Naja Dyrendom Graugaard: “Pride, Support and Community”

Audiences are already talking about the incredibly talented line-up for Weesageechak Begins to Dance 27.  Not only are there talented artists from across Turtle Island, but also from across the pond, like emerging Danish/Inuit playwright Naja Dyrendom Graugaard.

Naja Dyrendom Graugaard HeadshotWith a Masters Degree focusing on a combination of Inuit knowledge and Indigenous performance and storytelling, Naja Dyrendom Graugaard is a perfect fit for Weesageechak Begins to Dance 27. “Where I come from (Denmark and Greenland) we lack festivals and forums like Weesageechak Begins to Dance where the work of both established and emerging Indigenous artists is celebrated,” says Dyrendom Graugaard. “This is a unique opportunity!”

Inua, Dyrendom Graugaard explains, is a story based on the life and memories of her Inuit grandmother from Greenland, the colonial legacies in her family, and the experiences as a mixed-race woman in Denmark. Dyrendom Graugaard was compelled to write this piece as part of building and creating a “living memory” of Inuit experiences, pressuring neo-colonial narratives and re-creating Inuit ways of life.

“I hope that my two-year old daughter will also experience and learn the importance of her own future work to express and celebrate her experiences as a Danish-Inuit-Anishinaabe woman of the next generation – and feel pride, support and community!”

“This is a unique opportunity!”

In the past few years, Naja Dyrendom Graugaard has explored various ways in which theatre can be a space of decolonization, recreation and co-creation. She has co-written and acted in various community theatre performances, and worked and trained with Judith Koltai-Peavy (Victoria), Odin Teatret (Denmark), and Alternative Living Theatre (India). In 2013, Naja was a guest teacher at Greenland’s National Theatre School in Nuuk (Greenland) where she taught movement, voice and “collective creation.”

Some bits and bobs about Naja Dyrendom Graugaard

What is your profession’s greatest challenge today?
To create art in balance with Mother Earth, to resist reproducing hierarchies in the theatre, and to continue to free our voices from oppressive and dualistic ways of narrating the world.

Where is your favorite place to be?
Hiking the mountains and valleys around my family village in Arsuk (South-West Greenland) – or in a boat on its coastline or in its fjords.

What’s your favourite dessert?

Thanks Naja!

You can catch Inua on Tuesday, November 18th @ 7:30pm, a part Weesageechak Begins to Dance 27 Festival Pass. More About Tickets