PROJECT // roots2reach

roots2reach is a cross-cultural collaborative project between Alida Esmail, Hodan Youssouf, and Sophia Wright. The work is inspired by Alida’s lived experiences as a second-generation Muslim Canadian from an East Indian diaspora, and by Hodan’s lived experiences as a Black woman who is Deaf and was born in Somalia. The project started through sharing stories, developing methods for communication, and building trust. Building on this base, the trio has been exploring with dance, American Sign Language, music and vibrations, lighting, and spoken text for the creation of a full-length work planned for 2024.

Photo credit : Douglas Rideout

BIO // Dance and theatre artist Alida Esmail, and dance artist Sophia Wright formed their collective in August 2020 with the mission of creating works that celebrate underrepresented cultures and stories. The Collective has created and presented two short works today, In our own backyards and Backyard Solos. These have been presented by the Festival du Monde Arabe, the Plateau Mont-Royal, and POP Montreal. Alida and Sophia are currently co-developing a third work in collaboration with Hodan Youssouf. 

DETAILS // The Collective is deeply grateful for the funding they have received from the Conseil des arts de Montréal, Plateau Mont-Royal, Montreal arts interculturels, Fondation des sourds du Quebec, Conseil des arts et des lettres du Québec, and Canada Council for the Arts for their work. They have also received creative residencies from la Maison de la culture du Plateau-Mont-Royal, Théâtre aux Écuries, the MAI, Playwrights’ Workshop Montreal, UQAM, and Studio 303.

Photo credit : Alexandre Quillet