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DanceHouse Presents Indigenous Company Red Sky Performance With Vancouver Premiere Of TRACE


This award-winning work is based on the creation stories of the Anishinaabe people.

DanceHouse Presents Indigenous Company Red Sky Performance With Vancouver Premiere Of TRACE

DanceHouse, in partnership with SFU Woodward's Cultural Programs, presents the Vancouver premiere of Red Sky Performance's highly kinetic contemporary dance work Trace, on stage November 24 to 27, 2021 at 8pm and November 27, 2021 at 2pm at SFU Goldcorp Centre for the Arts, in strict observance of public health regulations.

Under the direction of Executive and Artistic Director Sandra Laronde, Trace is inspired by the ancestral celestial legends of the Anishinaabe people, which hold within them an Indigenous worldview of the interconnectedness of all creation. Closing out a six-week, 15-city tour across Canada and the U.S., Trace features a live percussive score infused with Indigenous motifs from composer Eliot Britton and athletically-charged choreography by Red Sky Performance Associate Artist Jera Wolfe.

"We are overjoyed with the opportunity to bring Red Sky Performance back to the Vancouver stage for the first time in over a decade with this presentation of Trace," says Jim Smith, Artistic and Executive Director of DanceHouse. "While audiences were treated to a sneak peek of the work in the digital broadcast of the Red Sky Performance retrospective More Than Dance, We Are A Movement, presented by Digidance in April 2021, there is simply no replacement for the live, in-person experience of this breathtaking and soulful journey through the cosmos."

Trace made its world premiere in Toronto at Canadian Stage in November 2018, followed by its international premiere at the iconic Jacob's Pillow Dance Festival in the US in 2019. The work is Red Sky Performance's ode to the origin stories of the Anishinaabe people and the mythological figure of Geezhigo-Quae (Sky Woman), who fell to earth, bringing with her the beginnings of life. Lauded by The Globe and Mail for its "physically demanding sequences that rely on the dancers' swiftness and vigour," Trace is the recipient of two Dora Mavor Moore Awards in 2019, for Outstanding Choreography and Outstanding Sound Design & Composition.

Featuring a backdrop of graphic projections designed by Marcella Grimaux, tracing humanity's existence from single atom to expansive cosmos, the work offers a glimpse into an Indigenous perspective of the origin of humanity as well as its future evolution. An inventive, acrobatic work choreographed by Wolfe, a renowned Toronto-based choreographer and dancer of Métis heritage, for an ensemble of six dancers, Trace underscores Red Sky Performance's athleticism and versatility. The work swiftly moves from fast-paced, synchronized choreography and athletic throws to slow, graceful lines and meditative movement.

Trace features an original, percussive score composed by Britton, a member of the Manitoba Métis Federation and an inventive composer who integrates electronic, audiovisual, and instrumental elements into his body of work and, performed live by three musicians, interspersed with the recorded throat-singing vocals of Orla Barlow-Tukaki and Nelson Tagoona and the dancers' own rhythmic breathing.

Red Sky Performance is one of Canada's leading contemporary Indigenous performance companies, led by Artistic Director Sandra Laronde of the Teme-Augama Anishinaabe (People of the Deep Water). With a mission to create inspiring experiences of contemporary Indigenous arts and culture that transform society, Red Sky Performance is in its 21st year of creating and producing original, interdisciplinary works of dance, theatre, music, and media.

Touring since 2003, Red Sky has delivered more than 2,750 performances across 17 countries on four continents, including two Cultural Olympiads (Beijing and Vancouver), World Expo in Shanghai, Venice Biennale, and Jacob's Pillow. Laronde, also known as Misko Kizhigoo Migizii Kwe meaning "Red Sky Eagle Woman," has played a pivotal role in the resurgence of Indigenous culture across Canada. Her works, which explore story and cultural identity, are focused on expanding the Indigenous canon and awakening a wider ecological relationship to nature.

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