natsumi sophia bellali

Natsumi Sophia Bellali was born in Tiohtià:ke/Montréal, and raised by a Japanese mother, and a Moroccan father. She graduated from The Ailey School in New York, where she
cultivated her love and respect toward modern dance, amongst other styles the city showed her. She has performed with MICHIYAYA Dance and Ping Chong + Company,
and has been an understudy for the Mark Morris Dance Group. Bellali utilizes every platform directed her way as a vessel to share the wonders of her roots; from short works for competitive events, to large entertainment productions, to her own solo work Salam Tata currently in creation. She further shares her practice, and her passion to make people feel empowered in their bodies, by teaching in different settings such as wellness centers, yoga studios, pre-professional schools, and by supporting athletes of other disciplines through dance training. What is it to be a child of immigrants in Montreal? Salam Tata illustrates this unique and complex identity through telephone conversations with an aunt living in Morocco. The work addresses the themes of beauty standards, marriage, religion, and womanhood, through dance and theater.

mona el husseini

Open to professional choreographers from culturally diverse backgrounds, the joint support is offered annually in partnership with the CAM,Conseil des arts de Montréal. This support aims to foster the development of a dance artist living in the territory of Montreal and to support them in a process of research, creation, and production of work. The selected artist will be offered the opportunity to present their work in the MAI spaces as part of the official program during the 23-24 season.

Mona El Husseini is an Egyptian Contemporary Dance artist based in Tiohtià:ke / Montreal. She completed her dance education at the Cairo Contemporary Dance Center in Egypt and studied International Business and Contemporary Dance at Concordia University. She teaches barre, Pilates, and contemporary dance in Montreal and Cairo. Mona is currently working on Monday or Tuesday: a solo search, and a mother-daughter duet titled Creatrix. In her creative process, Mona goes beyond the dance and traces the thread that weaves the different art forms she practices including Martial Arts, painting, and writing. In un-layering questions of personal identity and heritage, Mona is interested in how stories are transmitted, shared, and told through the body across generations. She finds the dance in the place where the inner and outer meet, the traditional and the contemporary converse, and in the encounter between the intimate and the collective. 

Creatrix started as an invitation to co-create a dance duet with her mother, Hala; a doctor, science teacher, and a mother of three who is not trained in dance. In this process, they dance through their genealogy in an attempt to get to know themselves and each other by meeting those who preceded them. Using tokens, photos, and letters passed down through generations, they reflect on their past; where they come from, and where they now find themselves. Mona and her mother visit home in their fluid memories and vivid childhoods. Mona tries to touch all that is fleeting and step on the intangible rhythms that animate their heritage. They bring their opposing worlds to one another and search for the common denominator in art and science, motherhood and girlhood, past and present. Her mother always wanted to write her memoirs, in return, this dance may count as a prelude to achieve this goal. 

nicole jacobs

Member of Curve Lake First Nation and Tiohtià:ke/Montréal based dance artist, Nicole Jacobs trained in ballet, jazz, tap, acrobatics, and musical theater prior to graduating from Concordia University with a BFA in contemporary dance, and a minor in psychology. Nicole is an experienced contact improvisation dancer and facilitator, having studied the dance form intensely through traveling, teaching, and assisting in the organization of contact improvisation festivals in India, Thailand, Portugal, and Germany. Nicole has participated in numerous projects both as a performer and facilitator throughout Quebec with Theatre Junction, St. Ambroise Montréal Fringe Festival, Take Up Space Dance, Chantiers Jeunesse, and Le Gros Orteil. Her teaching repertoire includes developing workshops that she has facilitated at BIGBANG, Extravadanse studio, Collège Sainte Anne, and private training. She also develops accessible dance classes for neuro-diverse populations that she has shared across Canada and England. Nicole’s current research is focused on the meeting points between contemporary dance, floorwork, acrobatics, and interpretation. She is interested in the merging of disciplines and drawing from her training in theater and circus arts to create work that is experiential and poetic in nature.

Photo credits: Robert-Majewski

marbella carlos + chloé seyrès

Marbella Carlos and Chloe Seyrès, are the queer performing arts collective Kozmic Joy –a collective which focuses on merging interdisciplinary practices, elevating marginal art forms and marginal artists.

Marbella Carlos is an interdisciplinary artist who was born in Manila, Philippines. In her practice, she uses burlesque to explore her experience as a racialized Canadian. Her work has led to multiple awards and performances including Bagel Burlesque Festival, Fierté Montreal 2019, Teaser Festival in New Orleans. She was the winner of the Best Debut category at the top burlesque competition in the world, the Burlesque Hall of Fame in Las Vegas.

