ICONIC+ is an artist-led, disability dance-based performance created by the NaAC dance ensemble. Expressed as a collection of solos, duos and group work, ICONIC+ incorporates a wide range of dance, performance styles, individual expression, and collaboration driven by the ensemble members’ personal vernacular and lived experience. Rooted in improvisation, this ground-breaking work will incorporate innovative technology to create a spectacle that is accessible to both artists and audiences.
For this project, roles such as artistic director and choreographer have been removed, placing more artistic decisions in the hands of the ensemble. By redistributing power and prioritizing the ensemble members’ creative voice, the sense of personal connection and autonomy within this work has been profound. Through movement, visual art, audio, and conversation, the ensemble has explored concepts of love, loss, independence, relationships, and alter egos.
Founded in 1975 as the In-Definite Arts Society, the National accessArts Centre (NaAC) is Canada’s oldest and largest disability arts organization – and in 2020, it became the country’s first multidisciplinary disability arts organization. Today, the NaAC supports more than 350 artists living with developmental and/or physical disabilities through on-site studio supports and workshops, and an even broader community of Canadian artists with disabilities through immersive programs delivered online.
In 2018, the Centre became one of the first Canadian disability arts organizations to tour internationally and launch a global artist residency initiative. Since then, NaAC artists and/or their works have travelled to destinations including Hong Kong, Seoul, Dubai, Guadalajara, New York, and Tokyo. In 2020, the NaAC became the first disability arts organization to partner with Canada’s foreign affairs ministry that led to the acquisition of thirteen NaAC artist works to be a part of the Government of Canada’s permanent collection.
The National Creation Fund’s investment of $190,000 supports the addition of two major elements to the project’s development: the integration of technology, and a gathering of performers from the disability community. With additional time for workshops and rehearsals, the creators and co-conspirators will build technical literacy and understand the scope of possibilities through exploration and testing, which will integrate the artists’s multidisciplinary approach. And through residencies and performances in Calgary, Montreal and Canmore, the ensemble and collaborators will have an opportunity to deepen the exploration of key concepts and fully explore the integration of technology, costumes and technical elements.
Co-produced by the National Arts Centre's National Creation Fund.
With support from the Canada Council for the Arts, Decidedly Jazz Danceworks, Tangente and artsPlace.
Premiering in 2024.