Celebrating the YENSA Festival & Black women in dance: With Lua Shayenne and Aïka Mathelier


Live on CIUT 89.5 FM

Airing Date: August 17, 2022
Hosted By: Nicole Inica Hamilton

Featured Guest(s): Lua Shayenne and Aïka Mathelier

On this episode, guests Lua Shayenne and Aïka Mathelier open up about the YENSA Festival which has a mission to highlight choreographic work by black women choreographers around the globe and the accompanying research/process which led to developing their creative practices. Learn more about the YENSA Festival occurring August 13-28, 2022 at www.yensafestival.com.

About Lua Shayenne:

Lua Shayenne weaves stories, through dance, song and word. Her art practice is embedded in her African roots and her Faith. Her goal is to “effect a spiritual conquest” by establishing a relation with the human hearts and create original, inspiring and relevant art. A 2016/17/18 K.M. Hunter Dance award nominee and a recipient of the 2013 BMO seeds Fund Award for Artists working in community, Lua is the creator and interpreter of the dance theatre children series titled, Tales and Dances Around the Baobab of which Yassama and The Beaded Calabash, is the fourth tale. Lua is the artistic director of Dora nominated, Lua Shayenne Dance Company (LSDC). LSDC blends dance, music and storytelling rooted in West African culture with contemporary art forms and social commentary. Lua is currently creating WAVES | VAGUES and FRONTIERS | FRONTIÈRES for LSDC. Through LSDC, Lua has also launched YENSA Festival – a biennal festival that celebrates black women in dance. Performing highlights include HOLOSCENES tours in the US, UK, Abu Dhabi & Australia, Été au Théâtre in Italy, Fall for Dance North, Luminato, Dusk Dances, d:mic and more. Lua teaches at Toronto Metropolitan University’s dance program and brings African dance, music, storytelling and culture to grassroots organizations and schools all over Canada and Europe. | Instagram: @luashayenne


About Aïka Mathelier:

Aïka Mathelier has been a member of EKSPRESYON (Dance Company) since 2011. The company was created in 2003 by Régine Cadet and Sibyl Graham. Since 2014, Aïka has been a teacher and choreographer for EKSPRESYON. In 2019, she co-founded the EKSPRESYON Dance Center and Espace YOUN. She also became the Executive and Artistic Director of EKSPRESYON Dance Center. Her artistic and creative approach stem from Haitian culture as well as her diverse dance background. From 1993 to 2006, she studied at the Haitian-American Academy of Ballet and Arts (HAMABA) & Haitian-American Contemporary Dance Theater (HACDT). In 2005, she also did a summer intensive program at Ballet Divertimento in Montreal. Aïka is skilled in various dance styles such as Haitian traditional dance, classical ballet, afro-contemporary, modern/contemporary, tap and Latin dances. She also had the opportunity to collaborate with various artists throughout her career. She will begin her Certification in Dance and Movement Therapy with Les Grands Ballets Canadiens in summer 2022. | Instagram: @ekspresyon_mtl

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