Dancer Areli Moran performs Serpentine by Nanaimo-raised choreographer Daina Ashbee at the Port Theatre on April 16 and 17. (Photo courtesy Carlos Cardona)

Nude dance ‘Serpentine’ will be performed for Nanaimo audience

Choreographer Daina Ashbee returns to hometown from Montreal for provocative show

Choreographer Daina Ashbee has presented her work around the world, but she’s never brought one of her professional productions to her hometown until now.

On April 16 and 17, Ashbee, who spent her childhood in Nanaimo and is now based in Montreal, presents her latest piece, Serpentine, at the Port Theatre. She last performed in Nanaimo in 2010 as part of Crimson Coast Dance Society’s Infringing Festival.

Serpentine features Mexican-born dancer Areli Moran, a longtime collaborator of Ashbee’s, and is done completely in the nude with the audience onstage and welcome to move around as the performance unfolds.

“All of my previous pieces were dark and feminine and they dealt with objectification, especially of women, and violence and a lot of repetition, transformation,” Ashbee said. “So this is a piece that’s really smack in-your-face insisting on something, it repeats itself and it’s not necessarily easy to watch.”

Ashbee said she views her work both in a “logical, political” way of wanting to address certain issues, and as an intuitive expression that comes from accessing the “dark places” inside her.

Ashbee said she likes to work with nudity because by discarding distracting frills she is able to better focus on bodily expression and movement. She said nudity brings our vulnerability in both the performer and the audience. Moran said the nature of the work requires that she be naked.

“People don’t realize how often they objectify a woman’s body, but I think through dance they un-objectify it,” Ashbee said. “So sometimes in the beginning they see a sexual body or they just see something sensual, and I feel like through repetition or through the performance they completely lose that lens.”

Crimson Coast artistic director Holly Bright attended a performance of Serpentine in Montreal. She said Ashbee was starting to make a name for herself and Bright was curious to see what’s she’d been up to and left “deeply moved.”

Bright invited Ashbee to bring Serpentine to Nanaimo and Ashbee said it is meaningful to have the opportunity to return and present her work in her hometown.

“I was just a little kid when I was here before and now I have a professional dance career and Areli and I are travelling around the world doing dance shows, so it’s special,” Ashbee said.

WHAT’S ON … Crimson Coast Dance Society presents Serpentine at the Port Theatre on April 16 and 17 at 7:30 p.m. Tickets $30, $27 for members, $20 for students. Limited seating, full nudity throughout.



arts@nanaimobulletin.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Just Posted

Deep Island connection for indie rockers Half Moon Run

Montreal-based band brings their dreamy sound to Victoria for Jan. 14 show at the Royal

Have your New Year’s Eve set? Try out these musical gala options

Greater Victoria venues featuring local bands to ring in 2020

Ladysmith set to star in new Syfy series, Resident Alien

Island town will play the role of Patience, Colo. in the series

Jim Cuddy Band members turn trio for next Victoria show

Jan. 11 stop at the McPherson Playhouse part of the Countrywide Soul tour

The Strumbellas grow their award-winning sound organically

Juno-winning band makes a rare West Coast appearance at the Royal Theatre for Jan. 9 concert

VIDEO: Led by ‘Marriage Story,’ Netflix dominates Golden Globe noms

Netflix flexed its muscles across all categories, just as it is girding for battle with a host of new streaming services

B.C. family’s ‘Feud’ game-show trip was ‘meant to happen’ after father’s death

Surrey resident Atish Ram’s departed father ‘loved game shows’

‘Jurassic World 3’ will film in Metro Vancouver under working title ‘Arcadia’

Filming is set to take place between Feb. 24 and March 6, 2020

Bursary created in memory of late Duncan musician triples in second year

Young Vancouver Island musicians in financial need can apply by Dec. 15

Talking about tubas! Annual concert attracts hundreds to Market Square

The 2019 edition of Tuba Christmas concert and fundraiser goes this Saturday in the square

Yellowpoint holiday spectacle returns this weekend

Musical variety show offers a wide range of genres, along with many of your seasonal favourites

Carolling in Cadboro Bay Village helps fund music at Mount Doug Secondary

Singing set for 5 to 7 p.m. on Sunday, Dec. 1, in Cadboro Bay Village.

VIDEO: Celine Dion tops Billboard 200 for first time in over 17 years

‘Courage’ is Dion’s fifth album to reach No. 1 on the Billboard 200

Most Read