Sky Dancers

A’nó:wara Dance Theatre Montreal (Kahnawake)
  • Choreography and direction by Barbara Kaneratonni Diabo

Sky Dancers is a new multidisciplinary dance piece that explores the impact of the Quebec Bridge disaster of 1907, which killed 33 ironworkers from the Mohawk community of Kahnawake. The fallout was felt around the world and the aftermath still echoes across generations.

Choreographer Barbara Kaneratonni Diabo’s great-grandfather, Louis D’Ailleboust, was one of the men who perished in the tragedy. More than a century later, she explores from an Indigenous perspective, not only the impact the loss had on her community, but also shines a light on the strength of the community, the resilience of the women and the contributions the people have made to society.

Through the integration of dance, video projections, theatre, sophisticated set design and a mix of contemporary and traditional music, Sky Dancers puts a human face to a story that represents many of the struggles that Indigenous peoples have had to rise above.

© John Lauener
© John Lauener


A’nó:wara Dance Theatre is led by Barbara Kaneratonni Diabo. Originally from Kahnawake and now living in Montreal, Barbara is Kanienkehaka (Mohawk) and has been a dancer and choreographer for more than 25 years. She specializes in combining traditional First Nation’s dance and contemporary styles, and her goal is to inspire others, encourage cultural pride, uplift the spirit, and increase education and communication.

Creative team

  • Choreography and direction by Barbara Kaneratonni Diabo
  • Music director Michael Tekaronianeken Diabo 
  • Set, video and lighting design Andy Moro
  • Costume design Jeff Chief 
  • Co-producer Gregg Parks 

National Creation Fund investment

The National Creation Fund’s investment of $120,000 supported a technical residency to fully explore the integration of the set, lighting and projections, as well as additional workshops with the dancers to further refine the choreography.


Production Partners:  Harbourfront, Y2D Productions and Live Art Dance. 

Developed with support from the NAC's National Creation Fund, the Canada Council for the Arts, the Conseil des arts et des lettres du Québec and the Mohawk Council of Kahnawake. 

Performance dates

Past performances

September 10 & 11, 2021:  World premiere at Cinquième Salle, La Place des Arts (Montreal), presented by Festival Quartiers Danses

September 30, 2021:  Spatz Theatre (Halifax), presented by the Prismatic Festival and Live Art Dance

May 20 to 23, 2022:  Fleck Dance Theatre (Toronto), presented by Harbourfront Centre

January 18 to 21, 2023:  Babs Asper Theatre, National Arts Centre

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