Artistic Director / Roshanak Jaberi

Profile

Roshanak is an Iranian-born Canadian artist, producer, and a Dora nominated choreographer and performer with a career that spans over 20 years. Described as a “force to reckon with,” she has created and co-created over 30 works in dance, visual arts, film and music, has performed in numerous dance works, and has presented her work in Canada and internationally. Roshanak is the recipient of the ISPA-International Society of Performing Arts Global Fellowship (2020, 2021) and the Chalmers Arts Fellowship (2019), and holds a Bachelor of Fine Arts with Honours from York University. She has been a guest speaker and lecturer in various forums, and her work has been referenced in adult education courses and in critical pedagogy at the University of Toronto.

My Practice

My practice is based on the principles of research, collaboration, and intersectionality. As a multi-hyphenate artist, I experiment with a wide range of mediums to express my ideas, working at the interface of performance, politics, people and places. My ongoing artistic research focuses on refugee and migrant issues and the experiences of forced displacement; violence against racialized women; political prisoners; embodied memory; and the relationship between architecture and performance.

Photo: Ashley Irwin

Profile

Roshanak is an Iranian-born Canadian artist, producer, and a Dora nominated choreographer and performer with a career that spans over 20 years. Described as a “force to reckon with,” she has created and co-created over 30 works in dance, visual arts, film and music, has performed in numerous dance works, and has presented her work in Canada and internationally. Roshanak is the recipient of the ISPA-International Society of Performing Arts Global Fellowship (2020, 2021) and the Chalmers Arts Fellowship (2019), and holds a Bachelor of Fine Arts with Honours from York University. She has been a guest speaker and lecturer in various forums, and her work has been referenced in adult education courses and in critical pedagogy at the University of Toronto.

My Practice

My practice is based on the principles of research, collaboration, and intersectionality. As a multi-hyphenate artist, I experiment with a wide range of mediums to express my ideas, working at the interface of performance, politics, people and places. My ongoing artistic research focuses on refugee and migrant issues and the experiences of forced displacement; violence against racialized women; political prisoners; embodied memory; and the relationship between architecture and performance.

“My art is both personal
and political."

My Story

I come from a family of artists and entrepreneurs. My love of the arts was passed down to me by my father–a visual artist, craftsman and musician; and my grandfather — a master ceramic artist. My interest in storytelling was sparked and nurtured at a young age by my mother and my grandmothers. My spirit of activism was shaped by the culture and political climate I was born into. I travel often and enjoy taking risks, following my curiosity and getting lost in my own imagination. As a first generation refugee and war survivor, I value human connection and resilience and try to portray this in my work. It is my great privilege to tell the stories of the many women from around the world who have, and continue to, inspire me.

Selected Credits

2004
Graduate of York University, Bachelor of Fine Arts (Honours)
2022
Best First Time Director (Female), The Woman in White (Documentary Short), Nomination
2019
Outstanding Original Choreography, Dora Mavor Award, No Woman’s Land, Nomination
2019
Outstanding Performance of An Ensemble, Dora Mavor Award, Stones,Nomination
2013
Soulpepper Theatre Dance Awards, Community Arts, Nomination
2020, 2021
ISPA Global Fellowship, International Society of Performing Arts
2020
Chalmers Arts Fellowship, Ontario Arts Council
2019
Confronting Sexual Violence Through Dance and Theatre Pedagogy, The Engaged Scholar Journal (Issue 9), Co-Authored with Dr. Doris Rajan, Dr. Shahrzad Mojab
2019
Theatro Delle Radici, International Artist Residency (Lugano, Switzerland)
2019
Public Energy, Resident Artist
2016
Ontario Arts Council, International Artist Residency (Saint Pont, France)
2010 - 2016
Political Prisoners: The Art of Resistance, Resident Artist
2016 - 2020
Dance Umbrella of Ontario, Board of Directors (Executive Committee)
2020
Ontario Arts Council, Multi & Interdisciplinary Arts Program, Juror
2016 - 2019
Toronto Arts Council, Dance Committee, Committee Member
2015
Dora Mavor Moore Awards, Dance Awards Committee, Juror
2013 - 2016
Canadian Dance Assembly Advisory Council on Pluralism, Committee Member
2021
University of Toronto, Creative Empowerment Work with the Disenfranchised, Presenter
2021
Cultural Pluralism in the Arts Movement Ontario, The Gathering: Staging Change, A Conversation on Diversity in Dance, Panelist
2020
Dancer Transition Resource Centre, On The Move Dance Conference, Speaker
2020
University of Toronto, Equity Studies: Foundations for Community Engagement, Guest Presenter
2019
Kawartha World Issues Centre & Kawartha Sexual Assault Centre, International Women’s Day Community Gathering, Panelist
2019
Borderless Citizen Stories of Oppression: A Discussion of Truth, Process & Objectives, Co-Facilitator
2017
Ontario Arts Council, The Creative Engagement Fund, Co-Presenter
2017
University of Toronto, Women, War & Revolution, Guest Presenter
2017
University of Toronto, Youth, War & Migration Symposium, Panelist
2015
University of Toronto, Recreating History Through Storytelling, Guest Lecturer
2014
Toronto Arts Council, Dance Debates: Choreographing Our Future, Panelist
2014
Ontario College of Art & Design, Feminist Art Conference, Moderator
2013
Iranian Alliance for Peace, Freedom & Social Justice, International Women’s Day Gathering, Keynote Speaker (Washington, DC)
2012
Anniversary of Iranian Genocide of Political Prisoners, International Women’s Day Gathering, Speaker (Paris, France)
2012
University of Toronto, Engaging Arts To Represent Violence Against Women: A Conversation About Ethics, Panelist
2022
TO Live Explorations Research Fund
2021
Creative Industries Trade Mission to Europe (Berlin, Germany; Amsterdam, Netherlands; Stockholm, Sweden)
2020
New Conversations, UK Creative Exchange
2020
Canadian Association for the Performing Arts
2020
WOSEN - Women of Ontario Social Enterprise Network (one of the 10 female entrepreneurs in Ontario)
2019
Edinburgh Fringe Festival, Pitch New Works (one of the 12 female entrepreneurs in Ontario) (Edinburgh, Scotland)
2019
Cervantino Festival, Pitch New Works (one of the 10 female entrepreneurs in Ontario) (Guanajuato, Mexico)
2016
ISPA-International Society of Performing Arts, Pitch New Works
2016
CBC PlayME Podcast, Producer
2012 - 2014
Evi-Dance Radio, CIUT 89.5 FM, Co-host
2009 - 2017
Expect Theatre, Associate Producer

