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

Nanaimo will be the community hardest-hit by ferry layoffs, union says

B.C. Ferry and Marine Workers’ Union looking at its legal options

Woman arrested in Nanaimo after attempted RV break-in with owner inside

Incident happened April 1 in the 700 block of Drake Street

Community strength urged in combatting COVID-19 in Nanaimo

Health-care workers at Nanaimo Regional General Hospital saluted

COVID-19: Nanoose Bay man forges hearts for his community

Kasprick has already given out approximately 400, plans to make it 600

‘Better days will return’: Queen Elizabeth delivers message amid COVID-19 pandemic

The Queen said crisis reminds her of her first address during World War II in 1940

Emergency aid portal opens Monday, cash could be in bank accounts by end of week: Trudeau

Emergency benefit will provide $2,000 a month for those who have lost their income due to COVID-19

Education, not enforcement: B.C. bylaw officers keeping a watch on physical distancing

A kind word, it turns out, has usually been all people need to hear

‘Stay strong’ graffiti message offers encouragement in downtown Nanaimo

Boarded-up Modern Café regains some of its colour during COVID-19 pandemic

No more ferries will sail from Departure Bay during COVID-19 pandemic

B.C. Ferries announces major changes to sailing schedules starting Saturday, April 4

COVID-19: Hospitals remain safe for childbirth, say Vancouver Island care providers

North Island Hospital has been asked to share its perinatal COVID-19 response plan

Canadian cadets to mark 103rd anniversary of Vimy Ridge April 9 virtually

Idea of Captain Billie Sheridan in Williams Lake, B.C. who wondered what to do in times of COVID-19

B.C. VIEWS: Pandemic shows need for adequate care home staffing

Seniors in B.C. care homes face challenging times

Most Read