About Lua Shayenne
I weaves stories, through dance, song and word. My art practice is embedded in my African roots and the Baha’i Faith’s spiritual teachings. My goal is to “effect a spiritual conquest” by establishing a relation with the human hearts and create original, inspiring and relevant art.
I weave contemporary narratives through dance, song and storytelling. My artistic practice draws from my African roots and my faith – the Baha’i Faith. My art seeks to activate hearts and consciences. I actively engage with my audiences and the communities with with a concern for ecological justice, social justice and spiritual quest.
A 2016/17/18 K.M. Hunter Dance award nominee and a recipient of the 2013 BMO seeds Fund Award for Artists working in community, I am the writer and performer of the dance theatre children series titled, Tales and Dances Around the Baobab of which Yassama and The Beaded Calabash, is the fourth tale. I’m very excited that Yassama will be touring this May & June 2023!
I am the artistic director of Lua Shayenne Dance Company (LSDC). I created my dance company in 2011 as a vehicle to tell inspiring stories and connect with audiences through West African rhythms. I am choreographing three new works for LSDC titled WATER SPIRIT, FRONTIERS | FRONTIÈRES and WAVES | VAGUES, slated to premiere in 2023 and 2024.
Through LSDC, I also envisioned and launched YENSA Festival in 2022, a biennal festival that highlights the incredible multiplicity of black women dance practitioners and nurtures an environment where they can have substantive conversations, take risks and be given due recognitions.
My performing highlights include HOLOSCENES tours in the US, UK, Abu Dhabi & Australia, Été au Théâtre in Italy, Fall for Dance North, Luminato, Dusk Dances, d:mic and more.
I teach at Toronto Metropolitan University’s dance program and I endeavour to bring African dance, music, storytelling and culture to grassroots organizations and schools all over Canada and Europe.