Pisuwin

Pisuwin

From award-winning director and choreographer Igor Dobrovolskiy, and multi-disciplinary artist Nipahtuwet Naka Wespahtuwet (Possesom) Paul (Wolastoqiyik, Sitansisk First Nation), Pisuwin is an epic first ever Wolastoq story-ballet set to the soaring music of Polaris Prize and Juno award-winning composer Jeremy Dutcher (Wolastoqiyik, Neqotkuk First Nation).

Based on a Wolastoq tale, this multidisciplinary piece reflects on the current state of dis-ease in our world, illuminating a path to wholeness and rebalance. The project features eight dancers and blends indigenous storytelling and ballet, redefining this classical form for a diverse, savvy and contemporary audience. Electronic sound, industrial landscapes and digital projection, juxtaposed with Wolastoq visual motifs of the spiritual and natural world, create the indigenous cosmology within which the story takes place. “Why does the water no longer quench our thirst?” Pisuwin pushes us to confront our greed and alienation, while inspiring us to take a different path; one of connection, community and wholeness.

MAY 12-27, 2023 — Atlantic Tour

 

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CREATIVE TEAM

Igor Dobrovolskiy, M.S.M., O.M.

Igor Dobrovolskiy, M.S.M., O.M.

Artistic Director/Choreographer

Originally from Ukraine, Co-Founder and Artistic Director of Atlantic Ballet Atlantique Canada, Igor Dobrovolskiy is one of Canada’s most prolific choreographers – having created 15 full length ballets and over 50 short works since the inception of Atlantic Ballet in 2002. Igor Dobrovolskiy’s creative work catapulted the Company onto the international stage. Beginning in 2006, his works have toured regularly throughout Europe – Belgium, Switzerland, France, Germany, and the United States. Igor has won numerous awards for his artistic work and for his support of diversity and inclusion. He has worked on multiple collaborations with leading artists through-out Canada including playwright Sharon Pollock, author Jacques Savoie, composers Francois Dompierre, and Jeremy Dutcher, actress Viola Leger, Elder Imelda Perley, projection designer and documentary filmmaker Adam Larsen, award-winning film directors Frank Savoie and Greg Hemmings among others. In addition to directing and choreography, M. Dobrovolskiy sits on provincial and national juries and has taught in South America, Europe, United States and Canada.

Nipahtuwet Naka Wespahtuwet Possesom

Nipahtuwet Naka Wespahtuwet Possesom

Co-Director

Possesom’ [Ba-zaz-um] is a Wolastoqiyik multi-disciplinary artist, curator, director and cultural educator. Possesom is a major contributor and resource to the indigenous artistic community leading a new generation into a significant period of growth, development and opportunity across the entire Atlantic region. He is a member of the Wabanaki Grass Dance Society, and a keeper of traditional knowledge. As a champion dancer, accomplished director and actor, educator & choreographer — he has toured throughout turtle island, sharing knowledge, engaging audiences and community in critical thought towards understanding of their own origins, and the first peoples of the world.

Jeremy Dutcher

Jeremy Dutcher

Composer

A member of Neqotkuk (Tobique First Nation in New Brunswick) Jeremy Dutcher, is an award winning (Juno and Polaris) Wolastoqiyik artist. Performer, composer, activist, musicologist — these roles are all infused into his art and way of life. His music, too, transcends boundaries: unapologetically playful in its incorporation of classical influences, full of reverence for the traditional songs of his home, and teeming with the urgency of modern-day struggles of resistance.

Andy Moro

Andy Moro

Costume, Set and Projection Design

Andy is an award winning mixed Euro/Omushkego Cree multi-disciplinary artist. His work includes performance installation, set, projection lighting and audio design with companies across the country. He is a cofounder/director with Tara Beagan of ARTICLE 11, named for the article in the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous People, stating: Indigenous peoples have the right to practice and revitalize, maintain, protect and develop past, present and future manifestations of their cultures, such as historical sites, artefacts, designs, ceremonies, technologies and visual and performing arts and literature. ARTICLE 11 is currently touring Reckoning, a triptych tackling the fallout from the Truth and Reconciliation Commission. Their installation DECLARATION has been featured at the Royal Ontario Museum, the National Arts Centre and Calgary City Hall, and DECLARATION: ReMatriation, an international Indigenous collaboration, at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival. ARTICLE 11’s Deer Woman has toured to Kia Mau Festival, Aotearoa, Edinburgh Fringe Festival @CanadaHub as a part of the Indigenous Contemporary Scene.

