Oriah Wiersma


Oriah Wiersma (she/her) is a choreographer, dance artist, and Craniosacral therapist. Her work is process led and physically responsive through the mediums of movement and sound. As an interpreter she works with various choreographers from Toronto and Montreal. As a choreographer Oriah works in collaboration with musicians regularly through music videos and live performances. In her projects with the band ZINNIA she has performed alongside them at Pop Montreal, the Basement Review Series, ArtsWells festival in BC, and Long Winter Toronto. She connects with her home community, Cobourg, and the younger generation through her work with the organization SONG (Songs for the Next Generation). She created five choreographic works and was movement director for R. Murray Schafer’s musical drama The Spirit Garden. A site specific outdoor production with close to 100 performers. Oriah is currently creating a series of solos where she develops movement and soundscapes simultaneously. She presented her most recent work, “isn’t this where”, at PERSPECTIVES through Connection Dance Works in St John, New Brunswick this past December.

Photo by Zahra Saleki

Proposed Research


“My artistic practice is process led and physically responsive through the mediums of movement and sound and is rooted in discovery of sensation and somatic autobiographical sourcing. I am curious about altering perception, embodied experience, cognitive expansion, and playing with the sense of time.

For this research project, I am creating soundscapes in which I move and I integrate creative instincts from disparate fields of study; dance, body work (Craniosacral therapy), and my early training in music. I seek to understand how I am situated, what came before me, what will come after, and how all of it is non-linear. I am curious about the place where lines blur. What came before me? Where is the beginning and end of me? What do I carry that is not “mine”? I question control or lack thereof – we are handed cards and have no say – these cards can build a mountain too high to climb or a house of history with too many rooms.”

PHOTO BY Michael Mohan