A photo of Troy Emery Twigg wearing a peaked cap next to a photo of a microphone on a picnic table with hoodoos in the background.
Troy Emery Twigg (left) and the location at Writing-on-Stone/Áísínai'pi where this podcast was recorded.

Troy Emery Twigg

Forging a career in dance through choreography

Cherie McMaster and Sable Sweetgrass

A dancer and choreographer, Troy Emery Twigg is also known as a performer, teacher and mentor whose love of the art of dance began at an early age. Speaking to Calgary Arts Development’s Sable Sweetgrass outdoors at Writing-on-Stone/Áísínai’pi Provincial Park, surrounded by hoodoos and the sounds of nature, Twigg reflects on his interest in dance.

“I’ve always known I wanted to do (dance). I don’t know why I was so fascinated with movement in the body, and how expressive that was. I was raised in Old Agency, which is a section of the reserve, on the north section of the Blood Reserve. We only had two stations — one of them was CBC, so I used to get excited when the Royal Winnipeg Ballet would come on to do the Nutcracker. I was really excited to see it and I geared up for it… I just really liked the expressive body.”

For Twigg, entering the world of dance proved challenging when faced with his own expression. Meeting One Yellow Rabbit members Denise Clarke and Michael Green and seeing how they adapted and interpreted performances helped steer him towards his creative path. “I couldn’t make it as a dancer — not the way I wanted to do it — so I came at it from another angle, which was theatre. So I studied… clowning and movement and contemporary dancing, was taking workshops (at Keyano College School of Visual and Performing Arts). When I moved to Calgary… I knew I was wanting to get into contemporary dance and theatre, that I can actually construct something and still be in the dance world, I can start telling my own stories in this form that I create. So I really was exposed to independent dance artists that were making their own dances.”

Listen to this week’s podcast to hear more about Twigg’s exciting arts career.

About The Storytelling Podcast: Indigenous Stories

Sharing diverse stories of creativity in our city, The Storytelling Podcast shines a spotlight on artists and projects that connect Calgarians to the arts.

Part of The Storytelling Project, this series raises awareness about local Indigenous artists who, by living creative lives, are making Calgary a better city, effecting positive change and enriching others’ lives.

Have a story to share? Email us at submissions@calgaryartsdevelopment.com.

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