Kaha:wi Dance Theatre to Celebrate 10th Anniversary

OHSWEKEN, ON – The Kaha:wi Dance Theatre (KDT) will be celebrating their 10th anniversary in Six Nations on Sunday, October 18 at Six Nations Polytechnic.

The celebration will be held from 2 pm to 4 pm, and will feature performances by Logan Staats and Cheri Maracle. Also planned for the event is a special presentation of The Honouring, a performance piece about First Nations warriors and families that made sacrifices to protect indigenous culture, land and sovereignty in the War of 1812.

Guests will enjoy a catered feast, provided by Family Traditions Catering, as well as a cake designed by Heavenly Sweets and a pottery raffle provided by Talking Earth Pottery.

The Honouring by Kaha:wi Dance Theatre, Photo by David Hou.
The Honouring by Kaha:wi Dance Theatre, Photo by David Hou.

Artistic Director Tekaronhiakhwa Santee Smith, has been the fire behind the success of the productions performed by KDT.

After healing from two broken legs, committing to formal dance training at Canada’s National Ballet School for six years, completing degrees from McMaster University in both Physical Education and Psychology, and doing theatre training, Smith returned to dance as a choreographer. From 1997 to 2001, Smith was a dance artist at the Aboriginal Dance Project at the Banff Centre. Out of the opportunity to choreograph grew Smith’s first major work; Kaha:wi, a family creation story. Smith later founded KDT in 2005, defining her career within contemporary dance.

In the past, KDT’s “A Story Before Time” was nominated in 2008 for two Dora Mavor Moore Awards, both the Outstanding Production in the Dance Division and Outstanding Performance (Ensemble) in the Dance Division.

As well, KDT’s “Here on Earth” was nominated in 2008 for one Gemini Award: Best Performance in a Performing Arts Series. In 2009, KDT received the National Museum of the American Indian Expressive Arts Award for TransMigration.

The most recent KDT performance took place in Waterloo at St. Paul’s University Green at the University of Waterloo at the IMPACT Festival organized by MT Space on September 25. There, the KDT performed The Honouring, alongside theatre performances from all across Canada.

The celebration this coming weekend will charge $10 at the door; with proceeds going to a Six Nations dancer travelling to KDTSI 2016 in Six Nations and Toronto, as well as the Six Nations Veterans Association.

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