World Indigenous Dance
What does it mean when Aboriginal Elders say, "We are the land"?
These workshops are aimed at exploring and investigating the relationship between place, land and our own landscapes. We will engage in creating small dances inspired by big questions. How does, or how could, this world view inform us as dance artists? Ultimately, what role does dance play within our individual, familial, communal, societal and global lives? Participants will be led through a series of improvisational and choreographic techniques that ask: What is my connection to this place (real or imagined)? What am I moved by in this place? Through dance we will explore the potential to be affected by, and in turn, imagine how we might positively affect the place in which we are.
Penny Couchie is a dancer, actor, teacher and choreographer of Ojibway and Mohawk ancestry from Nipissing First Nation, Ontario. She holds an Honors BA in Aboriginal Studies and Drama from the University of Toronto and is a graduate of The School of Toronto Dance Theatre. Penny has performed as a dancer and theatre artist in principal roles both nationally and internationally. She has guest taught at universities and colleges throughout Canada and the US, including the Centre for Indigenous Theatre, where she has been a faculty member since 1998. From 1998 to 2003 she participated in the Aboriginal Dance Project at the Banff Centre for the Arts as a student, choreographer and teacher. Her most recent choreography includes the premiere of newest full length dance theatre work, When Will You Rage? at the Capitol Centre, North Bay, Ontario, You Promised, I Lied, directed by Muriel Miguel for the Centre for Indigenous Theatre, Like An Old Tale for Jumblies Theatre, Toronto, Ontario, Outta The Woods, directed by Muriel Miguel for the Centre For Indigenous Theatre performed at Factory Theatre, Toronto Ontario, Manaabekwe, a co-choreography with Christine Friday O’Leary performed for the Temagami Gathering in Bear Island, Ontario, Red Romance, directed by Muriel Miguel for the Centre For Indigenous Theatre performed at Factory Theatre, Toronto Ontario and A Bridge of One Hair for Jumblies Theatre performed at the Harbourfront Centre. In 2001, she co-founded Earth in Motion World Indigenous Dance with Alejandro Ronceria, a dance collective committed to the creation of compelling and innovative new dance works, based in Toronto, Ontario. In 2007 she co-founded Aanmitaagzi, an Aboriginal professional multi-arts company specializing in community engaged arts based in her home of Nipissing First Nation, Ontario.