DanceWorks Presents Kaha:wi Dance Theatre

DanceWorks Presents Kaha:wi Dance TheatreDanceWorks proudly presents the highly acclaimed Kaha:wi Dance Theatre (KDT) in the Toronto premiere of Blood Tides, conceived and directed by KDT Artistic Director Santee Smith of Six Nations of the Grand River territory. Blood Tides delves into sacred space to retrieve women's ancient knowing and rites of passage. Blood Tides runs for 3 nights only - Thursday, February 14 through Saturday February 16 - at Harbourfront Centre's Fleck Dance Theatre.

Illuminated by elemental and ancestral forces, Blood Tides activates sacred alignments from cosmos to womb. Its imagery and energies span the wide range of what is woman: warrior, leader, mother, divine goddess, creator, huntress and thresholder of life and death. With an ensemble of four Indigenous women, Blood Tides acknowledges the magnificence of woman in all of her phases and ages.

Through the power of the feminine voice and body, Blood Tides opens a sacred space with an inter-generational, inter-cultural and interdisciplinary performance featuring song and dance of earthworld, underworld and universe for a rematriation to the house of humanity.

This visual and sonic feast is performed by Marina Acevedo (Mexico/Zapotec), Julianne Blackbird (Kahnyen'kehàka Nation /Mohawk Nation), Santee Smith (Kahnyen'kehàka Nation /Mohawk Nation), and Jahra 'Rager' Wasasala (Fijian/New Zealand), with dramaturgy by Monique Mojica (Guna and Rappahannock Nations).

The recorded musical score by Cris Derksen (mixed Cree Nation) features Pura Fé (Tuscarora and Taino Nations), Ngahuia Murphy (Ngati Manawa, Ngati Ruapani ki Waikaremoana, Tuhoe, Ngati Kahungunu, New Zealand), Semiah Smith (Kahnyen'kehàka Nation /Mohawk Nation), and others for an international Indigenous women's emotive landscape where Lightning Woman, Mother of Mothers, and Clay Woman come to tell their story, gather strength and activate power.

Blood Tides is the second production in Santee Smith/Kaha:wi Dance Theatre's triptych performance series: Re-Quickening (2016), Blood Tides (2018, St. Catharines' FirstON Performing Arts Centre premiere, co-presented by Celebration of Nations) and Skennen (slated for 2020), all created through Indigenous process and from a Konkwehon:we (Indigenous woman's) perspective and research.

"Blood Tides opens up space to question, retrieve pre-colonial Indigenous women's knowledges, and weave her narratives and experiences. The embodiment of her divinity and humanity united, owning and navigating space, Blood Tides activates women's ceremony and cycles remembering Indigenous matrifocal ways of being," notes Santee Smith.

Santee Smith is from the Kahnyen'kehàka Nation, Turtle Clan, Six Nations of the Grand River, Haldimand Treaty territory. She is a multidisciplinary artist, award-winning producer and Managing Artistic Director of Kaha:wi Dance Theatre which she founded in 2005 and which has grown into an internationally renowned performing arts company. Exploring the intersection of Indigenous and new performance, Kaha:wi Dance Theatre's works feature visually stunning, visceral, and thought provoking performance conceived and devised through Indigenous knowledge, process and methodology. Facebook & Insta: @kahawidance

Santee Smith trained at Canada's National Ballet School, completed Physical Education and Psychology degrees from McMaster University and an M.A. in Dance from York University. Her body of work includes 13 productions and over 12 short works. Her independent commissions include collaborations with National Arts Centre Orchestra, Fall for Dance North, Canadian Opera Company, North American Indigenous Games - Opening Ceremonies, Stratford Festival, National Film Board of Canada and Yokohama Noh Theatre, among others. She is the recipient of numerous awards including the K.M. Hunter Award for Dance, Canada Council's Victor Martyn Lynch-Staunton Award, Dora Mavor Moore Award for Outstanding Choreography for Susuriwka - willow bridge, and the 2017 REVEAL Indigenous Arts Award, among others.

DanceWorks began as a collective of independent dance artists in 1977 and has grown to become Toronto's leading presenter of independent dance. DanceWorks offers seasons of eclectic, exhilarating choreography programmed to intrigue, challenge and enthrall. DanceWorks adds to the theatrical experience with Carol's Dance Notes and post-performance conversations with artists.

DanceWorks presents the Toronto premiere of Blood Tides from Six Nation's Kaha:wi Dance Theatre Conceived and Directed by Artistic Director Santee Smith. Thursday, February 14-Saturday February 16 at 8pm Fleck Dance Theatre, Harbourfront Centre 207 Queens Quay West, Toronto For tickets call 416-973-4000 or purchase online at

Dynamic Ticket Pricing - the earlier you purchase, the more you save: Prior to the week of the show - $36; During the week of the show - $40; Day of Show - $42 Discounts: Seniors - $28, Arts Industry - 20% discount, Students - $15 and Groups of 10+ - $23

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