Indigenous Performance Initiatives (IPI) and the Department of Indigenous Studies Present Cipiyak Kanimihitotow


Cree Choreographer Geraldine Manossa Brings Work to
Trent University December 4 and 5

Tuesday, December 1, 2009, Peterborough

The Indigenous Performance Initiatives (IPI) collective welcomes Cree choreographer Geraldine Manossa back to Nozhem First Peoples Performance Space at Trent University with her new collection of dance works, Cipiyak Kanimihitotow, on Friday, December 4 at 8:00 p.m. and Saturday, December 5 at 2:00 p.m. and 8:00 p.m.

Joining Ms. Manossa onstage will be Cree poet, Louise B. Halfe-Sky Dancer, whose book of poetry Blue Marrow was the catalyst for this work, and a company of dancers from the Orchesis modern dance group in Alberta. Admission for the show is by donation. Tickets can be reserved by calling (705) 748-1011 x7906.

Cipiyak Kanimihitotow honours the beauty and wisdom of Cree Indigenous knowledge, language and land and celebrates the existence of Cree people and their history on their territorial landscapes. The work is interwoven with Ms. Manossa’s own community and family histories of Northern Alberta.

The piece is presented in three sections: Earthwomen, an honouring dance meant to capture the beautiful journey of women on these lands, it acknowledges the sacrifices that our ancestors made in order for us to live the life that we have today; Firewoman captures the mythology of “firebeings”, the power of fire and the essence of the word for woman; Iskwew, which when translated from Cree into English actually means Firewoman and Flight, the movements of which are based on the idea that Cree philosophy is rooted in landscape and the natural world.

Geraldine Manossa is a member of the Bigstone Cree Nation in Northern Alberta. She teaches Indigenous performance, storytelling methods and traditional expressions at the En’owkin Centre, in Penticton, BC. Ms. Manossa first performed for Peterborough audiences in 2006 in her highly acclaimed one woman dance production Iskwew.

Acclaimed Canadian poet, Louise B. Halfe-Sky Dancer, was born on the Saddle Lake Reserve in Alberta. Her book of poetry, Blue Marrow was a finalist for the Governor General’s Award for Poetry when it was first published in 1998. The dance company for Cipiyak Kanimihitotow comes to us from Edmonton and includes Nataliya Kovalenko, Jennifer McLeod, Jade Pruden-Doughty, Afton Renz, Jennifer Russell and Lindsay Twerdoclib.

IPI addresses Indigenous community issues of transformation and nation building, with Indigenous performance practice as a strategy for the transference of Indigenous knowledges, languages and cultures to future generations. The collective gratefully acknowledges the support of the Canada Council for the Arts, the Department of Canadian Heritage, the Ontario Arts Council and the Department of Indigenous Studies, Trent University.


For more information, please contact:
Deborah Ratelle, Trent University, 705-748-1011 x7906