Collaboration with dancer and choreographer Daina Ashbee

Underwater image of dancers and floating fabric

Had the pleasure of collaborating with Dancer and Choreographer Daina Ashbee this past August on a project that explores the Anishnaabe women’s connection and responsibility to water.

I have been attending teachings and workshops for over a year that are held at the Dodem Kanonhsa’ Elder’s Cultural Facility and the Native Canadian Centre of Toronto. My interest in the Anishnaabe teachings developed after I had travelled to Brazil, Belize and Costa Rica in 2011/2012. Exploring mostly rural areas, visiting a UNESCO World Heritage site and hiking for 12 hours across the oasis of Lençóis Maranhenses left me both speechless and humbled. This experience awakened a desire to re-envision my own relationship to nature. The teachings of the Anishnaabe People have helped me understand this connection full circle.

I came in contact with Daina through a Toronto choreographer who was really excited to introduce me to Daina’s work. I watched her piece “Unrelated” http://dainaashbee.wix.com/daina-ashbee#!unrelated/c1u5 and needed to meet her.  Through skype dates and emails we collaborated on ideas. It’s always a risk shooting someone underwater having not pre-screened them prior to the shoot date, but her professionalism put me at ease. The shoot went smoothly and she was able to hold her breath three times longer than I could.

Please check out more of Daina’s work here http://dainaashbee.wix.com/daina-ashbee



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