performed by Samantha Sutherland explores themes of loss and hope relating to the endangered state of the Ktunaxa Language. What happens when individuals are motivated by fear? What work needs to happen to develop a sense of hope for our future? This solo shares accounts of the current efforts toward preservation of the endangered language, and showcases dreams of how it may continue enlivened in the future.
Composition: Jeffrey Sutherland
Voice in audio: Sophie Pierre and Samantha Sutherland
Costume: Cindy Sutherland
Set Design: Samantha Sutherland and Olivia C. Davies<
Outside Eye: Olivia C. Davies
To rematriate is to return to the source. In response to the systems that hold society hostage to continual technological advancement and an ever-growing disconnection to reality, this solo seeks to articulate potential pathways to peace and presence that are grounded in Contemporary Indigenous feminism.
In Rematriate XX23, stars shimmer across a great expanse of darkness marking the first glimmer of life stirring. The universal form moves through her body, shaping the spaces in between, and settling in her softness. She welcomes the Earth to crawl up into her form as the waters rise around her. Gathering strength to carry on. Shape-shifting from this world to the next with each breath.
Choreography: Olivia C. Davies
Interpreter: Samantha Sutherland
Music: Paddy Free, Max Ulis
Journals of adoption
Olivia C. Davies:
Olivia C. Davies is a contemporary Indigenous artist who creates and collaborates across multiple platforms including choreography, creative writing, film, improvisation, and sound design. Davies’ body of work explores the emotional and political relationships between people and places, often investigating the body’s dynamic ability to transmit narrative, seeking to traverse boundaries and challenge social prejudice by conveying concepts and impressions that open different ways to experience the world.
Her work has been presented in B.C., Alberta, Ontario and Quebec since 2011. She is the Artistic Director of O.Dela Arts, the Matriarchs Uprising Festival, and is a founding member of the Crow’s Nest Collective (Vancouver), MataDanze Collective (Toronto) and Circadia Indigena Arts Collective (Ottawa). She honours her mixed Anishinaabe, French Canadian, Finnish and Welsh heritage in her work.
Treaty 1-born Sophie Dow is a multidisciplinary creative, inspired by dance, music, film, collaboration and Michif/Assiniboine + French/Ukrainian roots. An avid adventurer, Sophie exudes passions for busking, yoga and traveling on top of holding a degree in Dance Performance and Choreography from York University.
Highlights of Sophie’s Turtle Island touring journeys include choreographing and performing at Burning Man and opening ceremonies of BC’s Shambhala Music Festival, presenting a digital installation at imagineNATIVE Film & New Media Festival, and sharing workshops in many rural and urban school contexts throughout the mountains and prairies.
Sophie’s unique reservoir of experience has deeply impacted her personal creative process, namely inspired by working with some of the country’s wonderful dance innovators: Olivia C Davies, Santee Smith/Kaha:wi Dance Theatre, Chimera Dance Theatre, Kaeja d’Dance, adelheid’s re:research, Carol Anderson, Yvonne Chartrand, Beany John and Jeanette Kotowich.
As a creator, Sophie is consistently nurturing and evolving an inventive voice as a multi-faceted storyteller. Life-changing opportunities to choreograph with diverse ranges of movers continue exploding boundaries of her ongoing compositions and curiosities. Advocates and presenters of these ideas include: The National Arts Centre, PEC’s Flight Festival of Contemporary Dance, Raven Spirit Dance, Dance Victoria, Dance West Network, co. ERASGA, Scotiabank Dance Centre, Paprika Festival, Workman Arts, O.Dela Arts, Danceworks TO, WindDown Dances, Night/Shift (Citadel&Co), Buddies in Badtimes Theatre, Festival of Recorded Movement, Nightwood Theatre, Theatre Direct/Fixt Point Storytelling, Canada Council for the Arts, Ontario Arts Council, BC Arts Council, the National Ballet of Canada and grand varieties of festivals, stages and outdoor sites.
Sophie presently fulfills roles as: artistic associate of O.Dela Arts, Chimera Dance Theatre & V’ni Dansi/The Louis Riel Métis Dancers, residency coordinator at Dance West Network, fire spinner with Ember Arts Fire Society, musician with The Honeycomb Flyers, a licensed practitioner of Traditional Thai Massage, a trained facilitator & student of BreathWave, a freelance dancer/choreographer/sound designer and a puddle jumping trickster.
Samantha is a contemporary dance artist, choreographer, and teacher based in Tkaronto. Her ancestry is Ktunaxa and Scottish/British Settler. She grew up on Coast Salish Territories and graduated from the Arts Umbrella Dance Diploma Program in 2018. Samantha has presented her own solo works in the Matriarchs Uprising Festival by O.Dela Arts, Sharing the Stage with the National Ballet of Canada, Weesageechak Begins to Dance, Dance Made in Canada, at the National Arts Centre, and many more. She has worked as a dance artist in creations by Indigenous choreographers Jera Wolfe, and Alejandro Ronceria. She is currently an Artistic Associate with O.Dela Arts.
Samantha explores what aspects of her culture, history, and traditional knowledge can be pulled into her contemporary dance practice. She is inspired by the Ktunaxa Language and how the rhythm and story in the language can translate to movement.
Finding ways to ground themes from a more classical dance training with Indigenous values is what drives Samantha’s dance practice.
O.Dela Arts creates and performs Contemporary Indigenous performance and Community Arts experiences through dance, theatre, festival curation and storytelling. Founding Artistic Director, Olivia C. Davies, along with Artistic Associates Sophie Dow and Samantha Sutherland are grateful for the opportunity to share our dances with the Nozhem community.