Ally Individual

Dena Davida (b.1949) was raised in the United States by a family of Jewish and Eastern European heritage and has been an active participant in the North American contemporary dance community for over 55 years. As an ardent artivist curator, she is also an ethnographic researcher, creative dance teacher, community and university teacher, choreographer and performer, contact improviser and currently book and journal editor and indexer. child of the New Age youth movement of the 1960s, having turned her back on the aggressive American intervention in Vietnam during the 1960s and 1970s, she immigrated to Canada in 1977. During her first decade in Montréal, she co-founded and curated the Tangente dance performance space for which she served as curator (1980-2019) and became a co-founder of several Canadian dance organizations such as the Qui Danse? choreographic series, the Festival international de nouvelle danse, the Candance dance touring network, and the Catpoto dance collective. Practice and theory have always been intertwined in her professional journey, and so she earned a B.A. in Theater and Dance at the University of California at Irvine (1970), her M.A. at Wesleyan University in Dance Studies (1995) and was certified in Laban Movement Analysis by the Laban Institute (1996). Her essays and conference papers on dance and culture have been published in various magazines, journals and anthologies. She taught improvisation, composition, creative dance pedagogy, dance aesthetics and anthropology as a chargée de cours in the Dance Department at UQÀM over 26 years. in 2006, in her fifties and also at UQÀM, she completed her doctorate in the Programme d’études et pratiques des arts with an ethnographic study of meaning in a contemporary dance event, and continues to publish widely on dance and culture. She conceived and edited an international anthology on artistic dance ethnography Fields in Motion: Ethnography in the worlds of dance (2018). In 2014, she turned her attention towards the emerging field of live arts curation, co-organizing an international symposium and teaching Canada’s first and only masters’ symposium on the subject at UQÀM. Having co-edited the collection Curating Live Arts: Critical Perspectives, Essays, Conversations (2020) following the symposium, she then co-founded, and currently co-edits and manages of the new biannual publication Turba: The Journal for Global Practices in Live Arts Curaton, launched in spring 2022.
Last reviewed: Jan 17th, 2024