August 2019
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Wednesday, August 14 • Friday, August 16 • 8:00pm

Barbara Kaneratonni Diabo

Photo: Robert Newton

Choreography: Barbara Kaneratonni Diabo

Original Music: Michael Diabo

Performers: Barbara Kaneratonni Diabo, Emily Kahente Diabo, Michael Diabo

BARBARA KANERATONNI DIABO is Kanienkehaka (Mohawk) originally from Kahnawake, now living in Montreal. A dancer and choreographer for over 25 years, she specializes in combining traditional First Nation’s dance and contemporary styles. She takes great pride in regularly sharing her culture and has performed across Canada and internationally – notably the Banff Centre; Heard Museum, Arizona; Olympic Stadium, Montreal; Gathering of Nations, New Mexico; Prismatic Arts Festival, Halifax; and National Arts Centre, Ottawa. Her goal is to inspire, encourage cultural pride, uplift the spirit, and increase education and communication. 

A haunting, visually stunning piece, Sky Dancers: Bridges explores the far-reaching impact of the Quebec Bridge disaster of 1907. The catastrophe killed 33 Mohawk ironworkers from the community of Kahnawake. When the bridge collapsed while under construction, it caused a wave of after-effects that stretched around the world. The work is a universal story that touches on themes of disaster, families, community, resilience, and building bridges between people and generations. A direct descendant of this disaster, Barbara Kaneratonni Diabo uses both contemporary and traditional practices to bring the past to present and to foster a wider understanding of Indigenous people.

“It’s a highly nuanced production that references several facets of the Mohawk community, and the longstanding, complex repercussions of the bridge disaster….Sky Dancers is a moveable memorial. Even though the story itself was born of destruction, it exists to bridge past and present through dance.” – The Eastern Door. Lindsay Richardson

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