Indigenous origin stories performed by Toronto dance company in world premiere

Trace by Red Sky Performance now on at Berkeley Street Theatre


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Red Sky is known for its physical performances

Delving into Indigenous cosmology and origin stories is the backdrop for the latest production by groundbreaking Toronto dance company Red Sky Performance. 

Trace gets its world premiere this month as part of the Canadian Stage season. It runs from Nov. 1 to 11 at the Berkeley Street Theatre. 

“I was thinking about what our origin story is, where we come from and how different cultures look at that,” says Sandra Laronde, the founder and creative director at Red Sky. “The Indigenous perspective is very similar to the big bang theory, only it’s a big bang with a purpose behind it.”

Laronde grew up in a creative family of artists and musicians from the Teme-Augama-Anishinaabe in Temagami, Ontario — a land home to 1,600 islands, thousands of kilometres of shoreline and 500 people. 

It’s a land that piqued her imagination and continues to inform her work to this day. 

“I am deeply inspired by the transformational power of nature, and I mean that in a very electric way as opposed to how we often perceive nature,” she says. 

Trace will feature six dancers and three musicians accompanying with an original score. 

Laronde founded the company 18 years ago and has become one of the central voices in a burgeoning Indigenous cultural renaissance growing by the day. 

“Some of the most exciting artistry coming out of Canada is being created by Indigenous peoples in a lot of different artistic forms,” she says. 

“When you look at what is deeply Canadian and what is deeply inspired by this soil, it comes from Indigenous peoples. We are not out to imitate a form. We really want to find a new way, which is really a very old way.”

For info go to Canadianstage.com.

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