New Exhibition | "It's About Time: Dancing Black in Canada 1900-1970 and Now", curated by Seika Boye

Date: Sep 10, 2020

Deadline: Dec 5, 2020 - 5:00 pm

It’s About Time: Dancing Black in Canada 1900–1970 and Now, on view at the Mitchell Art Gallery from September 15 to December 5, illuminates the largely undocumented dance history of Canada’s Black population before 1970, with responses from contemporary performing and visual artists reflecting on how the archival resonates in this moment, and in Alberta.

Curated by Seika Boye, PhD, this archival exhibition exposes the representation of Blackness on Canadian stages, as well as audience and media reception of Black performance in Canada during this era. It’s About Time also explores legislation of leisure culture, dance lessons and the role of social dances at mid-century. Featured are individual dance artists such as Leonard Gibson, Ola Skanks, Ethel Bruneau, Joey Hollingsworth and Kathryn Brown.

This is the fourth presentation of the archival materials in It’s About Time. New to this iteration, Boye has invited contemporary performing and visual artists — either from or currently based in Alberta — to respond to the archive and consider what the history of Black people dancing in Canada reveals about our contemporary moment.

Featuring dance artists Michèle Moss and Ashley “Colours” Perez, visual artists Braxton Garneau and Preston Pavlis, author Cheryl Foggo, with graphic response by Adriana Contreras and photography by Mike Tan.

Archival exhibition commissioned by Dance Collection Danse in 2017, copyright Seika Boye.

Image credit: Preston Pavlis, when the jig is up, when the act is finished, when the curtain descends (detail), 2020. Courtesy of the artist.