Homelands is a multimedia performance created by Kaha:wi Dance Theatre. Braiding earthy and cinematic media, sound design and performance, Homelands places Yethi’nihstenha (many womxn) within the homelands and waters of Kahnyen’kehàka territory / enhsenonhstate’ of upper state New York and around Ohswé:ken (Six Nations of the Grand River). Onkwehón:we (people of the way of forever) have always been and will continue to be tied to our lands and water and our kinship connections on A’nowarà:ke (Turtle Island).
The performance is an immersive multimedia concert featuring an interplay between video projection, live dance and music.
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About Kaha:wi Dance Theatre
Founded in 2005 by Artistic Director Santee Smith, Kaha:wi Dance Theatre (KDT), which means “to carry” in the Kanienʼkéha (Mohawk) language, is the traditional name for Smith’s family. As an artist-run sole proprietorship since 2001, KDT officially incorporated into a not-for-profit organization in June 2005 and received charitable status in 2006. The company’s home community is Six Nations of the Grand River, and the home city is Toronto, Ontario.
KDT supports research, creation, production and dissemination of the work of founding Artistic Director Santee Smith along with artistic collaborators. Smith’s programming fosters opportunities for creativity, investment in artistic process and dialogue, exploration of Indigenous methodologies and collaboration and inter-cultural exchange with artists and the community. KDT actively promotes Indigenous voices and philosophical frameworks through resurgent processes and practice.
KDT carves space for Indigenous audiences to witness themselves, their stories, body and voice in the performing arts. For non-Indigenous audiences, KDT’s performances offer counter-narratives and insight into culture not represented in the mainstream narratives. Its programming cultivates and engages with artists and the community through artist talks, community workshops and dance training such as their annual Creation Lab.
About Santee Smith, Artistic Director
Tekaronhiáhkhwa Santee Smith
Founding and Managing Artistic Director of Kaha:wi Dance Theatre, Chancellor at McMaster University, artist and guest speaker.
Tekaronhiáhkhwa Santee Smith iónkia’ts, konkwehón:we, Kahnyen’kehàka. Wakeniáhton tánon Ohawé:ken nitewaké:nòn. Ka’nisténhsera í:ken tánon tekeninniáhkhwa. Tekhenonhwerá:tons Tsi nahò:ten ká:ien ne ohwentsia’kéhshin tánon karonhia’kéhson.
Santee Smith is an internationally recognized leader in the performing arts, a multidisciplinary artist and producer from the Kahnyen’kehàka (Mohawk) Nation and Turtle Clan from Six Nations of the Grand River, Ontario. She is one of Canada’s leading dance artists and holds McMaster University degrees in Physical Education and Psychology and a Master of Arts in Dance from York University.
She completed six years of training at Canada’s National Ballet School, undertook theatre training and earned her degrees. Returning to dance as a choreographer in 1996, Smith created and produced her first dance work, Kaha:wi, a family creation story. In 2005, she founded the Kaha:wi Dance Theatre with a vision to explore the intersection of Indigenous and new performance, international Indigenous collaborations and training. Through her research and creative practice, she is a strong voice for Indigenous dramaturgy, process and advocacy.
Smith’s artistic work speaks about identity and Indigenous narratives. Her work includes 14 productions and numerous short works which tour nationally and internationally. Her commissions include choreography for the National Arts Centre Orchestra, Canadian Opera Company and the North American Indigenous Games, among others.
Smith is a sought-after teacher and speaker on the performing arts and Indigenous performance and culture, most recently at Stratford Festival. Her life and works have been the topic of TV series and films aired on CBC, NFB, APTN and PBS (US), and most recently on CBC Arts – The Move II. She is the 19th Chancellor of McMaster University.
About Katie Couchie
Katie Couchie is an Oji-Cree dance artist from Nipissing First Nation, now based in Tkaronto. With an honours graduate degree in the dance performance program at George Brown College, Couchie has worked with several renowned choreographers, theatres and dance companies, including Susie Burpee, Bengt Jörgen, the Kaha:wi Dance Theatre and Red Sky Performance. SHe has danced in the Toronto Fringe Festival, participated in a digital residency at the Banff Centre for the Arts and recently finished a residency at the Toronto Dance Theatre. Couchie will join Barbra Diabo’s production of Sky Dancers on its 2023 tour and continue to work with Kaha:wi Dance Theatre in Homelands.
About Feryn Karahkwiiohstha King
Feryn Karahkwiiohstha King is a Kahnien’keháka artist from Akwesane, Quebec. Her name in Kaníekeha means “she makes the moon beautiful” or “bright moon” – a name given to her on the day of the full moon. King graduated from the Centennial College dance performance program and is a dancer, performer, teacher and acrobat performer in Aerial Lyra, allowing her to tour across Canada and the United States, including a hoop dancing role in the European tour of Cirque Du Soleil’s, Totem. She practises traditional, modern, contemporary and expressive movements and teaches hoop dance in traditional and fusion styles.
Cast / Crew
Creator, Director, Designer, Performer Santee Smith Performers Feryn King, Katie Couchie Composer, Singer, Songwriter Pura Fé Composer, Mix, Master Adrian Dion Harjo Recorded Singers Biine Kwe Elijah, Jennifer Kreisberg, Santee Smith Media Projection Design Louise Potiki Bryant, Shane Powless Animation AVA Animation and Visual Arts Inc., Emma Lopez, Pedro Narvaez Cinematography Shane Powless, Katsitsionni Fox, Jaiden Mitchell, Ian Maracle, Ami Kokui Tamakloe, Santee Smith Technical Director, Lighting Designer Sebastian Marziali Technical Consultant James Kendal Stage Manager Senjuti Sarker Video Performers Julianne Blackbird, Feryn King, Santee Smith Video Costume Designers Bruno Henry, Elaine Redding, Adriana Fulop Live Performance Costume Designers Elaine Redding, Santee Smith Pottery Steve T. Smith, Santee Smith Video Tech Support Thru The Red Door, McMaster University – L.R. Wilson Black Box
Dates & Times
12:30pm – School Groups Performance - Gr. 7+
7:30pm – Sold Out
There will be no intermission for any of the performances.
There will be a Q&A session following the April 15 performance.