Meet the Artists – Olivia C. Davies


1) What’s one of the most memorable moments you’ve experienced while performing or creating? 

Performing a water honoring this past autumn on the edge of the Kichisippi River on Algonquin Territory in Ottawa, ON, I was intensely aware of the women who were witnessing me — women who had walked for miles and miles to bring about awareness of the water crisis that affects so many FN communities and were now sitting down around a fire, eating stew, and witnessing me move. The moment was punctuated with a single drop of rain that fell just as I was moving towards a final shape at the water’s edge. It was an intense moment I will never forget.

2) Have you ever faced an intense or surprising crossroads in your career/art? How and what did you decide? 

It was heart-breaking to learn that I was going to be too tall to be a ballerina..this was back when I was twelve, auditioning for the RWB Professional Program and full of a devotion for the form that I would later reject and yet always fall back on as the foundation of my training as a dance artist. Turns out they were correct in their assumptions. That year I tried Pointe work I quickly realized I preferred to watch others do it than suffer the mangled toes and other warped physiology that comes from the technique.

3) Has art ever changed your mind about something?
Art for art’s sake. This idiom changed my mind about art having to be about something. It keeps me from hanging out to far in my biases and pushes me to make art that opens new ways of seeing the world.

4) If you could hang out with the ghost of any artist passed, who would it be? what would you do? what would you ask?

I would bring Merce into my studio and ask him to show me everything he knows.

5) Is the project you’re creating for Shooting Gallery beginning with any specific questions? 

 How can we create a wishing well together? What are the essential ingredients? Who gets to choose which wishes are fulfilled? Do you believe?

6) Can you tell us about a work of art which you remember because of your emotional reaction to it? (Whether you liked it or not)

LaLaLa Human Steps — a solo where the dancer leaped around the stage and every leap was caught in the flash of a strobe. I was floored. I’m pretty sure that was the work that drew me into Contemporary choreography.

7) What’s your favorite thing to make for dinner?

Homemade chicken soup, minus the noodles

8) Do you have any hobbies?

Cuddling with my two cats, reading old copies of the New Yorker, gardening when the sun is out and the soil is calling


-Maxine Chadburn


Meet the Artists – Olivia C. Davies

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