I am profoundly moved and grateful for the opportunity to assemble these three Indigenous contemporary dance artists as part of our Face 2 Face series this year. Lara, Victoria and Jacob each explore deeply moving and personal stories in distinctive and remarkable ways.
For Windigo, Montreal-based Lara Kramer conducted research at her grandmother’s home in northwestern Ontario’s Lac Seul Reserve. This visceral duet offers a raw and unflinching look at the suffering and destruction that results from violence against Indigenous peoples, as she confronts the deep traumas that permeate these histories. We’re proud to be one of many Canadian co-producers of Windigo.
Victoria Hunt’s Copper Promises – Hinemihi Haka – delves into her Māorian roots and the powerful story of the ceremonial meeting house and female ancestor Hinemihi. This solo is a journey of reconnection with one’s traditions and culture as told through movement, sound score and projections.
And, Jacob Boehme’s Blood on the Dance Floor is a courageous and inspiring work that speaks about his own experience as a gay Aboriginal living with HIV. Drawing on the practices of his Narangga and Kaurna background, Boehme uses theatre, dance, ceremony and storytelling to weave this touching and powerful tale.
Thank you for joining us to experience these immersive works, and Life in Motion.
Fierce and visceral, Windigo resonates like a scream, the vibrant echo of a long history of human ransacking and destruction, a violation of a land and its culture. Returning to her grandmother’s home in the Lac Seul Reserve in northwestern Ontario, the Canadian choreo-grapher of mixed Oji-Cree and settler heritage Lara Kramer confronts a latent war lurking under the surface. A northern epic with the air of a post-apocalyptic ballad, Windigo exorcises the demons and undercurrents of the violence perpetrated against Indigenous peoples.
Overlapped mattresses slashed, ripped open by a knife, mutilated. A mishmash of resurrected objects, a breath of life in death. A no man’s land of destruction where Peter James and Jassem Hindi form a duo of wandering vagabonds, killing time and boredom, spewing out and sublimating their pain. A contemporary ceremonial, the piece plays with strong symbols, powerful metamorphoses and intense emotion, sowing the seeds of hope in the midst of overwhelming devastation.
Lara Kramer Danse is a Montreal-based dance company. Founded in 2012, Lara Kramer Danse was realized to support the research, creation and production of Lara Kramer’s choreographies. In addition the company builds a platform to support educational and community projects offered by Lara Kramer Danse.
Working with strong visuals and narrative, Kramer’s work pushes the strength and fragility of the human spirit. Her work is political and potent, often examining political issues surrounding Canada and First Nations Peoples.
In 2013, the company laid the groundwork for a community research project by developing relations in Lac Seul and Sioux Lookout, Ontario. In travelling north to her families blood land, Lara Kramer created Camp 19, a research project involving the connection and history of the treaty land, the learning of traditional skills and the long-term goal to continue to nourish these relations and exchanges in the north.
The company has been invited to perform at festivals across Canada and as far as Australia and New Zealand gaining recognition as an important voice from Canada.
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Works by Lara Kramer Danse
Eating Bones and Licking Bread, 2018
Phantom Stills & Vibrations, 2018
This Time Will be Different, 2017
NGS (Native Girl Syndrome), 2013
Of Good Moral Character, 2011
The Indian Problem, 2008
February 20-23 | Arts Court - ODD Studio B
Produced by: Lara Kramer Danse
Choreography, Set, Sound and Costume Design: Lara Kramer
Created with and performed by: Jassem Hindi, Peter James
Sound Editing: Lara Kramer, Marc Meriläinen
Outside Eyes: Ida Baptiste, Stefan Petersen, Jacob Wren
Lighting Design : Paul Chambers
Technical Director: Jon Cleveland
Coproduced by: Festival TransAmériques, CanDance Creation Fund, National Arts Centre (Ottawa), Centre de Création O Vertigo (Montréal), Dancing on the Edge (Vancouver), Usine C (Montréal)
With the support of: The Cole Foundation
Technical residencies: Usine C, Centre de Création O Vertigo
Presented in association with: MAI, Espace Libre
Premiered at the Festival TransAmériques