Political Movement was founded in 2015 out of a desire to create dance theatre that uses a choreographic process to reflect the ideals of socially conscious art. Desiccated was the company’s first work and was initially presented as part of the 2015 SummerWorks Performance Festival and toured to Paris, France. This multidisciplinary piece explored the ramifications of the earth’s declining fresh water supply integrating a live vocalist, set design, and projections. Locally, the show was applauded for “its powerful message and flawless execution...[an] all-time favourite SummerWorks dance production.”
Part of Artistic Director; Aria Evans’ personal mandate is to showcase diversity by representing Turtle Island’s rich cultural landscape. As the founder of the company, she is a mixed race, queer, interdisciplinary artist working within dance; creation, performance and film.
In July 2016, the company presented two works at the Toronto Fringe Festival. RATED R was a potent, socially charged double bill. The duet RElaps was a glimpse, on an interpersonal level, into the cyclical patterns that two people find themselves returning. RElaps served as a counterpoint to, and microcosm of, RANKED: a sextet that investigated the assumptions we make in society about who has power and privilege. This production received outstanding press, calling it “a powerful show,” and describing Aria as “an emerging interdisciplinary artist focusing on important and relevant cultural issues. If this is the work she is producing at the beginning of her artistic journey then it will be exciting to witness what Evans will produce throughout the rest of her career.”
Collaboration is a key component to how the company works and the projects we undertake. In 2017, Political Movement was commissioned to create work for partner organizations for the first time. In fall 2017 Urbanvessel commissioned a work for a site-specific Arts in the Parks show called On The Brink and in winter 2017 the Toronto Concert Orchestra commissioned a work for their Voice of a Nation showcase and tour called The Trickster Re-Imagined.
Political Movement created its first immersive work; PATHS, as part of the 2017 SummerWorks Performance Festival, where we invited audiences to wander through a maze with characters and rooms inspired by the four elements. It was set up so that people could choose their own adventure, staying and witnessing a certain moment for as long as they wished. This work led the company to artistically consider how space can be used and the ways audiences can engage with dance more intimately. This informed the desire to create more immersive works that focus on the audiences experience. This curiosity came to fruition with the work Two Row that was commissioned by Culture Days in 2017.
In February 2018 Political Movement partnered with DanceWorks CoWorks to present Prevailing Voices, a double bill featuring link, the company’s first solo work. link is a warrior dance about the blockades we come across in life, focusing on the idea of forging ahead and asking the question; “What is my generation fighting for or against?”. Link gets presented in Vancouver in 2020 and Montreal in 2021.
This year we present In The Abyss, the company’s first full length work. It looks at the scientific fact as well as the beautiful metaphor that we are all made of stardust. Looking forward, the company is currently in research for a new project; heart2heart which will bring together six duets exploring and discussing the state of the world through movement premiering in spring 2020 with The Riser Project.