By Invitation Only: Dance, Confederation and Reconciliation provides context for pre-Confederation dance in Canada in the 1860s for both colonial subjects and Indigenous peoples, illuminating how dance was situated in these two societies as either a social or a sacred activity.
Co-curated by Dance scholar and choreographer Troy Emery Twigg and Dance Collection Danse’s Director of Collections and Research Amy Bowring, the exhibit examines the histories left out of our general perceptions of Confederation. For example, women played an essential role in the networking that took place at the social balls during the 1864 conferences that ultimately led to Confederation. Similarly, Indigenous ceremonial dance was clearly seen as subversive enough by the new Canadian government that banning it was deemed necessary. Forced underground, Indigenous dance continued, but the ban remained in place until 1951.
A final component of the exhibit will summarize the place of theatrical dance in Canada and the vitality of Indigenous dance artists who have moved their dances from social and sacred settings to the stage.
By Invitation Only: Dance, Confederation, and Reconciliation is a project of Dance Collection Danse with support from the Canada Dance Festival and Canada Scene.