Victoria Mata is a Toronto-based Canadian-Venezuelan dance artist, choreographer, director, and activist. In each of these, she combines an evolving feminism with her passion for expressive arts therapy. Mata’s choreography and her personal dance expression generate a dialogue between performance and embodied cultural memory. Mata’s sensibility to inclusion and the nuances of border stories is rooted in her eclectic upbringing in Venezuela, France, United States and Canada. Her career was initially sculpted by auto-pedagogical, self-directed training, which was followed by residencies and professional trainings at the Banff Arts Centre, Counter Pulse, African American Art & Culture, Centro de Investigación Coreográfica del Instituto Nacional de Bellas Artes de México, The Biggot Foundation, Ballet Creole, Aluna Theater, Danza Corpus, Danza Fragmentada and Teatro Delle Radici. Mata’s artistry have been shaped by the mastery of internationally renowned directors and choreographers Beatriz Pizano, Karen Kaeja, Debbie Wilson, Nicola Pantin, Jose Carret, Mercedes Bernardez, Olga Barrios, Patrick Parson, Carlos Rivera, Nahiti Ortega, Jesus Rondon, Bruna Gusberti, Jack Soto, Marie Chouinard, Esteban Alguillar, Jackeline Rago, Ayelene Liberona, Violeta Luna, Patricia Araiza, Helen Jones, Holly Small, Darcey Callison, Carol Anderson, Arsenio Andrade and Neil Ieremia. Since completing her Masters of Fine Arts in Contemporary Choreography at York University, Mata continues to be a catalyst for artistic curiosity and the unpacking the diasporic experience in her exploration of the constructions and deconstructions of settlement, displacement and migrant identities.
Mata has been an active member of Toronto’s progressive arts and activist community for nearly fifteen years. She was one of the co-founders of MataDanZe Collective (a dance-theater collective with a mission to empower womyn through movement and conSECUENCIAS. ConSECUENCIAS is an artist network aimed to support and to inspire young Latin@s to exhibit and produce their own critical art. Mata is an audacious visionary rooted in community. She is inspired by risk and embraces art as a vehicle for social change with which to create space to amplify the voices of marginalized communities as well as those calling for the abolishment of violence against women. Mata is a beneficiary of the Metcalf Foundation. She was an Emerging Artist finalist for the Toronto Arts Foundation and a grantee of all three levels of government Arts funding over the past twelve years.
Mata’s emotive work has journeyed through South America, Central America, North America, Europe and the United States. Her creative pursuits are grounded in traditional Afro-Venezuelan genres that are rooted in coastal cacao-farming regions in Venezuela. This practice is informed, naturally, by the Canadian contemporary dance scene. As a Queer diasporic subject in Toronto, Mata’s greatest inspiration is the generative convergence of these two genres, a convergence that fosters a holistic, embodied exploration of subjectivity and the complexities of concepts of ‘home.’ The pedagogical is always present in her work in ways that offer pathways of individual and collective resilience and transformation through dance and movement. Her background in Expressive Arts Therapy facilitates Mata’s creative processes, a spectrum of techniques that include dance-installation, improvisation, contact, narrative composition and collective creation.