SKéN:NEN translates from Kanienʼkéha to mean balance and peace, central themes within Onkwehon:we thinking. Produced by Kaha:wi Dance Theatre and envisioned by Santee Smith, SKéN:NEN culminates the triptych rematriation series (Re-Quickening and Blood Tides), centering Konnonkwehón:we (Indigenous womxn) as lead creatives.
Set in 2050 following an environmental catastrophe of apocalyptic proportions, a Kahnyen’kehàka auntie and niece flee to the Eastern Door / Mohawk homelands in the Adirondack mountains. Escaping rising and virus filled waters, they make shelter in a bunker camp. A diverse mix of climate survivors struggle to build a new community, let by the womxn by embodying knowledge from their Kahnyen’kehàka ancestral practices, condole with the land, listen and synchronize to the shifted Earth. The cinematic story unfolds in a 3D animated Burgoyne Woods and portrays the impending effects of climate change on people.
Kaha:wi Dance Theatre (KDT) is an Onkwehon:we organization and one of Turtle Islands’ foremost performing arts companies, acclaimed nationally and around the globe for exquisitely produced, powerful, poetic and resonant performances. Founded by Six Nations based Artistic Director Santee Smith, Kaha:wi (Ga-HA-Wee) means “to carry” in Kanienʼkéha (Mohawk).
Exploring the intersection of Indigenous and new performance through resurgent process and practice, the company’s works are interdisciplinary, multi-voiced, intergenerational and inter-cultural. Drawing inspiration from research and collaboration, performances question, re-story and transform while adhering to Indigenous process, connection to land, story and spirit of place.
The National Creation Fund’s investment of $110,000 makes it possible for the creative team to dedicate more time to the final stage of creating the outdoor version of the project, enhances the video projection design, and supports further development of the in-venue version.
Creation Partners: Young People’s Theatre - Leaps & Bounds (2017), Banff Playwright’s Colony (2017), Banff Centre for Arts and Creativity - Indigenous Arts Residency (2020)
Presentation Partner: FirstOntario Performing Arts Centre, Celebration of Nations, St. Catharines
Production Support: City of St. Catharines Parks & Recreation Department, Solotech Inc., Great Lakes Scenic
Company Sponsors: Canada Council for the Arts, Ontario Arts Centre, Toronto Arts Council
Developed with support from the National Arts Centre’s National Creation Fund