Dance artist Daina Ashbee named one of 25 top talents to watch

    1 of 2 2 of 2

      Provocative, boundary-busting dancer-choreographer Daina Ashbee has been named one of "25 to Watch" in the influential American publication Dance Magazine.

      The artist, who has Cree Métis and Dutch heritage, will present her provocative Pour here as part of the PuSh International Performing Arts Festival from February 1 to 3 at the Scotiabank Dance Centre. It's a deeply personal and the fiercely political look at her own menstrual cycle.

      Ashbee worked in Vancouver with Raven Spirit Dance Society before moving to Montreal. In May, we reported Ashbee, along with Justine A. Chambers and Vanessa Goodman, had been selected to participate in the Yulanda M. Faris Choreographers Program in Vancouver. It's a Dance Centre initiative to boost choreographers to national and international exposure, through exchanges, networking, mentoring, and professional skills development. The ongoing program runs to September 2018.

      In its annual international roundup of exciting emerging talent, Dance Magazine says of Ashbee: "Creating dance as a medium for eliminating taboos has been cathartic for radical, riveting Montreal-based dancer and choreographer Daina Ashbee. Her highly physical, personal work dealing with topics such as female sexuality, anorexia, trauma, loss, the menstrual cycle and Indigenous women has garnered accolades."

      Ashbee is  artist-in-residence at Agora de la danse in Montreal until 2020 and the associate artist of Centre Création O Vertigo. She's recently presented her work at such international showcases as the Dance Biennale in Munich and the Venice Biennale in Italy. 

      It's not the first time Ashbee has been cited as one to watch: Europe's biggest and most prestigious dance magazine, TANZ, also named her one of 30 promising artists for 2017.