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Mission

A’nó:wara Dance Theatre is an Indigenous-run dance company directed by award-winning choreographer Barbara Kaneratonni Diabo from the Kanien'kehaka (Mohawk) nation of Kahnawake.

The compagny specializes in creating works that highlight Indigenous themes, stories and perspectives by often combining powwow, Haudenosaunee dance and mainstream contemporary styles to create a fusion of dance that speaks to many different populations and tastes.
 
We create professional pieces but also engage in community work and mentorship. Our goals are to create high-quality dance works that inspire others, encourage cultural pride, uplift the spirit, and increase education and communication.
 
A’nó:wara means turtle in kanien’keha (the Mohawk language). In the Mohawk creation story, during the time when the Earth was covered in water, the first person Sky Woman fell from the stars and landed on the back on a turtle. This turtle grew and became North America, or as we say, Turtle Island. Now, we are all dancing on the turtle’s back together.

Photo : Valmedia

History

Formed in 2019, A'nó:wara Dance Theatre has created and produced several works, including Sky Dancers, My Urban Nature, Smudge and What We Carry.

2022: A’nó:wara Dance Theatre was recipient of the first-ever Strategic Innovation Fund from the Canada Council for the Arts, a grant that will support other Indigenous artists, educate other arts organizations and better the arts sector in supporting Indigenous dance

2022: Sky Dancers won Dora Award for Most Outstanding Touring Production 2022 in Toronto (at Harbourfront Centre’s Fleck Theatre). It was the first time in the 42-year history of the Dora Awards that the decision was unanimous

2021: the company presents the first dance show (Sky Dancers) done by a Kanien’keha:ka choreographer at Place des Arts in Montreal. The choreographer was the first Indigenous dancer to have won the Prix de la Danse de Montréal as most notable dancer of the year

Mentoring young people by inviting them to our rehearsal process and by funding and taking young people and their mothers on tour to experience tech week

2019: My Urban Nature won best outdoor choreography at Festival Quartiers Danses