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Performance – Dirt Dance

with seth cardinal dodginghorse


Dirt Dance recreates the story of the dispossession of the cardinal dodginghorse family from their ancestral territory on the Tsuut’ina Nation for the construction of Calgary’s Ring Road project.

Additional Information

Dirt Dance with seth cardinal dodginghorse, discussion with Missy LeBlanc to follow

Watch the Performance on YouTube Live: 

Following a pre-recorded and a live performance, cardinal dodginghorse joins curator Missy LeBlanc for a live discussion.

First performed in 2019, Dirt Dance recreates the story of the dispossession of the cardinal dodginghorse family from their ancestral territory on the Tsuut’ina Nation for the construction of Calgary’s Southwest Ring Road project. Dirt Dance—a powwow dance created by seth cardinal dodginghorse—combines mimicked movements from construction vehicles from the construction site that was his family's ancestral land with techniques from his traditional Blackfoot Prairie Chicken Dance practice. Similar to traditional dances that preceded it, Dirt Dance is a response to the ongoing colonial violence on the land and the body in the name of economic development.

seth cardinal dodginghorse is an experimental musician, cultural researcher, and multidisciplinary artist working within performance, printmaking, installation, sound and film. He grew up eating dirt and exploring the forest on his family’s ancestral land on the Tsuu’tina nation. In 2014 he and his family were forcibly removed from their homes and land for the construction of the South West Calgary Ring Road. His work explores his family’s history and experiences of displacement.


Missy LeBlanc is a curator and writer of Métis, nêhiyaw, and Polish ancestry. LeBlanc is the inaugural Curatorial Resident at TRUCK Contemporary Art in Calgary, AB where she worked on a major project centered around Indigenous language revitalization and epistemologies to tour across so-called Canada in 2021-2022. She was the winner of the 2019 Middlebrook Prize for Young Canadian Curators and a runner-up for the 2019 Canadian Art Writing Prize. Grounded in modalities of relationality and care, LeBlanc’s curatorial and writing work aims to center the voices and stories of those that have often been ignored by the historically white, patriarchal, and heteronormative art world. LeBlanc was born and raised in amiskwacîwâskahikan and is currently based in Mohkinstsis.

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Feb 23 2021, 7:00pm



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