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Performance Space in First Peoples House of Learning Holds Inaugural Performance

Kokomisnaanik Gipawaanaawat Manito'... When Grandmothers Dream of Spirits... was the first official public performance to take place at Trent University's brand new Performance Space in the First Peoples House of Learning on Friday, July 23 and Saturday, July 24, 2004. The performance was presented by The Centre for Indigenous Theatre (CIT) in association with the University.

The CIT Summer Program had been underway at Trent since July 5; it focuses on acting, story creation, voice, movement, traditional dance and cultural teachings, and culminated in the weekend performances. The Performance Space is at Peter Gzowski College in the Enweying building on the East Bank of Trent University.

Reflecting on traditional tales, myths and personal stories explored through improvisational exercises used to tap into the dramatic imagination, Kokomisnaanik Gipawaanaawat Manito'... When Grandmothers Dream of Spirits... was a story creation presentation, directed by Muriel Miguel featuring CIT Summer Program students. A culmination of three weeks of intensive training, the performance was created collaboratively by the students and brought the Summer Program to a close.

Professor Marrie Mumford, a member of Trent University's Native Studies department and the country's first-ever Canada Research Chair in Aboriginal Arts and Literature, is among the faculty members who worked with the theatre students this summer.

"I was thrilled when the Centre for Indigenous Theatre wanted to come to Trent University for the summer," said Prof. Mumford. "We are honoured and pleased to have them here."

Prof. Mumford's research involves investigating performance traditions from indigenous nations and renewing appreciation of Aboriginal performing arts. This ensures that skills from experienced Aboriginal performers are being transferred to future generations, thus enhancing the cultural and social life of Canada.

Based in Toronto, The Centre for Indigenous Theatre offers post-secondary performing arts training to people of Aboriginal ancestry. The Centre's programs promote and foster an understanding of Indigenous theatre while providing the highest calibre arts training to Aboriginal students from across Canada. This is the second year that The Centre has worked in conjunction with Trent University in conducting this Program in Peterborough. The Centre for Indigenous Theatre also offers a Summer Program in Yellowknife, NWT in partnership with Stuck in a Snowbank Theatre as well as a Full-Time three-year program in Toronto.

Posted July 26, 2004

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Last Updated August 26, 2004