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In Conversation with Samantha Sutherland

Headshot of Samantha Sutherland
Photo by Aidan Tooth Photography

naⱡa

Choreographed by Samantha Sutherland

Citadel Spring Mix
Programme 2
April 9, 11, 13, 14, 2024

Share a little about your dance background, and/or your creative process.

I grew up in Vancouver and started my professional dance training at Arts Umbrella, where I graduated from the Dance Diploma Program in 2018. Since then I’ve had the pleasure to learn from many wonderful artists who have helped shape my choreographic process and approach to performance. Artists such as Olivia C. Davies, Aria Evans, Santee Smith, Brian Solomon, and Alejandro Ronceria to name a few. They have taught me ways to pull culture, history, and traditional knowledge into a contemporary dance practice.

What drew you to apply to the Citadel Spring Mix program?  

Having participated in multiple Open Space Residencies, and performed at The Citadel in the past, Spring Mix was a perfect platform to present my new work naⱡa. I have always greatly benefited creatively from the time and space that The National Ballet of Canada provides, and I love the intimate nature of The Citadel and all the support they provide as a venue. It’s a winning combination.

What are you most looking forward to during this process? 

naⱡa is my first ensemble work I have created. The process has already taught me so much on who I am as a creator, and leader. I am very thankful to my dancers and their vulnerability and willingness to dive into the depths of this work.

What excites you about Toronto’s dance scene? 

I appreciate how supportive we are of one another in the Toronto dance scene. I make it a priority to attend shows my friends are either dancing in or have created, and I feel that support reciprocated from my community.

What is next for this work after Citadel Spring Mix? 

I plan on expanding naⱡa into a longer, more full-length work. I want to take my time with this endeavour and surround myself with mentors and collaborators I respect. I am in a state of learning and absorbing with naⱡa and I can’t wait to see what it teaches me next.