Seika Boye is a writer, scholar, educator, and artist whose practices revolve around dance, movement, Blackness, archives and museums, and embodied pedagogies. She is an Assistant Professor and Founder/Director of the Institute for Dance Studies at the Centre for Drama, Theatre and Performance Studies (EDU-D), University of Toronto. Seika received her BFA (Dance and English) and MA (Dance) at York (1999; 2006) and her PhD from the University of Toronto (2016).
Between degrees, Seika worked as a professional modern/postmodern dance artist; an archives and publishing assistant at Dance Collection Danse; and a dance writer and editor. She is an advocate for the value of dance and embodied knowledge beyond the scope of performance.
Dedicated to public scholarship, Seika curated the award winning archival exhibition It’s About Time: Dancing Black in Canada 1900-1970 (2018) and co-curated with Mona Stonefish, Peter Park, Dolleen Tisawii’ashii Manning, Evadne Kelly and Sky Stonefish — Into the Light: Eugenics and Education in Southern Ontario (2019) which was the recipient of the Lieutenant Governor’s Heritage Trust Award. In 2018 she received the Toronto District School Board's African Heritage Educators’ Network Arts Honoree (2019). She is the inaugural recipient of Dance Studies Association Dance in the Public Sphere Award (2021). From 2018-19, Seika was an artist-in-residence at the Art Gallery of Ontario where she created the ongoing project This Living Dancer, an archival simulation that explores self-determination and privacy in archiving methodologies. Seika is a co-investigator on Gatherings: Oral and Archival Histories of Performance (SSHRC PDG) and an Experiential Learning Faculty Fellow (2023-26). In 2022-23, she received support from the CDHI UX Accelerator and Emerging Projects Fund for ongoing development on her research website www.dancingblackcanada.ca.
Her publications include writing for Canadian Journal of History, TURBA, Dance Chronicle, Canadian Theatre Review, alt.theatre, The Routledge Encyclopedia of Modernism, Performance Matters, Dance Collection Danse Magazine and The Dance Current. Seika is the co-editor/contributor with Thomas F. DeFrantz of Configurations in Motion: Performance Curation and Communities of Colour, 3rd Edition (2017). She has a forthcoming book manuscript (MQUP), and edited essay collection with MJ Thompson Power Moves: Dance, Culture, Politics (Playwrights Canada Press).
As a movement dramaturg, Seika has collaborated with artists including Natasha Powell/Holla Jazz, taisha paggett, Syreeta Hector, Mix Mix Dance Collective, Deanna Bowen, Heidi Struass/adelheid dance, and Djanet Sears. Seika is a sought-after speaker and arts consultant with organizations across Canada. From 2018-2023, she worked closely with the CanDance Network, the national network of Dance Presenters.
Seika acknowledges the mentorship of Selma Odom, Miriam Adams, Stephen Johnson, and Vivienne Scarlet. She was born and raised in Hamilton, Ontario and has lived for brief periods in Vancouver (1999-2002) and Montreal (2002-2003). Toronto has been home since 2003 where she lives with her husband and their two children.
Photo credit Craig Boyko