Louis Riel Métis Dancers
Louis Riel Métis Dancers
Yvonne Chartrand is a contemporary choreographer and dancer as well as a national award-winning master Métis jigger. Her ancestors come from the Métis community of St. Laurent, Manitoba.
Eloi Homier - Artistic Associate
Eloi is a versatile dancer and artist based in Vancouver, BC. He has performed and toured extensively across Canada and the United States, notably with Vancouver Opera, Kaha:wi Dance Theatre, V'ni Dansi, Watermark Theatre, Henry Daniel, Judith Garay, Ballet Kelowna, Les Grands Ballet Canadiens, and Roxey Ballet. With formal training in classical ballet, his diversified performance styles now include modern dance, improvisation, Métis jigging, theatre, mime, and he uses movement and inspiration from various unrelated disciplines.
After moving to Vancouver, Eloi reconnected with his Métis roots by learning to jig from master jiggers Yvonne Chartrand and Madelaine McCallum and has since been performing and giving workshops all over BC. Eloi has also explored choreography with his first work, 3 ways to kill a dancer, and his newest creation, La End, which both use an eclectic repertoire of movement styles and theatrical elements.
Julia began her intensive movement training at Arts Umbrella, in 1996, when she became a member of their dance company under the directorship of Artemis Gordon. She now holds a B.Sc. Biology from Acadia University, an MA in Dance Performance from the University of Limerick (Ireland), received the Vancouver Foundation’s 2004/2005 Advanced Arts Study Award to attend the Ballet BC Mentor Program, and was hired as an apprentice for EDAM's 2007/2008 season. Currently, Julia is Co-Director for Body Narratives Collective, and Assistant Artistic Director for Dancestreams Youth Dance Company based on Vancouver Island, as well as dancing for Aeriosa, Raven Spirit Dance, and Compaigni V’ni Dansi. As a choreographer, Carr has made dances for unusual sites such as tidal flats, wetlands, gardens and living rooms as well as dances for stage performed by Dancestreams Youth Dance Company, the Ballet BC Mentor program, and independent dance artist Brigid MacAuley. Julia has also performed her own choreographic adventures, as well as collaborative interdisciplinary pieces co-authored with artists like Meghan Goodman, Even Oldridge, Siobhan Sloane-Seale and Maggie Winston.
Evan was born on the traditional territories of the Anishinabe, Cree, Dakota, Métis and Oji-Cree Nations (Winnipeg, MB), and was raised in the lakeside Métis community of St. Ambroise. Growing up completely immersed in Métis culture, Ducharme has studied traditional and contemporary dance since childhood. He has performed across Canada as well as at the opening of an exhibit commemorating Métis veterans at the Canadian War Museum in France in 2010. In 2012, Ducharme completed studies at the Visual College of Art and Design of Vancouver in Fashion Design, and launched his eponymous clothing label in the same year. This past year Ducharme presented his latest collection at the inaugural Vancouver Indigenous Fashion Week. Many of his inspirations and philosophy in design derive from his Métis heritage and the naturally diverse surroundings of his traditional territory. Ducharme currently lives and works on the ancestral, traditional and unceded territories of the Musqueam, Tsleil Waututh and Squamish Peoples (Vancouver).
Justin was born and raised in the small Métis community of St. Ambroise, Manitoba. Proud of his indigenous heritage, he started dancing at the age of 10 and was a devoted member of the Metis dance group The St. Ambroise Youth Steppers. With them he travelled all across Canada and even France - performing and sharing their dance with the world. Living in the sometimes desolate prairies allowed him to take refuge and comfort in a love for cinema, and he became obsessed with the process of storytelling.
After graduating high school, determined to learn more about the craft, he moved to Vancouver, BC to go to film school. Taking a liking to writing, he started dabbling in screenplays and poetry, exploring & expanding his storytelling using these newly acquired skills and knowledge. Independent filmmaking has always thrilled him and he continues to relish it by creating small, low budget projects for himself and fellow young artists to collaborate on. He is inspired by the everyday complexities of human beings, their relationships and interactions with one another, but also by his upbringing, growing up in the prairies, and more importantly growing up an indigenous person of Canada. Connecting with Yvonne Chartrand through a relative - he just recently started dancing again - with the Louis Riel Métis Dancers and takes immense pleasure in learning more about Métis dance and getting back into the cultural practise that made him who he is today.
Jeanette Kotowich is a Vancouver based professional contemporary Aboriginal dance and performing artist. She holds her Bachelor of Fine Arts from Simon Fraser University, BC. Jeanette is a seasonal dancer with Dancers of Damelahamid, Raven Spirit Dance, and V’ni Dansi. Honoring her Cree Métis heritage (originally from Saskatchewan) as a source of inspiration and reference point in her work, Jeanette is passionate about investigating a blend of contemporary and Indigenous practices.
Jeanette has performed at many festivals in British Columbia including the Vancouver International Dance Festival, the Dancing on the Edge Festival Vancouver, the Firehall BC Buds Festival, Talking Stick Festival, and the Coastal First National Dance Festival. She also performed in at Vancouver 2010 Winter Olympics and with the Vancouver Opera in their adaptation of Mozart’s the Magic Flute. In Ontario she has performed at the IMACT festival and the Weesageechak festival. She has performed in Saskatchewan for New Dance Horizons, Saskatchewan Native Theatre Company, and at Back to Batoche Days.
