Olivia C. Davies is an independent dance artist and choreographer whose work investigates the body’s dynamic ability to transmit narrative. She honours her mixed Welsh, Metis-Anishnawbe heritage in her Contemporary Aboriginal dance-theatre practice and acknowledges that she is now a guest who works and plays on the unceeded Coast Salish territories.
After formal training at York University, Olivia co-founded Toronto’s MataDanze Collective and co-created several productions, as well as the workshop series Weaving Stories of Transformation. She developed her career as a soloist in the Cabaret scene in Toronto before moving to Vancouver and interpreting for Body Narratives Collective, Starrwind Dance Projects, Maura Garcia Dance and Circadia Indigena Collective.
Selected independent choreographic credits:
- Conversation at BC Buds 2014, Dancing on the Edge 2014 and Talking Stick Festival 2015
- Compass at Native Earth Performing Arts “Weesageechak Begins to Dance” Festival 2015
- Somewhere There at Brief Encounters/Bad Ideas Cabaret and BC Buds 2015
- Caged Bird at Harbourfront Centre’s 60×60 Dance
Olivia has choreographed fashion shows, music videos, gala events and numerous collaborations with musical improvisers in Toronto’s Coexisdance Duet Series. Davies has adapted writings by E.E. Cummings, Khalil Gibran, Rainer Maria Rilke, Vancouver-based spoken word poet Julie JC Peters and most recently collaborated with award-winning author Carmen Aguirre to adapt her short story Open Fire for performance. Moving further into the realm of word and movement collaboration, Davies combines forces with celebrated storyteller Rosemary Georgeson in Crow’s Nest and Other Places She’s Gone.
I create and perform Contemporary Aboriginal dance-theatre exploring shared history, personal legacy and blood memory. Stories come alive within me. I create site-specific work that informs the space it inhabits. I choreograph for proscenium stages, revelling in the magic of sound, light and video projection. I collaborate with artists who are interested in experimenting with avant-garde story-telling possibilities. Whether it is a long-distance duet creation through virtual reality technology platforms, dances for small spaces and ensemble creation for large scale events, I see potential for creative expression at the heart of every exchange. I am interested in the way our bodies move through space. Why am I constantly searching to reach, pull, push and yield to the ecstasy of movement? I am interested in the way we can transform our memories by moving them through our limbs. I share my own story of transformation. I am constantly refining my ability to listen to the subtle impulses of my body. My body is always speaking to me.