Selected Credits

Education
2004
Graduate of York University, Bachelor of Fine Arts (Honours)
Awards and Nominations
2022
Best First Time Director (Female), The Woman in White (Documentary Short), Nomination
2019
Outstanding Original Choreography, Dora Mavor Award, No Woman’s Land, Nomination
2019
Outstanding Performance of An Ensemble, Dora Mavor Award, Stones,Nomination
2013
Soulpepper Theatre Dance Awards, Community Arts, Nomination
Fellowships
2020, 2021
ISPA Global Fellowship, International Society of Performing Arts
2020
Chalmers Arts Fellowship, Ontario Arts Council
Publications
2019
Confronting Sexual Violence Through Dance and Theatre Pedagogy, The Engaged Scholar Journal (Issue 9), Co-Authored with Dr. Doris Rajan, Dr. Shahrzad Mojab
Residencies
2019
Theatro Delle Radici, International Artist Residency (Lugano, Switzerland)
2019
Public Energy, Resident Artist
2016
Ontario Arts Council, International Artist Residency (Saint Pont, France)
2010 - 2016
Political Prisoners: The Art of Resistance, Resident Artist
Boards and Committees
2016 - 2020
Dance Umbrella of Ontario, Board of Directors (Executive Committee)
2020
Ontario Arts Council, Multi & Interdisciplinary Arts Program, Juror
2016 - 2019
Toronto Arts Council, Dance Committee, Committee Member
2015
Dora Mavor Moore Awards, Dance Awards Committee, Juror
2013 - 2016
Canadian Dance Assembly Advisory Council on Pluralism, Committee Member
Teaching & Speaking
2021
University of Toronto, Creative Empowerment Work with the Disenfranchised, Presenter
2021
Cultural Pluralism in the Arts Movement Ontario, The Gathering: Staging Change, A Conversation on Diversity in Dance, Panelist
2020
Dancer Transition Resource Centre, On The Move Dance Conference, Speaker
2020
University of Toronto, Equity Studies: Foundations for Community Engagement, Guest Presenter
2019
Kawartha World Issues Centre & Kawartha Sexual Assault Centre, International Women’s Day Community Gathering, Panelist
2019
Borderless Citizen Stories of Oppression: A Discussion of Truth, Process & Objectives, Co-Facilitator
2017
Ontario Arts Council, The Creative Engagement Fund, Co-Presenter
2017
University of Toronto, Women, War & Revolution, Guest Presenter
2017
University of Toronto, Youth, War & Migration Symposium, Panelist
2015
University of Toronto, Recreating History Through Storytelling, Guest Lecturer
2014
Toronto Arts Council, Dance Debates: Choreographing Our Future, Panelist
2014
Ontario College of Art & Design, Feminist Art Conference, Moderator
2013
Iranian Alliance for Peace, Freedom & Social Justice, International Women’s Day Gathering, Keynote Speaker (Washington, DC)
2012
Anniversary of Iranian Genocide of Political Prisoners, International Women’s Day Gathering, Speaker (Paris, France)
2012
University of Toronto, Engaging Arts To Represent Violence Against Women: A Conversation About Ethics, Panelist
Honours
2022
TO Live Explorations Research Fund
2021
Creative Industries Trade Mission to Europe (Berlin, Germany; Amsterdam, Netherlands; Stockholm, Sweden)
2020
New Conversations, UK Creative Exchange
2020
Canadian Association for the Performing Arts
2020
WOSEN - Women of Ontario Social Enterprise Network (one of the 10 female entrepreneurs in Ontario)
2019
Edinburgh Fringe Festival, Pitch New Works (one of the 12 female entrepreneurs in Ontario) (Edinburgh, Scotland)
2019
Cervantino Festival, Pitch New Works (one of the 10 female entrepreneurs in Ontario) (Guanajuato, Mexico)
2016
ISPA-International Society of Performing Arts, Pitch New Works
Other Experience
2016
CBC PlayME Podcast, Producer
2012 - 2014
Evi-Dance Radio, CIUT 89.5 FM, Co-host
2009 - 2017
Expect Theatre, Associate Producer

“Roshanak Jaberi is a force
to reckon with.”

—Kathleen Rea