Repeatedly drawn towards massive projects, Kat is Artistic Director of the Dusty Flowerpot Cabaret Society, producer of the annual Parade of Lost Souls and is the creator director choreographer of The Scarlet Queen of Mercy and Hard Times Hit Parade, two immersive theatrical extravaganzas that sold out in Vancouver and have taken their turns touring BC with up to a 61 person cast! On a regular basis Kat has curated the Dance Centers’ 12 Minutes Maxand New Works’ Pop Up Dances, directed Crimson Coast’s Body Talks and in Vancouver Art Gallery’s FUSE, and produced Trout Lake Day Festival and In Jest Festival. In her spare time, she doesn’t have any. An honors graduate of the UBC film program and the UC Berkeley dance program, Kat found her third education in clown school, and recommends it to anyone. You can find her teaching swing dance, hosting contact dance jams, emceeing events with her infamousGloria’s Happy Hour Revue, and watch out for the debut of her feature film The Scarlet Queen of Mercy coming to the Rio this May!
Madelaine is a dancer from Ile a la Crosse, Saskatchewan. Though her main focus is Métis dance (she's been jigging since she could walk!), she enjoys all forms including Pow Wow, contemporary, and hip hop. As well as performing for such well established organizations as Métis Nation British Columbia and Métis National Council, she also performed in the opening ceremonies for the 2010 winter olympics. Madelaine is also a teacher. She has spent the past 10 years working with the Louis Riel Métis Dancers on traditional Métis dance. Madelaine traveled to Batoche Days and won first place in her age category in 2009. When Madelaine is not dancing she can be seen modeling for Aboriginal clothing line, Artifaax Clothing and working for Women Against Violence Against Women Rape Crisis Centre as the Aboriginal Youth Facilitator.
Madelaine is very thankful for all the opportunities that have come her way since moving to British Columbia because growing up in a town as small as Ile a la Crosse, these things just don't seem possible. Her deep love of dance and firm belief in its healing powers, for the audience as well as the dancer, is what makes Madelaine McCallum such a name to look out for.
Luis G. Canton
Luis was born in Merida, Yucatan, Mexico. He is a descendant from one of the oldest families that settled in Yucatan after the Spanish colonization of the Mayan City of Tho in 1542. His roots are Mayan, Aztec, Spanish and French. He started attending the Fine Arts Institute of Yucatan in 1993 where he took courses in Theatre, Jazz, Contemporary and Classical Ballet. In 1995 he became a member of Ballet-Teatro de Merida where he performed classic stories for children. Half way through his studies toward a degree in Contemporary Dance, Luis was invited by the Company of Contemporary Dance in Yucatan to perform in a variety of local and international festivals in Merida, Yucatan and other Mexican states.
In 1996, he joined the Jorge Faz Dance Company in Yucatan. In 1997, he moved to Guadalajara to teach Contemporary Dance at the IDEA, and dance with the Comedia Musical de Las Americas Company. In 1997, Luis moved to Quintana Roo to work as a Jazz Teacher for the Fine Arts Institute of Chetumal. He was also invited by the Governor of that state to perform in a number of important local festivals. He has worked in Theatre, Dance and Commercial Acting dancing, acting and in some cases choreographing for a number of Dance Companies in Mexico and Canada. Luis' film and TV credits include dance and acting characters at Marriage movie and Skoda Octavia Cosummer Reasearch Commercial. He has trained in Contemporary Dance with: Jeannie Lorraine Baker and Victor Peguero ( National Ballet of Contemporary Dance of Mexico ), Christine Dakine ( Former dancer and director at Martha Graham Dance Company), and Patricia Villareal ( Ballet-Jazz of Montreal) just to name a few. He has danced for V’ni Dansi since 2006 and has also performed with the In Motion Dance Society of Vancouver. Luis recently performed at Interplay2016 and created Casa Simplicity(alternative arts space) in his native Yucatan. He also received a Sash from AD Yvonne Charthrand for his 10 years of artistry at Vni Dansi in 2015.
Anne Maia Raanes Sørensen
Anne Maia hails from Sápmi in northern Norway. In order to pursue her passion for dance she moved to Vancouver. She has danced with Coastal City Ballet and is currently a member of the Arts Umbrella Dance Company. She joined V´ni Dansi as an apprentice in March 2017 and is happy to be a full company member today.
As an indigenous person, she is grateful to be welcomed into the Aboriginal dancing community in Canada. She hopes to bring joy to your hearts.
Lyric Prefontaine was born in Vancouver in 1999. She began dancing at the age of four and studied many styles of dance including jazz, tap, ballet, lyrical, contemporary, hip hop, Polynesian, musical theatre, stage, acrobatics, and tumbling. She is very passionate about the performing arts whether it be singing, acting, or dancing. Lyric has also been part of two musicals. She was Evillene the wicked witch of the west in The Wiz, and Ms. Potts in The Beauty and The Beast. Lyric joined V'ni Dansi in March 2017 and is honoured to be part of the company. Lyric is currently a full time student at SFU where she is studying Molecular Biology and Biochemistry. Lyric is glad to have the V'ni Dansi practices, rehearsals, and performances as they provide an environment where she can destress and just enjoy dancing.