Chloé Seyrès is a French queer roller dancer. A former high-level athlete, 4-time world champion, and ex-member of 2 national teams, she is now a movement artist and coach. She has performed in a variety of cabarets, corporate events and festivals, on-screen doing motion capture for the Rollerchampion video game, as a support dancer for TVA’s Les Chanteurs Masqués, and in music videos for The Sloe Gin Fizz, Raphaël Dénommé and Mike Clay. Most impressively, she has been contracted to showcase her skills in performances with Cirque Éloize, Montréal Complètement Cirque, and Fierté Montréal 2022.

f.k.a. art club

F.K.A. Art Club Collective Bio

Favielle Petit Clair, Kathleen Charles and Awa Banmana form the newly founded collective: F.K.A. Art Club. With a co-conspirator relationship, the artists trace similarities between Fav and Kat’s Haitian heritage and Awa’s Senegalese heritage. Together, they form a powerful artist collective focused on how multidisciplinary creative expression can be used to build community resilience and resistance in the face of systemic oppression, for individuals who live at the intersection of racialized and homophobic violence.

Born in France, Spanish-Senegalese artist Awa Banmana’s is an Queer Afropean emerging artist. Their work is centered around multidisciplinary. In 2020, Banmana was involved in the creation of the Black Lives Matter mural «La Vie des Noir.e.s Compte» and was selected to be in residence for Moebius magazine. Banmana’s video clip «KICKER», co-directed with musician Kaya Hoax, was also featured in the Melbourne Midsumma Festival 2021.

Favielle “Fav” Petit Clair, is a Queer woman from Haitian descent. Having grown up in such a rich and crowded city her proximity to people and the social bonds she formed tainted her approach to art. With an Afrocentric artistic practice, Favielle obtained her first exhibition in 2017 for FOVA during Black History month. 

Kathleen Charles is a queer Haitian writer, songstress, performer, therapist in training and community organizer. Their poetry explores the power that art has to heal communities. Their art, whether it be music or poetry is made to heal themselves and to heal others by providing validating imagery to move through the traumas of systemic oppression. 

jamila ‘jai' joseph

Jamila ‘Jai’ Joseph is the recipient of the joint mentorship with Playwright’s Workshop Montreal for 21-22.

Jamila ‘Jai’ Joseph is a Montreal based interdisciplinary artist with her primary mediums being dance performer 20+yrs/choreographer 10+yrs, self taught emerging singer 15yrs/song writer 15yrs, emerging theatre artist 3yrs. A past recipient of Black Theatre Workshop’s Victor Phillips award in 2002 Jamila has continued performing, creating, and learning, telling
her stories, and sharing her expressions throughout her work. In 2015, Jamila started JaiDanse, a dance facilitation/dance performance company and has produced and co-produced shows both for stage and theatre at local venues around the city. Between 2017 – 2019 Jamila has had the pleasure of joining the casts of How Black Mothers Say I Love you, written by Trey Anthony (Black
Theatre Workshop 2019) & Nicole Brooke’s a Cappella “musical odyssey” Obeah Opera (ASAH Productions 2019) in Toronto, with her first stage role being back in 2017 where she portrayed ‘Lady in Purple‘ in the Ntozake Shange’s For Colored Girls… (McGill University’s Tuesday Night Café Theatre) and again in 2018 as an “Encore presentation…” produced by the cast (Les 6 Productions).
As we all came to stand still in the last 2 years, Jamila used the time to study her crafts, sharpen her creative tools and has added some new skills to her toolbelt. Currently, she is choreographing for theatre (TBD) and is also writing script and song/working on her own Performance Theatre piece entitled Wild Roots. 

chloé barshee

Graduated of the École supérieure de théâtre de l’UQAM in 2014, Chloé Barshee co-founded the Grande Surface collective with her classmates when she left school. She has been seen performing at the Théâtre La Chapelle, at the Théâtre du Rideau-Vert in the production Molière, Shakespeare et moi and at the Zone Homa festival.

She is the theater director of Théâtre Everest. She is the one who constructs and imagines the craziest images, the one who always pushes the limits of the possible, who always asks herself : How are we going to do this?

“With Théâtre Everest, the creative process is a return to our roots, to childhood, a great playground where anything is possible, where anything can happen, where an accident can turn into an extraordinary idea and where there are no right or wrong moves… because it’s all about creation.”