Native Earth Performing Arts presents Niimi’iwe, their 2nd annual Indigenous Dance Double Bill. An Ojibwe word meaning “to host dance,” Niimi’iwe is a three-night dance series featuring contemporary Indigenous dance works – and a world premiere – from Thursday March 30 to Saturday April 1 in Aki Studio.
Each evening offers work by some of Canada’s leading Indigenous choreographers: light breaking broken, a creative collaboration between Vancouver-based artists Margaret Grenier and Karen Jamieson; and the world premiere of the NDN way, interpreted by Brian Solomon and Mariana Medellín-Meinke.
light breaking broken at 7:00 pm
a creative collaboration by Margaret Grenier and Karen Jamieson
This is the personal journey of two artists reconnecting with language, culture and identity. With different cultural perspectives and individual histories, Margaret Grenier (Dancers of Damelahamid) and Karen Jamieson (Karen Jamieson Dance) use their distinct dance styles to push each other’s boundaries and find an opening to the light; broken historical narratives leading to contemporary connections of hope.
Grenier and Jamieson identify and draw upon radically different cultural traditions: Indigenous culture and protocols (Gitxsan and Cree for Grenier) and Western European culture (Jamieson). Their dance practices embody different world views and contrasting functions of dance and its place in society as a whole. This dance work seeks to honour the past, while locating itself in the creative present.
the NDN way at 9:00 pm
a Brian Solomon Electric Moose production
Interpreted by Brian Solomon and Mariana Medellín-Meinke
In 1974, then-budding artist Cindy Bisaillon created her first radio documentary for the CBC program Ideas, entitled The Indian Way. It was comprised of a single interview with a young Métis-Cree man from Northern Saskatchewan, Ron Evans, a teacher/philosopher living in Toronto at the time. Ron discussed the spiritual philosophy of the Cree nation in powerful, simple and clear language.
Inspired by that original recording, Solomon takes Evan’s brilliant synthesis of Cree belief structures about medicine, pipe ceremonies, sweat lodges and death and uses it as an atmospheric departure point from which he re-imagines, remixes and interprets the actual recording into a highly theatrical, visceral and visual art-warp collage of abstract imagery, sound and movement.
light breaking broken is presented at 7pm nightly, followed by the NDN way at 9pm. Double Bill tickets are $40 and include both programs; single tickets are $25 per presentation. For performance schedule and box information, please visit the event’s website.