Welcome back to ‘UKnadian’!*
If this is your first time connecting with ‘UKnadian’ – WELCOME! Please feel free to peruse this blog to find information on the first stage of development!
To recap: the first stage of development of ‘UKnadian’ focused on choreographer & performer Amelia Griffin’s female family; her British Grandmother and mother, and her Ukrainian Baba (Grandmother). The impulse for the first stage came from a desire to understand what it means to be a woman, cultural and traditional inheritance, and coming to terms with a complex identity.
Her mother, poet and scientist Gillie Griffin, contributed edited and revised poems from her 1994 publication Warm Bodies, Foreign Parts as text to accompany this work. Other collaborators include talented local artists Sarah Waisvisz (dramaturg- narrative), and Allison Burns (Outside Eye- dance). The first stage of development was graciously presented by local independent theatre series TACTICS: The Independent Series in their Work-In-Progress showings as a part of their 2017 season.
Amelia would like to thank these artists and TACTICS for their enormous contribution to the development of UKnadian!
The impulse for this second stage comes from a desire to dig deeper. Deeper into what we carry with us, in our DNA, in our thoughts, in our actions. As an ancestral immigrant (via Ireland, + Ukraine), and an immigrant herself (via UK), Amelia is investigating what it means to be living in Canada.
A few questions that arise at the beginning of this stage are:
- What lies beneath the surface of our being?
- How much trauma is first-hand, and how much is from our ancestors?
- What does it feel like to experience inherited trauma? Are we pre-disposed to PTSD?
- What, as immigrants do/did we bring to this land?
- How do we reconcile the pain of the past in our individual experience? Is it possible to erase intergenerational trauma through access to a peaceful land?
- How do we move respectfully on a land we immigrate to, that is stolen and unceded (Canada of Turtle Island)?
The following quote is also a point of departure, as well as Matryoshka doll imagery:
“Meaning and function depend on context. Organisms can be seen therefore rather like those Russian dolls, hiding one inside another. As we drill down from one level to another, we encounter the same problem. Whether dealing with molecular networks, organelles, cells, tissues, organs, systems or the whole organism, each level acts as the container – the context – within which the inner ‘doll’ can be understood. Work at all levels, and particularly work that spans the levels, is essential to unravel the logic of living systems”. – Denis Noble, President of the International Union of Physiological Sciences
This second stage of development will therefore focus on the intergenerational impact of trauma, and immigration through the phenomena of epigenetics.
Amelia Griffin is again working with her mother Gillie Griffin; this time calling on her to create three new poetry works, and on her scientist-self to navigate and investigate epigenetics and its impact of the next generation’s DNA to inform the work.
Please enjoy this video of Amelia and Gillie talking about the start of their creative process (warning: full of giggles!):
Gillie + Millie – UKnadian Phase 2
Thank you for supporting and engaging with UKnadian’s second stage of creation! We look forward to sharing more news with you!
Amelia Griffin would like to thank the following for supporting this stage of development:
City of Ottawa
Ottawa Dance Directive
Origin Arts and Community Centre
Svitanok Ukrainian Dance Society
*UKnadian is being created on unceded and stolen Algonquin Territory of the Anishnaabe peoples, c.k.a. (colonially known as) Ottawa.