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Choreographer Aisha Sasha John called to create Diana Ross Dream in her sleep

Diana Ross Dream Aisha Sasha John
Aisha Sasha John premiered Diana Ross Dream in 2022. Photo by Steffie Boucher.

Toronto-based poet, artist, and singing dancer Aisha Sasha John will bring her tribute to Black belonging to Vancouver. Plastic Orchid Factory will present John’s Diana Ross Dream in partnership with Electric Company Theatre on Friday (March 1) and Saturday (March 2) at Left of Main (211 Keefer Street).

John traces the origins of the show to the summer of 2015 when she fell asleep to a question in her hometown of Montreal. According to the Plastic Orchid Factory website, it “was answered in the form of a dream: Diana Ross on Broadway in a sea of rose-gold costumed dancers—a dream of spiritedness and belonging so vivid as to announce itself as instruction, as a call”.

She developed Diana Ross Dream during a Dancemakers choreographic residency from 2019 to 2021. Danse-cité premiered John’s duet with Devon Snell in 2022.

In the current production, Karine Gauthier oversees lighting design. Meanwhile, Amy Manusov is the music director. Nyda Kwasowsky and Snell are responsible for costumes. And Ellen Furey and Evan Webber serve as outside eyes.

Photo by Kinga Michalska (Aisha Sasha John)
Devon Snell performs the duet with Aisha Sasha John. Photo by Kinga Michalska.

John nominated for Griffin Prize

According to John’s bio, she is “interested in choreographing performances that occasion real love”.

John, a former University of Toronto Scarborough writer-in-residence, has written three published collections of poetry. Her third, I have to live. (McClelland & Stewart), was shortlisted for the 2018 Griffin Poetry Prize.

In addition, John’s video and text art have been exhibited in the Doris McCarthy Gallery and Oakville Galleries.

Plastic Orchid Factory will present John’s Diana Ross Dream in partnership with Electric Company Theatre on Friday (March 1) and Saturday (March 2) at Left of Main (211 Keefer Street). Join the waiting list for tickets on Tickettailor.com.

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Charlie Smith

Charlie Smith

Pancouver editor Charlie Smith has worked as a Vancouver journalist in print, radio, and television for more than three decades.

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We would like to acknowledge that we are gathered on the traditional and unceded territories of the Coast Salish peoples of the xʷməθkwəy̓əm (Musqueam), Skwxwú7mesh (Squamish), and Səl̓ílwətaɬ (Tsleil-Waututh) Nations. With this acknowledgement, we thank the Indigenous peoples who still live on and care for this land.