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Re-Quickening’s Toronto World Premiere Highlights Indigenous Women’s Resurgence (April 28 – May 1 / 2016)

Re-Quickening’s Toronto World Premiere Highlights Indigenous Women’s Resurgence (April 28 – May 1 / 2016)

Toronto, ON (April 6th, 2016) – Kaha:wi Dance Theatre (KDT), one of Canada’s leading contemporary dance companies, led by multi award-winning Artistic Director Santee Smith, launches one of the most bold, timely, sonically and visually arresting inter-disciplinary performances of the 2016 dance season.

Premiering as part of Harbourfront Centre’s 2015/16 Next Steps dance series April 28-May 1st, Re-Quickening takes the prevailing discourse surrounding international Indigenous women’s issues and incites a tough topical dialogue through performance, music and art, fueled by re-constructing feminine power. Does reconciliation mean the same thing to everyone, including those living on Turtle Island? Re-Quickening goes there, while facilitating an artistic re-awakening of her-story. “By piecing together fragments and shards of Indigenous knowing, this production acts as a reaffirmation of life and healing from issues of violence against women and the Earth,” says Santee. She also makes it clear that the driving force behind Re-Quickening are Indigenous voices, “It’s about our experience and it’s our truth.”

Devised from Indigenous methodology, Re-Quickening boldly goes where few dare, and is led by a powerhouse team of international Indigenous women collaborators: Santee Smith (Kenien’keha:ka/Mohawk Nation), Monique Mojica (Guna, Rappahannock Nations), Marina Acevedo (Zapotec descent), Frances Rings (Kokatha Tribe descent), Louise Potiki-Bryant (Kāi Tahu, Kāti Mamoe and Waitaha descent, Māori), Bianca Hyslop (Te Arawa, Ngati Whakaue, Maori), Nancy Wijohn (Te Rarawa, Tuhoe/Ngati Paoa, Ngati Tahu, Māori), Cris Derkson (Cree descent). Guided by the words of artist-activist leaders Leanne Simpson (Michi Saagiig Nishnaabeg ancestry from Alderville First Nation), Christi Belcourt (Métis), Alva Jamieson (Onkwehon:we), Leigh Smith ((Kenien’keha:ka/Mohawk Nation) and elder Maria Campbell (Métis).

Inspired by narratives encoded in Indigenous symbol and iconography, and traversing the inner scared landscape of Backwards woman, Changing woman, Skywoman, Claywoman and Earth Mother, Re-Quickening deals with stripping away the layers of colonial imposition on women’s body-mind-spirit and the re-affirmation of life, of voice, of body sovereignty. Re-Quickening aims to open up pathways for re-storing internal fractures and to re-ignite feminine position and presence – Mana Wahine, Konkwehon:we.

Known for award nominated scores KDT’s Re-Quickening will not disappoint with an original score by collaborators: Cris Derksen (2016 JUNO Awards nominee), Humberto Alvarez (MX), David R. Maracle (Kenien’kehá:ka/Mohawk Nation), Jesse Zubot featuring vocals by Polaris Prize award winner Tanya Tagaq (Inuk), Eugene Draw and Santee Smith. Re-Quickening design includes: Lighting, Arun Srinivasan; Video, Louise Potiki Bryant; Set, Andy Moro (Mushkegowuk Cree descent); Costumes, Adriana Fulop; Props, Adrian Harjo and Steve Smith (Kenien’kehá:ka/Mohawk Nation)

Re-Quickening is a spiritual resurgence and performance that touches on themes of dislocation from land, body and voice; the history of violence against Indigenous women since contact; residential schools; and the forced assimilation processes of the Indian Act towards reclaiming women’s blood ties, rites, umbilical connection to land and healing.


It’s time to re-awaken the giant within.

Re-Quickening runs April 28, 29, 30, and May 1st at Harbourfront Centre’s Fleck Dance Theatre (207 Queens Quay West, Toronto). All performances begin at 8:00 p.m. with the exception of the Sunday, May 1st matinee at 3 p.m. There will be a post-performance circle for audience members to exchange and engage on themes in response to the content of the performance. KDT will host Q&A’s after every performance with special invited speakers and performers.

Tickets for Re-Quickening are $38 and can be purchased by calling Harbourfront Centre’s Box Office at 416-973-4000. Tickets can also be purchased online at:

About the company:

Kaha:wi Dance Theatre (pronounced Ga-HA-Wee) is one of Canada’s leading contemporary dance companies that explores the intersection of Indigenous and new dance performance. Kaha:wi Dance Theatre is renowned for artistry, creative excellence and collaboration. / #ReQuickening

Kaha:wi Dance Theatre gratefully acknowledges the ongoing support of the Canada Council for the Arts, Ontario Arts Council, Toronto Arts Council, Miziwe Biik Employment and Training, and Grand River Employment and Training. Thanks also to Re-Quickening production sponsors Creative New Zealand and for creation residencies: Makeda Thomas – Dance & Performance Institute (Trinidad), Woodland Cultural Centre and Native Earth Performing Arts’ Weesageechak Begins to Dance 2014.

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MUSKRAT Magazine

MUSKRAT is an on-line Indigenous arts, culture magazine that honours the connection between humans and our traditional ecological knowledge by exhibiting original works and critical commentary. MUSKRAT embraces both rural and urban settings and uses media arts, the Internet, and wireless technology to investigate and disseminate traditional knowledges in ways that inspire their reclamation.

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