Curated By Lebo Disele (Edmonton)
December 11 – 8PM MT
FAVA at the Orange Hub (Studio A, 10045 156 ST. NW)
In this mid-winter salon, MZD Associate Artist 2021-22, Lebo Disele comes together with some of Edmonton’s most exciting artists to explore place, voice and visibility.
Site/Sight/Place is an interdisciplinary performance that brings together the West African and Caribbean Dances of Masani St. Rose and the searing poetry of Shima Robinson a.k.a. Dwennimmen, amongst others, to ask “Where are we seen?” “When are we seen?” “How are we seen?” Visual artist, Elsa Robinson, brings a spiritual grounding to this performance through a co-created collage with the audience.
MZD will be live streaming this event. Those not able to to attend in person are encouraged to register for the live stream.
Regarding Covid-19 safety protocols, please note that MZD will require proof of vaccination and the wearing of masks during this event. We ask that if you are experiencing flu-like symptoms or have travelled outside of the country within the past 14 days that you kindly do not attend in-person and instead watch the live stream. The presentation space is large enough for guests to socially distance for those who attend. We take the safety of the community very seriously and are working to do live performance as safely as possible.
November 24, 2021
This Season, MZD has commissioned poets to respond to the work created by dance artists. Thinking about dance through poetry adds a different perspective to the work and opens up conversation between artists in their creative practice. Dwennimmen aka Shima A. Robinson’s poem Site/Sight/Place is in reponse to MZD Associate Artist Lebo Disele’s curated production of the same name. Site/Sight/Place ...
Lebo Disele (Dancer), Elsa Robinson (Visual Art), Masani St. Rose (Dancer), Shima Robinson (Poet), Mpoe Mogale (Dancer), Timiro Mohamed (Poet), Robert Kpogo (Drums)
Gerry Morita (Artistic Director), Lebo Disele (Curator), Daniela Masellis and Whittyn Jason (Lighting and Projection Design),Trent Crosby (Technical Director), Chris Hicks (Technician), Shawn Tse (Videographer), Heather Bouchier (Costumes), Kelly Ruth (Digital Chat Moderator), Ariadne Belle (Front of House)
Lebo Disele is a PhD candidate in the drama department at the University of Alberta. Her focus in theatre includes movement, acting, directing, and dramaturgy. Most recently she created and performed The Space Between for NextFest Digital (2021). Other performance credits include Brandon Wint’s The Antidote to Violence as Care (forthcoming); Baki and Mands in Azimuth Theatre’s workshopped production, All That Binds Us (2020); Amina in Belleville (2020), directed by Amanda Goldberg at the Bleviss Laboratory Theatre; Words Unzipped at the 2019 SkirtsAfire Festival curated by Karimah Marshall; What (Black) Life Requires at the 2018 Expanse Festival and Unwoven at the 2018 SkirtsAfire Festival, curated by Nasra Adem. Lebo is focused on interdisciplinary art that places the body at the centre as a process of exploring how oppression impacts and lives in the body.
Elsa Robinson is an Edmonton-based mixed media artist, sculptor and painter whose decadeslong devotion to artistic practice has imbued her work with vibrancy, versatility and an intuitive spiritual poignancy. She began her art career as a self-taught artist, and she now holds a Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of Alberta's Art and Design program and a Master of Fine Arts degree from the Vermont College of Fine Art. Through her years of study, Elsa has honed the ability to transmit her deep love and care for humanity using a range of visual modes. With careful attention to colour, shape, texture, intuition and the power of cultural symbols, Elsa is able to express the notions of love, friendship, inner strength, equality and ancestral connection that most powerfully guide her own life. For her ability to distil, in the space of a single image, the wisdoms and experiences that are most important to the human condition, Elsa Robinson has become a celebrated and award-winning artist. Most notably, she was the recipient of the 2012 Fill Fraser Award for Outstanding Work in Visual Arts, as awarded by the National Black Coalition of Canada as well as a recipient of the Cultural Diversity in the Arts Grant from the Edmonton Arts Council in 2008, 2016, 2018 and the Individual Artist Grant in 2020. Elsa Robinson is also a passionate and experienced arts educator who facilitates workshops for artists of all ages and experience levels. Her devotion, skill, craft and spiritual fortitude has allowed her to forge a much-respected and versatile place within the artistic communities of Edmonton, Alberta, Canada. She is a community builder who uses her remarkable artistry to create conversation, reflection and moments of undeniable emotional connection, wherein the humanity of the viewer, and the artist herself, is held in mutual integrity and esteem.
Masani St. Rose
Bio: A native Calgarian who was immersed into dancing at the tender age of 3, specializing in West African and Caribbean dance. Upon the introduction to dance, Masani found passion for the West African culture and style. It was through training under Michèle Moss-Johnston at Decidedly Jazz Danceworks, she was able to build her foundation. Still working very closely with Michèle Moss-Johnston and various other artists from Guinea, West Africa, she finds every opportunity to take master classes from artists from various regions of Africa including Congo, Uganda, Ghana, Mali, Guinea and Zimbabwe. Throughout the years, Masani has worked with various studios and professional groups across Canada. It is her mission to keep the art and culture alive from soul to sole!
Amiskwaciwâskahikan (Edmonton - Treaty 6) born poet and spoken word artist Shima Robinson embodies, with every poem, the ancient meaning of her chosen pen name. Dwennimmen is the name of an ancient African Adinkra symbol, which means strength, humility, learning and wisdom. It is no surprise, then, that this veteran of the Alberta poetry community uses a searing intellect and dynamic precision-of-language to create poetry which ushers her readers and listeners toward greater understanding and poignant reflection. For Dwennimmen, poetry has long been a compass, a salve, an anchor and guiding light. She uses the potential and force of poetry to uncover the full range of her cerebral, linguistic and spiritual fortitude. This is why her every poem and performance testifies to an emerging power and wisdom, an authentic, deeply human potency which she hopes to pass on to listeners and poetry-lovers around the world.
Timiro Mohamed is an award-winning Somali-Canadian whose work is inspired by the generations of storytellers who came before her. Timiro is the former City of Edmonton Youth Poet Laureate, and the co-creator of the virtual open mic the Chatroom. She has presented alongside our former premier Rachel Notley and has opened for Grammy nominated Artist Yasiin Bey. She recently released her debut solo chapbook and poetry EP Incantations of Black Love.
Mpoe Mogale (they/them) reigns from Lebowakgomo, South Africa and splits their time between amiskwaciy and moh’kínst’sis, in the colonial state of Canada. Upon graduation, Mpoe committed to honouring their talent and love for dance by pursuing it full-time. Alongside being an Arts Administrator for Swallow-a-Bicycle Theatre, Mpoe currently teaches various dance styles, and trains with Woezo Africa Music & Dance Theatre's Company. One of the things Mpoe enjoys is bringing together Black artists to present multidisciplinary works that explore Black life in “Canada.” The result of this includes projects such as "What (Black) Life Requires" (produced by Mile Zero Dance and Azimuth Theatre) and "Reclaiming Black Dance" (produced by Black Arts Matter). Mpoe has grown weary of Black pain being a spectacle, and as a result, their artistic imaginations in the past couple of years have centered the brilliance and joy that foreground the lives of Black folks.