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Ayla Modeste (edmonton)

Oct 23 - 7:30pm
cSPACE King Edward

Three choreographies by up and coming female indigenous artists.



Whirling Worlds: Story Dances
Jessica mcmann (calgary)

hoop dance shares stories and the viewers enter into alternate worlds within their own imagination. This contemporary hoop dance was premiered at the Shadbolt for the Arts on National Indigenous Peoples Day. This is a celebration of the strength and persistence of Indigenous women.


Jessica McMann is from Cowessess First Nation in Saskatchewan. She was adopted in the 80’s and raised in Calgary. She recently graduated from Simon Fraser University with a Master of Fine Art. Her research was around methods of Indigenous creation in dance and music. She is a traditional powwow dancer, hoop dancer, and classical musician. She has had the opportunity to present work across Canada and northern Europe. She is currently working on her first classical music CD to be released in 2020.

Photo Credit: Yvonne Chew


Gidaaashi: THE Wind that takes us (Excerpt)
olivia c. davies (vancouver)

Creating new ceremonies based on the traces mother nature makes, a woman is carried by the wind and grounded by the earth beneath her feet. An excerpt from the full-length work, Gidaashi, by Olivia C. Davies and Melissa Frost.

This new work in development from O.Dela Arts asks audiences to witness Indigenous women’s stories of displacement as an effect of colonization. Created by Olivia C. Davies (Anishinaabe) and Melissa Frost (Vuntut Gwichin), the interdisciplinary work combines spoken word, soundscape, and dance to speak about the reality of being stripped of cultural identity and the reassertion of language, protocol and ceremony.

ABOUT Olivia c. Davies

Olivia C. Davies is a Contemporary dance artist, choreographer, and community-arts facilitator of mixed Euro-Anishinaabe heritage based in Vancouver, BC. Her practice has intrinsic ties to politics and justice in the creation of works that explore the emotional and political relationships between people and places. Her first full-length work “Crow’s Nest and Other Places She’s Gone” (2017) blends Contemporary dance, theatre, and street culture through an Indigenous lens. She is the founding Artistic Director of O.Dela Arts, Crow’s Nest Collective, and the Matriarchs Uprising Festival.


Choreographer: Olivia C. Davies
Performers: Olivia C. Davies
Music: Soundscape design by Olivia Davies with music samples from Brescia Reid, Derek Lyndon, and Michael Red, with audio clips of Melissa Frost and Olivia Davies.
Poet: Melissa Matheson-Frost
Artistic Mentor: Raina Von Waldenburg

Photo Credit: Chris Randle


no limits

No limits traces the path of a timeless womxn who is discovering a world beyond societal constructs. She learns that in order to find freedom, the truth must be reframed. She strips away foreign identities while painting over her scars until she creates a unique erotic language. 


Ayla fuses the electricity of her mysterious body and her rebellious nature. She uses contemporary, burlesque and self taught expression to dive deep into her sensuality. Through her dancing, she journey's through rivers of molten lava and unforeseen dreams.


Choreographer: Ayla Modeste ( Shir Modesty )
Performers: Ayla Modeste (shir modesty) and Katherine bessette (Kahtja) 
Sound Design: Nicky Dubz 
Acknowledgements: cover by  Sevdaliza - mad women cover