Lara Kramer is a performer, choreographer, and multidisciplinary artist of mixed Oji-cree and settler heritage, raised in London, Ontario. She lives and works in Tiohtià:ke/Mooniyang/Montreal. Her choreographic work, research and field work over the last fourteen years has been grounded in intergenerational relations, intergenerational knowledge, and the impacts of the Indian Residential Schools of Canada. She is the first generation in her family to not attend the Residential schools. Kramer’s relationship to experiential practice and the creative process of performance, sonic development and visual design is anchored in the embodiment of experiences such as dreams, memories, knowledge, and reclamation. Her creations in the form of dance, performance and installation have been presented across Canada and Australia, New Zealand, Martinique, Norway, the US and the UK.
She has received multiple awards, acknowledgments, and prizes for her work both as an emerging and established artist. Lara was appointed a Human Rights Advocate through the Holocaust Memorial Centre of Montreal in 2012, following the national tour of her work Fragments, a performance piece informed by her mother’s stories and lived experience as a survivor of the Indian Residential Schools of Canada. In 2017-18 Lara was presented with the prestigious Ashley Fellowship with Trent University, as well as appointed the CanDance creation fund for her work Windigo. In 2018, Lara received the Jacqueline-Lemieux Prize for recognition of artistic excellence and distinguished career achievement in dance. Two artworks from Kramer’s In Blankets, Herds and Ghosts were recently acquired by Pointe-à-Callière, Museum of Archaeology and History (2022-23).
Her work brings the audience into the art world, where stillness and silence are knowledge, where the experience of art acts as a mode of transportation into daydreams, imagining, creation, and possibility. This possibility is the connection to social justice and social change. Often blunt and raw, playing with the strength and vulnerability of the body, her pieces stand out for their engagement, sensitivity, close and instinctive listening to the body, and her attention to the invisible.
In 2017 Lara curated Welcome to Indian Country for MAI (Montréal, arts interculturels) as part of Eclectik where she premiered This Time Will be Different, created with Emilie Monnet. The installation and performance piece denounced the status quo of the Canadian government’s discourse regarding Indigenous relations and criticized the “national reconciliation industry”. In 2020, Lara was commissioned to create two new public billboard works, located on the façades of Café Cherrier and the Bonsecours Market in Montreal. In Blankets, Herds and Ghosts is a new work by multidisciplinary artist and choreographer Lara Kramer, Dazibao satellite is the result of a special partnership between Dazibao and the MAI (Montréal, arts interculturels). Her practice is in Performance, Choreography, Multidisciplinary Art-sonic experimentation, video/film, photography, installation and Visual Art.
She has been on the faculty of the Indigenous Dance Residency at The Banff Centre and has taught workshops across Canada and in Australia and New Zealand. In 2016 Lara initiated The Cradleboard Project, a multi-generational community project fostering the reclaiming of traditional practices developed in collaboration with her mother, artist, and knowledge keeper Ida Baptiste offered at the Native Women’s Shelter and Native Montreal. She was the guest teacher at Nunatta Isiginnaartitsisarfia – The National Theatre of Greenland in 2018. She also landed her debut role in François Delisle film Cash Nexus in 2019 as supporting character Angie. Lara has participated in several residencies including Indian Residential School Museum of Canada in Portage la Prairie in 2008 and Dancemakers Artist in Residency from 2018-2021. In 2021, Lara joined the MAI as an associate artist and programming curator for the MAI’s 25th anniversary season. Lara Kramer is a Center de Création O Vertigo – CCOV Associate Artist since 2021.