Phoenix Rising Studio
Aria Evans is a Toronto-based interdisciplinary artist working in film, dance creation, and performance. She draws on her experiences as a woman of mixed race, Mi’kmaq/Black/settler heritage, and her B.F.A in dance from York University to capture meaningful social and cultural themes through interactive art. Aria has presented her work alongside a number of Canada’s leading dance artists and arts organizations such as SummerWorks, Toronto Concert Orchestra, Native Earth Performing Arts, and the Gardiner Museum of Ceramic Art, and in both her native country and abroad.
Here, Aria tells us about her new solo work link.
Can you tell us about link? What was the inspiration for the work?
link grew out of a question. I wanted to know What am I? What is my generation fighting for or against? I wanted to find an answer to these questions for myself and through my art, with as much courage and honesty as possible. Creating a solo felt like the bravest way forward.
To avoid creating a work that was too self-referential, I decided to work with collaborators to generate movement that I could put onto my own body. The goal was to broaden the scope of the work and challenge my physical habits, while working with people who had ‘links’ to both my mixed-race heritage and my dance training – this is how the piece was titled.
link is a warrior dance about the fight to find and actualize our voices. It’s a metaphor for confronting all of the obstacles that we face in life and move through them. Audience members familiar with my work know that I often try to take on the world. This piece is my latest unearthing of that journey. The character you will see on stage is my inner warrior. All of us have this in our hearts and we can trust that she keeps recognizing and challenging our essential struggles – she will prevail!
link is a DanceWorks’ CoWorks presentation, which will also feature Lilia Leon’s Perdida from February 15 – 18, 2018 at the Scotiabank Studio Theatre. The full show is called Prevailing Voices. Tickets are available here www.prevailingvoices.eventbrite.ca. Arts Worker/CADA/Student $18 and General Admission $22
Interview has been edited for publication purposes.