As the 2016-2017 Animikiig Creators Unit slowly nears its final stages, we’re thrilled to host a two-evening special of what some of the participating creators have been busy drafting, practicing and putting together in the last two years.
With the support from Program Director Diana Belshaw, the two evenings introduces the next generation of creators, including emerging contemporary dance artist, Aria Evans and her solo piece, link. “I wanted to challenge myself and do something that I haven’t done before. I wanted to create a work that related specifically to my generation – to ask questions that I knew I had.”
link is a warrior dance about the blockades we come across in life. Focusing on the idea of forging ahead, link asks the question: What is my generation fighting for or against? “I was struggling to find my voice and I wanted to make the discovery part of the creative process”
“[link] is about fighting through things, moving past things, overcoming things. It’s a metaphor for all the things we go through in life, all the barriers, and the all the people we come into contact with and continue to move forward.”
Participating in the Animikiig Creators Unit provided the kind of support and check-in system that helped Aria move the project forward. “I have spent a lot of time being on the outside of the work I create, for this piece I knew that I couldn’t do it alone.”
More from Aria Evans
What makes Indigenous performing arts important to you?
I remember the first time I saw someone of colour perform on stage, it was the first time I recognized the arts as being a viable career path. I think if we continue to inspire the next generations, our world can become more liberated and expressive.
What’s the best piece of advice you’ve been given?
If you never ask, the answer will always be no.
Do you have any advice for emerging Indigenous creators?
Tell the people whose work you like that you like it, and that you would love the opportunity to work with them in any capacity.
Where do you find your inspiration for your creative work?
My own personal experiences and conversations that I have with other people – my work is usually created from a social and political lens. I follow my interests then invite people to build upon the ideas or images that come forward.
What is coming up next for you?
I am doing a tour with Theatre New Brunswick – it will be touring to Native Earth on March 30 – April 1, 2017.
To me, art is:
Art is a way to have challenging conversations and allow people to question their role in the world. Art is a way to build allies and compassion.