Browsing: Indigenous

PREVIEW: of a public workshop performance with orchestra of the new opera Taking Up Serpents – libretto by Jerre Dye, score by Kamala Sankaram; presented by MassOpera, Boston; Sunday, September 30, 2018 at 3 p.m.; Deane Hall at the Calderwood Pavilion at the Boston Center for the Arts (527 Tremont Street, Boston); the opera is a commission of the Washington National Opera and this workshop is presented by MassOpera. In the final passages of St. Mark’s Gospel, Christ declares that a hallmark among his true believers shall be a willingness that “they shall take up serpents!” And in certain quarters…

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Kateri Tekakwitha has long been part of the school curriculum in Quebec. A 17th-century Mohawk girl who sought baptism in her teens and took a vow of chastity, she became, in 2012, the first North American Indigenous person to be canonized. Now Indigenous artists are paying their own form of homage in Saia’tatokénhti: Honouring Saint Kateri, a 35-minute multimedia presentation with music by Odawa composer Barbara Croall, words by Mohawk writer Darren Bonaparte, and visuals and choreography overseen by the Indigenous Colombian director Alejandro Ronceria. The premiere on Oct. 19 at 7:30 p.m. at the Kahnawake Catholic Church is followed…

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Nadia Myre Repair the Wounds Born in Montreal in 1974, Nadia Myre is an artist and an Algonquin member of the Kitigan Zibi Anishinabeg Nation. She holds a master’s degree in Visual Arts from Concordia University and graduated from the Emily Carr University of Art and Design in Vancouver. Through the use of sculpture, video, and photography and the creation of soundtracks, she reclaims Indigenous history and ancestral practices to reveal scars and wounds and, by the same token, to criticize abuse and racism  Her artwork revisits the history and struggles of First Nations by exploring the themes of identity,…

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The great Abenaki filmmaker, engraver, singer and storyteller Alanis Obomsawin is an essential indigenous artist. Member of the Order of Canada, officer of the National Order of Quebec, holder of 22 honoris causa doctorates, Alanis Obomsawin first arrived at the NFB in 1967 as a consultant and rapidly went behind the camera and stayed there, creating an unequalled body of work. Our People Will Be Healed, 50th and most recent film by the prolific filmmaker, reflects on the enrichment and empowerment of a Manitoba Cree community thanks to a model of education adapted to the community’s youth. Alanis Obomsawin has…

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Filmmaker Manon Barbeau has long been a scriptwriter and director for Télé-Quebec and the National Film Board (Les enfants du Refus Global, L’armée de l’ombre). Although the documentary filmmaker does not identify as First Nations, she has always been deeply interested in Indigenous issues. It was while shooting a film with young Attikameks that she realised the degree of distress that existed among First Nations youth. Using her talents for cinematographic and musical production, and with the help of the Atikamekw Nation Council, the Council of First Nations Youth and the National Film Board, Manon Barbeau founded the production company…

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André Dudomaine, director and founding member (1990) of the Montreal First Peoples Festival, sees the event as one the most strongly rooted First Nations resistance movements in North America. Last winter, Dudomaine was awarded an honorary doctorate from the Faculté des arts et des sciences of the Université de Montréal. The Commission des droits de la personne et des droits de la jeunesse du Québec has awarded the Droits et Libertés award to the festival, known in French as Présence Autochtone. Its three founders received the Meritorious Service Cross, an honour conferred on those whose contribution to Canadian society proves…

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First Nations theatre company Ondinnok was the first in Quebec to offer a new means of dramatic expression to its community. “Ondinnok” is a Huron word referring to a theatrical healing ritual that unveils the secret desire of the soul. Born in the urgent environment of cultural reconstruction, Ondinnok aims to reconquer an imaginary land of dreams as well as to repatriate memories in order to see the future. Since its first production, Le Porteur des peines du monde (1984), Ondinnok has taken us through three great circles of creation; the mythological theater, the healing theater and a theater exploring…

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A choreographer and multidisciplinary artist of Ojie-Cree and Mennonite origin who has been recognized as a human-rights activist by the Montreal Holocaust Memorial Centre, Lara Kramer works with an awareness of the brutal relations between Indigenous people and colonial society. Kramer is a professor at the Indigenous Dance Residency at the Banff Centre. Her work addresses scars resulting from cultural genocide. Fragment (2009) is inspired by her mother’s stories about the Canadian residential schools; Native Girl Syndrome (2013) addresses the internal trauma of Indigenous women. Windigo (FTA-2018 + CNA 2019) is a work in which traumas are externalized through various…

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Contemporary Indigenous culture has been flourishing in Montreal of late. Theatre is by no means an exception to the rule. Émilie Monnet is one of several actor-performers at the forefront of this revival. The work she does has shed much light on a host of artistic practices, both locally and beyond. Among other things, she has encouraged artists active in different communities to meet and work together. She contends that the future of Indigenous art is promising because Montreal is becoming “a real hub,” one that draws artists from all fields like a magnet. Nowadays, Monnet directs Productions Onishka, a…

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Joséphine Bacon is a major ambassador for Innu culture and a committed author, narrator and producer on the Indigenous arts scene. She gives a tremendous voice to her territory and inhabitants in few words. Territory: Centrepiece for Poetry “My wealth is called a salmon, my wealth is called a caribou, my fire is called a black spruce…” Ma richesse s’appelle [My wealth is called] highlights the importance of territory in Joséphine Bacon’s works, a vision deeply etched in the Indigenous mind; each life is related to the earth in which we live, where everyone must live harmoniously. Bacon hails from…

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