Artist, performer and choreographer based in Canada, known for her radical works at the edge of dance and performance. At the young age of 26, she had already won two awards for her choreographies. She was a double prizewinner at the Prix de la danse de Montréal, winning both the Prix du CALQ for Best Choreography of 2015-2016 for her choreographic installation When the Ice Melts, Will We Drink the Water?, and the Prix Découverte de la danse, presented by Agora de la danse and Tangente, for Unrelated (her first choreography). Daina was named by the prestigious German TANZ magazine as one of 30 promising artists for the year 2017 and named one of 25 to watch by the American publication, DANCE in 2018. In 2019, she won a New York Dance and Performance Award, Bessie, for Outstanding Choreographer. In 2020 Daina received a fellowship award from Springboard Danse Montreal. In 2021, at the age of 30, she had two separate Retrospectives of her performance artworks; one in Montpellier, France and the second in Montreal, Canada.
Recognized as one of the most promising young choreographers of the next generation, since 2015 her work has been presented over one-hundred times in 15 countries and over 33 different cities. Her work being presented in some of the most prestigious festivals (The Venice Biennale, Oktoberdans, the Munich Dance Biennale, Montpellier Danse) and on the stages of the world (Canada, France, Spain, Belgium, Norway, Finland, Greenland, Germany, Italy, Switzerland, and Mexico).
In 2020 she relocated to Gabriola Island, British Columbia where she re-sources her creative and energetic practices close to the rain forest on the west coast of Canada while she is not touring or creating abroad. She continues to tour regularly in Europe, Canada and the United States. In 2020 two new pieces were released: a male solo, Laborious Song and a group piece, J’ai pleuré avec les chiens (later re-named TIME, CREATION, DESTRUCTION in 2021.)
Daina has also started another group piece Te Daré Una Buena Noticia Cada Vez Que Respire with 10 performers. In 2021 Daina presented 5 of her original works at Montpellier Dance Festival: Unrelated (2014), Pour (2016), When the ice melts, will we drink the water? (2016), Serpentine (2017) and Laborious Song (2020). Daina presented 4 of her original works at Usine-C titled <<Daina Ashbee Retrospective>> which featured Unrelated, Pour, When the ice melts, will we drink the water? and Laborious Song in October 2021.
She is also a teacher of movement, choreography and therapeutic practices. She has taught at the Venice Biennale College in Venice, Italy, as a guest at The University of Stavanger, Norway and at The University of the Arts in Philedelphia U.S.A. Daina presented her workshops at Nulty Bod/ZeroPoint Festival in Prague, in Guadalajara, Mexico, across Canada and especially in Montreal, Quebec., for the past 13 years. In 2022 she will teach in Costa Rica and accross Canada.
Photo by Nicolas VanAchter