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Creation Residency for Passage Begins in Nozhem
June 6, 2007

Indigenous Performance Initiatives and Pu-Kawiss Productions have launched a three-week collaboration for an exciting dance presentation entitled Passage from June 18 to July 9 in Nozhem, the First Peoples’ Performance Space at Trent University.

Creation Residency for Passage Begins in NozhemUnder the artistic direction of Christine Friday-O’Leary and Professor Marrie Mumford, Canada Research Chair in Aboriginal Arts and Literature at Trent University, the goal of the residency is to begin a creative process that will transform Passage, which is now a 20 minute presentation, into a longer production. Passage will involve both professional Indigenous dancers and local dancers from the local Peterborough area. The Canada Council for the Arts has provided Ms. Friday-O’Leary with a two-year grant to support the research and production phase of this project.

Ms. Friday-O’Leary has been developing Passage since June 2006, a deeply personal dance piece which she describes as "a journey of discovering and finding one’s true self."

A highlight of the presentation is the music which Ms. Friday-O’Leary had especially produced for this dance. "I wanted the musical experience of Passage to be as powerful as the performance itself," she explained. "The music has been specifically composed for this piece by a group of hand drum singers and features a round dance song, old man song, and a straight song."

Founder of Pu-Kawiss Productions, Ms. Friday-O’Leary is a dancer, teacher, and choreographer from Teme-Augami located in Northern Ontario. She has toured with several dance companies across North America and is a recipient of numerous dance awards.

Formally initiated in 2004, Trent-based Indigenous Performance Initiatives supports Indigenous artists to tell their own stories through dance, music, theatre and video. The theme that guides Indigenous Performance Initiatives is the development of Indigenous performance practice that bridges traditional cultural practices and contemporary expression, to encourage enhanced access, professional development and performance opportunities for Indigenous artists.

Passage will be performed at Nozhem at Trent University on July 6 and 7 at 7:00 p.m. Advance tickets are recommended and can be reserved by calling (705) 748-1011, ext. 7921.