Emily Solstice Tait’s practice is rooted in contemporary dance and her work crosses into theatre, devising, choreography, and stage management. She was raised in Winnipeg and is of mixed settler and Ojibway ancestry (Berens River First Nation). Emily found her way into dance through the School of Contemporary Dancers. In 2019 she completed her B.A. Honours in Contemporary Dance and a B.A. in Theatre Stage Management.
Professionally she has dance for Winnipeg Contemporary Dancers’s Actualize (Ming Hon) and Calibrations of Flux (Jolene Bailie), Odette Heyn-Projects/Indian City Canada Day Live (Ottawa) & Winnipeg Symphony Orchestra, Théâtre Cercle Molière Marathon De Création (Miguel Fortier), Stephanie Ballard and Dancers, Sarasvati Productions (Winnipeg), Theatre New Brunswick/ Confederation Centre for the Arts (PEI), Raven Spirit Dance (Vancouver), New Blue Emerging Dance (Toronto), Creando Lazos a Través de la Danza (Léon & Guanajuato, México) and with New Dance Horizons/ Rouge-gorge (Regina). Most recent work includes moi, suel·e (my·self) video with Miguel Fortier and Eric Plamondon with Théâtre Cercle Molière (TCM) and Perceptions with Kelsey Kanata Wavey and Juniper Mann-Nelson as part of TCM online Culture Days.
Her choreographic work has enlivened spaces like The Manitoba Museum, The Forks National Historic Site, and found its way into indie film and theatre productions throughout Winnipeg.
Creators Jeanette and Emily, team up in collaboration to explore Indigenous perspectives to choreographic practices and methodologies to theatre making. As new collaborators, and dancers of mixed ancestry, we are inspired to be in process together to deepen our creative relationship and to shape our methodology through an Indigenous lens. We are compelled to investigate narratives from the feminine Indigenous perspective, and to research cultural perspectives for dance and theatre making through community dialogue and engagement. Inviting the wisdom of established Indigenous artists to be in dialogue with us, as we widen our perspectives and develop our skills as creators. By listening carefully, respecting the land, and diving deeper into connection to the natural world that we are all grounded within, we seek to nourish our dance methodology and creative selves.
Jeanette and Emily both trace their families lines to prairie lands. Jeanette is originally from Treaty 4 territory Saskatchewan, and creates work that reflects a Métis cultural narrative within the context of contemporary Indigenous dance performance and Indigenous futurism. Emily is from Treaty 1 Territory and is a member of Beren Rivers First Nation (Treaty 5), her practice is rooted in contemporary dance but her work crosses into theatre, devising, choreography, and stage management. Dance and theatre have criss-crossed our creative paths for the past three years. Now, in this time of stillness, we have come together to strengthen one another and build our collective dance methodology with the guidance of selected established Indigenous artists who have gone before us. Marsi, Hiy Hiy, Meegwetch to those who so generously share with us.
“We are happy to work with YLDE to share our overall research and finding publicly and looking for meaningful and innovative ways to engage in online platforms. We believe that the research work will shed light onto what we will share, and how. We are keen to respond to the shifting creative landscapes of online programming, and also intend to share our meta data (ex. conversations), as by-products of the creative process, to deeply engage the audience in our creative explorations.” – Jeanette Kotowich + Emily Solstice Tait
Photos by Michelle Panting