2018/2019 Season Weesageechak

Aria Evans: What do all human beings have in common?

Following the presentation of her solo dance piece link, which was developed at Animikiig Creators Unit, choreographer and dancer Aria Evans (Mi’kmaq/Black/settler heritage) returns to Weesageechak Begins to Dance with an excerpt of her first full length work, In The Abyss.

Interested in exploring the common ground between experiences across difference, Evans started researching what all human beings have in common and stumbled across the scientific fact and the beautiful metaphor that we are all made of stardust. This idea catapulted the work forward, as artists of various backgrounds, including Irwin Chow, Jesse Dell, Ana Groppler, Syreeta Hector and David Norsworthy, came together to offer their lived experiences in the creative process. “I love finding the metaphors in life that can be represented in the body,” and this collaborative piece is an example of Evans’ ongoing experiment.

“Native Earth has always been a supportive hub for my work. I value the community that surrounds this festival and the artists coming together to support works-in-development. I am at the beginning stages of my research for In The Abyss and am grateful for the opportunity to experiment with the support of a mentor and an audience.”

“This piece is exploring relationships and the struggles we face to find connections. I want audiences to be able to see parts of themselves in the material that is being portrayed and maybe learn something about themselves along the way.”

Don’t miss Aria Evans’ In The Abyss on Thursday November 15th!

More about Aria Evans

What piece are you looking forward to seeing at W31?
I am really looking forward to seeing The Properties of Spirit by Jessica Lea Fleming. I have worked with her in many capacities but never seen her creative work.

Who is your Indigenous role model? How do they inspire you?
I have many role models. Right now, I am particularly inspired by my Indigenous peers who are breaking conventions and finding new ways to tell our stories as Indigenous peoples. Some of these artists include: Yolanda Bonnell, Natalie Sappier, and Jeremy Dutcher.

What’s the best piece of advice you’ve been given?
You are enough.

Do you have any advice for young Indigenous creators just coming onto the scene?
Try things. Collaborate with your peers. Ask for support. There are people around you who see you and want you to succeed.

What are your thoughts on addressing political topics through Indigenous art?
Our existence is political, therefore our art is going to be political – just accept it and keep making art!

What does art mean to you?
Art is how I express myself and how I relate to the world. Without it, I would have no joy or drive. Art is a way of life that I will never stop living.

What are you craving right now?
I am craving for more open conversations around access vs. privilege.

What is coming up next for you?
I am working towards the presentation of In The Abyss this time next year. It feels like a luxury to have such an extended creative process, and I am basking in the glory of watching my ideas evolve and change.

Header image by Erica Cheah. Property of Dance Umbrella of Ontario