DanceWorks presents Mînowin, a multimedia work by Dancers of Damelahamid, a celebrated Indigenous dance company from the Northwest Coast of British Columbia. Here we speak with choreographer Margaret Grenier about the upcoming Toronto premiere of Mînowin.
DanceWorks: Can you tell us about the title of the work? How does it connect to the movement, narrative and themes explored in the performance?
Margaret: Mînowin translates to the act of clarifying direction. In the dance piece we worked with the Indigenous worldview of time as circular. We come back time and again to stories that that inform how we move forward: through imbalance and renewal. This concept is reflected in the movement, regalia, set and media design of Mînowin.
DanceWorks: As the choreographer, what was the inspiration for creating Mînowin?
Margaret: The inspiration for Mînowin came from reflecting on this critical place that I have come to in my personal narrative. I am privileged to have the foundational knowledge of the previous generation but that is not my story to tell. Mînowin was sourced from a process of digging deep to find strength from experiencing loss and disconnection. We can also look at these places as a time for renewal and resiliency.
DanceWorks: Mînowin integrates the use of multimedia design. Was it challenging to work with multimedia elements? What kinds of things can we expect to see in the performance (without giving too much away)?
Margaret: The multimedia design is intended to support the narrative and help the audience to connect the visual design with movement. It was a very fluid process for us because Coastal dance is already so connected to the visual arts and Coastal form line design. We have been blessed to work with the designers Andy Moro and Sammy Chien who are intuitive and responsive as we worked together to explore these connections.
DanceWorks presents Mînowin by Dancers of Damelahamid October 18-19, 2019 at 8pm at the Harbourfront Centre Theatre. Tickets are available here.