Artistic Exploration - Kisanii Hub
Oct to Dec 2020

In the Fall of 2020, Jamii and Artistic Director Isorine Marc invited four dancers-choreographers-directors to explore the artistic potential of the Kisanii Hub, Jamii’s mobile stage. This research project took place while Toronto was in the “red” Covid-19 color code and later on in lockdown. While we could not bring arts to the audience, we are grateful that we were able to engage with artists in the studio space and continue building for the upcoming season of live performances.

This research was possible thanks to the financial support of Canada Council for the Arts, and to our partnership with Canadian Stage, which granted us full free access to their rehearsal hall. Two major gifts.

We were honored to work with an amazing artistic team:

Aria Evans, David Norsworthy and Irma Villafuerte with Michael Caldwell.

Joce Two Crows Tremblay, Slava Sapershteyn, Heather Tizya, Ian Newton and Mairi Greg  with Ayelen Liberona.

Vania Dodoo-Beals, Miranda Liverpool, Brianna Rennie and Cécé Haba with Lua Shayenne.

Raha Javanfar, Alexia D’Amato and Ankita Kumar-Ratta with Ashima Suri.

This project was full of generosity and vulnerability; artists were trusting and courageous. It was both inspirational and motivating.

We can not wait for 2021 to share all of this with audiences.

Photos: Isorine Marc & Delphy Photography

Michael Cadwell

"I stepped into the rehearsal hall at Canadian Stage without any agenda.  Isorine's provocation - to tangibly work with Jamii's Kisanii Hub, for artistic research and possibility - is completely in line with my desires to create performance-based work that is site-responsive.

With the knowledge of the Hub as this robust physical structure, I knew that I wanted to focus on construction and destruction as an underlying theme. I also knew that I wanted to work with light and dark. This manifested in a creative exploration with three (3) dancers, asking questions about how we construct ideas and images that ultimately lead to a definition of the 'self' and of the 'other'... and from the perspective of the viewer, how we construct meaning through our senses, and how different parts come together to create an understanding of the whole."

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Ashima Suri

"In my research, we began by speaking about the story of my grandma and her experience in loss & triumph over a 20 year span in India. The general intent of the story was to highlight our ancestors experiences by giving voice to specifically the women who have journeyed many miles together to discover joy amidst a lot of pain. The story was eventually broken down into 5 key parts which we explored further: Home, Partition, Ashram, Temple/Wedding and School. Within each part, we spoke about ways we could have audience and community interaction or participation before, after and during the performance.

At the end of our research, we left feeling accomplished by all that we discovered during that week."

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Ayelen Liberona

“My residency with Jamii was centred on a larger community arts project I have been developing titled Becoming Praxis.

During this residency, the artistic team explored the edges and the in-betweens of worlds. We conspired with the plants and non-human kin by dancing, sounding and making visible the Haudenosaunee Thanksgiving Address led by Joce Two Crows. We explored the multi-dimensionality of the Medicine Wheel through dance, song, poetry, painting, storytelling, and sensing into the 4 stages of life. We sculpted a Rite of Passage that composted our grief and our rage by weaving literal, metaphorical and metaphysical webs to hold and guide our transformations.

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Lua Shayenne

"I had the unique opportunity to spend over 30 hours exploring how to engage with the Kisanii Hub, alone at first, then, with three dancers and one musician.

During the process, I imagined the sounds that could come out of the structure and how the empty spaces could be filled. The platforms became a super structure embodying the path of life itself. The moving ambulant life no longer belonged to present, past nor future; and instead became the echoing voices of my ancestors. Once my artistic collaborators joined the process, we used song, movement, text, objects to understand the journey to trace with the Hub."

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