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Kaha:wi Dance Theatre launch International Indigenous Performing Arts Festival July 25-27

Kaha:wi Dance Theatre launch International Indigenous Performing Arts Festival July 25-27

Kaha:wi Dance Theatre launch International Indigenous Performing Arts Festival
Living Ritual features performances, workshops and panels July 25-27th

Toronto, ON (June 26, 2017) – Kaha:wi Dance Theatre announces details of the Living Ritual – International Indigenous Performing Arts Festival – taking place in Tkaronto (Toronto) at Harbourfront Centre’s Fleck Dance Theatre from July 25-27.

Produced by Kaha:wi Dance Theatre, one of Canada’s leading performing arts companies, the festival creates space for Indigenous artists, arts and culture enthusiasts, and both local and global delegates from across Turtle Island (Canada, United States), Aotearoa (New Zealand) and Australia to gather, network, perform, celebrate, promote and dialogue about Indigenous artistic practice. The Living Ritual festival’s vision is Indigenous-led by Dora Mavor Moore Award and recent REVEAL Indigenous Arts Award-winning Artistic Director Santee Smith, and Artistic Producer, Curator and Festival Executive Producer Cynthia Lickers-Sage.

“Living Ritual carves out space for artists and audiences to be creative, share and connect, passing on knowledge in the most exciting and transformative ways” says Smith, who earlier this year took her first-ever trip to Nunavut, while touring her critically-acclaimed NeoIndigenA performance piece (that appears in the Living Ritual Festival) across the United States, northwestern Canada and New Zealand. “It’s all about placing artists at the centre, from which springs forth conversation, understanding and connection. This festival also speaks to the power of place (Tkaronto) and kinship relations to the land and people. If someone wants to understand more about the Indigenous experience, Living Ritual offers some insight.”

Privileging Indigenous performance, the festival presents a wide array of works through powerful contemporary and experimental works, crafted from Indigenous methodology, voice and body, uniting past, present and future dance and theatre practices.

The festival opens up with an Onkwehon:we Edge of the Woods Welcome Ceremony as part of its daytime programming which includes: Provocation Addresses, panel discussions, Embodied Sharing (Master Classes) and Performative Lectures. The program then shifts in the evening to include one night only public performances and premieres from internationally renowned artists and companies who offer a distinct perspective on Indigenous performance including: the pioneering Spiderwoman Theater (New York, USA) presenting Aanmitaagzi‘s “Material Witness”, Qaggiavuut Nunavut Performing Arts’ (Nunavut, Canada) new work “Kiviuq Returns” (which recently world premiered at the National Arts Centre’s Canada Scene – Living Ritual will be the lone Toronto stop of their tour); the world premiere of “[MIS]CONCEIVE” by Thomas E.S. Kelly (Queensland & New South Wales, Australia); the critically-acclaimed “We Wait in the Darkness” by Rosy Simas Dance (Minnesota, USA) and Kaha:wi Dance Theatre’s (Toronto, Canada) own “NeoIndigenA” by Artistic Director Santee Smith among others.

At a time when many colonizing structures are openly being called into question, Living Ritual also offers an honest public forum to dialogue on decolonial processes and push button issues, discuss global issues in Indigenous performance, and engage in professional development, while promoting artistic cross-pollination and inter-cultural collaborations.

Living Ritual takes place on the ancestral territory of the Onkwehon:we, Anishaanbe and Huron-Wendat and acknowledges the spirits of the ancestors, animals and the land in the Dish with One Spoon Treaty lands and open a space to honour our interconnectivity and interdependence.

Living Ritual – International Indigenous Performing Arts Festival

July 25-27, 2017

Fleck Dance Theatre
207 Queens Quay West, Third Floor
Toronto, Ontario, Canada

Full Festival Pass – $100
Day Pass – $50
Master Class – $10/Class
Phone: 416-923-7373

Evening Performance Only:
July 25, 26, 27 @ 8:00PM – $20/Ticket
Harbourfront Centre Box Office: 416-973-4000

Tickets can also be purchased online at:

For all media inquiries contact Dalton Higgins: / 647 880 2355 / 647 782 8794

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.

About Harbourfront Centre:

Harbourfront Centre, on Toronto’s waterfront, is an innovative not-for-profit cultural organization that creates events and activities of excellence that enliven, educate and entertain a diverse public.

Living Ritual gratefully acknowledges the sponsorship of the Ontario 150, Harbourfront Centre, Ontario Arts Council, Toronto Arts Council, KM Hunter Foundation, and New Chapter Fund by the Canada Council for the Arts. Living Ritual is one of 200 exceptional projects funded through the Canada Council for the Arts’ New Chapter initiative. With this $35M initiative, the Council supports the creation and sharing of the arts in communities across Canada.

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