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

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 Port Theatre audience

Nanaimo choreographer Daina Ashbee’s dance coming to the venue next week

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

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

People are asked to support the Walk for Alzheimer’s by setting a personal walking or fitness challenge throughout May, while fundraising to support Alzheimer Society of B.C. programs and services. (Stock photo)
Nanaimo residents asked to ‘walk their own way’ for Alzheimer’s

Month-long self-paced fitness challenge supports Alzheimer’s Society of B.C.

Nanaimo RCMP are looking for a 57-year-old woman who missed a work appointment and has not been seen since May 3. (Photo submitted)
RCMP ask for help finding Nanaimo woman who missed work and hasn’t been seen in a week

Tracy Ferguson, 57, has been away from the boat where she resides on Stewart Avenue

Nanaimo painter Eileen Williamson presents ‘A Little of This….A Little of That’ at Art 10 Gallery until the end of May. (Josef Jacobson/News Bulletin)
Nanaimo artist unveils new body of work after rediscovering motivation

Eileen Williamson presents ‘A Little of This … A Little of That’ at Art 10 Gallery

The Regional District of Nanaimo has its sights set on busing to the Cowichan Valley in time for March 2022. (News Bulletin file)
RDN Transit has sights set on busing to Cowichan Valley by next March

Unallocated transit hours already in the budget

Parking decals for motorcycles owned by riders with disabilities are now available from the Nanaimo Disability Resource Centre. (Photo submitted)
Motorcycle decals now available in Nanaimo for disabled riders

Limited number of decals now available from the Nanaimo Disability Resource Centre

Nanaimo painter Eileen Williamson presents ‘A Little of This….A Little of That’ at Art 10 Gallery until the end of May. (Josef Jacobson/News Bulletin)
Nanaimo artist unveils new body of work after rediscovering motivation

Eileen Williamson presents ‘A Little of This … A Little of That’ at Art 10 Gallery

A map of Huu-ay-aht-owned forestry cutblock. (SUBMITTED PHOTO)
B.C. First Nations restrict access to territory in wake of forestry standoffs

Huu-ay-aht set up checkpoints after heated and dangerous incidents on southwest Vancouver Island

RCMP are searching for Philip Toner, who is a ‘person of interest’ in the investigation of a suspicious death in Kootenay National Park last week. Photo courtesy BC RCMP.
RCMP identify ‘person of interest’ in Kootenay National Park suspicious death

Police are looking for Philip Toner, who was known to a woman found dead near Radium last week

Vancouver Canucks goaltender Thatcher Demko (35) makes a save on Winnipeg Jets’ Nate Thompson (11) during second period NHL action in Winnipeg, Monday, May 10, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Fred Greenslade
Vancouver Canucks see NHL playoff hopes dashed despite 3-1 win over Winnipeg

Montreal Canadiens earn final North Division post-season spot

The B.C. legislature went from 85 seats to 87 before the 2017 election, causing a reorganization with curved rows and new desks squeezed in at the back. The next electoral boundary review could see another six seats added. (Black Press files)
B.C. election law could add six seats, remove rural protection

North, Kootenays could lose seats as cities gain more

The Independent Investigations Office of B.C. is investigating the shooting of an Indigenous woman in the Ucluelet First Nation community of Hitacu. (Black Press Media file photo)
B.C. First Nation wants ‘massive change’ after its 3rd police shooting in less than a year

Nuu-chah-nulth woman recovering from gunshot wounds in weekend incident near Ucluelet

Nurse Gurinder Rai, left, administers the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine to Maria Yule at a Fraser Health drive-thru vaccination site, in Coquitlam, B.C., on Wednesday, May 5, 2021. The site is open for vaccinations 11 hours per day to those who have pre-booked an appointment. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
COVID vaccine bookings to open for adults 40+, or 18+ in hotspots, across B.C.

Only people who have registered will get their alert to book

Most Read