The maison de la culture Ahuntsic and Festival Accès Asie are pleased to present Sophia’s Resurrection, a compelling and powerful story about a woman’s life cycle expressed through dance.
Sophia’s journey begins in India, born as the unwanted “girl child” in a conservative Hindu family. Of mixed descent, her physical appearance was always an obstacle in getting ahead in life. Escaping arranged marriages and a life of uncertainty, Sophia was packed up and sent to Canada. Sophia has faced racism, violence, and abuse which made her fiercely fight for her identity and her place in this world.
Sophia’s Resurrection traces back the journey of an immigrant woman that faces great adversity, and through her life cycle: death, resurrection and transformation, she finds her place. Sophia, meaning “wisdom” in Greek, is about the inner wisdom and strength of the human spirit. Her story follows the trajectories that characterises the lives of many people. Through multiple dance pieces highlighting the different stages of Sophia’s life, the dancer,
Amrita Choudhury, infuses various styles of dance, music, and spoken word, to offer a passionate and heart felt performance of Sophia’s Resurrection, accompanied by Mary St-Amand Williamson, choreographer and performer, and Norman Achneepineskum, singer and drum carrier.
Amrita Choudhury specialized her cultural research in Indian Classical, Folklorique, Tribal & Modern Indian dance. She also trained in Irish step dancing, flamenco, Latin, Oriental, Polynesian, and African dance traditions. Amrita has worked with First Nations, European & North American artists, to create bridges between artistic expression and choreography. She has collaborated with various artistic and cultural organizations like Les Grands Ballet Canadiens & The Banff Centre. Her choreographic works have been presented internationally in North & South America, Europe & in Asia, using dance as a powerful tool for inter-cultural dialogue. Amrita’s work also highlights socio-political and spiritual aspects focused on giving voice to marginalized groups, human rights & women’s issues. On top of offering lectures/talks, Amrita uses dance as a therapeutic tool and works in hospitals, health institutions, and for medical professionals. Amrita has also graduated in Anthropology and dedicated her research to Anthropology and Dance. She brings 30 years of international experience of performing, choreography & teaching. (www.ananda-amrita.com)
Mary St-Amand Williamson has a long history working as an actor, dancer, choreographer, performer, photographer, and sound designer within a multitude of mostly collaborative, co-authored projects. Her solo exhibitions, performances, and photography have been shown and published in Chicago, Guelph, New York, and Toronto. Her previous choreographic work — specifically with Zohar Melinek and supported by the Canada Council & CALQ — was presented in Berlin, Montreal as well as Paris and focused on violence and oppression in relation to national, cultural and gender-based conflict. She has recently worked with visual artists Bettina Hoffmann, Chun Hua Catherine Dong, Ray Lavers and Manuel Matthieu and is currently collaborating with choreographer Kim-Sanh Châu, and artists Chloë Lum and Yannick Desranleau.
Norman Achneepineskum is Anishinaabe and grew up on the Pays Plat Reserve near Thunder Bay, Ontario. Born of a Cree mother and an Ojibway father, he is grateful for his parents’ teachings regarding the important values of life, by their way of being in harmony with nature and through their Anishinaabe language. Norman moved to the Montreal area in 1992 when he was 24. He is a pow-wow singer and song composer, an artist painter, craftsman, writer, poet, storyteller, and handyman. He is the lead singer and drum carrier for the Buffalo Hat Singers who primarily participate in events in and around the Greater Montreal Area.
Amrita Choudhury – Choreographer and Performer
Mary St-Amand Williamson – Choreographer and Performer
Norman Achneepineskum – Singer and Drum Carrier