Raven Spirit Dance @ Woodwards Atrium – March 13, 2016
Mission statement: “Raven Spirit Dance creates and produces contemporary dance that is rooted in Aboriginal worldviews and honours the communities and artists we work with. We share stories through Indigenous perspectives and practices while creating a platform for others to do the same”
Frost Exploding Trees Moon
A solo Performance choreographed and performed by Michelle Olson (or, sometimes performed by Jeanette Kotowich).
Dance movements utilizes 3 sticks as props – the sticks transform images and symbolisms throughout the performance – creating a distinct narrative and storyline.
“a solo piece which follows the journey of a woman traveling her trap line. She finds a place to set up camp, builds her temporary home, and settles into the centre of her world of breath and perception” (Raven Spirit Dance Society)
“A high-paced Metis Jig” solo performance choreographed and performed by Jeanette Kotowich. Kotowich is a recent graduate of SFU’s contemporary school of Arts with a focus in contemporary dance.
Performance begins with Kotowich greeting each audience member personally and informally, then proceeds to the stage and changes her shoes before taking the stage – a symbol of change from informal to formalism.
The performance is a collaborative project with many artists involved – the dancer/choregrapher (Kotowich), the musician/fiddler (), and the sound designer.
Utilizing electronic music and traditional fiddling, Steppin’ combines contemporary dance with traditional Metis cultural elements.
This performance began by acknowledging the performers as guests on the unceeded Coast Salish teritorries of the Tsleil-Waututh, Squamish and Musqueam Nations. This statements reminds audience members of their presence and relationship to Coast Salish land.
The performance was free to the public and located in a highly contested location – Woodwards. The history of Woodwards and its location as a cultural hub within the Downtown Eastside can be considered highly politicized. Creating public works in this location helps to link together the political history of the space with the surrounding community.