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Derek Souvannavong

Toronto-based emerging artist Derek Souvannavong is a 2022 graduate of the Bachelor of Fine Arts Honours Dance Program at York University, where his achievements in choreography and performance were recognized with the Spedding Memorial Scholarship and the Menaka Thakkar Award in World Dance. He has recently performed solo work 'this identity: woven' created in collaboration with Peggy Baker through the RBC emerging Artists Program, as well as performed work through DaCo Lab hosted by Angela Blumberg. He is a former company member of Free Flow Dance Theatre where he has performed in numerous productions by guest artists Terrill Maguire, Danny Grossman, Edward Kastrau and Newton Moraes. Also Intrigued by traditional Lao dance forms, Souvannavong wishes to continue exploring relations between Lao dance forms and the western diaspora of contemporary dance.

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Artistic Statement
My current work focuses on traditional Lao dance forms and their relations to western contemporary dance. It looks at its similarities and differences but more importantly it touches upon my identity as a Lao-Canadian dance artist. With a heavy training in western dance forms, I questioned what my role within contemporary dance is. It allowed me to question a loss of self-identity and explore ways to rekindle and rejoice in who I am within a Eurocentric dance form.
Dance to me, is something universal that transcends verbal language and conveys thoughts, feelings, and messages through the use of the body. It is something to be shared and celebrated. I believe the same with culture. My work pursues the recognition and festivity of different identities and cultures that celebrate dance together through the sharing and giving of such. I aim to celebrate and acknowledge my heritage and culture and bring a part of me into every work that I do.
Postal Code
M5B 0C3
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Touring Information

Currently Touring
this identity: woven
Description of currently touring show
'this identity: woven' is a letter to self-identity, language, culture and sharing. It endeavours to look at bridging cultural gaps and mixed identities that emerged from forgotten identities, resurfacing to be celebrated and developed into a genuine sharing of self to others and space. It looks at a weaving of fortified identities in the body: two languages of English and Lao and where they sit in the body, the shapes, lines and curves they create and how they interact with each other through a physical language of its own. “I don’t know what I want to reach or how I want to reach it, but I want to bring it into a space with others.”
Solo | 12min |
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