Dance and activism explored in presentation



How does dance intersect with local and global politics?

Join us as we speak with interdisciplinary artist and educator Ahalya Satkunaratnam to learn about her new book, Dancing Bodies, Navigating Conflict: Practicing Bharata Natyam in Colombo, Sri Lanka, and her dance project called Usha/Agni/Vyvastha (Dawn/Fire/Order).  

This online event, which sees Satkunaratnam in conversation with dance outreach coordinator Aina Yasué, is co-presented by ArtSpring and Made in BC Dance on Tour and runs via Zoom on Wednesday, April 7 at 6:30 p.m.

 The presentation is about how activism, academics and art practice intersect, and will be followed by a Q&A open to the community. It will explore the significance of interdisciplinary approaches to making and understanding art, how one can bring a critical approach into the dance studio space, and how structural and systemic barriers shape arts making and arts analysis.

Ahalya Satkunaratnam is a professor of arts and humanities at Quest University Canada, with over 20 years of experience in anti-racism teaching. Her research examines dance practice in Colombo, Sri Lanka during the civil war (1983-2009), through historical analysis, methods of dance studies and dance ethnography. 

Her own practice as a dancer and choreographer has seen her work presented in Sri Lanka, the U.S. and Canada. Her current piece — Usha/Agni/Vyvastha (Dawn/Fire/Order) — reflects on human experiences of how we live with war through sound, movement and visual arts. Her unique style fuses her Bharata Natyam training and artistic commitment to storytelling that is intertwined in the everyday. 

Amidst the instability of this past year we are excited to speak and learn about how dance can be in conversation with the political and social movements that affect us all. We hope that academics, activists, dancers, artists, educators, authors and anyone else who wants to learn more about dance will join the discussion.

For a free Zoom link to the April 7 event, send an email to

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