mon14feb(feb 14)10:00 am Tsat19(feb 19)9:30 pm TMATRIARCHS UPRISING FESTIVAL 2022 


14 (Monday) 10:00 am T - 19 (Saturday) 9:30 pm T View in my time


The Scotiabank Dance Centre

677 Davie Street

Event Details

The 4th edition of Matriarchs Uprising Festival, curated by Olivia C. Davies (Anishinaabe), features an exciting program of new contemporary Indigenous dance works from Jeanette Kotowich (Cree-Métis), Maura Garcia (non-enrolled Cherokee/Mattamuskeet), Animikiikwe Couchie-Waukey (Nipissing First Nation) with Bella Waru (Maōri), Christine Friday (Anishinaabe), Sandra Lamouche (Cree), Samantha Sutherland (Ktunaxa), Sophie Dow (Métis-Assiniboine), and Vancouver DTES Grandmother’s Collective, plus Masterclasses, Community workshops and Talking Truth Circle Conversations. 

Matriarchs Uprising Festival runs February 14-19, 2022 at the Scotiabank Dance Centre and online


Presented by O.Dela Arts in partnership with The Dance Centre, DanceHouse, Dance West Network, Talking Stick Festival, Dumb Instrument Dance, Training Society of Vancouver, and support from Canadian Heritage, Canada Council for the Arts, BC Arts Council and City of Vancouver.



February 14 – February 19: (24 hr access) [Online]


Monday February 14: 10am-11:30am Masterclass with Olivia C Davies @ The Dance Centre

Tuesday, February 15: 3pm-5pm [Online] Dance to Film Workshop with Christine Friday

Wednesday, February 16: 10am-11:30am Masterclass with Starr Muranko @ The Dance Centre

Thursday, February 17: 10am-12pm Dancing Ancestors Workshop with Maura Garcia @ The Dance Centre

Friday, February 18: 10am-11:30am Masterclass with Michelle Olsen @ The Dance Centre

Saturday, February 19: 10am-12pm Movement Offering Workshop with Jeanette Kotowich @ The Dance Centre


Tuesday, February 15: 12pm-1pm [Online] Jeanette Kotowich, Maura Garcia, Christine Friday, Samantha Sutherland, moderated by Olivia C. Davies 

Wednesday, February 16: 8pm-9pm [Online] Sophie Dow, Sandra Lamouche, Animikiikwe Couchie, moderated by Olivia C. Davies 


Friday, February 18 + Saturday, February 19: 7pm @ The Dance Centre  

Kwê & Ancestor Dances + Post-Show Talkback 


Saturday, February 19: 2pm-3pm [Online]



Kwê is the current research project being held by Jeanette in collaboration with Stephanie Cry, Olivia Shaffer, Tamar Tabori and contributing artistic designers. Jeanette Kotowich’s work reflects Nêhiyaw/Métis cosmology within the context of contemporary dance, performance, and Indigenous futurism. Kwê derived from iskwêw (femme Spirit) and iskotêw (fire) – it provides a fluid container to intentionally define and amplify iskwêwak sovereignty and dismantle dominant colonial and patriarchal narratives with vulnerability, courage and heart.

We are bodies seeking sovereignty, imperfectly tethered to homelands near and far… Containers of complex histories, tears, and joy… We journey through liminal territories of vulnerability and strength. We embrace multiplicity and settle into the untamed knowing of our courageous hearts. Harnessing bravery, we weave our presence into vast futures.

Ancestor Dances, shared by Maura Garcia, are 7 small dances for 7 new ancestors. When we think of the ones who came before us, sometimes we are speaking of the ancient distant ones and collective community teachings. But the “new ancestors” also shared teachings. “Ancestor Dances is inspired by the tales, movements, habits and gestures of 7 of my recently deceased ancestors. The dance is a translation of their adventures, iconic advice and wisdom phrases into choreography. It is my way to remember them, to honor them and to share their stories with the world.”


Gathering Hope Creation Residency

“Gathering Hope” is an improvisational creation residency that weaves threads of cultural sharing and intergenerational knowledge with Vancouver Downtown Eastside community artists Dalannah Gail Bowen, Rosemary Georgeson, Savannah Waling, and Sharon Jinkerson-Brass along with Maura Garcia, Olivia C. Davies, Rianne Svelnis and Ziyian Kwan. This residency is generously supported by Dumb Instrument Dance / Morrow and the Talking Stick Festival. Public is invited to gather with us online for a sharing of our week-long residency and Talking Truths circle conversation.


Masterclass with OLIVIA C. DAVIES: I believe that our bodies hold the potential for powerful story-telling. Movement and gesture can connect our bodies to the world around us and facilitate the sharing of our lived experience. In this class, I share a Contemporary Indigenous dance methodology that is intended to open new ways of experiencing the world with breath, impulse, and shape guided by imagination and our connection to earth and sky. We will tap into the material of bone and muscle, mind and body, and presence work to explore the space within our body and surrounding us. Guided improvisations generate intentional gestures sourced from our imaginations and our blood memory. Set sequences will apply basic movement fundamentals and take us into momentum with reach, push, pull, yield, and spiralling action.

Masterclass with STARR MURANKO: This class will be a somatic-based practice which will focus on connecting to breath , our bodies in relationship to Mother Earth, and to the land that we dance on. Starr will guide participants through a series of explorations that will facilitate a deeper connection to the stories that we each carry within our bodies. We will work together to unearth these deeper connections that travel through the pathways within our bodies and out into the larger world. Witnessing one another we will layer together the movement we have discovered into a fully embodied experience while honouring who we are; both individually and within the circle.

Masterclass with MICHELLE OLSEN: Moving our questions, dancing our answers – Our bodies are a site of inquiry. Through structure exercises and open ended explorations, we will explore the movement patterns that support this inquiry and this will offer us opportunities for expression and sense of well being. This time will be for movement reflection and engaging with how moving our bodies are a part of integrating knowledge and sparking inspiration.


Community Workshops are entry-level movement/dance workshops for artists, dance enthusiasts, and anyone who wants to learn from the creative dance practice of artists featured in this year’s festival!

DANCE TO FILM & FILM TO DANCE (online) with Christine Friday. Inspired by land based performance, participants will gather insight on the creation of dance film Firewater Thunderbird Rising by Dance Artist and filmmaker Christine Friday, who will share insight and process on how it was created and then evolved from film to stage production.

DANCING ANCESTORS with Maura Garcia: An invitation for participants to connect with their recent & ancient ancestors and homelands through breath, dance and improvisation. Maura will also share some of her creative process, stories and choreography for her work Ancestor Dances. 

MOVEMENT OFFERING with Jeanette Kotowich: We gather for this workshop to connect with embodied practices related to Jeanette’s research in Métis & Nêhiyaw Cosmology that bridge movement expressions into contemporary dance and performance practices. This is an experiential movement workshop, sharing Indigenous cultural perspectives and contemporary dance approaches. Bring your courageous hearts as we intentionally explore specific values to nourish our practices. Together we will stoke our creative fires with compassion, kindness, bravery & joy. Hiy Hiy!


Online video work will be available on-demand for the duration of the festival, February 14-19, with pieces exploring Indigenous world views, identity, land, ancestors and connection. Films include work by Animikiikwe Couchie & Bella Waru, Christine Friday, Sandra Lamouche, Samantha Sutherland and Sophie Dow.


Artist website(s)

About Matriarchs Uprising

FB Event/More info