FTA co-producing a New Work by Rhodnie Désir
Montreal, 13 January 2021 – Festival TransAmériques is very pleased to join forces with the company RD Créations for the creation of BOW’T TRAIL Tio’tia:ke, an upcoming piece by the choreographer Rhodnie Désir that will be co-produced by the FTA.
After visits to Martinique, Brazil, Haiti, Nova Scotia, Mexico and New Orleans for her dance documentary project BOW’T TRAIL, Rhodnie Désir is now back in her hometown, plunging into the history of peoples of African ancestry living in Montreal.
For 30 days in the month of January she will explore the city’s past links with the slave trade, meeting with historians, anthropologists, ethno-musicologists and musicians. She will embark on an in-depth project of reflection on collective memory that will lead to the final step of this long-lasting adventure: BOW’T TRAIL Tio’Tia:Ke.
The BOW’T TRAIL Adventure
Inspired by her ancestors, since 2015 Rhodnie Désir has been tracing the memory and history of Afro-descendant peoples of the Americas. She set foot in one country after another, pursuing her mission to shed a positive and realistic portrayal of the intangible heritage of disparate black communities. Like an archive, the resultant work conveys the diversity of the distinct rhythmic voices encountered in each territory explored.
BOW’T TRAIL is now a 5-episode web series and a 75-capsule web documentary that can be found on ICI ARTV. After her tour in the 6 countries mentioned above, in February 2020 Rhodnie Désir presented BOW’T TRAIL Retrospek on the Espace Libre stage, the eighth re-creation of the original 2013 dance piece. In December she was the recipient of the 2020 Grand Prix de la danse de Montréal, as well as the Envol award for cultural diversity and inclusive practices in dance.
Rhodnie Désir’s research process involves the active participation of UQAM and Concordia University students, a rich and rewarding outreach project that began last autumn.
By means of discussions, reflections and historical excavations guided by the artist, participants embark on a historical, spiritual and personal journey, one that helps them shed aspects of cultural imperialism and to recalibrate their relationship with Montreal.