Performers: Byron Chief-Moon, Sheldon Blue-Hawk and Duane Howard
Premiere: June 2010; Canada Dance Festival (Ottawa)
Commissioning partners: Canada Dance Festival, The Brian Webb Dance Company, Dancing on the Edge, Public Energy, and The CanDance Network.
This inter-disciplinary dance/media project is closely translated as Essence of Life, echoing the root inspiration of the Blood-Kainai tribe through the intimate details of landscape. To the tribe, there is an appreciation that as long as there is honour for Mother-earth as a living soul then there is a choice, as her children, to continue to hear her stories and evolve towards becoming earth-human, for a better tribal community. This is a story is of creation, of conceptual interference and forgetfulness, disconnection and disharmony, and in quiet moments of remembering; through the natural environment there is thought; and she is Earth-woman.
With guidance from elders, Coyote Arts Percussive Performance Association (CAPPA) explores Blackfoot/Blood-Kainai culture, and where possible First-nations and Aboriginal storytelling more generally, in the context of explorations of relationship with Mother-earth/conscious-earth, and earth-consciousness. In this way we explore story as windows between distinct, but potentially complementary worlds in balance, and in consideration of elder/youth relationship. At times, percussive music takes the audience into a trance, then stops suddenly, as the backdrop shows blackbirds flying in the sky, or a buffalo running as a train whistles by. Blackbirds then dance to hip-hop and disco music.