1. The sound of the rain stick accompanying the orchestra.
2. The huge arching whale bones that were part of the set.
3. The fact that Asian dancers were cast in aboriginal roles.
4. The glowing turtle shell.
5. The hymns I recognized in the music score.
6. The priests’ sinister costumes.
7. The way the stars twinkled through the birch bark trees.
8. The voice-overs that described how the first immigrants to Canada would never have survived without their First Nations neighbours.
9. The way Gordon, the main character, had a model of a residential school on his back, and it kept weighing him down to the floor, and Annie, the woman trying to help him, kept lifting the school off his back, but each time it pushed him back down.
10. The cast and production crew taking their bows at the end and realizing just how many different talented and accomplished people from many different fields of the arts had come together to produce the show.
Other posts about the Canadian First Nations Experience ……..
History Told In Pictures
Dave’s Vision Quest
A Grandfather Rock
“I have two children and I can’t imagine having them taken away from me like that.” Royal Winnipeg Ballet artistic director Andre Lewis is talking about how First Nations children were sent to residential schools across Canada. That experience is the focus of the ballet company’s new work Going Home Star. The work was inspired by local aboriginal activist and politician Mary Richard who passed away in 2010. According to Lewis it brings together not only the aboriginal and non-aboriginal community in our country but a group of incredibly talented Canadians. I have tickets for opening night. I went to hear Andre Lewis give a talk about Going Home Star at the Millenium Library last week and here’s five reasons I’m really excited about the performance.
1. I was a North of 60 fan and its star Tina Keeper is one of the producers of Going Home Star.
2. I just finished reading the book The Orenda and its author Joseph Boyden created the storyboard for the ballet.
3. K.C. Adams whose work I got to know at the Winnipeg Art Gallery’s Winnipeg Now exhibition has designed the sets. I’m an enthusiastic supporter of K.C. Adams current project- a portrait series called ‘Perception.’
4. I’m excited about the music which will be provided by the Winnipeg Symphony Orchestra, Steve Wood and the Northern Cree Singers and Inuit throat singer Tanya Tagaq.
5. I’m going to the ballet with my sister and my cousin and looking forward to spending an evening with them.
Other related posts….
The Orenda-I Want to Believe People Are Good
We Are Sorry- Here and Down Under
Residential Schools -The Hiroshima of the Indian Nations
Dave’s Vision Quest
Scary and thought-provoking! I saw The Handmaid’s Tale this week. Based on the book of the same name by Margaret Atwood the story is being re-told in dance form by the Royal Winnipeg Ballet.
I reflect on the show on my Destination Winnipeg site.