Alida Esmail (she/her) is a Tio’tia:ke/Montreal-based dance and theatre artist born in Burlington, Ontario. She holds a BFA in Contemporary Dance from Concordia University, a Certificate in Movement Arts and Mixed Media from the Attakkalari Centre in India, and a MSc in Rehabilitation Sciences from Université de Montréal. She is also trained in International Ballroom/Latin dance which she currently uses to develop and spread Liquid Lead Dancing, a gender-neutral approach to partner dancing. Alida’s identity as a second generation Canadian-Muslim, bilingual anglophone, and female of colour living in Quebec’s socio-political climate is the backdrop for her choreographic work. As she discovers how to find a sense of belonging, she has also begun to uncover the unspoken loss, erasure, trauma, and privilege from her ancestral lineage passing from India to Africa to Canada.
She has recently created a Collective with Sophia Wright and with the support of Alliance they are building a collaboration with Deaf theatre artist, Hodan Youssouf, to discover her relationship to the above themes. The Collective has also been supported by the Plateau Mont-Royal, the Conseil des arts de Montréal, Théâtre aux Écuries, the Maison de la culture du Plateau Mont-Royal and PTC (Playwrights Theatre Centre) Vancouver. Alongside Alida’s performance career she is also involved in innovative Arts and Health research which has been published in reputable peer-reviewed scientific journals.
Photo credit: Douglas Rideout