Exquisitely produced, powerful, poetic and resonant.
Exploring the intersection of Indigenous and new performance, Kaha:wi Dance Theatre’s works feature visually stunning, visceral, and thought provoking performance created through Indigenous knowledge, process and methodology.
Founded in 2005 by Artistic Director Santee Smith, Kaha:wi (Ga-HA-Wee) means “to carry” in the Kahnyen’kehàka (Mohawk) language and is a traditional name for Smith’s family. Operating as an artist-run sole proprietorship since 2001, KDT officially incorporated into a not-for-profit organization in June 2005 and received charitable status in 2006. KDT is located on Six Nations of the Grand River and Toronto, ON.
KDT supports research, creation, production and dissemination of the work of founding Artistic Director Santee Smith along with artistic collaborators. Smith’s programming fosters opportunities for creativity; investment in artistic process and dialogue; exploration of Indigenous methodologies; collaboration and inter-cultural exchange with artists and community. KDT actively promotes Indigenous voices and philosophical framework through resurgent process and practice.
“Our performance aims to be integrated, interdisciplinary, multi-dimensional, multi-voiced, intergenerational, inter-cultural, transformative, abstracted and literal embodied narratives. It spans ancestral to futurity, holding past, present and future in one space, experience, and body. Indigenous performance transcends the binary debate between traditional vs contemporary and includes processes and outcomes that are founded not only on euro-western methodologies.” Santee Smith - Artistic Director
KDT carves space for Indigenous audiences to witness themselves, their story’s, body and voice, a very rare occurrence in the performing arts. For non-Indigenous audiences, KDT’s performances offer counter-narratives and insight into culture not represented in the mainstream narratives.
KDT’s programming cultivates and engages with artists and community through artist talks, community workshops, and dance training such as our annual Creation Lab.
Our charity number is 826507949RR0001