Following a one-week residency in the CCOV studio, Victoria May will present an online informal showcase of her piece Kiwaapamitinaawaaw on Friday, August 14, at 6PM.
Contemporary Native Art Biennial (BACA), 5th edition
Kahwatsiretátie : Teionkwariwaienna Tekariwaiennawahkòntie
Curated by David Garneau (Métis), with the assistance of rudi aker (Wolastoqiyik) and Faye Mullen (Anishinaabe)
‘By getting to know even tiny parts of these languages, I got to know my ancestors and my ancestors introduced me to myself. All I needed to do was to be quiet enough to listen, and it was feely given’. – Michif cousin Graham Andrews – testifying in Canada’s House of Commons.
Kiwaapamitinaawaaw is both a continuation of my choreographic work and a departure, as it embodies a deeply personal process of belonging and becoming. I am learning Michif, my Nan Irene and my Mother Roberta were Michif, as are my Daughter Stella, and I.
I struggle, the words fall from my head through my body, like a waterfall and have a hard time locking them into my memory. As I stumble and forget, I choose to embody the words of Michif through the familiar world of dance I already know. My landscape is my body, my language is dance. Michif is connected to land, it is both my point of orientation and the birthplace of who I am and from where I emerged.
After 30 years of interpreting the visions of other dance makers, their dreams are imprinted on my body, my memory and spirit. I acknowledge these transformative processes I experienced through each and every work I danced, every step is still embedded in me. These steps are my markers, and though I have transformed them into a hybrid of my own dance language, this is influenced by those that are etched into me.
Embodying is a way to connect, to help me remember, to transmit this information and to orient myself in the process of reclaiming this one part of my culture that was lost. This work is about that struggle, with a hybrid performance of video, text, dance and music woven together to give a picture of this process I am in.
Kiwaapamitinaawaaw is a work for those that came before me, for my ancestors and for those that will follow.
Victoria May is a dancer, choreographer and teacher that has danced professionally in Canada and Europe since 1993 and has been based in Montreal since 2007. She received her pre-professional dance training at the School of Dance in Ottawa and graduated with distinction from the Royal Winnipeg Ballet’s Professional Division in 1994. She danced for the Royal Winnipeg Ballet and went on to dance in Europe, primarily Scandinavia for 12 years with Goteborg’s Danse Kompagni, (Sweden), Danish Dance Theatre (Denmark), Living Creatures/Camilla Stage (DK), Flying Pig Productions (DK). A freelance dancer since 2007 in Montreal she has danced for choreographers Louise Bédard, Dominique Porte, Thea Patterson, Peter Trosztmer, Danse-Cité and recently for Barbara Diabo.
She has taught at renown institutions such The Royal Danish Ballet School (DK), The Royal Danish Opera Academy (DK), Danish Dance Theatre (DK), Dansens Hus (DK), Ballet Divertimento (QC), Quinte Ballet School of Canada, Belleville (ON), Skånes Dance Theatre (SE), Oure College of Sports (DK). In addition, Victoria is a certified comprehensive Pilates instructor.
Victoria’s has received numerous grants and awards and residencies in conjunction with her choreographic work. Her work has been shown in Montreal, Place des Arts Cinquième Salle: Or (2015), This is Nothing New (2016), Absorbed in Silence (2017) for 6 dancers, 8 wishbones (2018). In addition, she has presented work at Dansescenen in Denmark, choreographed for the Royal Danish Opera Academy and collaborated on a multi-disciplinary performance Sposin (2010).
Victoria is a citizen of the Manitoba Metis Federation / Metis National council and her community ties are in Prince Albert, Saskatchewan. Currently she is working toward a master’s degree in the Individualized program Concordia University in Montreal.
Virtual gatherings, workshops, teachings, circles, parties + panels coming from Indigenous community members to hold space with our NDN kin across Nations, Lands + Waters. In an effort to locate + contribute to nodes in our interconnected web of relations during these times of social-distancing.
This series of gatherings centers and nourishes place-keeping of our Black, Brown, 2Spirited, trans, non-binary + indigiqueer community members and upholds harm reductive protocols that provides a sense of safety that is ever-evolving. This programming is held with Indigenous youth, 2Spirit indigiqueer community as well as families both blood + chosen to stay connected with our cultures, communities and creativity.
In each event posting, we will clarify who this event is open to – most of the time these gatherings are open exclusively to Indigenous + Black-Indigenous community members.
** If ever you are questioning if an event is for you, please feel comfortable connecting with us to ask. Please feel to come as you are. Do not hesitate to write to us if you have comments and / or suggestions.
Web of Virtual Kin is a collaborative weaving of intentions and community relationships, organized by SS2S :: StrongSpirit2Sircle, Land as Our Teacher (Concordia+) and nistamîkwan. SS2S wishes to extend gratitude to ASRC + Centre Clark + ACC-CCA for their generous support as well as CRE + Hand & Hands for their contributions during these times to the community. Web of Virtual Kin receives generous + generative funding support from LAOT and BACA 2020 Kahwatsiretátie : Teionkwariwaienna Tekariwaiennawahkòntie.