Ancestral Memories in Dancing Bodies project
In early May 2018, Ondinnok, in collaboration with Tangente, presented Constrained body, Dancing body, a major event offering a multi-faceted perspective on Indigenous dance in Quebec today. A few days later, the FJPP held its focus day event, Between Traces and Writing. We invited Catherine Joncas, co-founder of Ondinnok and the curator of Constrained body, Dancing body, to take part in a round table discussion titled La création et le corps/archives, during which she described the career paths of various Indigenous artists and stressed the importance of ancestral memories in their creative processes.
Building on the discussions and reflections that come out of these two events, the FJPP, in collaboration with Ondinnok, is embarking on a new project, open to dance artists from all backgrounds and cultures, focused on ancestral memories in dancing bodies.
Ancestral memories are part of the very fibre of our being: they are lodged in our bones, brain and organs. They suddenly emerge, surprise us and offer comfort, reminding us of an essential human connection that extends far back in time. During this global crisis, it is more urgent than ever that we pay attention to these memories and share their messages.
The project will be guided by the following questions: How do we call on ancestral memories? What role can they play in creation and performance? What are the meeting points between different people’s memories and experiences? How can we reflect and create together? What type of art and dance do we create at this historical juncture?
Proposed timeline (to be reviewed with participating artists):
Phase 1: April – June 2021: Exploration and brainstorming
Phase 2: July 2021 – June 2022: Creation and development
Phase 3: Fall 2022 – Presentation
For this project, we would like to bring together eight Indigenous and non-Indigenous artists who are interested in participating in paid exploratory workshops inspired by ancestral memories. Priority will be given to artists who are already exploring this theme in their work.
The meetings planned for Phase 1 in Montreal/Tio’tia:ke could result in the creation of a work, the publication of texts, the organization of a focus day event, or the development of an entirely different project, depending on what the group wants.
Interested in this project?
Send a short CV and cover letter to firstname.lastname@example.org by March 8, 2021.
We extend a welcoming hand to Indigenous, immigrant and racialized artists, and strongly encourage them to apply.
Founded in 1985 at the time of the creation of Américanité Award-winner Porteur des peines du monde at the Festival de théâtre des Amériques, Ondinnok is the first francophone Indigenous theatre company in Canada. Created from the urgent necessity for a true cultural rebuild and after more than thirty-five years of metamorphic creations, Ondinnok proposes ethics anchored in the values bequeathed by our ancestors and constitutes an example of artistic resistance of the highest standard. Our theatre has aimed to reclaim imagery, a land of dreams, to repatriate a memory in order to create a future. Ondinnok is the expression of an artistic resistance and is part of the great cultural reconstruction movement of the First Peoples of the Americas.