Emma Hassencahl-Perley

Emma Hassencahl-Perley

(Mentee) Costume and Projection Design

Emma Hassencahl-Perley is Wolastoqiyik artist from Neqotkuk (Tobique First Nation) and works in Fredericton, NB. She is currently pursuing a Master’s in Art History from Concordia University. Emma works as a visuaal artist, emerging curator, and as an instructor at the New Brunswick College of Craft and Design. Emma graduated from Mount Allison University in 2017 with a Bachelor of Fine Arts, specializing in painting and printmaking. Her visual work explores the term “Legislative Identity” (how the Indian Act has an impact on the identities of Indigenous peoples in Canada) as well as her identity as a Wolastoqiyik woman and Wabanaki citizen through material and visual culture. Emma’s painting, digital illustration, and beadwork often utilize Wabanaki double-curve iconography found on beaded textiles. Most recently, Emma has launched Wabanaki Modern: The Artistic Legacy of the 1960s “Micmac Indian Craftsmen”, a 3-language book (English, French, and Mi’kmaq) with co-creator John Leroux.

Oakley Rain Wysote Gray

Oakley Rain Wysote Gray

(Mentee) Costume Design

Oakley Rain Wysote Gray is from Listuguj Mi’gmaq First Nation. They identify as two-spirited and their pronouns are They/Them. Oakley is a fashion designer that draws inspiration from Mi’gmaq culture and everyday injustices that Indigenous people experience. Not only does their debut collection highlight the stories of their ancestors, it also displays the impact of systematic racism and colonization. The title of their collection is Mei Eimotieg – we are still here. Graduated from New Brunswick College of Craft and Design, they are now the lead designer at Gigpesan. They are a winner of the BMO 1st Art Award 2022.

Dawson Sacobie (M3D14)

Dawson Sacobie (M3D14)

(Mentee) Soundscape Design

Dawson Sacobie from Sitansisk (St. Mary’s First Nation) is an art project gone musical, experimenting with sounds accompanied by Indigenous songs of The Wolastoq, Dawson is pushing boundaries and making noise in the east coast electronic scene!

Pierre Lavoie

Pierre Lavoie

Lighting Design

A critically acclaimed designer across the continent, Pierre Lavoie has been active in dance since 1982. His versatility is seen in how easily he can sustain both modern and classical vocabulary. Mr. Lavoie began his lighting design career in the 90’s working with Margie Gillis and has since designed for every new piece in her repertoire. He also works with many contemporary dance artists in Montreal. Resident designer at Alberta Ballet he has lit Christopher Wheeldon’s Midsummer Night’s Dream, Val Caniparoli’s Lady of the Camellias, Kirk Petersen’s Othello and Jean Grand-Maitre’s Carmen, Cinderella, Romeo and Juliet. Mr. Lavoie recently designed the lighting for the celebrated Fiddle and the Drum with Joni Mitchell. He has worked with the Royal Winnipeg Ballet, Boston Ballet, Milwaukee Ballet and Ballet Memphis. Mr. Lavoie has worked with Atlantic Ballet on Amadeus, Phantom of the Opera, Don Juan, King Lear, Romeo and Juliet Fantasy, Fidelio, Ghosts of Violence, and Piaf.

Keira Loughran

Keira Loughran

Dramarturg

Keira Loughran is an award-winning artist with over 25 years experience as an actor, director, playwright, dramaturg and producer. She is an Artistic Associate at the Atlantic Ballet and is currently on faculty at York University, teaching Acting, Devised Theatre, Playwriting and Performance Creation at the undergraduate and graduate levels. She was the inaugural Associate Producer at the Stratford Festival (2012-2018) where she spearheaded organizational change to support new work, diversity, inclusion and Indigenous reconciliation. Selected directing credits include four productions at Stratford (Wendy and Peter Pan, The Comedy of Errors, The Komagata Maru Incident, The Aeneid), Pu-Erh (K’Now Theatre, Dora nomination), Deportation Cast (York University), Titus Andronicus (Canadian Stage) and Little Dragon (Co-directed with Marion DeVries). As an actor, Keira has performed in theatres across the country. She has appeared in several movies, short films and television, including CBS’s Good Sam, and Hallmark Channel’s Good Witch. Ms Loughran lives in Stratford with her partner and two children, where she also trains Aikido, in which she holds a third degree black belt.

Jera Wolfe

Jera Wolfe

Guest Dancer

Born in Tkaronto (Toronto), Jera Wolfe is a choreographer and performer of Métis heritage. His captivating choreography has awarded him the 2019 Dora Mavor Moore Award for Outstanding Original Choreography for Trace by Red Sky Performance. He has demonstrated an impressive repertoire of works presented by Canadian Stage, Fall For Dance North, Banff Centre for Arts and Creativity, Festival des arts de Saint-Sauveur, Danse Danse and Jacob’s Pillow. His choreographic works include creations with the National Ballet of Canada, Canada’s Royal Winnipeg Ballet, Canada’s National Ballet School, Winnipeg’s Contemporary Dancers and Red Sky Performance.

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