Biography of Lara Kramer

Lara Kramer is a choreographer and multidisciplinary artist of mixed Oji-Cree and settler heritage. Her critically acclaimed works portray the contrast of the brutal relations between Indigenous peoples and colonial society, and have been presented across Canada and even in Australia.

These include Fragments (2009), inspired by her mother’s stories of being in residential school, and Native Girl Syndrome (2013), about how Native women have internalized trauma. Windigo can be viewed as its masculine counterpart, where trauma is externalized through different ages and bodies, individuals and objects.

Her work deals with the aftermath of cultural genocide. The 2017 installation and performance piece This Time Will be Different, created in collaboration with Émilie Monnet, denounced the status quo of the Canadian government’s discourse regarding First Nations and criticized the “national reconciliation industry”.

Based on a theatrical vocabulary and her Indigenous roots, Lara Kramer’s work employs narration and powerful imagery. Often blunt and raw, playing with the strengths and weaknesses of the human spirit, her pieces stand out for their engagement, sensitivity, close and instinctive listening to the body, and her attention to the invisible.

Her first appearance at the Festival TransAmériques consists of a double bill: the performance piece Windigo and the installation Phantom Stills & Vibrations, presented at MAI, works that plunge the spectator into the reality of the former Pelican Falls Indian Residential School near Sioux Lookout, Ontario. Three generations of her family were forcibly sent to the school. Kramer continues her denunciation of hidden realities, profound traumas that permeate the history of her people. Kramer has been recognized as a Human Rights Advocate through the Montreal Holocaust Memorial Centre.

She has been on the faculty of the Indigenous Dance Residency at The Banff Centre and has taught workshops in Vancouver, Edmonto, Regina, Toronto, Peterborough, London, ON and Melbourne, Australia.