Launch of Ancestral Memories in Dancing Bodies

October 5, 2022

On Wednesday, October 5 at 5pm, at the Centre d’art daphne, the first Indigenous artist centre in Montréal, we are launching Ancestral Memories in Dancing Bodies.

Ancestral memories are part of the very fibre of our being: they are lodged in our bones, brain and organs. They suddenly emerge, surprise us and offer comfort, reminding us of an essential human connection that extends far back in time. During this global crisis, it is more urgent than ever that we pay attention to these memories and share their messages.

Guided by Catherine Joncas, dancers Claudia Chan Tak, Lucy Fandel, Charo Foo Tai Wei, Kyana Lyne, Heather Mah, Victoria May, Marine Morales-Casaroli and Marie Mougeolle explored ancestral memories in their dancing bodies in May 2021. During these exploratory workshops, Catherine acted as an elder and guide. To start, she placed four stones in the space to anchor the project in respect, truth (to oneself and others), non-judgement and a willingness to embrace and overcome fear.

These workshops were not filmed or photographed. The participants took with them memories of slowness, introspection, intense focus, fragility and openness. They carried traces of the experience in their bodies, notebook entries and sketches. The adventure was also captured in drawings by artist and illustrator Youloune, who attended the workshops on two occasions. These traces (writings, drawings and sketches), along with new reflections around ancestral memories, have been incorporated into a new publication by Espace Perreault.


Centre d’art daphne
October 5, 5 p.m.
5842 Rue St-Hubert, Montréal


Ancestral Memories in Dancing Bodies

May 2021 - 2023 (ongoing)

In early May 2018, Ondinnok, in collaboration with Tangente, presented Constrained Body, Dancing Body, an event offering multi-faceted perspectives on Indigenous dance in Quebec today. A few days later, the Fondation Jean-Pierre Perreault held its focus day event, Between Traces and Writing. We invited Catherine…



Ancestral Memories in Dancing Bodies

Ancestral Memories in Dancing Bodies is a publication that emerged from a workshop about ancestral memories conducted in May 2021 by Catherine Joncas. The booklet offers reflections and excerpts from the notebook entries of Claudia Chan Tak, Lucy Fandel, Charo Foo Tai Wei, Lise Gagnon, Catherine...