OHSWEKEN – Kaha:wi Dance Theatre is celebrating it’s 15th Anniversary this year.
Founded in June 2005 by renowned artist Santee Smith, KDT has become one of Canada’s foremost performing arts companies.
The company says the translation of Kaha:wi from Kanien’kéha is “to carry” and is a traditional name within Smith’s family. They are now world renowned for productions that deliver powerful and transformative representations of Indigenous performing arts.
Santee Smith has been the driving and creative force behind the company and explains, “Kaha:wi Dance Theatre’s works are interdisciplinary, intergenerational and inter-cultural. Our performances question, re-story, centre Indigenous experience and truth. Honouring Indigenous artistic and cultural process, connection to land, story and spirit of place, we transform, educate and uplift.”
Due to COVID-19, the company has postponed most of the upcoming 2020/2021 Season’s live performances.
As a part of the 15th Anniversary, Kaha:wi Dance Theatre will be sharing a live stream performance of Blood Water Earth at Celebration of Nations, FirstON Performing Arts Centre on September 12, 2020.
KDT has been recognized for its artistic contributions with nominations and awards including TAPA’s Dora Mavor Moore Award nominations in various categories for the productions A Story Before Time in 2009, TransMigration in 2012, Susuriwka ~ willow bridge in 2013; and for The Honouring and NeoIndigenA in 2014.
Smith is the recipient of a Dora Mavor Moore Award for Best Choreography – Susuriwka ~ willow bridge. In 2019, Blood Tides won two Dora Mavor Moore Awards for Outstanding Production and Outstanding Performance Ensemble in Dance.
This Friday June 29 Kaha:wi Dance Theatre and presenter Young People’s Theatre are 6 time nominees for the 2020 awards.
Kaha:wi Dance Theatre’s Board of Directors President Janis Monture states, “For the past 15 years Kaha:wi Dance Theatre has redefined Indigenous choreography. It is a pleasure to see the vision of Santee Smith come alive on stage through Indigenous narratives and movement. The Board of Directors looks forward to another exciting 15 years for the company.”